The Catskills of New York are a "dissected plateau", a highland worn into mountains and valleys by erosion. Largely rural and wild, the Catskills are a popular vacation destination for New Yorkers, but they also have much to offer the traveler from out of state. The Catskills are adjacent to the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.
The Catskills are famous in American cultural history for being the site of the so-called Borscht Belt, a Jewish resort area where many young Jewish stand-up comics got their start.
The Catskill mountains and their inhabitants play an important role in the stories My Side of the Mountain and its sequels by Jean Craighead George and in H. P. Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear" & "Beyond the Wall of Sleep".
The town of Palenville located in the Catskills figures in Washington Irving's story as the home of "Rip Van Winkle".