Travel time: 1hr 35min
What to bring: A camera and a sense of adventure
Best for: The Survivorman type
On paper, Mohonk Mountain House is the undisputed main attraction of New Paltz, and rightfully so. The all-inclusive resort is pretty impressive in size, and even has its own "private" lake. But there's plenty of fun to be had outside the confines of this historic hotel. Instead, stay at one of the quaint Inns in the village, and head out to one of many hiking trails, where you can get sweeping views of the Catskills.
If you're trying to kick it with the locals, there's a secret watering hole appropriately called Split Rock tucked away in the backcountry that looks like a straight up mystical wonderland. OK, so maybe it's not that extreme, but take a dip under the frigid waterfall wedged between massive rock formations, and you'll come out with a cleansed soul. While you're there, slip into the surrounding woods and light up a J, and become at one with nature, man. Just be cautious, there's a designated nude area just beyond the path, where you may come across some naked bodies roaming along the creek. Seriously, consider yourself warned.