The Port of Catskill is a quaint historic town with unique shops, beautiful Victorian architecture, and a scenic Hudson River waterfront. As home to the Hudson River School of Painting founded by artist Thomas Cole, it is also a center for artists. The Port of Catskill celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2006. Preparing for the events led its residents and building owners to revitalize historic properties and add harmonious new structures.
The Port of Catskill has a humid continental climate with warm summers and sometimes severely cold winters. Temperatures in the Port of Catskill range from an average high of just over 21°C (70°F) in July to an average low of -6°C (22°F) in January. Rainfall is greatest in May, June, September, and November at about 101 millimeters (four inches) and is lowest in February with about 63 millimeters (2.5 inches). Humidity levels in the Port of Catskill range from a high of just under 80% in September to about 70% in April. Snow falls in the Port of Catskill from November through April with the heaviest snowfall at about 406 millimeters (16 inches) in December and January.
English-born Thomas Cole was a leading 19th Century American artist and founder of the Hudson River School, an art movement striving for realistic and detailed paintings of landscapes and wilderness. The Port of Catskill is home to the Thomas Cole Historic Site where Cole lived and worked. Visitors can attend a lecture about the Hudson River School, tour the ground's gardens, or hike with a guide to nearby spots captured in Cole's paintings. Located near the entrance to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, the site is open for walk-in tours from May through October. Scheduled tours are offered every hour from 10am until 4pm on Thursday through Sunday. Tours can also be arranged by appointment. Tickets for the guided tour of the main house and studio are $9 per person, and children under 13 are admitted free. There is no charge to wander the grounds.