Between exploring the Shawangunk Ridge, touring historic Huguenot houses and enjoying the downtown scene, this town in Ulster County will keep you busy for days.
New Paltz is a bustling college town set against the stunning backdrop of the Hudson River and the Shawangunk Mountains. Located just a 90-minute drive outside New York City, New Paltz is a popular weekend destination for visitors seeking the serenity of nature coupled with a vibrant cultural scene.
The State University of New York at New Paltz has called the town home for more than 150 years. With over 7,000 students enrolled, it has a huge presence here, giving the place a lively feel. This is most apparent in the bars and restaurants of the downtown area. Stroll around the campus, at the center of which are the galleries of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.
The town’s youthful vigor is in marked contrast to some of its beautiful old buildings. Take a walk through time at Historic Huguenot Street, a National Historic Landmark District. Visit seven stone homes built by French immigrants in the late 18th century, along with a church and an ancient burial site. Staff dressed in authentic period clothing bring history to life through tours and demonstrations.
Mohonk Mountain House is an iconic New Paltz landmark and another of its historic buildings. Since 1869, this resort hotel has been serving guests, who can enjoy luxurious amenities, a private lake and trails.
Experience New Paltz's natural beauty by exploring the local terrain. Hike or mountain bike among lush forests, tumbling waterfalls and soaring mountains at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. This is part of the Shawangunk Ridge mountain chain that cuts across the region. If it’s warm enough, take a dip in Lake Awosting or Lake Minnewaska, two exceptionally blue lakes.
New Paltz is almost equidistant between Albany to the north and New York City to the south. You can easily get here by car or by bus. The nearest airport is Stewart International Airport, about a 30-minute drive south in Newburgh.
New Paltz is small town in beautiful surroundings with lots going on. If you want to seem in the know, refer to the Shawangunk Ridge as “the Gunks,” like the locals do.