In Saugerties, NY, a collection of luxury tents, Airstreams, and cabins make up AutoCamp Catskills – AutoCamp’s 5th and newest location. Set on an expansive swath of land near the base of Overlook Mountain, campsites range from Airstreams, to luxury tents, to small cabins and tiny houses.
Similar to its sister camps in Cape Cod, Yosemite National Park, Russian River Valley and Joshua Tree National Park – guests enjoy affordable “camp” accommodations in some of nature’s most beautiful places, while not sacrificing the good stuff: that is, electric, running water, showers, luxury linens and Ursa Major bathroom products.
Nearly 100 campsites are woven into this Upstate landscape, dotted with tall pines, leafy trees, and freshly planted landscaping. All campsites are connected to a system of dirt roads, with carts provided to shuttle luggage and supplies to camper’s sites with ease. Bikes are also provided: use them to cruise around camp, or get to the Clubhouse quickly – where you’ll not only check in, but also likely end up grabbing some supplies at the general store, or grabbing a bite in the dining room. A floor-to-ceiling fireplace surrounded by chairs accentuates the space, giving the cavernous room a cozy vibe. Outside the Clubhouse, a large communal bonfire is surrounded by plentiful seating, where guests can gather, mingle, and hang out in the great outdoors.
As far as accommodations go, each site is a little different, with four options to chose from: luxury tent, cabin, Airstream, or studios (you might call these tiny houses.) All have electricity, mini-fridges, towels and linens, basic cookware, plus a fire pit and grill; those without running water and bathrooms share showers and bathrooms in the Clubhouse. For each site’s fire pit, one set of compressed wood fire starters are also provided to campers. (Of note: no outside firewood is permitted; additional compressed wood is available for purchase at the Clubhouse.)
While purists might turn their nose at this definition of “camping,” what AutoCamp provides is a cushy “camp” spot that is perfect for groups and families: fun and inclusive for all, from newborn children to grandparents to pets. More boutique hotel than traditional camp, AutoCamp is great for those seeking an immersive outdoor experience without sacrificing comfort. (And yes, there’s WiFi at each site.)
The appeal to groups and families was not lost; in fact, during our recent stay, most of our fellow campers were young families. Around AutoCamp, groups of kids raced around on bikes, and could be heard sharing stories from their Catskill Mountain hiking adventures, or recalling their first overnight in a tent without parents. The happy memories being made were palpable. And despite a nearly-full camp, the experience feels decidedly low-key, everyone is friendly, and quiet hours were very respectfully observed.
All in all, AutoCamp provides a cushy experience to connect – with your family, close friends and the great outdoors. Ready to plan a trip? We’ve got you: below, some prep tips, along with some of our favorite spots to explore in and around AutoCamp Catskills’ home of Saugerties, NY.
Stock Up: Prepping for AutoCamp
Pro tip: stock up on provisions in Woodstock, NY before heading to camp (our favorite local grocer recommendations below.)
Though AutoCamp has guests covered with essentials, we found that some thoughtful meal planning made for a better experience. Stock up on food and beverages before arrival, and keep in mind you’ll be storing food in a mini-fridge, and likely cooking over a campfire. (Hot plates are available in many campsites, as well.)
The best grocer in the area is Sunflower Market, where you can stock up on provisions of all kinds; you’ll also find camp-friendly, delicious pre-made sides, making meal planning a breeze. Just down the street, Woodstock Meats has premium cuts, plus gourmet items including cheeses, breads, fruits and veggies. Finally, to stock up on booze, Sunflower Market has a great craft beer selection, or head to Unfiltered Wines for natural wine and spirits.
For camp essentials (or souvenirs), AutoCamp’s general store is more than convenient, and stocked with things from bug spray to sleeping bags and everything in-between – including booze and BBQ kits. Guests can grab a meal in the same building, where counter service offers a menu of breakfast items (bagels, sandwiches, burritos); and beyond to lunch & dinner soup, salads, sandwiches, pizza, quiche, pot pies, and rotisseries and more.
Our advice? Grab breakfast at AutoCamp, then spend the days out and about, exploring the nearby towns for meals and adventures.
Our Favorite Hikes, Shops, and Things to Do Around AutoCamp Catskills
Autumn views in the Catskill Mountains. Get our trail recommendations below, including the above, Huckleberry Point.
The most popular hike in the Catskill Mountains, Kaaterskill Falls, is just 20 minutes from camp. The 260 foot two-tier waterfall is a sight to behold, but if solitude is what you’re seeking, this is not the spot; it’s so popular that visitors now need to take a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the trailhead. We prefer the less beaten paths around North-South Lake or Huckleberry Point instead. Traveling with the kiddos? In Saugerties, a short hike through the woods and marshland to the Saugerties Lighthouse is memorable, as is the Ashokan Rail Trail, where you’ll park and choose your own adventure along a paved path.
During winter, Hunter Mountain is notably less than 30 minutes from AutoCamp. Four separate mountain faces encompass a wide variety of terrain, catering to skiers and riders of all ability levels. In other seasons, hiking, scenic skyrides, and zip lining through the tall peaks are incredible experiences to be had at Hunter, as well. No matter how you spend the day on the slopes, grab a beer or a bite in Hunter at Scribner’s Prospect, or Jagerberg Beer Hall.
Shoppers on the hunt for souvenirs, home goods or apparel will be delighted in either Woodstock or Saugerties’ boutique shops. In Woodstock, our favorites include Three Turtle Doves, Golden Notebook, and Shop Little House; in Saugerties, check out Rug Shop. For a complete list of recommendations, check out the Escape Brooklyn Guide to Woodstock.
Last but not least, combine art and the outdoors with a visit to Opus 40. Artist Harvey Fite spent 40 years creating this unique sculpture and land art park, whose stone paths twist and wind around the 6.5 acre property. Open seasonally; check their website for information.