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Guide to Kingston, NY. Things to do and where to Eat, Stay Play

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

Kingston, my Kingston. What fun was had on our weekend trip to this historic New York town? We had no idea we would see, do and EAT so much, Kingston is much bigger than the most well-known area -Uptown, so we scoured ALL of Kingston to find out what truly makes this town so very special.

Kingston, New York
Kingston, New York

What is Kingston, New York is known for?

Kingston, dating to the arrival of the Dutch in 1652, is a vibrant city with rich history and architecture. Kingston was New York's first capital in 1777 and was burned by the British on October 16, 1777, after the Battles of Saratoga. In the 19th century, the city became an important transport hub after the discovery of natural cement in the region and had both railroad and canal connections. Passenger rail service has since ceased, and many of the older buildings are part of three historic districts, such as the Uptown Stockade District, the Midtown Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, and the Downtown Rondout-West Strand Historic District.

Where is Kingston, New York?

The City of Kingston is nestled in the heart of Ulster County, New York. It is 91 miles north of New York City and 59 miles south of Albany. The drive from NYC is about 100 miles and usually takes 2.5 hours to drive there depending on traffic.

  • Distance from NYC: 91 miles

  • Distance from Albany: 59 miles

  • Distance from Boston: 206 miles

Districts within Kingston NY:

  • Uptown Stockade District

  • Midtown - Neighborhood District

  • Rondout District - Waterfront

Kingston, New York

Getting there NYC

By Train – Amtrak Empire Line

With frequent daily trains between NYC and Albany (and others that continue to Buffalo and Niagara Falls), business and leisure travel has never been easier. On this trip, you will take the train from Grand Central Station to Rhinecliff Station.

The Rhinecliff Amtrak station is across the river from Kingston. From the station, you can grab an Uber or Lyft to take you across the Rhinecliff Bridge to your destination.

  • Bikes and dogs welcome on board!

  • Hudson Valley views throughout the journey.

  • Wifi on board.

By Car

Since the drive is only 100 miles it should theoretically take you under two and a half hours to get to downtown Kingston from NYC.

The stretch between Peekskill and the bear mountain bridge is US 202 and US 6 and it is remarkable. The Taconic Parkway on the east side is mile after mile of great scenery and the exits lead to all the great villages along the Hudson like Rhinebeck, red hook, cold spring, etc. Ends at the Massachusetts extension of the NY thruway with ready access to Albany (toll road).On the west side, the NY thruway is less attractive but again offers access to villages along the way like new Paltz and Woodstock.

Take the Adirondack Trailways bus from Port Authority in NYC to Kingston for a $37.80 round-trip. 800-225-6815 for fares and schedules. Definitely, the fastest way and you can get a cab from the bus station in Kingston.

  • Prices as low as $37 for a round trip!!

  • 2.5-hour journey for NYC.

Getting Around Kingston, New York

You do not necessarily need a car unless you want to explore other areas of the county and go beyond the city limits. I highly suggest Kingston as an amazing destination to visit if you’re car-less or have a car, both work. There is more than enough to discover on foot or go a bit further on a bicycle, they also have LFYT, UBER, and Taxis.


Check with your hotel about borrowing bikes or rent one from a local company.

  • Revolution Bicycles


There is parking throughout Kingston...... Most spaces have metered parking so BRING quarters.

What to Pack for the Weekend

November can be summer-like during the day (up to the 60s or even 70s) and cool at night when you'll want pants and a sweater. November definitely brings a bit of chill to the mornings, and by the time the sun goes down, you will want that heavier jacket and sweater as we could get frost.  Pants and a light jacket during the day are the typical norms for daytime wear; you may need an extra sweater or heavier coat at night. It is not unusual to see a little snow by late November. Again, keep in mind that it might rain or be windy. Layers once again will keep your bases covered.

  • Great Walking Shoes

  • Camera

  • Heavy Sweater

  • Long-Sleeved Shirts

  • A good bag that can carry a few things and also be comfortable

  • Jacket + jeans for the cool evenings

Is Kingston, New York dog friendly?

The Hudson Valley is filled with pups, but when it’s time to go out and eat, shop, or just browse a store, it’s not always easy to find businesses that are dog-friendly. But they do exist. We recommend calling ahead and seeing if your pup is allowed.

Where We Stayed

We opted to not stay in one of the hotel options in Kingston and go for a private Airbnb rental; a few months back, some friends of ours stayed at THE NEWKIRK, a restored 1800's home built by Eugene Newkirk. This home has everything we could have wanted in a stay-place, private outdoor area and garden, huge kitchen for entertaining, luscious cloud-like beds, and not 1 but 2 soaking tubs.

