The Deer Mountain Inn is the perfect weekend retreat from NYC. Typically we post dining, drinking, and outdoor activities recommendations in every location we visit—fortunately, the Deer Mountain Inn has all of that on-site. (It’s all fantastic, too, which makes our jobs way easier.) The six-room inn is about a 2.5 hour drive from the city, nestled in the woods of the Northern Catskills outside of Tannersville, whose brightly colored buildings on Main Street earned it the name of “painted village in the sky.In fall or winter, the Inn is especially cozy, with its multiple fireplaces ablaze and log cabin decor.
The Inn is a beautiful three-story lodge whose lodgey vibe feels plucked straight out of a David Lynch film. The first floor is the lobby and check-in, which opens into the beautiful 60-seat restaurant and bar space. Both the lobby and restaurant have their own big fireplaces, and are filled with plush couches, hunting relics and taxidermied walls. On the second floor, the six guest rooms are all slightly different with their own rustic charm. Our room, the Wheeler, had a reading nook and a large fireplace. (Two of the six rooms have gas fireplaces.) Our bathroom had a huge freestanding bathtub; the pebble-stoned floors in our shower felt just as luxurious. On the third floor, a hangout space just recently opened for guest use with a pool table, a massive TV, a couple couches and giant pillows everywhere. Bring your own cocktails or order from the bar downstairs.
For larger groups, Deer Mountain Inn also has two large rental homes on their property just a short walk from the main lodge. We spent an amazing weekend at the Tuckaway Cottage, with four bedrooms–one king, two queens, one with two twins–three bathrooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. Three of those four rooms have walk-out balconies. We filled up the cottage with friends, having a big dinner party cookout on Saturday night; all our other meals were just a short walk away at the Inn.
Guests at both the rental homes or the inn can enjoy the 168 acres of Deer Mountain Inn wooded property. Upon check-in, ask for a map of the trails. When we told staff members Tricia and Lilly our plans to hike to the overlook, Tricia insisted on taking us on a grounds tour on their Gator (which is basically a four-wheeler with a different name, as I understood it.) With Tricia behind the driver’s wheel, we took an absolutely insane ride up the mountain. At the top, we stopped for a killer view (at said overlook) and also at a clearing where wild ramps were growing rampant. We were the stereotypical city-meets-country folks, grinning ear to ear as we foraged for the wild ramps to use at our dinner party that night.
To view their different cottages and rooms available at Deer Mountain Inn, click here. Prices begin at $200 per night at the Inn, and $800 for the cottages.
What to Do Around Deer Mountain Inn: Take a Hike to Kaaterskill Falls, Climb a Mountain
At the Deer Mountain Inn, there are miles of hiking trails on the 168 wooded acre space; just ask for a map upon check-in. Definitely make the short but steep hike to the Overlook, with an incredible view of the Catskills. There are firepits on the property as well, if you wish to sit under the stars for the evening.
During the warm months, a trip to Kaaterskill Falls is a must; it’s the highest two-tier waterfall in New York, and only a fifteen minute drive from the Inn. For skiers, Hunter Mountain is nearby. (Though in summer and fall, there are zipline and scenic tours!) From Memorial Day weekend until Columbus Day, you can visit nearby Opus 40, a large outdoor 6.5 acre sculpture garden. Is is an absolutely monumental and inspiring work of art. For more outdoor activities, or other things to do in the area, ask their awesome staff for recommendations. They can even help you arrange guided fly-fishing!
Where to Eat & Drink Around Tannersville: The Inn and Beyond
The restaurant at Deer Mountain Inn is getaway perfection–from the cozy, lodgey atmosphere to their inventive cocktails and amazing food. Since we typically travel with friends here, we usually end up ordering the whole appetizer menu and a couple entrees to share. Inn guests will also enjoy the farmouse-buffet style breakfast spread. Yogurt, croissants, jams, granola, quiche, fresh fruit, and charcuterie–it’s all included. To drink, fresh grapefruit juice, orange juice, coffee and tea.
For a chance of pace, there’s a couple gems in town, too. One of the best breakfasts the Catskills can be found at Maggie’s Krooked Kafe, right on Main Street in Tannersville. Grab a window spot (or outdoors, weather permitting) and watch the bustling town. We chose a spot by the window and had the pleasure of watching the first snowfall of last winter in this warm, cute little cafe. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs and we ordered way too much food: buckwheat pancakes, tofu scramble and Krooked Rancheros. We’re also huge fans of Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts, who make donuts fresh to order. (No relation to the TV show.) Pass the time waiting for your donuts at their little antique and gift shop! Speaking of antiques, there’s another restaurant in town combining food and shopping at Last Chance Cafe. You can literally find anything you need here–it’s part general store, beer shop, is stocked with gourmet foods, and even has live music on weekends. If it’s a nice day, you’ll definitely want to check out Mama’s Boy Burgers, serving up great burgers and 26 flavors of custards in an old roadside ice cream parlor. Order from the counter inside, and find a spot at their outdoor picnic tables or enjoy inside at their retro-chic booths.
If you’re into dive bars, the Spinning Room is your quintessential small-town dive bar. The crowd is a good mix of locals and tourists. They have a great beer selection, jukebox and darts, and standard pub fare including their famous Buckaroo Burger. But if you’re staying at the Deer Mountain Inn, definitely plan to have a nightcap there. As far as hotel bars go, this one takes the cake–with their scenic overlook, outdoor and indoor fireplaces, awesome staff and inventive cocktail menu. Cheers!