Rondout Lighthouse on the Hudson in Kingston
Rondout Lighthouse on the Hudson in Kingston / iStock / nancykennedy
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Kingston, New York

Our Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Founded in the 17th century, Kingston is in the heart of the Hudson Valley. It served as New York state’s makeshift capital during the Revolutionary War and became a major port on the Hudson River. Today the small city has farm-to-table restaurants, boutique wineries, and a busy downtown scene. Kingston is at its best during the fall, when the surrounding Catskill Mountains landscape is at its most colorful.

What We Love

Learning the Landscape: Kingston’s three dominant districts are easily explored on trolley tours or solo jaunts. Historic homes are on display in the Stockade, while the up-and-coming Midtown section has charming restaurants serving vegan tabbouleh and Southern-style mac 'n' cheese inside mason jars. Burn off any carbs and peep local art with a ramble along the Rondout waterfront.

Fall Foliage Season: From late August to mid October, Kingston’s trees transform from gorgeous greens to yummy yellows, big burgundies, and outrageous oranges. Admire the colors on a tranquil trek, and the apple orchards are a fun diversion for cider donuts and hay rides.

Best Known For

Sea Stories: The Hudson River Maritime Museum operates the Rondout Lighthouse, one of New York’s last working navigation stations. Tours of the 20th-century structure begin at the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge and include intriguing steamboat tales.

Majestic Mansions: Kingston’s Hudson Valley location has been prime real estate since the 19th-century’s Gilded Age. Politicians and bold-faced names like the Vanderbilts built magnificent Hudson River hillside mansions into summer homes.

Who It's Best For

Nature Lovers: You can really appreciate the gorgeous scenery while biking or kayaking around Kingston’s Ulster County and the Hudson River’s promenades and parks.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Not All Excursions Are Created Equal: On some of the small ships that cruise here, organized excursions can depend on passenger interest or the captain’s whimsy. Be prepared to strike out on your own if the options are not to your liking.

Chanize Thorpe
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger