Escape pick of the week

This rustic Catskills house comes with a shack for making maple syrup

This house outside Phoenicia is listed for $475,000.

Zillow

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When you’re planning your weekend getaways this summer, you want some kind of combination of out there, but not too out there. A place where you can escape your neighbors (who are nice we’re sure) but not one so far away that you’re loading up an entire season of a true crime podcast for the ride over.

So if you can swing it, this $475,000 three-bedroom house with plenty of land to spare outside the still kind of under-the-radar Catskills town of Phoenicia fits the bill perfectly.

The hook for this place is all about land. The house is about a 15-minute drive from Phoenicia proper, and comes with 12.8 acres on which to roam and take in views of the Catskill Mountains. Plus, the property is bordered on two sides by Forever Wild land, which means no one will be building right next door to you.

You can look out on all this from the deck, which is right next to the living room. Or, come inside and make use of the fireplace on a cool evening after a long afternoon hike.

One of the bedrooms has kind of a low ceiling, and another one is a bit small, but let’s just call it cozy. A larger bedroom has a chalkboard wall you can draw on, as well as a nook that you can use as a built-in desk. There’s also a room the listing refers to as an office, but there’s no reason you can’t throw either a bed or an air mattress in there and turn it into a decent guest room.

The kitchen doesn’t have a ton of counter space, but the forest outside is a feast for the eyes. And if you ever don’t feel like cooking, you can drive over to the Phoenicia Diner for diner grub with a modern twist.

If you’re handy, there’s a workshop behind the main house. But, what this place has that you won’t find with many other vacation houses is a sugar shack(!) where you can make your own maple syrup. If you’re a maple syrup amateur (which, fair), here’s a tutorial on how you might go about becoming an expert.

The house itself is about a three-hour drive upstate from the city, so do make sure you have some part of that true-crime podcast ready to go. The town of Phoenicia itself has renowned pancakes, Mexican food, and pizza, and also some art galleries and a playhouse.