Most New Yorkers need a refuge from the city every now and then, myself included. While life here provides endless opportunities, art galleries, bars, and restaurants galore, a good dose of the country is always needed to maintain stability (and sanity, for that matter). That’s what spurred me and my roommate to embark our first-ever voyage to upstate New York. We visited the Catskills this fall, and more specifically The Graham & Co. in Phoenicia, only two-and-a-half hours from the City. Here are five reasons why you should, too.

1. You Can Make S’mores In the Fire Pit

Nothing conjures more childhood nostalgia than a fire pit and the ingredients for the perfect s’more. Every night around 7 P.M., Rob from reception starts a fire in The Graham & Co’s back yard. Hotel guests gather in the wood-carved Adirondack chairs to mingle over beers and discuss the fine art of charring the perfect marshmallow. 

2. You Can Eat Local at The Graham & Co.’s Breakfast

The Graham & Co. serves a beautiful breakfast spread that includes local juices, fresh fruit and bread from the region; but the most popular item at the buffet (at least, according to my roommate) are the apple cider donuts from a nearby farm. There’s nothing more perfect than enjoying this sweet treat with coffee in hand on a crisp fall morning. 

3. You Can Relax in the Den After a Long Hike or Bike Ride

The Graham & Co. den is the perfect place for relaxing in a quiet, peaceful environment. The design is inspired by the history of the Catskills, and games, puzzles, and books are readily available. You can even hook up your iPhone to the radio and drift to sleep as you listen to your favorite tunes. 

4. You Can Read a Book by the Pool

The pool provides the best view of the surrounding mountains. During our stay, reggae played as we wasted away the afternoon, enjoying a few dips in the water.

5. You Can Have Brunch at the Phoenicia Diner

No visit to the Catskills is complete without a trip to Phoenicia Diner. Built in 1962 and restored for modern use, the diner is full of charm, reminiscent of a stop along a family road trip of the past. The diner sources many of its ingredients locally, and the menu is full of brunch options appealing to even the most discerning of taste buds.

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