The Hamptons or the Catskills? The choice New Yorkers make between the city’s top two weekend escapes is as telling as their choice between Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s more than a destination; it’s an identity. You’re either the Hamptons — a Long Island refuge favored by wealthy Upper East Siders — or the Catskills — an affordable swath of upstate New York colonized by artsy-fartsy Brooklynites. There is no in-between.
But in recent years, these disparate destinations started looking eerily similar. Upstate hamlets like Kerhonksen are now synonymous with million-dollar homes like East Hampton. Nearby towns along the Hudson River are now chockablock with the same Soho-style boutiques found in Sag Harbor. Counties like Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, Greene, and Columbia even earned a new nickname — the Camptons — and a recent surge in wealthy New Yorkers snatching up local real estate ensures the inevitability of their Hamptonsification.
This reality poses a quandary for New Yorkers who once identified with the Catskills. If the uber-rich rule both vacation destinations, where does everyone else go for a long weekend outside of the city?
The answer can be found in Sullivan County, where the Catskill Mountains end and the Delaware River begins.