I never run out of places to explore in the Catskills. Even my favorite towns seem to be able to surprise me with something new each time I visit: a new shop, a town trail, a new vintage in my favorite wine shop. Sometimes I feel like a walking billboard. "You just gotta check it out. You, of all people, will love it!" It's true. If I like you, I can think of 100 things you'll love about the Catskills.
Now, here's a new one: Catskill Carriage. I had the privilege of speaking with its owner and founder Gabriel Brodbar in the depths of winter and have been holding onto this story for just around now as you start thinking about how to get up to the Catskills to take me up on my recommendations.
So, lucky you, Catskill Carriage — a Hamptons Jitney without the Hamptons — is gearing up for the summer season with free WiFi, power outlets at every seat and a bar-to-brewery drop-off. Go up on a Friday and come back on a Sunday, unless there’s a Monday holiday, in which case you get to stay a little longer. Did I mention the dessert? Seriously, they serve homemade desserts. On the bus. SMH.
Catskill Carriage is a far cry from taking the bus from the Port Authority. It's luxe, affordable and you can text your friends to boast your plans whilst you ease on down the road. It leaves from Midtown Manhattan and will take you to Monticello, Livingston Manor, Roscoe and also Callicoon. Check out their schedules and end points at catskillcarriage.com. While you wait for someone to pick you up, you can grab a cool beer to start the weekend off right.
Gabe Brodbar, Catskill Carriage's founder has some serious street cred. He is the founder and chief of NYU's Social Entrepreneur Program and finally decided he was going to practice what he's been preaching for the past 13 years. You know what they say to budding writers, right? Write what you know. Analogously, Gabe dug back into his own personal history to a summer job he had in college working for a tour bus company and connected that experience to a real need in the Catskills. Your friends are upstate. You want to join them when you get out of work on a Friday. You want it to be easy and pleasant; none of that PTSD you get from doing the Port Authority-to-Monticello version. That, plus tourism is on the rise in the Catskills. And Catskill Carriage is born.
The entrepreneur deeply embedded in his bones gives Gabe a lot of fun ideas for Catskill Carriage and its future. A corporate retreat to a hidden gem? A wedding party? A way to time travel back to Woodstock? A product launch and photo shoot? Gabe's going bespoke with Catskill Carriage and will still usher you to the most beautiful place on earth every weekend starting this Memorial Day weekend (May 25 to 28) right into leaf peeping season in October.
All aboard, XOXO Farm Girl