The Sullivan County Catskills are for Soulmates

February 10th, 2015

Virginia may be for lovers, but the Sullivan County Catskills are for soulmates! There is no need to travel far. Just 90 minutes from NYC, you can find everything you need for the perfect romantic getaway in gorgeous Sullivan County.

They say that love comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are looking for a quaint bed and breakfast to canoodle in front of a roaring fire, a picturesque downtown to explore hand in hand with your sweetheart, or a live performance to set the mood, you can plan an extra-special Valentine’s Day getaway in Sullivan County that is sure to be one to remember!

Get your day started on the right foot with a hearty breakfast from the Rolling River Café. This café is the perfect spot to share a quiet conversation over a hot cup of coffee in a unique atmosphere featuring great art. Why not eve home a piece of art with you to remember your special day?

After breakfast, head over to the Catskill Arts Society for a sophisticated rendezvous and check out the exhibit Flux. The exhibit combines the photography and installation artwork of three emerging talents in a striking and often unexpected blend.

After a stroll through the art gallery get outdoors! It may be chilly, but you’ve got your love to keep you warm! Head out for a romantic walk through the beautiful Livingston Manor Covered Bridge Park. This historic covered bridge, originally built in 1860 crossing the Willowemoc Creek, is a picturesque spot to get a breath of fresh air.

A relaxing massage at Honor’s Haven Resort and Spa is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day. Get yourself relaxed and limber before heading out for the night’s activities!

As the goes down its time to turn up the romance. What better to get you in the mood for romance than a selection of love songs? Rather than dusting off that old Barry White CD, check out the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop’s Valentine’s Day Cabaret!

Of course we didn’t forget about dinner! Sullivan County offers an array of unique dining options. No matter what atmosphere you are looking for, you have plenty of options to enjoy a special meal. Here are some of our recommendations:

To end the night you’ll want to make sure you have found the perfect spot to spend some time alone together. If passionate romance is your thing, the Inn at Lake Joseph provides romantic getaway packages complete with roses, a cozy fireplace, whirlpool baths, and Swedish massages. If you prefer to get outside, The Sullivan has great stay & ski packages to keep you busy up and down the slopes. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, The Villa Roma has plenty of options, including dining, spa and salon services, saunas, and even ice skating!

Regardless of how you like to spend the day with your significant other, Sullivan County is the perfect place to plan your tryst. Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO

SCVA Draws Attention with Winter Wonderland Initiative

January 12th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association’s all new Winter Wonderland in the Sullivan County Catskills package – including an informational page and photo contest – on have already gained significant popularity among visitors.

In December, 12 percent of’s total website traffic was the result of visitors to the Winter Wonderland pages. The month marked a 16-percent increase over November, unusual at a time when seasonality typically results in a notable decline in website traffic.

“Our recent digital focus on our region’s seasonality has fostered a new way to communicate with both our residents and visitors,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “The feedback has been outstanding, and the contest images that are coming in provide such a unique view of some of our greatest assets.”

SCVA’s Winter Wonderland page offers a plethora of useful information to people planning a winter getaway. Easily accessible details include weather reports, dining, lodging, outdoor recreation options, and upcoming events.

The Winter Wonderland Photo Contest is hosted completely online, and allows for submissions through SCVA’s website and its Facebook page. The SCVA also welcomes submissions through both Twitter and Instagram. Users simply post their photo with the hashtag #SCWinterWonderland and include the details regarding where the image was taken.

“With every snowfall, we get flooded with a wave of new submissions,” Byron-Lockwood said.

The contest runs through Jan. 26; winners will be announced on Jan. 28. The photo with the most online votes will win one of several tourism-related prizes contributed from SCVA’s membership. Photographers may submit up to one photo per day.

Contest sponsors include Watermark Communications radio stations WSUL and WVOS, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, The Natural Contents Kitchen, Sullivan County Farmers’ Markets, Morgan Outdoors, and The Country Bum’kin Antiques.

Those SCVA members still interested in contributing prizes for the Winter Wonderland Contest are asked to contact Phyllis Andrews at as soon as possible.

SCVA Expands Seasonal Focus with Winter Wonderland Initiative, Photo Contest

December 17th, 2014

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is hosting its second online photo contest, this time centered on the region’s beauty during the winter season.

The organization’s first contest, focused on Fall Foliage, resulted in more than 1,000 votes cast for 174 photos submitted by 91 photographers.

“We want to carry that creative spark forward into the winter by encouraging people to take pictures at the ski slope or snap a shot of friends by a roaring fire,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “We want photographers to get out there and mix it up with this contest.”

To make submitting even easier, the SCVA has expanded its social positioning by including both Twitter and Instagram. Users simply post their photo with the hashtag #SCWinterWonderland and include the details regarding where the image was taken. Submissions are also being accepted through the SCVA’s Facebook page and on the contest page.

