With all of the picturesque venues popping up in the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, it’s no surprise that brides and grooms are looking north to plan their nuptials. But you don’t need to get married (and drop $100K on a Hudson Valley wedding) to draw all your favorite folks up to the mountains for a weekend to remember.
What if you could skip all the stressful parts of a wedding (the rentals, the letterpressed invitations, the lifelong commitment to another human, etc.) and just bring a big bunch of beloved friends or your ever-extending family to these bucolic and crowd-ready locales? These gorgeous Upstate New York venues with on-site lodging are known for orchestrating the most magical champagne toasts, but many are just as perfect for clinking beer cans around a campfire. And if you’re looking for a gathering in the winter or early spring, you may be able to score a decent group rate.
So, whether you’re planning the wedding of your modern-rustic dreams or just looking for a place to reconnect with nature and reunite with the people you love best, these gathering spots should be on your radar.
With 9 well-appointed canvas cabins, 23 acres of forest and stream, and an on-site restaurant called The Mess serving high-end pizza, pasta, and fancy desserts, this is exactly the place you want to bring your best indoorsy friends to camp out for a weekend. Camp Here Here can handle up to 200 guests for a wedding or other celebration, and can sleep up to 25 people, with the option to bring in additional tents for extra folks. (The owner also has a second property 2 miles away that can sleep 11.) And since their tagline is “High in the Catskills,” it’s especially recommended to the sort of crew that rolls with a stack of medical marijuana cards. Camp Here Here, West Fulton, NY
The beautifully restored 1800s post-and-beam events barn at the Spruceton Inn specializes in retreats, workshops, rustic weddings, and pop-up dinners. They’re located in walking distance from the incredible West Kill Brewing and they’re known for their artist residency program, which has been generously hosting an impressive line-up of writers, editors, photographers, painters, and illustrators since 2015. They have 9 rooms with a normal capacity of 18, but they can accommodate a maximum of 20 by adding their two twin-size cots. Standard rooms come equipped with a microwave and mini-fridge, while kitchenette rooms promise stove-top burners, a refrigerator, and a sink. The front desk serves soup, sandwiches, beer, wine, cider, simple cocktails, coffee in the morning, and varied goodies to take back to your room or prepare at the on-site barbecues. Spruceton Inn, West Kill, NY
If you’ve got a giant wedding in the works, Catskill’s newly opened center for film and performing arts, LUMBERYARD, can host up to 390 seated guests in their ballroom. Their indoor event space (pictured at the top of the page) can offer the feeling of a forest wedding without any worry about battling the elements of nature. Their modern-rustic courtyard and their Creekside Studio cater to smaller groups. LUMBERYARD also has 12 one-site bedrooms, (which are often used to accommodate the artists and dancers performing here) and can sleep up to 24 people. Two of the bedrooms come with an en-suite bathroom, and the rest use communal facilities. For more outdoorsy accommodations nearby, check out the Tiny House Resort in nearby South Cairo. Fans of the HGTV series Tiny House, Big Living, will especially appreciate these well-equipped mini-homes, which come with everything from linens to kitchenware, heat, air-conditioning, bathrooms, and a short walk from the beautiful Catskill Creek. LUMBERYARD, Catskill, NY and Tiny House Resort, South Cairo, NY
If you’re not feeling the rustic-minimalist aesthetic that makes a lot of new Catskills hideaways feel like an extension of your favorite Brooklyn wine bar, then maybe the Gilded Age elegance of Spillian would be more up your alley. This museum-quality mansion in Fleischmanns, NY has an indoor gathering space large enough to accommodate 100 guests, a formal dining room that seats 20, and 8 bedrooms that are lush with antique décor (and include shared bathrooms, so only invite your nearest and dearest). The private 33-acre estate is perfect for campfires, snowshoe walks in the winter, and nature hikes amid fields of bluebells and stone ruins in the springtime. The house kitchen specializes in local farm-to-table fare. Spillian, Fleischmanns, NY
Fans of more modern design are drawn to Gather Greene’s gorgeous pavilion with panoramic mountain views of the Catskills and the Berkshires. For large-scale events, the space can fit up to 250 seated guests. The pavilion’s interior is equipped with heat and air-conditioning, a catering kitchen, 6 bathrooms, 2 dressing rooms, and a lounge—so it has all the perks of being out in nature, but none of the inconveniences of a tent. On Gather Greene’s 100 acres, you’ll also find 17 little tent-like cabins, each with a glass wall that allows guests to feel as though they’re sleeping under the stars, while they enjoy the creature comforts of air-conditioning and heating. Gather Greene, Coxsackie, NY
Built in 1962 and recently refurbished, the 4-acre, 10-room, midcentury-modern Woodhouse Lodge in Greenville, NY makes a fine retreat for Brooklynites who want some fresh air accompanied by all the comfort (and style) of home. The lodge’s event space can host weddings up to 100 people, but no matter what size your party might be, the owner (a New York interior designer) will happily hook you up with a wine and booze delivery from the nearby Reed Street Bottle Shop (which is also run by a pair of Brooklyn ex-pats). Beer drinkers can bring a growler down the road to Honey Hollow Brewing Company, one of our favorite breweries in the Catskills. The lodge lights up a fire pit on Fridays and Saturdays, weather permitting, and will soon begin serving on-site snacks. Woodhouse Lodge, Greenville, NY