Visit Kingston, NY

Kingston, NY, is one of the beautiful stops along the Hudson River that attracts tourists and day trippers spring, summer and fall. The city itself is small, but its harbor is spectacular. There, popular activities include dining, cruising, exploring the Hudson River Maritime Museum, strolling, and biking.

The main attraction is the Rondout Creek waterfront, a waterway that empties into the Hudson River. To get there, set your GPS on “1 Broadway, Kingston, NY,” which marks the intersection of Broadway and West Strand Streets.

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The tourist area is roughly lined in red on the map below.

When traffic is low, such as during the week, you’ll find metered parking near the central intersection. As the area becomes busier, look for parking along Rondout Landing. If there is a festival, holiday, or special event, volunteers will guide you to parking locations. Weekends and festival days get very crowded, so if you plan on attending a special event, arrive very early.

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At one time, Rondout Creek was a major coal transfer area. Today, it is used to moor privately-owned boats and the turn-around point for the MV Rip Van Winkle, a popular Hudson River cruise boat. Southeast of the park, you’ll see the beautiful Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge, which is also known as the Rondout Creek Bridge.

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Along the docking area, you’ll walk next to what once was a shipping route that transported coal from eastern Pennsylvania via the Delaware and Hudson Canals to ports along the Hudson River and the Eastern seaboard. Boats were pulled through the area by mules or horses until 1898, when the canal closed, ceding coal delivery to rail.

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One of the more beautiful and active sights you might see is the MV Rip Van Winkle, a cruise boat approaching the Kingston Rondout Landing. Check its website at MV Rip Van Winkle and Hudson River Cruises – hudsonrivercruises.com – for the sailing schedule.

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The passenger terminal for river cruises is under the 9W Highway bridge.

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Most of the shops in the area are restaurants, with the two largest being the Mariner’s Harbor Restaurant at 1 Broadway, where we always eat, and the Old Savannah Restaurant, located nearby on Rondout Landing Road. Both have river-front patios.

As we always visit the area during the week, when tourist traffic is low, we can usually find a table on the Mariner’s Harbor Restaurant’s patio (the view seen below). If the patio is full, or the weather is cool, their river-front bar is also pleasant. Be aware, however, that this is a popular bus tour stop and passengers can quickly fill every seat. Rather than be disappointed, explore Kingston’s numerous other restaurants.

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Most of Kingston’s tourist-area restaurants feature interesting interiors and many have sidewalk seating. The first block from the waterfront, for example, on West Strand Street, provides several options.. These restaurants are on the ground floors of mid-1800 homes, all of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For even more choices, stroll up Broadway.

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Kingston features a very complete visitor’s center near the intersection of Broadway and West Strand Street where you’ll find a small museum, helpful volunteers, and a load information about the area and the Hudson River coast.

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Almost across the street from the Visitor’s Center is Kingston Bike Rentals. Pedaling along the flat canal landscape is effortless, however, if you want to explore the greater community, you’ll need to climb a very steep hill.

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Many people spend their day visiting the Kingston’s Hudson River Maritime Museum, which is just past the cruise dock on Rondout Landing. There, they examine artifacts from the former shipping industry, enjoy the ambiance of the river, and expose themselves to wooden boat reconstruction and building trades. For more information, learn about classes and special events offered by the Riverport Wooden Boat School – www.riverportwoodenboatschool.org.

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On hot summer days, consider walking under an umbrella to shield yourself from the sun, especially if you stroll northeast on Rondout Landing, which has relatively little shade.

For the hardy, keep walking until you arrive at the Kingston Point Rail Trail, which itself is 1.5 miles long. Fortunately, there you’ll find a paved, flat, multi-purpose path, good for baby strollers and wheelchairs. Biking in the area, of course, is perfect.

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Credits

This article was written by Karen Little. Photos are by Karen and Philip Little. For permission to reproduce this article, contact Karen Little at Karen@Littleviews.com. All rights to this article and photos are reserved by Littleviews.com and Karen Little.