Visit area museums, historic sites and explore iconic symbols of the Catskills Rich History
Greene County, N.Y. (August 16, 2011)—Explore the Catskills’ four hundred years of history, unrivaled artistic and cultural legacy, and beautiful mountain landscape on your next Catskills family vacation. The Great Northern Catskills are the birth place of the first great American art movement, the mythical home of literary legend Rip Van Winkle, and boasts a variety of attractions including Catskills museums, historic sites, cultural venues, exhibits and events that present and preserve the area’s storied past.
Start with a visit to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, the former home and studio of Thomas Cole, the acclaimed landscape painter and founder of the Hudson River School of art. Thomas Cole’s home, Cedar Grove, is now a museum and is open for guided tours. The house contains galleries of oil paintings and prints as well as rooms with Cole artifacts and period furnishings. Visitors can view a film about his art, and stroll through the flower gardens to see Cole's sweeping view of the Catskill Mountains.
After a walk through Thomas Cole’s home, continue the artistic adventure on The Hudson River Art Trail. This 3-4 hour guided tour takes hikers through the Catskill Mountains to many of the scenic places that inspired the Hudson River School painters. The tour starts at Cedar Grove and takes hikers to sites including North-South Lakes and Kaaterskill Falls.
Other interesting sites include the Bronck Museum, the Zadock Pratt Museum and Pratt Rock. The Bronck museum is a complex of Dutch Colonial dwellings, with 18thand 19thcentury art and furniture and 19th century barns, including the oldest surviving house in the Hudson Valley.
The Zadock Pratt Museum and Pratt Rock Park commemorate the life of Pratt, a distinguished statesman who supported federal legislation for a Transcontinental Railroad, Smithsonian Institution and Washington Monument. Pratt Rock, called “New York’s Mount Rushmore” by Ripley’s Believe It or Not, is one of the earliest Civil War monuments in the nation. It features white relief carvings estimated to be over 150 years old.
The history of the Catskills cultural scene is marked by successive waves of immigrants beginning with 17thcentury Dutch colonists. Today, the region hosts several festivals and unique Catskills...