The southeastern section of the Catskill Mountains, centered in Ulster County and the closest to New York City (many parts are 2 hours or less by car), is one of the most historic, sophisticated, and beautiful parts of the Catskill region. It's an area of bucolic farmlands and original settlers' stone houses belonging to French, Dutch, and English immigrants. The area straddles the easily blurred divide between the Catskill Mountains and the Mid-Hudson Valley and is thus easy to combine with tours of the west bank of the river valley. Some of the most legendary names are contained in this section that skirts the southern edge of the Catskill Forest Preserve: Mohonk Mountain House, Woodstock, and New Paltz, as well as up-and-comers like small but increasingly happening towns like Saugerties and Phoenicia.