The Winter Wonderland Photo Contest runs through Jan. 26, 2015; winners will be announced on Jan. 28, 2015. The photo with the most online votes will win one of several tourism-related prizes contributed from SCVA’s membership. Photographers may submit up to one photo per day.

“This is a perfect opportunity for our residents and visitors to look at our area with fresh eyes and truly appreciate its wintry beauty,” Byron-Lockwood said. “There’s just no place better.”

Contest sponsors include Watermark Communications radio stations WSUL and WVOS, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, The Natural Contents Kitchen, and Sullivan County Farmers’ Markets.

The SCVA has also created a digital Winter Wonderland Guide, which provides info about lodging, dining, events, winter recreation, and other activities.

Those SCVA members still interested in contributing prizes for the Winter Wonderland Contest are asked to contact Phyllis Andrews at as soon as possible.

SCVA to honor TOAST Award winner at Holiday Celebration Dec. 4

November 18th, 2014

The Sullivan County Visitors Association will host its Annual Meeting & Holiday Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at Mr. Willy’s Restaurant in Monticello.

During the festivities, the SCVA will announce the winner of the 12th Annual TOAST (Tribute to Outstanding Associate Serving Tourism) Award. TOAST Awards highlight the best employees and staff members in tourism – the people who make up the backbone of the industry in the Sullivan County Catskills today.

Presentations for the evening, sponsored by Mohegan Sun and Monticello Casino & Raceway, will also feature a detailed look at both the SCVA’s most recent accomplishments and its plans for the upcoming year.

“It’s been a very strong year for our organization and we’re looking forward to sharing all the great news with the Sullivan County tourism community,” SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood said. “Plans are already underway for next year, and we’re confident that it will be our best yet.”

TOAST Award nominations are still being accepted, and the award is open to all SCVA member businesses. Nominations must be made by the business owner or manager.

SCVA members who nominate employees for a TOAST Award are asked to submit via mail or email materials supporting each award entry, such as photos, letters of commendation, positive customer feedback, and news clippings.

The winner of this year’s TOAST Award will receive the recognition of the county’s tourism industry.

“Please make sure your nominated employees are present at our Annual Meeting & Holiday Celebration,” Byron-Lockwood said. “Even if they aren’t the official winner, they’ll be glad to know you thought enough of their dedication and contribution to nominate them.”

Nominations should be addressed to Phyllis Andrews at or by mail to “Sullivan County Visitors Association, 100 Sullivan Ave., Suite 2, P.O. Box 248, Ferndale, NY 12734”. For more information about nominations, call Phyllis at 845.747.4449.

Event Details:

Who: Open to all!
What: Annual Meeting & Holiday Reception
When: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
Where: Mr. Willy’s Restaurant, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., 3695 New York 42, Monticello, NY 12701
Cost: Members, NO COST; non-members, $40
RSVP: Email or call 845.747.4449

Find things to do in Sullivan County this Fall

October 8th, 2014

So you’re planning a day trip and you want to stay close to home. It is absolutely worth checking out what’s going on in nearby Sullivan County, N.Y.

Of course, there’s always the perennially fantastic Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, with its multiple stages and diverse selection of live performances, and the Museum at Bethel Woods, which explores the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival.

But you mustn’t overlook the incredible entertainment and educational (aka edu-tainment) opportunities in Sullivan County.

There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy on a fall day in the Sullivan County Catskills. To help guide your way, the Sullivan County Visitors Association has developed a comprehensive Arts & Culture Trail map, a user’s guide for exploring Sullivan County’s entertainment opportunities and fine arts.

“Our goal is always to provide our visitors with the most convenient and user-friendly tools available so that they can easily enjoy the very best Sullivan County has to offer,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, president of the SCVA. “If you’re coming from Pennsylvania, for instance, right along the border there are some outstanding opportunities for people who love independent cinema, opera, classical music, and fabulous galleries. No matter where you’re coming from, we’ll have something to pique your interest.”

Narrowsburg, right along the Delaware River, features both the Delaware Valley Opera and the Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra. Fans of the visual arts can also visit the Alliance Gallery & Loft Gallery and the River Gallery The Art of the Living, both in Narrowsburg, and the nearby Georgia Chambers Studio & Art Gallery in Callicoon.

For those in search of a more tranquil experience, consider a visit to the Kadampa Meditation Center in Glen Spey, where you can enjoy a peaceful environment or join one of the many programs offered throughout the year.

For those “Eat Fresh” folks, Callicoon’s Sunday farmers market continues to offer the very best local products throughout the rest of the year. Vendors will be outdoors through November 16 and then move indoors beginning November 23.

