A town that feels like Brooklyn, but in the Catskills. It's an epicenter of upstate culture with farm-to-table food and drink at its core.
Kingston (aka Brooklyn North) embodies all of the elements of upstate Catskills culture. In recent years, a varied mix of hip city dwellers relocated (as evidenced by the number of beards and tattoos per capita) and supplemented what was an already an existing mix of entrepreneurs and artisans. The result has been an explosion of interesting art galleries, shops, bars and restaurants. It’s a great place to spend a day or two, both within the city limits and in the surrounding area.
Properly navigating Kingston requires exploring three distinct neighborhoods; the Stockade District (Uptown), the Rondout-Broadway Corridor (Midtown) and the Rondout-West Strand Historic District (Downtown).
The Stockade District (Uptown) is a mix of historic buildings and hip businesses including restaurants, art galleries, antique stores, vintage shops, boutique clothing stores, coffee shops, tattoo parlors, candy stores, etc. If not for the smell of very fresh air and glimpses of spectacular mountain views, it could easily be mistaken for a cool neighborhood in present day Brooklyn.
Broadway (Midtown) is more industrial than the other neighborhoods in Kingston and many artists and entrepreneurs have chosen to both live and work in this neighborhood. In recent years, a number of factories/commercial spaces have been converted to residences and live/work spaces, the most notable being the Lace Mill, a 55-unit building with multiple art galleries and community spaces designed to bridge the gap between the artists in residence and the local community. Murals and public works of art dot the landscape and there a number of interesting galleries, shops and restaurants worth visiting.
Rondout (Downtown) is a great mix of old and new. The main thoroughfare, which slopes from the top of a hill down to the river, is dotted with some great shops and restaurants as well as a waterfront park.
If you’re taking a morning stroll, grab a coffee/pastry at , one half vintage store, one half coffee shop and then pop in some of the cool spots on Wall Street including , a curated store of home-goods and a teaching kitchen. If it’s lunchtime, consider grabbing Mexican street-style tacos at or a bite at . If it’s dinnertime, try to snag a reservation at , a “garden-to-table” restaurant where the menu is always changing based on what ingredients are in season or , launched by a former Brooklynite in a space that consists of comfy vintage décor and serves food that is always top quality. Don’t miss , yes, a bar with books, nuff said. If you’re looking for a hip clothing/gift store, check out . When the night sets in, head to either or , both spots with talented mixologists and an intimate vibe.
Mitdown is slightly less conducive than Uptown/Downtown to a leisurely stroll but there’s a lot of great spots worth checking out so hop in your car and, at the very least, hit these spots. A great morning activity is exploring the Zaborski Emporium. You’ll need a coffee. It’s a massive six-story warehouse with an unfathomable amount of antique, vintage and downright random ‘stuff’. You can easily spend a couple of hours wandering the many nooks and crannies. The items range from doors, to clawfoot tubs and sinks, to typewriters, to games, to trinkets and everything in between. It defies characterization but if you’re a digger, you will have discovered nirvana. Assuming you still have money left to spend after you leave, head to , where they roll of new batches of beer on a regular basis and serve up some of the best oysters, pretzels and lobster rolls upstate. Bonus fact: dogs are welcome. After the sun sets, head to , a stylish and cozy spot that serves up Polish food in a tapas style and fantastic and inventive cocktails.
The riverfront is the draw in this part of Kingston. A few spots to check out as you stroll down the storefront-lined road; Kingston Wine Co., founded by former city dwellers, Michael and Theresa Drapkin, it’s one of the coolest wine shops you'll ever step foot into with wines tagged with whimsical facts and unparalleled knowledge of wine regions and flavors; , a chic, very stylish spot with a great selection of wine and excellent food that we’ve heard a number of people call one of their favorite spots in Kingston; and , a home-furnishings shop that curates products both from local artisans and from far afield and whose taste is impeccable. Don’t be surprised if you arrive empty-handed and leave with a bag or two.
The homes for sale in Kingston capture some of the Catskills real estate vibe with a mix of colonial estates, small stone/brick houses and grand Victorian houses. In the past couple of years, there has been a lot of interest in Kingston real estate with many of the commercial and residential properties being purchased by city dwellers relocating to Kingston for a more peaceful and manageable existence.
One of Kingston’s most appealing aspects is its walkability. In the same day, one could easily visit the shops/food spots Uptown and then take a stroll along the riverfront. With 23,000 residents, it’s large enough to feel vibrant and alive but small enough to feel manageable and with a strong sense of community.
Feeling like a dose of nature? Kingston’s proximity to great hiking is another draw. is about 25 minutes southwest where the hikes range from quick and scenic to Awosting Falls to a longer hike around the entire lake. If the Catskills are calling, about 25 minutes either north or west are various options, including in Palenville and in Woodstock.
If being on the water is your jam, is the spot to grab a kayak and paddle the $20 for the first hour and $10 per hour thereafter.
Should you have any questions about Kingston real estate, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We regularly meet clients for coffee in either NYC or the Kingston area to share our local knowledge of the areas and the market and to assist with searching for Catskills real estate.