Spotlight: New Paltz

Discover all the fun things to do in New Paltz! From historic Mohonk Mountain House to Main Street and beyond, there's something for everyone to love in this funky Hudson Valley town.
Why you'll love it: 

This vibrant village is home to a lively music scene, farm-to-table eateries, charming boutiques and cafes, the SUNY New Paltz campus and historic Mohonk Preserve. From hiking and biking, to wining and dining, here's everything you need to know for a trip to this down-to-earth Hudson Valley village.

Jump to:  Spend a day | Spend a weekend | Spend a week | Where to stay | Where to eat | What the locals say | Cool things to know | Getting there

Three things you can't miss:

Mohonk PreserveTestimonial Gateway by Michael Neil O'Donnell1. Historic Huguenot Street: 10 acres of beautifully preserved 17th century homes, buildings and artifacts. Enjoy guided tours, reenactments and storytelling year-round, plus special candlelight ghost tours in October.

2. Mohonk Preserve: Experience the natural beauty of the Shawangunk Mountains with over 70 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking, biking, running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding.

3. The Testimonial Gateway: View the massive, beautiful stone archway and tower that served as the formal entrance to Mohonk Mountain House from 1908 to 1935. Surrounded by 110 acres and lined with large oak trees, it's an iconic Hudson Valley site.

Mohonk Garden Summer

Spend a day:

• Grab sandwiches at Main Street Bistro for a picnic lunch by Lake Mohonk, then walk or hike through Mohonk Preserve among mountains, streams and gardens. Nestled in the Shawangunk Mountains, this outdoor haven has over 70 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking, biking, running, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

• Check out Mohonk's Lemon Squeeze. The rock scramble takes you through boulders, trails and ladders, and offers sweeping panoramic views of the Hudson Valley.

Spend a weekend: 

• Bike
Mohonk Preserve or Minnewaska State Park. These local nature preserves have over 50 miles of bike trails to experience the great outdoors from scenic Lake Awosting to the Millbrook Mountain carriageway with a stunning overlook of the Hudson Valley.

Robibero Family Vineyards Photo by Courtesy of John Fischer Photography• Stroll through Water Street Market, an open-air collection of boutiques, galleries and eateries. Enjoy antiquing at the two-story Antique Barn, specialty tasting at The Cheese Plate and more!

• Grab a tasty bite at Main Street Bistro, a local favorite that was voted Best Breakfast 2015 and Best Bistro 2015 by Hudson Valley Magazine

• Sip on the freshest, local drink at Robibero Family Vineyards. Enjoy tastings, cellar tours, sweeping panoramic views of the Hudson Valley, an outdoor fire-pit and more at this charming winery that was voted Best Family-Friendly Vineyard 2012 by Hudson Valley Magazine.

Spend a week:

Mohonk Preserve SpringMonday: 
• Explore Mohonk Preserve and Mountain House. Voted one of the World's Best, Top 100 Hotels in the World 2015 by Travel + Leisure Magazine, this lavish Victorian castle allows full access to Mohonk Preserve with over 8,500 acres of Catskill wilderness and 110 miles trails and carriage roads for hiking, biking, running, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and more.  

• Climb Mohonk's Lemon Squeeze, a rock-scramble hike that takes you up, around, through and over boulders as you climb to the Sky Top Lookout for breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley.

• Bike the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, a 23 mile trail surrounded by picturesque streams, hillsides and forests that stretches from Gardiner, through New Paltz and on to Kingston. Rent bikes from Bicycle Depot, $40 for the day or $27 for the afternoon, and cruise through picturesque Hudson Valley.

While you're biking...
• Grab a pint at Keegan Ales, an award winning brewery serving craft stouts, ales and food. An easy 14 minute cycle from the Wallkill trailhead in historic Kingston, NY visitors can enjoy weekend tours of the brewhouse year-round.   
• Stop by the Dressel Farms stand for fresh apples, cider, honey, maple syrup and ice cream available with the seasons.
• Quench your thirst at Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery, a quick 20 minute cycle from the Wallkill trailhead that offers tours and tastings year-round with weekday hours running June through October.

biking - Photo by NYS ESDWednesday:
• Visit the Testimonial Gateway, an iconic stone archway and watchtower, which includes 110 surrounding acres that served as the official entrance to Mohonk Mountain House from 1908 to 1935.

• Climb to new heights at The Inner Wall, an indoor rock climbing gym with reservations available for private or group lessons. 

• Relax at the Spa at Mohonk Mountain House, which was named the #1 Resort Spa in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler's annual Spa Poll for 2013 and "One of the Top Three Hotel Spas" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. The 30,000-square-foot Spa wing includes 16 treatment rooms, a solarium with a stone fireplace, outdoor heated mineral pool, fitness center, yoga studio and more.

DM Weil Gallery Interior - Photo Courtesy of DM Weil GalleryFriday:
• Ride horseback through Mohonk Preserve with the Mohonk Stables guided horse, pony and carriage tours. Horse rides are lead by experienced guides to ensure safety and enjoyment. Trail rides are $45 per person per ride; $55 per person for the day; $45 for private lessons.     

• Visit DM Weil Gallery, a modern art gallery with colorful abstract creations, this museum brings fun and entertainment to every aspect of the fine arts. Enjoy free admissions, studio tours, special exhibits and complimentary wine, espresso and other treats at this creative hotspot. 

