Settled on the Espous Creek, Phoenicia is the largest hamlet in the Town of Shandaken. Phoenicia was a center of commerce and industry in the early 1800s for farming and trade between the Catskills and New York City. In 1870, the arrival of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad helped the hamlet grow into a major resort town. Other than a few buildings, there has been little change in the hamlet since the original eleven town lots were laid out in 1853.
Tourism has been Phoenicia’s main industry since the railroad arrived. In the Mid-20th Century Phoenicia’s resorts, hotels, and entertainment venues provided an opportunity for countless stand-up comedians to hone their craft. In addition, along with nearby Woodstock, the hamlet has shared a long reputation as a haven for artists, musicians and writers.
Because of its scenery and proximity to New York City, Phoenicia is a popular summer destination. Whether fly-fishing or tubing down the Esopus Creek, Phoenicia’s charm, numerous shops and restaurants is why Budget & Travel voted the hamlet one of the Top 10 “Coolest Small Towns in America.”.