A Few Days In

Narrowsburg, Not Williamsburg (But Close)

by Erin Lindsey and Denny Brownell
Narrowsburg, A weekend in the country. All photos courtesy of Escape Brooklyn.

Erin Lindsey and Denny Brownell have regular 9-5s during the week. But on the weekends, they're adventurers on the road, exploring tiny towns and less-traveled corners of the New York metro area. They record their trip notes and post their charming images on Escape Brooklyn, one of our 24 Best Travel Blogs and Websites of 2015. To get a taste of what they offer, read their weekend itinerary for the antique-laden towns of Barryville and Narrowsburg, New York.

BARRYVILLE, New York – Nestled on the Delaware River and the Pennsylvania border, Barryville is just a two hour drive from New York City. It's a really small town, but all the necessities for the best weekend ever are right at your fingertips (or within walking distance of the hotel). Small grocery with beer, farmers' market, antiquing galore, and a couple bars. Oh, and the best dive bar ever with a manual bowling alley. When we started venturing out this way a couple years ago, to nearby Narrowsburg, there wasn't much to do, but we've been surprised to see how many people are opening businesses nearby.


WHERE TO STAY

Stickett Inn is a small but roomy hotel tastefully decorated with boob pillows, Elvis lamps, expletive modern art, and incredible retro furniture. The inn has four different rooms and a little cottage, all with different themes for different experiences. We stayed in the "Eat" room and, even though we had no use for the kitchen, we put the fridge to work with beer and pizza leftovers. The room had a great view overlooking the Stickett Inn shop (which is fantastic), River Market, the bridge to Shohola, and the Delaware River, as well as a private balcony with stairs to the outdoor hot tub. If you need groceries or beer, walk across the street to the really cute gourmet-ish River Market, which also hosts a farmers' market on summer weekends.


WHAT TO DO

For a tiny town (if you can even call it that; it's more like a scenic strip on a river), there's plenty to do here. Within a ten-minute walk from the inn, we spent an afternoon walking down to the river, antiquing, and day drinking at The Carriage House, the local bar. There's a ton of outdoorsy stuff a five-minute drive away in the aptly named Kittatinny Adventure Center: like paintballing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and ziplining. (They also have a huge campground.) It was too early in the season for waters ports, so we ziplined. And although it was awesome, we'll definitely set aside more time for a longer adventure next time. Narrowsburg, a fifteen-minute drive away, is a perfect mini-day trip from Barryville for brunch at The Heron, great shopping, and a walk to the very pretty waterfall.


WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

Pick up a veggie-laden beverage from the Stickett Inn's in-lobby Nanu Juicebar for something fresh (or to cure the day-drinking hangover). There are breakfast options at River Market, though The Heron in Narrowsburg provides a true #NarrowsburgNotWilliamsburg experience. (We won't spoil it, but it's a lot like Brooklyn.) For lunch, White Pine Inn is the area’s hidden gem. The decor and wallpaper make it a destination in itself, but the food is lovely, too.

The big highlight for eating in the area is The Fork, an amazing, James Beard-awarded farm-to-table restaurant with great ambiance, service, and a nice setting over a big pond. We had a good time ordering a lot of small dishes to share; we nearly the inhaled the entire mac and cheese before the rest of our gang got to try it. Reservations are recommended.

For an easy dinner, go to Baker's Tap Room. It's nothing fancy — the menu is classic American tavern fare, but the pizza is fantastic. Perfect for a late-evening arrival into Barryville. (Also, there's karaoke sometimes.) As far as bars go, Rohman's across the river in Shohola is a fantastic dive bar with a manual bowling alley on the second floor. If you're not familiar with manual bowling, you'll need at least two people, one to play “pin princess” and set the pins and roll the balls back. Beers are more fun by the pitcher here, and quarters lead to a perfect bowling soundtrack at the jukebox. Hell yeah, Gloria Estefan! It’s an easy walk from Stickett Inn, so no driving necessary. (Historic side note: The bar is made out of a former train bar car.)


HOW TO GET THERE

It's worth renting a car as the road into Barryville is super scenic, but you can also take New Jersey Transit to Port Jervis, NY, and take a cab. Alternately, bus service runs to Milford, PA, and Monticello, NY, where it’s a quick taxi to the inn. But if you can, rent a car and take the route through the impossibly cute Port Jervis and Route 97, a beautiful, winding road beside the Delaware River.

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This story was originally published on Escape Brooklyn and was reprinted here with permission.