The Newkirk is located in historic Kingston, NY, an exciting waterfront location in the Hudson Valley. Experience original 1856 charm as well as the modern comforts of a fresh renovation.

Prepare a gourmet meal in the chef’s kitchen using herbs grown on the property, sample wine tastings outside in cushy chairs on the wrap-around porch; play music for your friends and family on the grand piano; peruse the newspaper at a comfortable and modern round table, situated next to lush evergreen views from big windows; relax in a hot bath in the private soak tub; spend quality time with a good book at a rustic, reclaimed wood table; or head out and enjoy nearby attractions such as uptown and downtown nightlife, art galleries, scenic views, and restaurants. Uber and Lyft transportation can get you there safely.


3.5 bathrooms

• 4 bedrooms

• Sleeps 8

• Private Gardens and Yard

• 2 Soaking Tubs

What to do in Kingston in 3 Days: Day 1

1.Arrive at The Newkirk 🚅 @thenewkirk Book Now

Kingston, New York
Kingston, New York

Check-in here is at 3 pm and a perfect time as the sun hits this beauty just right, right bout then. We took the first few hours running around the house like star-struck tourists, everything is restored to perfection and this home feels like you just walked into some novel about Dukes and Duchesses. Since there are four bedrooms in this massive rental we choose to take the room with its very own soaking rub in it. After we got done exploring we opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed a glass on the expansive covered porch overlooking the sprawling lawn.

2. Walk around the Rondout Neighborhoods (Chestnut Street)

The area in which our Airbnb was located was one of the first areas to be developed in the 1800s and has historic home, after historic home. We meandered around the streets taking in all the architecture and quaint neighborhood vibes. BRING YOUR CAMERA

Kingston, New York
Kingston, New York

3. Visit The Anchor for Takeout @theachorgram


After a long drive, we always like to take the first night to ease into things and regroup for the next day's adventures, that why it was a perfect option for us the check out a spot our fans suggested THE ANCHOR. This place is jam-packed with Man-Food... Imagine Beer, Burgers, and Wings, my hubby was thrilled about this idea for our first night's grub. Brandi the owner of the Anchor has been in business for many years and is well-loved by all the locals who live here. They Specialize in local grass-fed beef burgers and

fresh Americana comfort food, with vegan/gluten-free options available!

Their rotating 20 tap lines of local and American craft brew is sure to satisfy all! If beer is not your first choice, we have a fully stocked bar with seasonal cocktails.

Kingston, New York
The Anchor, Kingston Newyork

What to Order :

Hot Mess Fries

• Yard Wings

• Cheezy Breezy - Burger

• Burning Of Kingston -Burger

What to do in Kingston in 3 Days: Day 2

1.Pakt 👗 @paktkingston-- WEBSITE

We woke up refreshed and rejuvenated and we ready to start the day with some delicious food, what were we in the mood for BRUNCH of course and we heard of just the place to satisfy that craving, PAKT located in the Midtown District of Kingston. The Co-owner and Chef Eryn greeted us with a huge smile and a bloody mary (this girl knows how to win over a crowd) and told us to take a seat and the food would be right up. The space is funky with hints of Industrial Chic and Diner vibes mixed into one amazing little burrito. When the food came out of mouths dropped to the floor, two boards were placed on our table full of all the brunch staple items one could think of. Chicken and Waffles, Grits, Egg Sandwiches, and a whole to more. The coolest part about the food here is that it takes good ole southern fashion comfort food and put an Asian Mexican Dash on it.

What to Order :

Brunch Board

• Bloody Mary

• Pimento Mac and Cheese

2. Visit The Rondout Waterfront District

The Rondout neighborhood is located on the shore of Rondout Creek near where it meets the Hudson River. Initially, a key port for the shipment of timber and agriculture to the colonies and beyond, the area boomed with the opening of the Delaware and Hudson Canal in 1828; it became a trade hub for coal from Northeast Pennsylvania, bluestone from the Catskill Mountains, cement from Rosendale, and bricks made from local clay. The area grew so rapidly that it incorporated as the Village of Rondout in 1849, and by 1872 it merged with the then-Town of Kingston to form today’s city. By the time the canal closed in 1899, the port area featured buildings in all the nineteenth-century architectural styles.

