Catskills vs. Hudson Valley: Talk me down

Friday’s New York Times ran a piece headlined “Catskill Home Prices: How Low Will They Go?”, which pretty much corroborated what I wrote in my blog entry of last week, “End of Year Bargain$ in Columbia County Cheap Cheap CHEAP!!!”  That is, the housing market in upstate New York is in a funk, with no end in sight, and many houses are selling — well, not selling, but priced — in the $200s. These are the same houses that a year ago would have been in the $300s, and there are even some under-$100,000 houses on the market for the first time in years.

For those of you who may be thinking of jumping into the market and paddling around,  but don’t know where to begin, let me offer my thoughts on the Catskills vs. the Hudson Valley.  Admittedly, I know the mid-Hudson Valley intimately, and I know Sullivan County (heart of the Catskills) hardly at all.  My experience with it comes mainly from long-ago trips to and from my kids’ summer camp near Liberty.

So this is only one woman’s opinion, but  I’ll take the Hudson Valley over the Catskills any day for the following reasons:

  • The Taconic State Parkway (into the HV from NYC) is a masterpiece of modern landscape architecture.  The New York State Thruway to Route 17 (into Sullivan County) is an ugly, truck-filled nightmare.
  • The Hudson River Valley is a valley, with a feeling of openness and big sky.  The Catskills are woodsy and dark.
  • The Hudson Valley has a 21-mile-long strip of historic mansions along the river, all open to the public, including Boscobel, Wilderstein, Montgomery Place, Clermont, and on and on.  The Catskills has a string of dilapidated Borscht Belt hotels.
  • The view of the Catskills from the Hudson Valley is stunning.  There IS no view of the Catskills from the Catskills.

Am I being unfair?  Feel free, as Rachel Maddow says, to talk me down on this.

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
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5 Responses to Catskills vs. Hudson Valley: Talk me down

  1. But some people like “dark and woodsy”!!!
    ML

  2. cara says:

    No doubt – it’s a matter of personal preference. Beach or mountains? Paris or Rome? It’s all good – I was just playing devil’s advocate there. Thanks for your comment, ML!

  3. Lee Hartwell says:

    Love your Blog! BUT – OOOO – My Dear! Please let me extend an invitation to you to visit me here in Callicoon, NY. Which is located in Sullivan County on the endlessly gorgeous Delaware River The beauty of this very special part of the World is the reason I live here. To say, “there is no view of the Catskills from the Catskills”, OUCH and WRONG. Please plan a visit here as my guest. This way, once I have you held captive in my gorgeous raised A-Frame which has an all glass front facing West, we can watch the sun set slowly over the Pocono Mountains in PA. And after that maybe I can share with you all of the wonderful scenic photographs of the Catskills – shot by me – yes – right here IN the Catskills….just to help change your mind about it’s beauty. OK? Are we on? See you soon in Callicoon!

  4. cara says:

    ha, yes – we are ON for a rendezvous in Callicoon! I would love to have my perceptions corrected and be dazzled by the wondrous beauty of Sullivan County. I wonder….does an A-frame count as an ‘old house’? Thanks for commenting, Lee!

  5. Sandy says:

    I think everything has its ying and yang and as one of your comments by Lee is right on as the Delaware River area is beautiful(I used to go to a spot in North Branch and swim at Skinner’s Falls) I, myself prefer the Hudson Valley. From the Rondout in Kingston to my favorite Hamlet High Falls, this is where my spirit is happy.

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