In Livingston Manor, New York, 115 miles from New York City, The DeBruce sits atop a hill overlooking the Willowemoc Valley. With a deep history of fly fishing, the hotel pre-dates the early and mid-1900’s, when the Catskills were one of the most famous vacation destinations in the country. In its “golden era,” as many as 20 hotels and boarding houses populated the Willowemoc Valley. Now there is but one: The DeBruce.

Over 100 years after it was built, this one-of-kind 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 — breakfast and dinner — in a glass-walled dining room overlooking its pool, pond, and surrounding mountain landscape.

Sunday through Friday, an a la carte menu is served, while Saturday offers an immersive tasting menu experience where all guests are served all courses at the same time as a collective group. (Non-guests are welcome with advance reservation.)

The DeBruce’s culinary menus change often with the season — sometimes even daily — so there’s always something new and exciting, whether you’re a local or weekend visitor. Feeling adventurous? Opt for the Carte Blanche menu, where the chef de cuisine sends guests a curated selection of off-menu items for an even more memorable, interactive culinary experience.

Between meals, guests can hang at the pool, hike the private trails on the property, or take fly-fishing lessons from some of the area’s top guides. With two (large) meals provided daily, and loads of on-site amenities, there’s no need to leave the property.

But we’re hoping to tempt you. The hotel is just ten minutes to Main Street Livingston Manor, with great shopping, bars, restaurants and more all of which we’ve outlined below.

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

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 perfectly curated vintage furniture and decor (that car rental will be even more worth it now!); the pocket-sized Homestedt, selling well-designed homewares, outdoor gear and local products; Spruce Homegoods, selling fine cheeses and home goods; Life Repurposed, vintage and thrifted home goods and furniture; and Farmhouse Project, a sustainable shop with everything from gardening tools to dinnerware to terracotta pottery.

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, 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. Not even ten minutes away, Wemoc General is hosting a popup with NYC’s 9th St. Vintage in a beautifully restored building dating back to the late 1800’s 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.

What to Do: Hiking, Fishing and Exploring the Outdoors in Livingston Manor, NY

Frick Pond, in the Delaware Wild Forest, in autumn. 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 (including lessons) just ask concierge – or head into town and 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, the DeBruce has a few miles of private trails, ranging from 1.4 miles to 2.5 miles – or connect them for a longer walk. For something more substantial, 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, that passes through an incredible maze of pine forest and boardwalked trails. Download AllTrails maps before you go; there’s no cell service.

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

Dining room at the DeBruce in Livingston Manor, NY. Photo: Escape Brooklyn.

Thankfully, hotel guests need not travel far for the best meal in town. Without question, it’s The DeBruce. Don’t skip breakfast or dinner at the hotel; it’s included in the room rate, and you literally cannot do better. (Non-guests are welcome with reservations on weekends, or try your luck walking in downstairs at the DeBruce tavern.)

In-between meals, there’s some notable lunches in town. The Walk-In, providing southern fare, is famous for its square-shaped, flaky biscuits but also serves up 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 who also has fun programming like outdoor movie nights in summer.

On the other side of 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. End the weekend on high note: we can’t think of a lovelier place to cap a trip Upstate than brunch in their sunny back-yard with food and friends.

In the mood for a cold beverage? Within 15 minutes of each other, three breweries are close by and 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.

A stay at the DeBruce is sure to inspire even the most distinguished culinary palettes; before hitting the road, stop up on local provisions to try your chef skills at home. We love stocking up at Van Smokey (with their signature smoked meats – but also excellent drink mixers and more), aforementioned grocer Main Street Farm, bakery Neon Croissant – and most importantly, the Livingston Manor Farmers’ Market, on Sundays on Main Street.