Frick Pond, in the Delaware Wild Forest, in autumn. Photo: Escape Brooklyn.

In Sullivan County, 100 miles from New York City, Livingston Manor describes itself as “a small town with a big yard.” In 2019, Condé Nast declared it the “Catskills’ Newest Hotspot.” Through the two descriptions sound pretty far apart, as Livingston Manor locals with some authority – we agree with both.

Hotspot takes on another meaning in the Catskill Mountains; don’t come to town expecting a cityscape of nightlife and entertainment options. Sure, there are bars – and even a world-class art gallery – but Livingston Manor leans more leisure than excitement. This tiny town boasts excellent options for the outdoor-inclined, from world-famous fly fishing on its rivers to miles of hiking trails through its big back yard of forest, waterfalls, lakes and ponds. Livingston Manor is also home to a vibrant community of design, gift and outdoor shops, breweries, restaurants and bars – many of them part of a recent influx of creatives and entrepreneurs from the city.

The harmonious mix of its outdoor attractions and its great small businesses make Livingston Manor a wonderful place to visit, or live. Maybe even the best (wink, wink.)

Below, check out our guide to this very special town we call home – with our favorite spots to explore, eat, drink, stay and more.

What To Do in Livingston Manor: Shopping & Exploring Main Street

See massive names in modern art like James Turrell and Sol LeWitt at Catskill Art Space in Livingston Manor, NY. Photo: Zach Hyman.

The tiny town of Livingston Manor has some of the best shopping in the Catskills. For the home design and decor enthusiast, check out a few of our favorite boutiques: Long Weekend, with expertly curated vintage and mid-century furniture, art and decor; the pocket-sized Homestedt, selling well-designed homewares, outdoor gear and local products; Spruce Homegoods, selling fine cheeses and home goods; and Life Repurposed, vintage and thrifted home goods and furniture. Livingston Manor’s newest shop addition, Corners, will tempt you to add a coffee table or art print to your home collection. Their gallery-like display of prints, office supplies, art and design books is a work of art in itself.

There’s a load of shopping for more niche products, too. We love Jitterbug, offering a little something for everyone with their supply of records, toys, games and art supplies, and neighboring One Grand Books, whose book collection is curated by celebs’ “desert island” picks. Old Souls is a new addition to town, where outdoorsy types can simultaneously stock up on gear and gifts. For the handier types, we adore Will Hardware, a hardware shop ripe with nostalgia, plus rows and rows of stuff you had no idea you needed (and many things you do).

In addition to the plethora of homewares to find while exploring, there’s a number of clothing shops to wander through: Nest, a lifestyle boutique with sourced products ranging from clothing to furniture to rugs; and Concrete and Water, housing designers like Alex Mill and Ganni. In the nearby town of Roscoe, Wemoc General is hosting a popup with NYC’s 9th St. Vintage in a late 1800’s building-turned-boutique filled with textiles, apparel, ceramics and more. Next door, check out Taylor + Ace for even more vintage homeware and furniture at great prices.

Whatever you do, don’t miss Livingston Manor’s cultural gem and world-class art gallery, Catskill Art Space. Inside, find installations from massive names in modern art like Sol LeWitt and James Turrell alongside regional artists and curators. In an effort to make art accessible to all, admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Exploring the Outdoors: Fishing & Hiking in Livingston Manor, NY

View from the top of Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower in winter. Photo: Escape Brooklyn.

This mini-region within the Catskills is the birthplace of American dry fly fishing. Known for pristine, protected waters and abundant bug life, fly fishers from around the world come to fish on the famed Beaverkill, Willowemoc, Neversink, Delaware and Esopus rivers. To arrange a guided day on the water (and/or lessons) talk to the folks at Dette Flies. Located on right on Livingston Manor’s Main Street, Dette Flies is the oldest family run fly fishing shop in the world.

For those who prefer exploration on land, head to the nearby Willowemoc Wild Forest trails where there’s a 40+ mile trail system to explore. We love the 6.6 mile Hodge Pond and Frick Pond, or cut it short and just do the 2.1 mile Frick Pond portion. Both pass through an incredible maze of pine forest and boardwalked trails. Download AllTrails maps before you go; there’s no cell service.

Further afoot, check out one of the Catskills’ famous fire tower hikes. About 30 minutes from Livingston Manor, Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower and Red Hill Fire Tower are both beautiful trails with stunning 360° views at the top.

Where to Eat & Drink: The Best Restaurants & Bars in Livingston Manor, NY

The best meal in Livingston Manor is at The DeBruce, where diners are treated to incredible food in a lovely dining room overlooking the mountains. Photo: Escape Brooklyn.

