Upstate New York is having a moment. From the surge of urbanites fleeing the five boroughs and snapping up every property in sight, to the curated storefronts and Instagram-worthy hotel interiors cropping up on every corner, it’s hard to resist a trip north. The more popular towns are noticeably those that are easier to reach, essentially those within the one to two hours drive range from New York City. But if you wake up a bit earlier and push that speedometer, you’ll reach the bucolic quiet of Delaware County. Here are the top things to do there.
Start your morning at Table on Ten, the aptly named roadside cafe on Highway Ten in Bloomville. There’s something about that upstate air that makes mealtimes more a necessity than ever. Fuel up for the day ahead with skillet-laden dishes heaped with farm fresh eggs. Mop up that red sauce with a field of pastry options while sweet-tooths rejoice over the Four and Twenty Blackbird pie for dessert. All set in a sunlight flooded room daintily filled with mismatched furniture and wildflowers, this eatery sets the country standard for the day.
With breakfast behind you, turn your attention to the crown of the county, the Catskill Mountains Scenic Trail. In a former life, this trail was used as the Ulster & Delaware Railroad for the access across the Catskills. When the need for train transport dissolved, the route was repurposed under the “Rails to Trails” program. Now an accessible stretch of 26 miles worth of hiking, biking, and even horseback riding trail, pick up the Trail just behind Table on Ten at the confluence of Highway Ten and Feed Store Road.
Freshen up from your hike with an afternoon of shopping. Beginning in the town of Andes, meander the picturesque and pedestrian free Main Street starting at Clementine Vintage. Owned and run by a former fashion merchandiser, the shop is a gleaming white display where the colorful clothing is both decorative and mercantile. Chunky cableknit fisherman sweaters are stacked in monochrome piles, while 1930s' cocktail dresses line the racks in varying hues of peach.
After satisfying your sartorial fix, walk a few doors down and across the main drag to Kabinett & Kammer. Filled with curios of all kind, a visit to this shop is never brief, and the selection is an ever revolving assortment of taxidermy, medical diagrams, escritoires and other assorted items of furniture.
With the majority of the day behind you, cross the road and turn up the dusty driveway to the newly refurbished Wayside Cider. Sidle up to the counter at the indoor Tap Room where canary yellow stools pair smashingly with the sage green bar and spend a few hours sampling the best of upstate New York’s cider and beer. From its expansive backyard terrace to the colorful corners inside the barn-like structures, finding a spot to sit is entertaining enough. Pair the cider house’s flagship Catskill brew with The Wayside Board for an earthy taste of the local terroir.
Save some room, as dinner is reserved for a showstopping culinary experience at Brushland Eating House in Bovina Center. With the aim of creating an atmosphere that reflects the comfort of the food it serves, Brushland is a beacon of light among the county’s dining options. Chef Sohail Zandi and his partner-in-life-and-food Sarah Elbert have created an experience so memorable, it warrants the 3+ hour drive from Manhattan for their dinner alone.
A former pharmacy, you can see the bones of the original space with the expansive aged wood counter and the wall-lined shelves that now hold barware instead of amphoras. While you get the sense that the decor was thoughtfully arranged, it’s the food that is the true showcase. Highlights include the roasted carrots, artfully displayed with a sweet touch of honey, the hand rolled pasta, and of course, the one-flip burger. At just $10, it’s a steal considering the packs-a-punch “fancy sauce” and the location. Afterall, Bovina is unquestionably Bovine territory at its best.