Settled beneath the shoulder of the breathtaking Shawangunk Ridge, New Paltz shines as one of the jewels of Ulster County. Visitors come to New Paltz for a variety of reasons: to swim in glacial lakes, cycle on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, soak up the region’s rich history and culture, sample the seasonal bounty of New Paltz’s many farms, orchards, and wineries, enjoy the sights and scents of gorgeous flowering gardens and delicious meals eaten al fresco, climb unique rock faces, take bracing hikes and take in New Paltz’s spectacular views.
New Paltz was founded more than 330 years ago by French-speaking Huguenot refugees. Today, history comes alive on Historic Huguenot Street, a National Historic Landmark District featuring seven unique stone houses dating to the early 1700s, a burial ground and a reconstructed 1717 stone church, all in their original setting. In the nearby town of Gardiner, the story of New Paltz’s founders continues at Locust Lawn, also on the National Register of Historic Places. A ‘gentleman’s farm,’ Locust Lawn comprises the Jeffersonian mansion of Colonel Josiah Hasbrouck and the Evert Terwilliger House.
Art, education and culture thrive in New Paltz. Visit the State University of New York at New Paltz for exciting live music, theater and dance performances or to check out the world class permanent collection and groundbreaking exhibitions at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. Discover the work of local musicians, actors, artists and craftspeople in New Paltz’s smaller galleries and performance spaces, including Unison Art and Learning Center’s fantastic outdoor sculpture walk, open year-round. Alternatively, come to town during the New Paltz Third Saturday Art Loop, where you can experience work from Hudson River School of artists to contemporary photographers and painters at fourteen different art and culture venues.
Celebrate New Paltz’s long and bountiful agricultural history at the region’s myriad farms, farm markets and wineries. Pick your own strawberries, raspberries, apples, peaches and pumpkins in season, feast on baked goods fresh from the oven, and be sure to pick up some goodies to savor at home. Sample world-renowned Hudson Valley wines on the Shawangunk Wine Trail located through the Shawangunk Mountain Region, composed of 10 family-owned wineries, all proud of their well crafted reds and whites, ranging from dry to sweet. Oenophiles will find award-winning vinifera and French/American varietals and blends alongside sparkling wines, beautifully made local fruit wines and much more.
New Paltz is arguably best known around the world for its outdoor attractions, and for good reason. The Shawangunk Ridge offers a host of trail options for hikers and bicyclists with some of the best views in the Hudson Valley. Bonticou Crag in the Mohonk Preserve, Skytop on the grounds of the world-renowned, 140-year-old Mohonk Mountain House resort, Awosting Falls in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the Ice Caves in Sam’s Point Preserve are just a taste of what the Shawangunk Ridge has to offer. For rock climbers, ‘The Gunks’ are the single busiest climbing destination in North America, with some 50,000 technical climbers visiting the area each year to scale roughly 1200 documented climbing routes. The less adventurous can see the climbers in action from the Mohonk Preserve’s Undercliff/Overcliff trail.
As a shopping and dining destination, New Paltz truly has something for everyone. From clothing, jewelry and shoes to fine art, unique craft items and antiques, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in New Paltz’s uptown or downtown shopping districts. Dining in New Paltz is always a treat, with a broad range of dining options to please anyone’s palate. In New Paltz you’ll find farm-to-table and vegetarian options, fine and casual dining, wine bars and even seasonal beer and food pairings at the local brew pub. The annual Taste of New Paltz festival is a fine opportunity to sample it all.
With so much to offer, New Paltz is a genuine destination. Whether you are seeking art and culture, the historical perspective, agricultural delights, outdoor adventure or some much-deserved rest and relaxation, you will find it alongside small town, upstate charm in New Paltz.