For breakfast or lunch, we love The Walk-In, famous for its square-shaped, flaky biscuits. At lunch, the menu offers amazing salads, sandwiches and soups. Hybrid gourmet grocer/cafe Main St. Farm serves up some great sandwiches; be prepared for lines, but the food is delicious, using produce and ingredients from local farmers. For casual vibes, tacos and burgers (veggie options included), check out Van Smokey, an elevated meat shop with a bar and restaurant. They have fun programming like outdoor movie nights in summer, and karaoke Fridays; at night, this is one of town’s more lively bars.

Further down Main Street, wine bar Sunshine Colony recently partnered with friends The Highmeadow Project for very special summer dinner and brunch menus – all cooked outside over a wood-fired oven. Among highlights are pizza, roasted chicken, braised pork shoulder and of course, grilled Beaverkill trout. Other town highlights for dining include Kaatskeller‘s pizza, and Stumble Out‘s seafoods and sidewalk spritzes. The DeBruce easily takes the cake for the best meal in town, where diners are treated to memorable meals in a window-walled dining room overlooking the mountains. Be prepared to spend a bit more – but it’s worth a splurge, especially for a special occasion. Finally, for laid-back fare, casual jukebox and pool table vibes, check out Arnold House Tavern high atop Livingston Manor’s Shandelee Mountain.

In the mood for a cold beverage? Within 15 minutes of each other, three breweries are ready to pour you a drink. First, Upward Brewing not only has a great selection of beers to choose from, but also 120 acres to explore with hiking trails – including one up the rightfully named Beer Mountain. Winter days are especially cozy here, where you can grab a seat by the fireplace; in summer, grab a picnic table by the spring-fed pond. Our very favorite brews come from Livingston Manor’s Catskill Brewery, whose taproom is open 6 days a week with plentiful outdoor seating; for an easy, quick meal, there’s usually a food truck nearby. Last, about 15 minutes down the road, Roscoe Brewing often hosts entertaining events ranging from live music to BBQs on the weekends.

Where to Stay: The Best Hotels & Airbnbs in Livingston Manor, NY

There’s no shortage of vacation rentals, boutique hotels and even camping in the Livingston Manor, NY area. Below, we’re sharing some of our favorites.

Escape Brooklyn independently reviews and curates everything we recommend. When you book through our links, we may earn a commission. All views and recommendations are our own.

The DeBruce

Over 100 years after it was built as a boarding house, this extraordinary boutique hotel has carved a name for itself as a must-visit destination for foodies. At The DeBruce, hotel guests are treated to two outstanding, memorable meals each day of their stay in a glass-walled dining room overlooking its pool, pond, and surrounding mountain landscape. Other amenities include walking trails, private river for fishing, and access to sister property Kenoza Hill’s spa. Rates begin ~$650/night and include meals for two.

Misty Mountain Haven

The charming Misty Mountain Haven is set on the edge of 50 acres of woods and boasts access to Willowemoc Creek – known for its excellent trout fishing. Livingston Manor’s Main Street is a five-minute drive away, and Roscoe is six minutes away. After days spent outdoors, return to stargaze under the outdoor fire pit, or cozy up by the interior fireplace. With space for 9 guests, this enchanting spot is perfect for gatherings with friends or family. ~$500/night (cleaning included).

Mountain Terrace

Perched high on a hill surrounded by forest, the Mountain Terrace has a treetop feel throughout the house, with spectacular views from nearly every room. The highlight of this well-appointed three bedroom rental home is its wrap-around terrace with west-facing sunset views from the deck — which you can enjoy from its hot tub — but also the kitchen, living room and upstairs den. A wood stove in the open living room keeps this retreat cozy year-round. Rates begin ~$300/night (plus cleaning).

Parkston Schoolhouse

This beautiful two-bedroom upstate Airbnb with a sauna, Parkston Schoolhouse, was once a one-room schoolhouse! Built in 1870, the Parkston Schoolhouse served all grade levels in the Livingston Manor area. More recently, it was converted to a cozy cottage getaway, complete with a wood-burning sauna in the woods. ~$200/night (plus cleaning).

Arnold House

Mountaintop boutique hotel Arnold House is just a few minutes drive down Shandelee Mountain into both Livingston Manor and Roscoe. We especially love the on-site amenities including its cozy tavern, sunroom with a fireplace, crazy-lush greenhouse, and short trails, perfect for a casual stroll. Rooms begin ~$280/night.

Night Fox A-Frame

Offering two bedrooms, this design-forward Night Fox A-Frame shares one bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room/dining room area stocked with fun board games. Enjoy meals at the long dining table, or head outside for al fresco dining in the fresh Catskill Mountain air. Ten minutes to hiking, lake swims and more. ~$300/night (plus cleaning).