, I've been to Phoenicia a couple of times. I went camping with some friends in the 90s and we ended up spending an afternoon with some relatives of another friend (who couldn't make then trip) and ended up having a great homemade lunch with them on their farm.
The second time I was there was in 2009 to go tubing on the Esopus River at Tinker Tube Rentals
. I had heard about it on our camping trip and had always wanted to try it. Here I am, lining up to get my tube.
I'm not sure where the bus took people but my friends and I got our tubes, life vests and walked down to the Esopus.
Right to the river's edge and then cast off into the current. My friend, Christina, organized this trip and said that the water levels were highest that weekend so the flow would be good and hopefully not too rough.
How it looks from the shore. I can definitely say that I checked this off of my bucket list and never have to do it again. In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't learn to swim until I was 12 years old and have always had a healthy fear of open water and water where I can't see the bottom. I just didn't feel like I was in control of the tube and was just floating towards some faster moving water and couldn't guide it towards the side of the river where Tinker had signs guiding the tubers. I jumped ship pretty early on and got out of the river and walked my tube back to town. Disappointed to say the least. Why did I include this? It's a very popular place and I have lots of friends who love tubing, just not me, so I thought you might be interested.
I stopped in the Phoenicia Supermarket
to poke around...
and found some Freihofer's Chocolate Chip cookies, my most favorite boxed cookies from my youth. They look like Entemann's, but the have just a hint of salt that really rounds out the flavor.
I also found that they sold Saranac sodas (brewed in Utica, NY, my college town) and their root beer is my favorite.
All of that tubing and walking the tubes back sure worked up an appetite so we walked around town to see what they had to offer. Our first stop was Sweet Sue's Restaurant
and while the pancake artwork looks pretty impressive, we weren't in the mood for breakfast. NOTE: I just looked up their website and can't tell if that artwork is still on the walls)
We ended up at Brio's Restaurant
, which, if memory serves, shares the same kitchen with Sportsman's Alamo Cantina next door
The sweet potato fries were just okay.
The calamari was better.
I did love the pizza. I think this was spinach with fresh sliced tomatoes. Nest Egg
is a gift shop across the street from the Phoenicia Market. Sunscreen, postcards to make your friends jealous, candy, books about the history of the region.
The place that really must be seen is Mystery Spot Antiques (informally known as Homer & Langley's Mystery Spot)
, a consignment gift shop/museum that pays tribute to the Collyer Brothers of Harlem, NYC. They were two somewhat notorious agorophobic shut-ins and hoarders who, well, read for yourself!https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyer_brothers
One place we passed by on the 1990s camping trip was the Sundance Rappell Tower
. I wasn't brave enough to try it but it looks interesting. Looks like it's open on weekends only by appointment. Here's an article about it from 2014: http://www.watershedpost.com/2014/ropes-sundance-rappel-tower
As we were driving back from our tubing trip in 2009, we saw Treecraft Fabulous Furniture
from the road and had to stop in. I don't remember if it was open when we arrived so I think we just ended up checking all of the cool, metalwork outside. It's located on Rte. 28 a few miles south of Phoenicia. Here's the artist's website: http://fabulousfurnitureon28.com/space-age-artifacts/
I don't know if you ever grew up going on haunted hay rides, bobbing for apples or other outdoor adventures in the fall but one of my favorite things was going into a corn maze, so we spent some time in the Catskill Corn Maze
. The website for the Maze doesn't seem to be up and running but here is the phone number in case you're thinking of going. http://www.taftstreetrealty.com/directory/dining/the-catskill-corn-maze.html
I really loved this shot at dusk. I know that they also screened movies for kids on a screen set up on a flatbed trailer on some nights. I think it was "101 Dalmations" the night we were there.
While I was online looking up the area to refresh my 8-year old memories, I found the Phoenicia Diner
. Seems like a more upscale, locally-sourced take on the classic diner. It doesn't look like there are any regional specialties on the menu but the Full Phoenicia Breakfast, Grits & Greens and the Chicken Cobb Salad definitely called out to me.
Here's the website: http://www.phoeniciadiner.com/?page_id=19
I realize that this ended up turning into more of a trip report but I love the visual stuff. If you have any questions just let me know. Hope this helps!! Happy travels!!
post edited by billyboy - 2017/06/10 13:38:27