A vibrant college town with easy access to farms, hiking and world-class climbing. It's worth a day's stroll.
New Paltz is home to SUNY New Paltz and while parts of it have that typical college town feel, it also has plenty of options for more refined city dwellers including a number of great restaurants, an eclectic and vast mix of shops, plenty of farm stands and easy access to nature and outdoor adventures.
In and around the town are charming and historic homes, many dating back to bygone eras, as well as more suburban feeling developments. As you get further away from the town, there are certainly more interesting options including old restored farmhouses, converted barns as well as more contemporary homes on larger pieces of land. There are a number of areas that have stunning views of the Shawangunk Mountains which lay just to the north of New Paltz. The median price for New Paltz homes for sale sits around $325K but for most city dwellers, the entry point will be a bit higher, typically starting around $400K. For buyers that value proximity to the city, New Paltz real estate is a great option as its only 90 miles from midtown. It is also the first stop on the Trailways bus line from Port Authority, a 1 ½ hr commute.
Like many college towns, the community is filled with professors, artists and students. Of course, the influence of the Catskills draws nature lovers and farmers and hence a vibrant and eclectic mix of mostly left-leaning inhabitants.
If you’re looking for some nature in your life, New Paltz offers an abundance of options. The town is actually located at the base of the Shawangunk Mountains, where the well-known Mohonk Mountain House and Mohonk Preserve are located. There is also the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail which runs from New Paltz 20+ miles north to Kingston.
Farming is at the center of New Paltz culture and you’ll find farm stands and CSA programs. There are also local vineyards, distilleries, orchards and other food-focused businesses that serve the community.
Huckleberry: Started by two Brooklynites, they’ve converted a house into a cozy, inviting eatery that serves food you want to eat. You know, things like Banh Mi, Sriracha and Wings, Kimchi Pork Burgers, Hand Cut Fries. We’d be shocked if you didn’t dig this place.
Lagusta’s Luscious: Buy a box of organic handmade chocolate and then take a stroll on the New Paltz Rail Trail to walk off said box of chocolates. You probably won’t regret it or maybe you will but what’s life without a few regrets.
Lagusta’s Luscious Commissary: No we don’t own stock in Lagusta’s Luscious, it’s just a great cafe where you can get a good cup of coffee and some really good casual food. It’s also got a really cool zine (small do-it-yourself homemade magazines) collection featuring zines from local zinesters in the Hudson Valley.
A Tavola: Channeling a rustic themed vibe, A Tavola serves farm to table Italian cuisine using many ingredients sourced by local farms. It's a go to spot for many city dwellers that live in the immediate vicinity.
Mudd Puddle Coffee Roasters (and Cafe): This spot reminds me of my favorite college lunch/coffee places, and I mean that in a good way. It always smells like good coffee and a pressed sandwich and everyone who works there is friendly and laid-back.
Mountain Brauhaus (technically in Gardiner): Not much has changed since the Ruoff family opened the Mountain Brauhaus in 1955; German kitsch decore, classic German cuisine and beers and waitresses donning the traditional dirndl attire. It draws a bustling crowd of locals and rock climbers from the nearby Shawangunks.
Brooklyn Cider House: The philosophy at Brookly Cider House, set in Twin Star Orchards, a reinvigorated apple orchard, s to let the apples speak for themselves. They make all of their cider solely from freshly harvested, sometimes ugly, handpicked apples using sustainable methods and with minimal intervention. They also serve delicious burgers.
Tuthilltown: The first whiskey distillery to open in New York since prohibition, they make genuine small-batch New York spirits using local grains. The distillery has won numerous accolades, including Distillery of the Year from Whiskey Magazine and American Distillery of the Year from the American Distilling Institute. If you like your spirits, you’ll like this place.
Wallkill View Farmer’s Stand: It’s a big farm stand with a lot on offer. You can easily fill a few bags for your weekend.
Ray Bradley Farm: A great place for adults and kids to get up close and personal with the farm's chickens, pigs, goats, ducks, turkeys, pigs and row after row of vegetables/flowers. Over the course of the past 18 years, Ray Bradley, a local farming icon, has transformed this abandoned 27 acre farm into an impressive working farm. On weekends from April to November, the bounty from the farm is available to the community.
Rail Trail: A now defunct train rail system converted into beautiful walking trail, the New Paltz section is fairly flat and easy to walk, especially with dogs, which you must keep on a leash.
The Mohonk Mountain House: It’s a secluded sanctuary on a lake where nature and activities are at the core of the experience; a true escape. Yes, it’s odd and sprawling but it harkens back to an era of older, grand American hotels. It’s family-friendly, homey, with a bit of a dirty dancing feel. Thankfully, they’ve recently stepped up their food game in 2017 with a focus on farm-to-table cuisine.
Inn at Kettleboro: A bed and breakfast set in a masterfully restored 1830’s home in a beautiful setting with spectacular views of the Shawangunk mountains. The house is stunning and the attention to detail is impressive. And, as in any proper bed and breakfast, the owners, Robert Witkowski and Michael Aiello, make all of the food on whatever local and organic products they can get their hands on. And they know the area like the back of their hand and are glad to share recommendations about where to go and what to do.