Roscoe, which bills itself as "Trout Town, USA," is a pleasant, laid-back town with an attractive downtown that's lined with shops set up to capitalize on the tourist trade, which consists almost wholly of outdoors enthusiasts and fishermen. Roscoe is one of the primary base camps in the Catskill region for anglers; it's perched at the edge of one of the most famous fishing spots in the country, Junction Pool -- the confluence of the renowned trout-fishing streams, Beaverkill and Willowemoc creeks. The kickoff of fly-fishing season is celebrated here every April 1. Legend holds that the fish are detained long enough at this crossroads, unsure of which direction to swim, that they grow exponentially in size and then offer themselves up as catch-and-release trophies. The Roscoe O&W Railway Museum, Railroad Avenue (tel. 607/498-4346; www.nyow.org/museum; Memorial Day to Columbus Day Sat-Sun 11am-3pm; free admission), across from the red car, is a minor museum that contains artifacts and memorabilia from the old O&W railway line, a scale-model railroad, and exhibits on the area's major attractions and industry. However, after a 15-year wait, the Beaverkill Trout Car, a 1927 Lackawanna passenger car that is outfitted with live trout tanks and displays on railroading and fishing, has joined the red NY O&W caboose across from the museum. Train fanatics should check out the series of self-guided tours of O&W sites in and around Roscoe, detailed on the website.
Anglers have their own cultural institution to celebrate: the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum, 1031 Old Rte. 17 (btwn exits 94 and 96 off Rte. 17), Livingston Manor (tel. 845/439-4810; www.cffcm.net; Apr-Oct daily 10am-4pm; Nov-Mar Tues-Fri 10am-1pm, Sat 10am-4pm; $3 adults and students, $1 children under 12), is a handsomely built and displayed exhibit touting the achievements, art, science, and folklore of fly-fishing. Especially interesting are the numerous displays of wet, dry, nymph, and streamer flies and the actual tying tables of several of the most renowned tiers in the business. A stuffed doll of a 6-pound fish gives kids an idea of what it would be like to catch a big one. Expert fly-fishers conduct demonstrations on Saturday from April to October.
Fans of historic covered bridges have a number to choose from in Sullivan County, including ones in Willowemoc (built in 1860, 2 miles west of town); Beaverkill (1865, in Beaverkill State Campground); and Livingston Manor (1860, just north of town). All are signed. A different type of bridge, but well worth seeking out, is the centerpiece of the Stone Arch Bridge Historical Park, Route 52 near Kenoza Lake. The three-arched stone bridge was built in 1880 by Swiss-German immigrants.
Down Route 17 from Livingston Manor, the town of Liberty is distinguished by an attractive historic district with classic Gothic Revival, Romanesque, and Greek Revival buildings. Revitalization efforts got an unlikely boost from the recent arrival of the historic (1948) Munson Diner -- featured on Seinfeld and Law & Order, and once frequented by Andy Warhol -- which was uprooted from Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan and relocated to Liberty, purchased by a local group of investors. Nostalgic pilgrims have already made the trip to Liberty to relive memories of the diner, again a functioning diner (18 Lake St., tel. 845/292-1144; www.munsondiner.food.officelive.com). The Apple Pond Farm and Renewable Energy Education Center (tel. 845/482-4674; www.applepondfarm.com; Tues-Sun 10am-5pm), Hahn Road, in Callicoon Center, is a traditional horse-powered organic farm that offers demonstrations of milking, work and sport horses, and border collies, as well as goat-cheese-making classes and horse-drawn wagon rides and an opportunity to learn about turbine and solar renewable energy. It's a great spot for families.
Bethel, on Route 178 west of Route 17, is the actual site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, the famous rock-'n'-roll party where Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and others jammed for a seriously mind-altered audience. Despite the name, the concerts didn't go down in Woodstock, where most people logically assume they did. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, 200 Hurd Rd., Bethel (tel. 866/781-2922; www.bethelwoodscenter.org), now occupies the hallowed grounds with a beautiful pavilion that seats 4,800 for pop, jazz, rock, and classical concerts. The stunning new Museum at Bethel Woods (Mar-May and Labor Day to Jan 3, Thurs-Sun, 10am-5pm; last week May to Labor Day, daily 10am-7pm; adults $13, seniors $11, children 8-17 $9 and 3-7 $4, free for children under 3), contains interactive exhibits on the 1960s political and social transformation and the legendary Woodstock concert, including performance clips, as well as special exhibits such as one on John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's "Bed-In for Peace" protest. There's a museum cafe on the premises serving sandwiches, quiches, salads, and picnic baskets to go.
Farther south, the surprising village of Narrowsburg, perched on the Upper Delaware River and nestled between the Catskills and Pennsylvania's Poconos, is on the upswing, with a number of galleries and restaurants now populating its main street and a rich cultural life for such a small town, with an opera company in summer residence at the Tusten Theater, a film series, and chamber music concerts. Its biggest attraction, aside from its picturesque location at the edge of Big Eddy, is the Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History, 6615 Rte. 97 (tel. 845/252-6660 or 845/807-0261; www.co.sullivan.ny.us; Memorial Day to Labor Day Fri-Sat and Mon 10am-5pm [last tour 4pm], Sun noon-5pm [last tour 4pm]; admission $7 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children 5-14, $15 families up to 2 adults and 3 children), a fascinating living-history museum. Originally established as a museum in 1959, Fort Delaware was a stockaded settlement of the Connecticut Yankees in the Delaware Valley in the mid-18th century. Interpreters in 18th-century period dress reenact the work habits and traditions of the day, including candle making, spinning and weaving, woodworking, blacksmithing, and cooking over open fire pits. Interactive exhibits and children's workshops are intelligently designed and really involve kids in history; children can even be a part of daylong apprentice programs, craft days, and 3-day camps in which they learn an 18th-century skill. The Delaware Arts Center, 37 Main St. (tel. 845/252-7576), is an active cultural center with art exhibits and concerts held in the historic Arlington Hotel.
Minisink Battleground Park (tel. 845/807-0261; www.co.sullivan.ny.us; daily 8am-dusk; free admission), County Road 168 near Route 97 in Minisink Ford, is a 57-acre park on the site of a 1779 Revolutionary War battle, the only one that took place along the Upper Delaware. A tiny Colonial militia took on Tories and Native Americans who were aligned with the British. On-site are self-guided trails and an interpretive history center.
Gay-Friendly Sullivan County -- Sullivan County is one of the few predominantly rural counties around that openly court gay visitors and promote gay-friendly establishments. Look for the "Out in the Catskills" rack card that highlights certain gay-friendly businesses and other informational brochures with a gay and lesbian rainbow symbol on them.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.