There’s also the 380-seat Callicoon Theater, which shows popular first-run movies and independent, alternative, and foreign films, and the Tusten Theatre, which hosts live jazz, classical, traditional, and new music performances.

“There’s so much more to Sullivan County that most would assume, and it’s closer than you think,” Lockwood said.

Pick up your own Arts & Culture Trail map the SCVA office in Ferndale, or at various businesses throughout Sullivan County. Learn more about the Sullivan County Catskills by exploring the rest of or calling 845.747.4449.

SCVA Launches First Annual Fall Foliage Photo Contest, Foliage at 10% Color Change

September 19th, 2014

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is proud to announce its first ever Fall Foliage Photo Contest, where visitors and residents are encouraged to submit their very best, most autumn-centric photos of the Sullivan County Catskills. Submissions are being accepted through and the SCVA’s Facebook page.

“The contest allows our own residents and visitors to showcase their own view of the Sullivan County Catskills’ amazing fall colors,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “The images are meant to represent everyone’s individual experience and creative vision, whether they are pumpkin-picking, hiking, shopping, or flying across a zip line. We can’t wait to see what folks come up with.”

Foliage-related selfies are welcomed, as are pictures that highlight Sullivan County businesses or landmarks in a creative way. The Fall Foliage Photo Contest runs through Oct. 27, and the photos with the most online votes will win one of several tourism-related prizes donated through SCVA’s membership. The winners will be announced on Oct. 28.

Photos must be taken in Sullivan County during autumn 2014, and include the location, date, and photographer’s name.

Visit to learn more about the contest, the region’s journey toward full foliage color, and other Foliage Fun that is happening in the Sullivan County Catskills, where foliage is exhibiting strong green colors, sprinkled with yellow and rust highlights, and the occasional spot of orange.

The SCVA is also on the hunt for residents who would like to join the SC Peep Squad and submit regular foliage reports to

Sullivan County Showing First Signs of Autumn

September 12th, 2014

Sullivan County’s first signs of fall color have started to appear across the region’s foliage. According to the Sullivan County Visitors Association’s weekly update, approximately five percent of leaves in the Sullivan County Catskills are showing hints of yellow and red – with some individual trees already showing full color.

“We are always inundated with visitors who love to explore the spectacular color that sweeps across our hillsides each fall,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “We’re expecting an even greater influx this year, thanks in part to the video billboard we acquired in Times Square earlier this year and all of the media attention associated with the region just now.”

“It’s a very exciting time in Sullivan County, and our hospitality experts are looking forward to welcoming new friends to the region,” she added.

For the first time, the SCVA will be holding a foliage photo contest, the details of which will be announced shortly. In addition, the organization is on the hunt for a team of Leaf Peepers to join the SCVA Peep Squad, and submit regular reports via the SCVA’s Facebook page about changes to the region’s foliage.

Sullivan County is renowned for its spectacular scenic views and brilliant red, yellow, and orange foliage colors. It is the home to a number of great fall events, including (but certainly not limited to):

Von Steuben German Festival
• Sept. 13, noon-6 p.m., Yulan Fire Department Ball Field

The Harvest Festival at Bethel Woods
• Sept. 14, 21, and 28, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Giant Pumpkin Party and Children’s Parade
• Oct. 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Grahamsville Fairground

Wine Festival at Bethel Woods
• Oct. 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Craft Beer Festival and Chili Cook-Off at Bethel Woods
• Oct. 11, noon-4 p.m., Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

• Oct. 11-12, Beaverkill Angler, Roscoe, N.Y.

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is a proud contributor to I Love NY’s foliage reports. SCVA will have more exciting fall foliage announcements soon. Learn more about fall events by heading to

Sullivan communities establish unique identities

September 5th, 2014

bigeddylogolongWith all the media coverage, you’d think everyone’s focus is centered solely on potential casinos in the Catskills. But take a closer look.

What you’ll find is that nearly every municipality across Sullivan County is working hard to establish its own identity by embracing its unique and appealing attributes – without the benefit of casinos.

Emerging festivals and celebrations are helping to cast a different light on Sullivan County – for tourists and locals alike.

Bagel Festival in Monticello drew 5,000 people when it started in 2013, and that nearly tripled this past August. Bethel Woods continues to bustle, presenting new and innovative entertainment and educational opportunities each season. In the Roscoe region, the folks there have embraced a well-recognized and hard-earned identity of being the “Ultimate Fishing Town,” celebrating the fishing mecca these past 11 years with their Annual Trout Parade!

And then there’s the Big Eddy Film Festival in Narrowsburg, started in 2012. Since then, the festival has done nothing but flourish, pulling new tourists into Sullivan County with each passing year. A product of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Big Eddy is the coming together of like minds to establish a thoughtful and entertaining viewing experience for the Catskills, and the Delaware and Hudson River valleys. Set in the 150-seat Tusten Theatre, the festival brings quality independent cinema to fans in a much more intimate experience than Tribeca, Sundance, or even the Woodstock Film Festival.

