In season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, viewers are treated to a three-episode vacation from 1950s New York City as Midge and her family head to the Catskills for their annual summer getaway. As Midge suggests when she insists on leaving the city for two months, even with her comedy career heating up, these extended summertime escapes to the mountainous region upstate were standard for many city-dwelling Jewish families of a certain means. The practice was so common, in fact, that the countless summer resorts that populated the area became known as the Borscht Belt.
Though resorts in the Borscht Belt originally began popping up out of necessity due to antisemitic attitudes, according to Hudson Valley Magazine, the spots grew to become an important incubator for culture beginning in the 20s and continuing all through the 70s. Families looking for a way to cool off during hot New York summers would flee to these resorts and spend their days enjoying various outdoor activities like swimming, boating, organized events, and socializing. And, just as the episodes of Maisel that take place at Steiner Mountain Resort show, these hotels really did became important venues where some of the most notable entertainers of the day like Duke Ellington, Dean Martin, Milton Berle, and yes, Lenny Bruce honed their acts.
The popularity of these Catskills resorts as summertime destinations for the entire family waned as air conditioners and air travel became more common and many of them shuttered or were demolished. Because of this shift, vacationing exactly as Midge Maisel today would be near impossible. However, thanks to the resurgence of boutique inns and hotels in the area in recent years, you can enjoy a getaway that mirrors Midges experience.
Ahead, we've compiled a list of trendy Catskill inns, hotels, and resorts. Many have been around since the 1800s, had their hay days during the Borscht Belt era, and have since been brought into the 21st century. While many of the spots do offer access to summertime activities a lot like the ones Midge participated in — don't worry, that doesn't include pageants — most are also open during the winter so you can book a vacation ASAP.