Life in the big city, and everything in between.

Best Scenic Drive in New York

In Travel on September 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm

by Natalie Oakes

Most people either love New York City or hate it. For me, New York City is a constant negotiation of the two extremes. When I need a break from the City’s frantic pace, I hightail it to the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York with my husband and infant son. We drive up New York State on 1-87, and then take Route 28 through the mountains. It’s an especially dazzling drive this time of year when the leaves are changing: shades of red, gold, orange, and yellow abound.

The Catskill Mountains technically aren’t mountains, but a dissected plateau, (file that tid-bit for Jeopardy!) and they really do look more like friendly hills than imposing peeks. Route 28 is the perfect scenic drive through the area. The road winds for 50 miles through charming country towns (Phoenicia, Delhi, and Andes to name a few) that still boast stately Victorian homes and quaint main streets. There are a variety of inns along the way, and the views of the mountains are stunning.  I love to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the stands that flank the road outside of Phoenicia from May until October. The stands are picturesque and never fail to inspire a delighted “Oooh…. let’s stop there!” in each passersby.

Hanover Farms is a favorite. It has garden grown vegetables and fresh fruit, as well as brown eggs, country pies, homemade bread, local milk and cheeses. In the warmer months you can take advantage of the flowering baskets, potted plants, and herbs they sell— a lazy gardener’s best friend, believe me. The potatoes I bought in September were so crisp and flavorful, I nixed the potato salad I was planning, boiled them, and just drizzled them with a bit of olive oil. In the early fall the stand is covered with pumpkins, colorful gourds, and barrels of New York’s famous apples.

I also recommend the neighboring Alyce and Roger’s Fruit Stand. They sell fresh fruits and vegetables like Hanover Farms, along with cinnamon-sugar cake doughnuts, cookies, homemade salsas and jams. Don’t miss their local smoked-trout either; the streams and waterways in the Catskill’s are the birthplace of American fly-fishing and known for their tasty trout.

Urbanites who love the city but crave moments of bucolic quiet should definitely take a countrified drive upstate and check out Route 28 in the Catskills. After a weekend in the mountains, I always come back to the city feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to fall in love with it again.

Hanover Farms

5200 Route 28, Mount Tremper. NY 12457

(845) 943 0117

map it

Alyce and Roger’s Fruit Stand

5150 Route 28, Mount Tremper. NY 12457

(845) 688 2114

About the author


I’m so happy to be writing a guest blog for The Gotham Girl’s website. I’m a big fan! Here’s a little info about me. My name is Natalie and I am twenty-eight years old. My husband and I just had our first child, a darling baby boy named Dane, in May. New York City has been my home for about ten years now, and I have grown to love it, but I also like to take trips to the Catskill Mountains whenever I can. (I’m a country girl at heart.) I’ll be on leave for the next year from my job as a high school teacher so I’m looking forward to reading lots of great literature, writing some songs, singing, and just being a mom to baby Dane—it’s more fulfilling than I ever expected it to be. Thanks to Helya for her supreme lovely awesomeness and I can’t wait to see what’s next!



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  1. I love your post! It makes me want to go for a drive upstate.

  2. Thanks Erik! Fall is the perfect time for a drive up there too 🙂

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