But let us not overlook those dedicated citizens who have also helped foster longtime traditions in our county. For 135 years, Grahamsville locals have kept the Little World’s Fair thriving; for 25 years, Riverfest in Narrowsburg has celebrated music, art, and the environment. And nothing short of sustained interest and passion has kept the Shandelee Music Festival growing, too.

Whether over generations or over a year, the people of Sullivan County have continued to have faith in this amazing region, embracing their own special version of the Catskills. Each vision is unique, and contributes to a bright and thriving future for those who live here, and for those who visit here.

If you’re attending the Big Eddy Film Festival Sept. 19-21, check out for lodging options in our region. And be sure to check out other local attractions at It’s a season in the Catskills you won’t want to miss.

A Perfect Ending to a Perfect Celebration!

September 4th, 2014

Check out this wonderful TripAdvisor review left for the Sullivan County Catskills’ own ECCE. Just another example of the wonderful memories that can be created in the Catskills!

My wife and I were celebrating our legal wedding in NYC this summer. While we love going to the city, we wanted to end somewhere in the mountains. After doing some research, we found Ecce. We combed through the website and read many reviews on TripAdvisor, and we totally agree that this B & B deserves 5 stars! If we could give more we would gladly give them. Not only is this home beautiful with its gorgeous views, beautiful decorations, and peaceful atmosphere, but the hosts and hospitality are amazing! By the time we left, we felt like we had made some new friends.

Omg… the food was delicious and creatively plated. Continental breakfast followed by a sit down plate of excellence. Omelets, sweet surprises, and “the cloud” just to name a few of the delectable bites you’ll receive.

I want to take a moment to mention details, which were not forgotten at ECCE. From the beautiful flowers planted in places you would not even think about, to the items available in the room and en suite bathroom. Every time we would think of something we may have forgotten, we would open a cabinet or closet door, and it would be there. Wow.

Alan and Kurt are very knowledgeable about the area. Being from Texas, we are not too familiar with the NY/NJ/PA area, however, with their guidance, we were able to drive around the city with confidence and ease. Plus, they were able to give us so much information about the history of the area. They had recommendations for restaurants, shows, and other activities that may interest people. We have ideas for our next trip.

We had such a good time and we can’t wait to get back to the Catskills! Thanks for making our wedding getaway memorable Alan and Kurt!

Sullivan County Catskills nostalgia stokes future hopes

August 26th, 2014

There’s nothing like the hope of a bright future to bring to life thoughts of the past.

And what a past it was here in Sullivan County, where hundreds of resort hotels, summer camps, boarding houses, and bungalow colonies made up one of the most bustling tourist stops in the world.

Still, the decades-old dream of casino gambling is getting closer and closer to a possible reality, with two Sullivan County projects in the running for one of our region’s two future casino sites.

It seems like with each step we take forward, the deeper our need to remember times of the past. Sullivan County is bustling with memories, with organizations from east to west, north to south, putting on one “remember when” fest after another.

Just this past Sunday, the Liberty Museum & Arts Center hosted its 13th Conference, 500 Hotels! Tourism in the Sullivan County Catskills: Past, Present and Future. The full-day event included a robust list of some of the most impressive Catskill historians and storytellers.

And just a few weeks ago, the Times Herald-Record re-launched its Classic Catskills online initiative (, pre-gaming its 44-page special book, Inside Classic Catskills. Both the book and the website tell some of Sullivan County’s greatest “heyday” stories, and include interviews, rare photos, and memorabilia.

But it wasn’t just the resorts that made Sullivan County a place worth remembering. We also have the honor of surviving the most amazing and free-wheeling concert ever – Woodstock.

With its 45th anniversary upon us, the whole county has become wrapped in a purple haze of Woodstock mania. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and other local organizations have celebrated the 1969 Woodstock music festival’s history and its unique place in American counterculture all year. Tribute bands and exhibits and music festivals and… the list could go on forever.

The memory collecting is so strong that you can probably find another dozen Woodstock- or Borscht Belt-related events on our calendar ( nearly every weekend through the end of the year.

Still, while memories of Sullivan County’s tourism-centric past still linger, we as a community need to remember to also stay focused on supporting our region’s future by standing behind both of the Concord projects. Casino applicant presentations will take place over the course of three days in Albany, beginning on Sept. 8. The interest is so high that the New York State Gaming Commission has even made arrangements to stream the presentations live on its website (

Either casino (although we still have our hopeful fingers cross for BOTH) would bring in top-tier performers, boost the economy with direct and indirect jobs, and become a massive contributor to the future of Sullivan County’s tourism industry.

It would be like Sullivan County’s homecoming – only better.