• Drink in the crisp, clean and fruity flavors at Robibero Family Vineyards. Producing fresh artisan wines, visitors can enjoy tastings, weekend tours and the beautiful landscape at this charming winery that was voted Best Family-Friendly Vineyard 2012 by Hudson Valley Magazine.

• See history come to life at Historic Huguenot Street. Nestled on the banks of the Wallkill River, visitors can explore this 17th century community with guided tours of the church, homes and archaeological sites of New Paltz's first French settlers.

Experience the charming village atmosphere when you stroll down Main Street lined with authentic shops, boutiques and cafes. Continue exploring this funky college-town by walking through the SUNY New Paltz campus where you can visit the John R. Kirk Planetarium and view Old Main, the university's oldest building dating back to 1908.

Where to stay:

Americas Best Value Inn: Clean, comfortable inn with a fitness room, continental breakfast and convenient location to New Paltz attractions.

The Inn at Orchard Heights: A charming 1888 Victorian home with spacious bedrooms, private baths, sun parlor and beautiful outdoor garden for relaxing and dining.

Mountain Meadows Bed & Breakfast: A warm, homey B&B with spacious grounds overlooking the Shawangunks, heated in-ground pool and hot tub, fireplace and patio dining to accompany your delicious homemade breakfast.

Gardens in Spring at Mohonk Mountain House-Photo by Jim Smith PhotographyMoondance Ridge Bed & Breakfast: Spotlessly clean, spacious bedrooms make for a lovely stay at this Hudson Valley B&B. Enjoy a hearty three course homemade breakfast, patio dining and beautiful garden grounds.

Mohonk Mountain House: Named one of the World's Best, Resorts in the Continental U.S. 2015 and by Travel + Leisure Magazine and "One of the Top 10 Resorts in NY State & Mid-Atlantic" by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine 2015 Readers' Choice. This grand Victorian castle offers lavish suites, an award-winning Spa and Mohonk Preserve.

Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa: Beautiful 75 acre Hudson Valley estate providing lodging, farm-to-table dining and a luxurious spa located in nearby Milton, NY.

Where to eat:

Main Street Bistro: A neighborhood favorite, this cozy eatery was voted Best Breakfast 2015 and Best Bistro 2015 by Hudson Valley Magazine.

Gilded Otter Brewing Company

Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant: Traditional German cuisine paired with full-bodied beer and wine makes for an authentic dining experience with a contemporary flair.

Bacchus: This lively, cool restaurant serves tasty eats and in-house craft beer from The Brewery at Bacchus. Enjoy live music, a billiards and local art.

The Gilded Otter: A family-friendly restaurant and brewery serving American-style cuisine and craft in-house brews, this Main Street spot is conveniently located next to the Wallkill River making it a perfect stop on your way to and from Mohonk Preserve.

Main Course Restaurant - Photo Courtesy of Main Course RestaurantMain Course Restaurant: Tasteful farm-to-table restaurant and caterer known for their fresh produce, seasonally-inspired menu and creativity, it's no surprise they've been voted Best Caterer by Hudson Valley Magazine since 1994.

A Tavola Trattoria: Elegant Italian cuisine with a rustic country touch focused on farm-to-table dining with a seasonally inspired menu. Voted Best Italian Restaurant 2013, Best Pasta 2014 and Best Restaurant in Hudson Valley 2013 - 2014 by Hudson Valley Magazine.

End Cut: French-Italian fusion in Downtown New Paltz with an emphasis on local produce and farm-to-table dining.

What the locals say:

"Main Course Restaurant is so innovative, serving whatever is new from Australia to Williamsburg, the menu is ever changing with the seasons."
-Butch Dener, Retired Road Manager for The Band

"The Falcon Cafe in nearby Marlboro hosts world class bands, artists and musicians from all over. The local music scene is so strong here, music lovers should come to the Hudson Valley--it's amazing."
-Butch Dener, Former New Paltz Committee Chairman

"New Paltz is a local-minded community focused on sustainable agriculture, farm-to-table style restaurants, and supporting artists and musicians." 
-Kristen Warfield, Editor-in-Chief The New Paltz Oracle

Cool things to know:

SUNY New Paltz• The name New Paltz comes from French Huguenot settlers who named the area after the Palatinate region of Germany (known as the Pfalz, in German) where they previously took refuge. The town's settlers used a dialect form of Pfalz without the "f," pronouncing it "Paltz." 

• If New Paltz looks familiar, it might be because you've seen it on TV. HBO hit show Girls filmed at SUNY New Paltz where the campus and surrounding village stood in for the University of Iowa during season 4, and the long-running cult hit Supernatural features Sam and Dean visiting New Paltz in the episode "Provenance," about a haunted antique painting.

• The Testimonial Gateway served as the formal entrance to Mohonk Mountain House and housed the park watchmen from 1908 to 1935.

Getting there:

By train:
• Take Amtrak or Metro-North service to the Poughkeepsie station. Then take a 20 minute taxi ride to the village of New Paltz (approximately $21 fee per taxi).

By car:
• From NYC: 2 hours
• From Albany: 1 hour
• From Buffalo: 5.5 hours
• From Boston: 4 hours
• From Philadelphia: 3 hours
• From Montreal: 4.5 hours

By plane:
• Stewart International Airport in nearby Newburgh carries JetBlueAmericanDelta and Allegiant airlines. 24 hour taxi service available for approximately $50 for the 30 minute drive. 


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