Gear Up for Holiday Shopping with a Country Flair

Made By Hand traditions strong in the Catskills

DELHI, NY (11/10/2011)(readMedia)-- Holiday shopping can be a great adventure when you take a little time to explore the Western Catskills main streets, farm stores, and back road antique shops. The mountains mean different things to different people. Some are recreation minded and sporting equipment makes a great holiday present. Others love the artisan works inspired by the shapes and colors found in nature here. The best place to get them something that reflects their passion for the mountains is in the mountains.

Main Street Merchants and General Stores

The best day for shopping the local artisan wares is the Saturday after Thanksgiving when the Pakatakan Farmers Market reopens for a one day holiday bazaar and showcases everything home grown, handspun, and handmade for hearth and home including maple and honey products, cheese, pottery, meats vegetables, jewelry, seasonal decorations and many gift items. The market is open Nov. 26th from 10am until 2pm and admission is free. Make a day or weekend of it and combine the drive to Halcottsville with other stops along the way by going to the Central Catskills Chamber website

On or just off of State Highway 28 – halfway between Kingston and Cooperstown, you'll find great clusters of shopping on the main streets of the Western Catskills. Andes boasts the most retail outlets for any town. Tay Home showcases their hand blended artisanal teas, table top gifts, furnishing and a new clothing line. Delightful coffee table books and home accessories can be found at Delaware Trading Post. Great gifts for family and Fido can be found at Heart of the Catskills – run by volunteers from the local humane society. You can see all the Andes businesses at The Book Village of the Catskills is located in Hobart and provides multiple stores to shop for the always appreciated literary gift. The literary finds continue outside the village in South Kortright with the Bibliobarn (also an outpost in Margaretville) and in Delhi at Steinway Books which includes the delightful Blue Bee Café for your reading and tea sipping pleasure. These three destinations make a wonderful afternoon of driving, shopping and dining.

General stores are turning into more than a place for an emergency quart of milk. Lucky Dog Farm Store in Hamden has wonderful vintage country clothing, unique dry goods, great candy for stocking stuffing. In addition to their own veggies, they offer other local produce items, and are gearing up fo the holidays with a local artisans showcase in the old café space. Lunch is now being served at the Hamden Inn across the street if you get hungry while shopping. Masonville General Store works with area artisans to display their wares and is home to the Crescent Wrench Café. Bovina General Store showcases Bovine crockery, locally made gifts and yummy sandwiches and a Christmas tree from the Robsons tree farm just up the road.

For the collector in the family

Art galleries have been popping up all over the county lately. Don't think that a piece of art is out of your price range for a holiday gift. Have a few friends or family members pool their money and you will have a gift that is unique. Roxbury hosts the Roxbury Arts Group, Stamford hosts The Gallery, Margaretville's long time art gallery is the East Branch Art Gallery, now joined by the newly open Longyear Gallery, as well as the Catskill Mountain Artisans Collective store. Andes main street showcases Chace Randall Gallery, Sixty One Main, Cooperative Art Store of Andes, and Andes Art Antiques. Delhi now boasts Fisk Antiques and Stephens Antiques and Franklin boasts the newest at Franklin Art and Antiques along with the Squires Tankard.. For an easy to navigate route to art and antique stores, visit

What to get the outdoorsperson who has everything

For enthusiasts of any sport you can never have enough quality supplies. If someone on your list is into fishing then a visit to Hancock is a must stop on your Catskills shopping trip. A new pair of waders, some new flies, a great book on fishing the Catskills will delight and it also makes for a fine lunch stop at the Bluestone Grill or Hancock House Hotel. The newly opened Walton Variety Store stocks fishing and camping gear, right near great main street gift stores for the rest of your list. If you're tired of buying equipment for your outdoor fanatic, think into the future with a gift certificate for a day with a professional fly fishing guide from Grey Ghost Guide Service, an afternoon's bird hunt at the West Branch Angler, or even a golf lesson with the pro at the Stamford Golf Course or the Golf Course at SUNY Delhi. Stuff that stocking with the biggest little gift there is - a season lift ticket to skiing at Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury. Check out the Value Card on their website - a great deal and a great stocking stuffer!!

Shop for holiday meals too

Pack a cooler and ice in the trunk of your car and shop for your holiday meals while you're out and about. The holiday ham or turkey never tasted so good when raised on fresh air and pasture on a family farm. The best resource for planning head is to check out the Pure Catskills buy local website at and search for a farm like Stone and Thistle in East Meredith where you can buy beef, pork, lamb, goat, rabbit, chicken, as well as organic goats milk yogurt, chevre, and goats milk fudge. Stock up on local cheeses too. Sherman Hills sells off their farm in Franklin as does Harpersfield Cheese. Brovetto's Cheese House in Jefferson does a tour of their cheese cave that is not to be missed. And real maple syrup is always a welcomed gift from Shaver Hill Maple in Harpersfield.

Learn more about the Western Catskills

For more information on great things to do, holiday events, and lodging packages in the Great Western Catskills visit For a free recreation and attractions guide, call 866-775-4425.