Charmingly framed by the Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge, built in the 1920s, the neighborhood is referred to locally as the Rondout or the Strand (sometimes known to visitors as ‘Downtown’ as well). The Kingston Marina is located in the Rondout, a great place to book a ride on one of several tour boats of the Hudson River, and view the Rondout Lighthouse. The neighborhood is invitingly walkable and has a waterfront park, many charming restaurants, boutiques, and captivating architecture. There are several museums, art galleries, antique shops, and gift shops to explore. The Kingston Heritage Area Visitors Center is also in the Rondout Waterfront District.  The neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

3. Visit Milne Antiques WEBSITE

81 Broadway Kingston, NY 12401

Imagine going to every garage sale and Auction house you could think of and fitting it into one space, that is what Milne Antiques is. Rebekah the owner and founder of this incredible space how found a way to mix low-cost thrift shops with high-end antique stores and she has done it perfectly. This 6800 square foot space is eye candy to anyone that appreciates things of days gone by. We spent an hour just walking around and exploring her curated collection of precious things

4. Grab Dinner at Sante Fe Uptown WEBSITE

We love us some Mexican food and Margaritas and our fans told us that Kingston has the perfect spot to enjoy just that. Sante Fe is located in Uptown Kingston and has 2 other locations spread out across the Hudson Valley. We arrived and were seated on their outdoor patio (which is dog friendly) and were immediately served some of their infamous margaritas. The owners and staff are known for making every guest feel like they are part of the family and by the end of the meal, I knew these peeps were added to my Christmas card list.

What to Order :

Cauliflower Wings

• Black Currant Margarita

• Pork Tacos

• Tuna Tower

5. Stop in at Stockade Tavern For some Delicious Cocktails WEBSITE

313 Fair St, Kingston, New York

When we first brought up that we were going to Kingston literally every person we knew said we had to go to the Cocktail Bar owned by Paul and Jenny; Stockade Tavern, located in Uptown Kingston. They were not wrong, the outside seating area had a vibe that beckoned you to sit down on the sheepskin chairs and just take the fall night in. Paul and Jenny opened their cocktail bar a few years back because a crafted mixologist bar was lacking at that time. Years later we think they still have this market cornered as every cocktail we ordered was pure perfection.

What to Order :

• Dark & Stormy

• Hot Toddy

• Gin Fizz

What to do in Kingston in 3 Days: Day 3

1. Visit and Walkaround Uptown Kingston

Kingston’s historic Uptown neighborhood (also known as the Stockade District) has become well-known for its sophisticated dining, chic boutiques, and lively nightlife. But the community also works hard to preserve its storied past. For instance, the Four Corners — known as “America’s oldest intersection”— features colonial-era buildings on each corner at the intersection of John and Crown Streets. But while the past is honored, Uptown maintains a steadfastly modern vibe.

What to See :

•The Old Dutch Church

• Four Corners

2. Shop at River Mint Finery WEBSITE

270 Fair St, Kingston,

We love finding stores that have done all the work for us, imagine having a personal shopper that picked the best clothes and jewelry on your behalf. That is River Mint finery, Kat the owner was a joy to meet, and hear her take on how she curated her store made us realize how special it truly was

3. Pick up Some Cool Kitchen Wear At Blue Cashew Kitchen WEBSITE

37 N Front St, Kingston

Sean and Jt the owners of Blue Cashew have made an experience out of shopping, with disco balls twirling, music playing and the coolest kitchenware you have ever seen. We thought we have visited kitchen stores before until now, astronaut flower vases and owl-themed plates were strewn across this uber-chic store. We visiting Kingston this is a must-see

4. Grab Lunch At Masa Midtown WEBSITE

66 Broadway, Kingston

Chef Oz opened her space on March 1st, not knowing about that pandemic that was soon to hit. Her Turkish themed restaurant prides itself on hospitality and traditions held for hundreds of years. We were greeted with rose oil hand sanitizer and Turkish delights. Chef Oz taught us that sweet things are given at an introduction to encourage sweet conversations, each dish brought out was created with care and love, embodied her culture and tradition

5. Have a picnic at Kingston Point Beach

In times of Covid, we miss the feeling of being on some tropical beach with waves lapping the shore and palms Frans blowing in the wind. Kingston beach was the closest thing we have experienced it since we travel was freedom. We took our takeout from Masa Midtown and sat on this sandy beach and enjoyed something we thought was lost. Kingston is surprising us at every turn.

6. Go for a Mural Tower

If you do anything whilst in Kingston you must do a scavenger hunt of the murals that littered the buildings of Kingston, New York. A wonderful organization called O-positive has collaborated with local and world artists to bring art to the streets. Standing in front of a 3 story high building covered in art was a spiritual experience.

7. Have Dinner at Ship to Shore WEBSITE

15 W Strand St, Kingston

Our last stop on this adventure was at an OG restaurant located in the Rondout district of Kingston NY. Samir the chef and owner of this staple restaurant has been in business for 22 years and after eating here we can see why. An American Bistro located on a picturesque street was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

What to Order :

• Ahi Tuna Tower

• Pan-Seared Scallops

• Pineapple cosmo


Veronica O'Brien
Veronica O'Brien

So detailed! Thanks for all of the recs! -The Brooklynite Abroad


Eliza Bala
Eliza Bala

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