Narrowsburg in 7 Steps for a Weekend Trip

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  • Yield: 4 hours round-trip
  • Serving: 3 days
(4.7 / 5)
“if you’re looking for the perfect small town spring getaway in the Catskills, know that you can end your search right here.” —

With its maple-lined riverbanks, small-town charm, and buzzing community of creatives, Narrowsburg has all the ingredients for a memorable weekend Upstate. Perched on the brink of Pennsylvania with the Catskills Mountains rising to the east and the Delaware River flowing through its heart, this tiny hamlet offers bucolic scenery and simple pleasures in equal doses.

Whipping up the perfect weekend in Narrowsburg couldn’t be easier. In fact, the drive to Narrowsburg is part of the magic. Take a generous scoop of natural scenery, mix in a shot of adrenaline, a dash of Upstate heritage, and a wildlife encounter or two.

Sprinkle in some antique shopping and boutique browsing, a leisurely brunch, and a live music concert, or perhaps time your visit for the annual Riverfest street festival. Ready to get baking? Here’s how to devour in Narrowsburg in just seven steps.

the tiny hamlet of Narrowsburg, New York, in the Catskills is driving the upstate region’s transformation from kitschy 1970s has-been to hip…While outdoor activities are the main attraction in Narrowsburg (a two-and-a-half-hour haul from Manhattan), its petit downtown is full of eye candy and lined with stores

Shivani Vora, New York Post

Where to stay in Narrowsburg

Cabins, private homes, and More

Private House in the Woods — this pet-friendly home features 4 acres of woods and a large lawn for the furry friends to enjoy. With a grill on the back deck overlooking the quiet forest, this home is sure to help relax anyone overdone on stress. The rustic charm of the cottage creates a warm atmosphere.

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Step by step method

  • 1. Admire the best view in town

    Narrowsburg’s most impressive view lies right along Main Street at the Narrowsburg Observation Deck. Pick up your coffee-of-choice from Tusten Cup along the way and head there first thing to gaze out over the Delaware River and admire the morning sun shimmering over the water.

    Bird-watchers should bring their binoculars (or use the binocular tower provided): this is a prime viewpoint for bird-watching, and you might just spot a bald eagle swooping along the riverbanks. Crisp winter mornings offer the best chance of eagle sightings, but you’ll likely spot birds and other wildlife year-round.

    Swing by the Narrowsburg Farmer’s Market (held every Saturday morning from May through October) on your way back and pick up some freshly baked pastries for breakfast.

  • 2. Float down the Delaware River

    Kick-off your hamlet vacation (it’s the new ‘city break’) on a high note with a cruise along the Delaware River. Lander’s River Trips offer a variety of options to get your adrenaline fix, including rafting, kayaking, and river tubing.

    Navigate Class II rapids, soak up the scenery and drink in the fresh mountain air as you paddle or float downstream. A popular spot for tours is Skinners Falls, a few miles upstream from Narrowsburg, where you can also cool off with a swim in the summer months.

  • 3. Journey back to the 18th century

    Step back in time with a visit to the Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History, just a few minutes drive from Narrowsburg. Dedicated to telling the stories of the Delaware Company Pioneers, this recreated 1750s village offers a fun history lesson for all ages.

    Peek into the historically accurate settler cabins, interact with costumed actors as you visit the blacksmith shop, armory, and artisan workshops, and perhaps even try your hand at candle-making or quilt-sewing. The highlight? Watching an 18th-century cannon being fired.

    If time allows, combine it with a visit to the nearby Buck Brook Alpacas, a family-run alpaca farm where you can take a walk with a cuddly alpaca and purchase some snuggly alpaca-wool knits.

  • 4. Browse the boutiques and bookstores

    Back in Narrowsburg, devote an afternoon to browsing the town’s assortment of independent boutiques and galleries. Peruse the displays at One Grand Books, where curated bookshelves come courtesy of Carrie Brownstein, Mary-Louise Parker, and other notable names, then indulge your eccentricities at the Madam Fortuna vintage shop and pick up some antique finds at Maison Bergogne or the River Gallery.

    Other must-browse shops include Sunny’s Pop (the brainchild of Sunrise Ruffalo, wife of actor Mark Ruffalo), Mayerwasner (by independent designer Pamela Mayer), and The Velvet Maple. Treat yourself to a cone from B-Line Ice Cream while you wander around town – it’s open every weekend from June through August, and signature flavors include local honey, peanut swirl, and maple walnut.

  • 5. Dive into Narrowsburg’s arts scene

    Music lovers visiting Narrowsburg can easily make the pilgrimage to Bethel, where the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival was held. Just a 25-minute drive away, you can dive into rock & roll history at the Woodstock Festival Museum and discover the town’s arts heritage at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

    Back in Narrowsburg, the town’s biggest events, including Riverfest and the Big Eddy Film Festival, are organized by the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance.

  • 6. Wander through the woodlands

    Sunday mornings are made for brisk mountain walks, and few come as scenic as the Tusten Mountain Trail. Leave yourself around two hours to tackle the moderate three-mile hike, which winds its way through twisted woodlands and rocky mountain valleys, passing creeks and waterfalls along the way.

    The reward? Magnificent views over the Upper Delaware River Valley from the top of Tusten Mountain. For an added bonus, hike the trail in fall to admire the vibrant foliage.

  • 7. Tuck into lunch with a view

    Hands-down Narrowsburg’s most popular eatery is The Heron, a foodie hub so renowned that it may be the reason the town made it on the map in the first place. Specializing in farm-to-table cuisine from local farmers and artisan producers, this is a restaurant with a big appetite and even bigger views. Snag a table on the patio and tuck into spicy breakfast burritos or fluffy-as-they-come buttermilk pancakes while savoring the river valley views. Pair it with a Bloody Heron cocktail for an extra kick (you did just hike a mountain, after all).

    If you can’t bear the long wait for a table, Narrowsburg’s other culinary offerings include The Laundrette, where river views come with a side of wood-fired, sourdough pizzas, and Botanist Vegan, where the clean-eating menu is inspired by global flavors and includes gluten-free options.

Tips & variations

  • Narrowsburg is easy to get around on foot, but you’ll need a car to get there and explore further afield. The drive along Route 97 (Upper Delaware Scenic Byway) is worth it for the views alone.

  • Narrowsburg is a year-round destination, but seasonal highlights include the summer Riverfest (July) and fall foliage (mid-October through early November).

  • Narrowsburg’s most stylish hotel? Hotel Darby gets our vote: plus, it’s one of our Five Best Stays for Music Lovers in Upstate. The Moonriver Inn comes a close second.


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