Searching for Swimming Holes in the Catskills

Escaping the New York city heat is an art and necessity. 

After many weeks fighting traffic on route 95, we recently decided to head north to the Catskills to explore the Hudson River Valley and find some new spots to cool off, namely, swimming holes, that didn't require such traffic hassles.

This article in the Times worked as a rough guide. We knew Kaaterskil Falls, an inspiration for much of the Hudson River School painters, would be a pretty epic place. Even with some pretty thick crowds and the top part of the falls closed off, it lived up to its reputation. 

The water was so cool and refreshing, it really did feel like some sort of baptism. Kaaterskill is very much worth a visit. Though if you to decide to go, try and hit it on a weekday. That probably goes without saying. Also, pack some hiking shoes and water. It's about a half a mile in, but it's rocky and steep in parts. 

The Big Deep in Woodstock is neither big nor deep. It is a good place to sit by and have a sandwich and chill out. Maybe with more rain it gets a bit bigger and deeper.  

Woodstock and Phoenicia are commong homebases when venturing into the Catskills, but we opted to stay at a pretty awesome Airbnb in Kingston. It was in a residential neighborhood, but felt totally removed, thanks to it being a former stable of a larger place. Kingston also has some good bars and restaurants like Boitson's, which is open late, has a great back deck and is known for their fried chicken.