Winter time in Ulster County is all chilly stillness and crackling warmth. Nestled between the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains in the mid-Hudson Valley, this picturesque community just two hours north of Manhattan transforms into a cozy mecca for indoor comfort. World-class dining and local boutiques invite shoppers to stroll the quaint, historic Main Streets of Kingston, New Paltz, Rosendale and Saugerties, while galleries, art colonies and theater productions appeal to arts patrons and culture vultures.
For those seeking a winter reprieve, a local taste, a glimpse of the creative spirit, or a pampering on an epic scale—look no further. Here are five ways to enjoy the great indoors of Ulster County this winter.
The Hudson Valley is a cornucopia of world-class cuisine. Each year the rolling hills of Ulster County yield a diverse bounty of fresh produce, from maple sugar to wine grapes to classic fruits and veggies. Acclaimed chefs from restaurants across the valley forage, pick, and harvest these local ingredients year-round, then work their alchemical magic to produce mouth-watering works of art, often in tandem with protein gleaned from thoughtfully raised, grass-fed livestock. Whether you’re a barbeque fanatic or a devout vegan, whether you’re seeking a hearty quick bite from a deli or an elegant coursed-out fine dining experience, your palate isn’t likely to forget the myriad delights of Ulster County.
Numerous visual arts galleries, a rich musical legacy and a booming film scene make Ulster County a cultural hub of the Hudson Valley. Wile away a chilly Saturday afternoon at one of Kingston’s First Saturday gallery receptions, or immerse in one of Woodstock’s storied art colonies to experience the daily culture of some of the valley’s most accomplished artists. Live music abounds in Ulster County, and major concerts and shows frequently take center stage at the Ulster Performing Arts Center, while the local art houses feature first-run screenings of challenging independent films from around the globe. Winter farmers’ markets feature handcrafted wares from local artisans, while Saugerties continues to grow as an antique stronghold in the Hudson Valley.
Whether in New Paltz or Phoenicia, Kingston or Woodstock, the historic Main Streets of Ulster County provide a picturesque setting for numerous local boutiques and specialty retail shops where one can find handcrafted jewelry, pottery, furniture, clothing and so much more. The Main Street shopping options are ideally situated among restaurants and pubs so you can break and refuel at your leisure. but the area is also home to malls and department stores for those times when you need them.
Rustic lodges. Victorian bed & breakfasts. Secluded cabins. High-end resorts and spas. In Ulster County, lodging options abound, and in the dead of winter choosing the right way to stay is all the more important. Experience the perfect pampering package at a sprawling luxury resort or wake up in the living history of a quaint colonial-era B&B. For those looking for no frills and a continental breakfast, the area is also home to plenty of traditional hotels and inns.
In Ulster County, farmers’ markets aren’t just for warm weather. Kingston and Rosendale both host winter farmers’ markets, with plenty of seasonal produce and locally made artisanal eats, art, clothing and other wares for sale. Kingston’s winter market happens every other Saturday through April at the Old Dutch Church, while Rosendale’s market happens every other Sunday inside the Rosendale Recreation Center.
Plan your winter escape now by visiting ulstercountyalive.com