Woodstock the Whalebone Way

We’re All Hippies Now

You know that place where you go to turn off your mind, relax and float downstream? We found it. That stream led to a small babbling brook and a waterfall in the woods next to a little place called Woodstock Way Hotel.


s you might have guessed from the name, Woodstock Way is in Woodstock, NY. You probably know that the famous concert of the same name was nowhere near there, but that doesn’t mean Woodstock is not full of peace, love, tie-dye T-shirts, head shops and more than a couple places to see live music. It’s also home to some of the better restaurants you will find north of 23rd Street or thereabouts.

First though, a few words about the hotel. Just a year old, it blends in and feels like it’s been there much longer. The Catskill-contemporary structures were built with sustainability in mind, with green living roofs throughout. Despite our suspicions that the leaves gently fluttering from the trees on cue were the work of an-out-of-work Hollywood effects master, there were no wires or strings to be found. We looked.

A large portrait of local legend Levon Helm made out of bottle caps looks over the room.

The hotel features about 13 rooms and a coffee and hangout space called The Tannery, where a large portrait of local legend Levon Helm made out of bottle caps looks out over the room. Music and art is woven throughout the property. In-room record players are accompanied by a selection of vintage vinyl and eclectic art adorns the walls.

Woodstock Way is a ridiculously short walk from town, just a few steps through another picturesque path (wave hi to Mikey the cat) next to the waterfall and you are on the main drag with delicious food, shops and a handful of amazing music venues. Places like Colony, where we ran into a gentleman we’ve been listening to all summer,  C.W. Stoneking. The Aussie put on quite the show and the venue was perfectly suited to his haunted and humor-inflected Americana.

Woodstock-based singer/songwriter/handyman Greg Farley opened and won over the Whalebone team with some fine guitar and fiddle work. If you need a few tunes or maybe your gutters cleaned, trees trimmed or a cabinet or something, give Greg a call at (518) 943-3140.

C.W. Stoneking at Colony.

Some other local spots to check out a live music:

Bearsville Theater
A local institution that has been hitting its stride lately under the care of of new owners.

Levon Helm Studio
The house that Levon built famously hosted Midnight Rambles in a barn (not the Big Pink, but not far off) and the Helm’s spirit lives on here.

Walk this Way

You could do worse than going walking the main street through town after a long hike, maybe stoping for a coffee and a nosh at Bread Alone cafe and popping in out of the unique shops. If you’ve ever seen a candle mountain (and if you have, we’d be kind of shocked) then you can skip Candlestock, if not, you should stop in and see one.

Some other shops for when you’ve had your fill of wax:

Shop Little House
Billed as “supplies for modern pioneers,” the inventory is a mix of new and vintager classics.

Golden Notebook
Reading a book next to that waterfall sounds nice, right?

Será Space
Handmade essential oils, candles and a store full of pretty cool pottery and trinkets (trinkets are a thing in Woodstock).

Hope You’re Hungry

Shindig is something of Woodstock Way’s sister restaurant, with hotel co-owner Ryan Giuliani also one of the folks behind Shindig. We might have eaten breakfast at Shindig the morning after we had dinner there and we are not sorry. We’d do it again. If you do that, get the roasted Brussels sprouts with melty parmesean if they have them. Also the tater tots. Actually just bring enough people to try one of everything.

Other places to fill your belly with good things:

The Garden Cafe
Vegan food imaginatively conceived and thoughtfully prepared and presented. Fresh juices key.

The simplicity of the appearance of the old restored farmhouse belies just how intricate (and good) the classic Italian dishes you are about to enjoy are.

The sort of restaurant you might drive an hour and forty-five minutes upstate to ogle the open brick-lined wood-fired oven. Fresh organic and local ingredients come first, recognizable but transformed with the smoke from the oven here or a brine here and there. Pretty sweet wine list, too.

Station Bar & Curio
Serving all Hudson Valley products and decorated with an … eclectic style. And if you fancy that weird alien statue holding a Rheingold can on a high shelf or stuffed raccoon on the wall? Good news, friend, everything you see can be purchased (hence the “Curio.”)

Terrible Early
Ok, no website. But its Bees Knees is the bees knees, as are the other classic cocktails on offer. Stop for a nightcap.

After any or all of the above, luckily Woodstock Way is just a short (and often entertaining) walk away.

Book a stay at Woodstock Way.