11 Best Sights in New Paltz, Hudson Valley

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Fodor's choice

The park encompasses 21,000 acres in the Shawangunk Mountains. Much of the terrain is wooded and rocky, but you also come across trickling streams, gushing waterfalls, and spectacular valley views. Lake Minnewaska is its jewel; the park also includes Awosting Lake. A network of historic carriageways, now used by hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers, and other trails crisscross the land. Swimming is restricted to designated areas; scuba divers must be certified. Nonmotorized boating is allowed with a permit. Nature programs include walks and talks. The entrance to the Peter's Kill Escarpment, where you may rock climb, is 1 mile east of the main entrance. Visiting hours are subject to change, so it's best to call the park the day of your visit.

5281 Rte. 44-55, New Paltz, NY, 12446, USA
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Parking $8, Daily 9–dusk

Adair Vineyards

Tastings are offered in this small winery's centuries-old Dutch barn. For $5, visitors can taste five to seven different local Hudson Valley wines.

52 Allhusen Rd., New Paltz, NY, 12561, USA
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Free, Closed weekdays, May–Oct.. Sat–Sun. 11-6. and Nov.–mid-Dec., Sat.–Sun. 11–5

Gardiner Cupcake Festival

This cupcake festival began in 2008 and attracts more cupcake enthusiasts every year with more than a dozen vendors, an amateur baking contest, helicopter rides, and even a 5K race for those who wish to burn some calories before binging on tasty Hudson Valley baked goods.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Huguenot Street

A National Historic Landmark, the street includes seven colonial stone houses from as early as 1705, some of the oldest in the United States. The 10-acre area includes a Visitors' Center, a reconstructed 1717 Huguenot church, exhibit and program spaces, archeological sites, and a burial ground that dates to the very first settlers of the region. Guided walking tours begin at the Visitors' Center office in the 1705 DuBois Fort, between Broadhead Avenue and North Front Street.

64 Huguenot St., New Paltz, NY, 12561, USA
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Tours $15, Closed Wed., Tours May–Oct., Sun–Thurs. 10–8, Fri. and Sat. 10–9

Locust Lawn

Josiah Hasbrouck—a lieutenant in the American Revolution and U.S. congressman during the presidential terms of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe—built the 1814 Federal-style mansion, which has an impressive three-story central hall. The house and its original furniture and paintings remained in the family until Hasbrouck's great-great-granddaughter opened it to the public in 1959. Tours are available by appointment.

436 South Rte. 32, Gardiner, NY, 12525, USA
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $11, June–Oct., weekends 11–4

Mohonk Preserve

The 8,000-acre preserve has more than 30 miles of historic carriage roads and trails, and more than 1,000 rock climbing routes. The Preserve's Visitor Center, on U.S. 44/Route 55 in Gardiner, is free to the public and includes an orientation theater, children's forest, and nature trails. You can also enter through the West Trapps and Coxing Trailheads in Gardiner, and the Spring Farm Trailhead in High Falls. Visitors enjoy spectacular mountain views as they hike, run, bike, rock climb, ride horses, cross-country ski, and snowshoe.

3197 Rte. 44-55, Gardiner, NY, 12525, USA
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $12 for hikers, $17 for climbers, Daily sunrise–sunset. Visitor center daily 9–5

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art

At the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, 19th- and 20th-century photographs and American and European paintings, along with a core collection of works on paper, are focal points.

1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz, NY, 12561, USA
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $5 suggested donation, Closed Mon.–Tues., Wed.–Sun. 11–5

Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge

These open meadows and broken woods shelter kildeers, Northern harrier hawks, several types of flycatchers, a few warblers, woodpeckers, eastern kingbirds, and bluebirds. In spring, listen for the evening mating rituals of American woodcocks. In fall, watch for the occasional peregrine falcon—a few breeding pairs nest in the nearby cliffs. In spring through late summer, visitors can see bobolinks and Eastern meadowlarks nesting.

Hoagerburgh Rd., Wallkill, NY, 12589, USA

State University of New York at New Paltz

The college, which long has attracted arts students, presents the community with a host of cultural offerings on its 216-acre campus.

Ulster County Fair

Livestock, local crafts, baking and preserves competitions, pig races, and amusement rides constitute a genuine old-fashioned county fair. Held in late July/early August, it runs Tuesday through Sunday.

Woodstock/New Paltz Art and Crafts Fair

The juried fair, held Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, showcases potters, photographers, jewelry designers, and other artisans from across the nation. The food is better than usual fair fare, with many vegetarian and other innovative dishes.