This cool town’s vibe may be hard to pin down, but it never disappoints.

By Todd Plummer

Photography by Julia Clark

Kingston stands in a class of its own.

So many small towns give the impression that you could come, visit and really “do” them in a single weekend; that’s not the case here. This town offers a melting pot of style, rich in both history and creativity, making it the kind of place that invites exploration. You can come to Kingston ten times and have ten completely different experiences. That’s because this is a town that’s reinvented itself time and time again. 

The traditional home of the Esopus people, the land today known as Kingston, is found 90 miles north of Manhattan and has served at different points as a Dutch trading post, the first capital of the State of New York and a shipping hub for the Hudson River. When the British burned it down during The Revolutionary War, Kingston came back. When the concrete and brick industries waned, Kingston came back. And now, with there being so much attention on the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, Kingston sits at the center of everything. 

For that reason, there’s no typical Kingston resident and no typical Kingston style; a little bit of everything can be found here. Young fashionistas lovingly searching the racks at Lovefield Vintage. Mature décor obsessives elbow deep in antiques at Zaborski Emporium. Sleek art snobs gliding from gallery to brunch to gallery. People who’ve left New York City behind in search of greener pastures, as well as folks who like being less than two hours away from Gotham. 

Ultimately, the combination of architectural charm and natural landscapes is what sets Kingston apart. It has the waterfront appeal of being located on the Hudson and the bonus of being situated at the foot of the Catskill Mountains, making this town a waypoint for travelers and locals alike. Come once, come twice, come a hundred times—you may think you know Kingston, but you’re bound to see something different each time.

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