Lonely Planet Writer

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dirty Dancing in the Catskill Mountains

If you want to have the time of your life this summer, look no further than the Sullivan Catskills — the bucolic county situated just a little over 100 miles northeast of New York City that was the setting for Dirty Dancing. The film, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, marks its 30th anniversary this year, and the Sullivan Catskills are celebrating with hotel packages and themed events from 11-13 August.

The stars of Dirty dancing, Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in 1987
Actress Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze attend the premiere of “Dirty Dancing” on 17 August, 1987 at the Gemini Theater in New York City. Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty

“Dirty Dancing is an iconic film that captures the spirit of our hospitality history in Sullivan Catskills,” Roberta Byron-Lockwood, President & CEO of the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, told Lonely Planet. “As our offerings continue to evolve, we’re holding this special weekend-long event for travelers to experience our new offerings in hotels, inns, restaurants and entertainment, while we pay tribute to our storied past and connection to this timeless film.”

A view of the Delaware River in the Sullivan Catskills.
A view of the Delaware River: the Sullivan Catskills celebrates 30 years of Dirty Dancing. Image courtesy of Sullivan Catskills

Hotels in the region will pay homage to Dirty Dancing with a host of fun packages. In the town of Callicoon, New York, the Villa Roma Resort has the aptly named “Time of your Life” ($956 for two people) which includes a two night stay with daily breakfast and dinner, a live performance of songs from the movie, an open bar cocktail party, go-carts and bumper boat rides and more. Also in Callicoon, Nine River Road’s “The Lift” package (from $169 per night) includes two tickets to a showing of Dirty Dancing at the Callicoon Theatre and daily breakfast with accommodations. The Inn is located directly on the Delaware River, beckoning guests to practice their own version of the movie’s famous lift. In Barryville, Catskill Mountains Resort is offering a “Carry the Watermelon” package — a nod to the amusingly awkward scene where Grey’s character Baby brings the giant fruit to a staff party — with complimentary watermelon cocktails included in the stay. (From $438 per night with a two-night minimum.)

30 years of Dirty Dancing celebrated in the Catskills
Roebling Bridge in the Sullivan Catskills. Image courtesy of Sullivan Catskills

Visitors will also be treated to rollicking entertainment and activities that channel the film, like the “Night in the Borscht Belt” at Cabernet Frank’s in Parksville. A tribute to the moniker given to the Catskill Mountain resorts during the era Dirty Dancing took place, there will be a themed menu, cabaret, stand-up comedy, and live music and dancing. ($25 per person) At the Forestburgh Playhouse, watch a performance of Bye Bye Birdie before the late night cabaret “Time of My Life!” show. ($17 minimum per person.) At Oscar Brown’s in Liberty, the tavern will host a 1960s resort-themed dinner, with a family style meal, live music and lawn games like badminton and croquet. ($35 per person) In Bethel, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will draw out the weekend festivities with a showing of Dirty Dancing on their weekly Moonlit Movie Mondays.