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100 Summer Destinations Under 6 Hours from NYC
New York Post
May 17, 2009
#28 Roxbury, NY. Best. Catskills. Town. Ever.
TRAVEL TIME 3 hrs by car
WHY? Almost cute enough to be Connecticut, Roxbury is completely Catskills, open to all and home to a hotel that would probably be banned in New England.
MUST DO The Delaware County portion of the Catskills is largely what its Ulster and Greene counterparts used to be -- sleepy as hell, or simply too tired and poor to look pretty for weekending city types. That’s changing -- slowly. The first thing you learn about Roxbury -- birthplace of naturalist John Burroughs and railroad magnate Jay Gould -- is that it loves to do stuff. You name it, they’re doing it, whether we’re talking preservation, art, reviving vintage rules baseball, dancing tap or, hell, even quilting. Get introduced properly with a self-guided historic walking tour, which takes you through the Reformed Church with its Tiffany windows, as well as the pretty Kirkside Park next door. (Both were projects of the Gould clan.) Summers bring the annual season of the Roxbury Nine, a baseball team playing by 1898 rules, with a handful of home games running right up to Labor Day. Year-round, the Roxbury Arts Group stays active with approximately 150 events held at multiple locations around the region; stop by to see the work of their members at the town’s Old Bank Gallery. It’s a gallery, in an old bank, dating back to 1905. Part of the region’s charm are its quiet back roads -- Google Maps your way into town via the bucolic Denver Vega Valley, a remarkable little region southeast of Roxbury with nothing but cows and a couple of near-ghost towns. Here, you’ll find the First Old School Baptist Church, which the Roxbury Arts Group now uses as a concert venue a few times each summer.
STAY HERE Because this is The Catskills and things don’t have to match, the addition of the retro-fab Roxbury Motel on the edge of the village makes total sense, even though it’s unclear to the naked eye just how this swinging Jetsons-esque pad (complete with micro-spa and a lovely rooftop deck with fire pit) that attracts a large following blends with the Victorian charm of the village center. Again, you’re in the Catskills -- does it have to? The friendly owners are an encyclopedia of what’s to do -- also, rather importantly, where to eat -- in the neighborhood (from $99;  326-7200).
HAPPENINGS Everybody who’s anybody shows up for Turn of the Century Days, an annual event that -- besides a lot of people dressing up in 1890s-style gear -- includes the climax of the vintage baseball season: the Keator Cup Championship Game (Labor Day weekend).
HOT TIP For maximum awesome, time your arrival (or departure) so that you can stop for dinner at the Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room on Route 28 in Big Indian, just half an hour out of town. They’re only open Thursday through Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The owners have years of experience in NYC. The ’Moose has really raised the tone for dining in the region, emphasizing what’s fresh, local and most of all, what’s fun. Bar menu until midnight, Friday and Saturday (8373 Route 28, Big Indian;  254-6500).
LEARN MORE www.roxburyny.com
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