Founded more than 330 years ago by French-speaking Huguenot refugees, New Paltz is tucked beneath the shoulder of the breathtaking Shawangunk Ridge. Visitors flock here for a variety of reasons, from swimming in glacial lakes and cycling the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail to soaking up the rich culture and sampling the seasonal bounty of the many farms, orchards and wineries.
For those craving adventure with a side of scenery, Shawangunk Ridge offers a host of trail options for hikers and bicyclists, with some of the best views in the Hudson Valley. Bonticou Crag in Mohonk Preserve, Mohonk Sky Top Tower on the grounds of the world-renowned Mohonk Mountain House resort and Awosting Falls in Minnewaska State Park Preserve are just a sampling of what the Shawangunk Ridge has to offer. For rock climbers, The Gunks are the single busiest climbing destination in North America.
Art, education and culture are also in high supply. Visit the State University of New York at New Paltz for exciting live music, theater and dance performances. Or check out the world-class permanent collection and groundbreaking exhibitions at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.
Another must-see is Historic Huguenot Street, a National Historic Landmark District featuring seven unique stone houses dating to the early 1700s, a burial ground and a reconstructed 1717 stone church — all in their original setting.
With so much to see and do and loads of small town, upstate charm, New Paltz should not be missed.