Thaddeus House–aka “Spacious Catskills A-frame” on Airbnb–is a retro-chic dream come true: a double A-frame home, built by hand in the 1970’s, just outside the groovy mountain town of Woodstock, New York. We love this house because it’s one of those special places that perfectly marries the exterior to the interior, with period correct everything–from the gold-flecked wallpaper in the bathroom, to the kitchen appliances, to the hand-built furniture in the living room. The result of this marriage is like a step back into time. Technically located in Glenford, it’s just 100 miles north of New York City, a quick two and a half hour drive from Manhattan. The house has three cozy bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a beautiful freestanding fireplace.
The house’s history goes back to 1976 when the first owner, Thaddeus Bukowski built the first half of the home, facing the driveway. Ten years later, his family was growing and craving a little more space, so he added a second A-frame joining to the side of the first, creating space for a large eat-in kitchen, a third bedroom and an additional bathroom. But he didn’t stop there–Thaddeus also built custom furniture for the home, including three couches (one swinging!) and a large communal kitchen table, which still remain.
The new owner, Richard Coughlin, was enchanted by the home and its story, and purchased it in 2013 from the Bukowski family. Though it was hard for the family to let go of the house–one family member had been married in the back yard, among countless other memories–when they met Richard, the Bukowskis could tell that he appreciated the history and connected with the aesthetic. After the deal was done, Richard kept the furniture built by Thaddeus, filling in the gaps with his own pieces, which are a mix of modern and mid-century. If you look carefully, other little details hint to the original owners: a coin is pressed into the fireplace to mark the construction date, and even some of Thaddeus’ record collection (marked with “Ted” stickers) is mixed in with Richard’s.
Aside from the obvious aesthetic appeal, this cabin is all about location. It’s conveniently located less than ten minutes off Route 28, the main highway in the Catskills, but tucked into a hillside with total privacy. For those wishing to explore some of the coolest stuff happening in the Catskills, a ten minute ride in the car takes you to Woodstock; fifteen to Mt. Tremper; or twenty to Phoenicia. To soak in the great outdoors, a walk (or run) along the Ashokan Reservoir is a must; hike up Overlook Mountain to explore old hotel ruins and climb a fire tower; or take a dip in Onteora Lake ten minutes down the road. More details on all that below.
What to do around Glenford: Shop, take a hike, or go for a dip!
This part of the Catskills is much more lively year-round than its western counterpart. The town of Woodstock, just a ten minute drive away, has lots of great shopping and entertainment. It’s easy to kill a day walking up and town Woodstock’s main drag, Tinker Street, which is spattered with great little boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Some of our favorite shops in town include Pacama Handmade, Woodstock General Supply, Ecosystem, and Shop Little House. Our ideal evening? Have dinner at the super-cute Shindig, see an indie flick at Upstate Films, then have a nightcap at hotspot Cucina. For more ideas, check out our full post on Woodstock.
Speaking of Woodstock, it’s also home to one of our favorite year-round hikes at Overlook Mountain. The 3-ish hour hike takes you past hotel ruins, then up to multiple overlooks including a 60 foot climb up a fire tower, with some of the best views of the Catskills. It’s a great hike year-round, but in winter, make sure you show up with appropriate footwear. For a more leisurely day outdoors, check out outdoor landscape and sculpture park and museum Opus 40, about a 20 minute drive away near Saugerties. Imagined and built by sculpture artist Harvey Fite, the massive sculpture park took him nearly 40 years (hence the name) to construct. It’s open Memorial Day through late October.
All along Route 28, there’s great shopping with lots of antique shops, farm stands, yard sales, galleries and the like. It also has one of the most unique shops in all of the Catskills, Scandinavian Grace, where coffee and shopping come together in one beautiful space. Owned by Fredrik Larsson, the large converted garage is stocked with both classic and contemporary home goods imported Scandinavian designers. It also includes local designers and artists like Andrew Molleur and Nina Z.
On your way out of town, don’t miss the Ashokan Reservoir Overlook, where you can park your car and walk over the east border of the lake with an incredible view from the foothills. It’s scenic year-round, and a great place to catch the sunset or just take in a little mountain air before heading back to the city. (Note: There’s no GPS address to get here, so you’ll need these directions: Follow Historic Route 28A heading south/west from Route 28. You’ll be on the road for 10-15 minutes before coming across a parking lot, on your left.) Also nearby, Peekamoose Blue Hole is a fun summertime destination, and is one of the top 10 swimming holes in the United States. Arrive early or shoot for weekdays to avoid the crowds; or instead, head to Onteora Lake for a swim.
Where to eat & drink (or just stock up) around Glenford:
Part of the appeal of renting a cabin is using a kitchen that is, more than likely, five times the size of your own in New York City. This one is no different, and has an electric stove, dishwasher, and even an indoor grill–no need to fight off the insects! Stock up on basic groceries on your way to the house at Adam’s Fairacre Farms in Kingston, and stop into Kingston Wine Co. for a bottle of bubbly or a growler of beer from Keegan Ales. A little closer to the house, there’s a great strip of gourmet food shops on the side of Route 28, including a cheese shop called Cheese Louise; Blue Mountain Bistro, a to-go gourmet cafe; and The Wine Hutch, a liquor and wine shop. Last, there’s also a grocery called Hurley Ridge Market just outside of Woodstock that’s great for basics.
Being so close to Woodstock, there’s tons of options for food and drink. For breakfast, Shindig is the newest option in town serving fresh, local, seasonal fare. It’s hands down our favorite place to eat in Woodstock–be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. For lunch, Woodstock Provisions is new in town as well, serving up mouth-watering paninis and sandwiches. Menus change often and are posted on their Facebook page.
For dinner, the Italian cuisine at Cucina absolutely cannot be topped. The restaurant is housed in a restored farmhouse with a cozy bar to hang out in (if you didn’t bother making reservations–which you should!) The main courses are a little on the pricier side, but they’re 100% worth the splurge. For something more casual, check out the beautiful Tinker Taco Lab, with it’s simple menu of five types of tacos and two types of tamales. Last, skip the food but grab a cocktail at the bar at The Bear Cafe. It’s right next to music venue Bearsville Theater, so check out their schedule while you’re in town.
Though Woodstock is the easiest option for food, there’s other restaurants out there that are worth the trek. If you’re visiting the region with a car and willing to drive for your meals, we always send people to Peekamoose and the Phoenicia Diner. Peekamoose is described as “the Gramercy of the Catskills,” whose owners escaped the city to open a restaurant closer to the farms they sourced from. Menu changes seasonally and always delivers. Don’t fill up on the bread and leave room for dessert! Last, the very famous Phoenicia Diner is serving the breakfast and lunch of your dreams, and a must for Instagram-obsessed travelers. There’s almost always a wait on the weekends, so go early, or just try your luck at the bar, which is open on weekend nights.