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Ulster County NY: A Local’s Guide

View of Ulster County from the Hudson River

This Hudson Valley Planning System is all you need to plan the perfect itinerary like a pro!

The air seemed still as I walked onto the Walkway over the Hudson State Park for the first time back in 2014. This Ulster County NY treasure was not a place that had been advertised and I really didn’t know anything about it.

Since moving up to Ulster County about one year prior and I saw the sign for the Walkway several times while driving North on 9W. This day I decided to drive down the road to check it out and that’s when everything changed.

Now, I’m a person who is very much afraid of heights, but this place seemed to encompass the heavens. I immediately fell in love.

Ulster County NY: A Local's Guide to all that's fun

Visiting Ulster County NY

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING PLACES IN ULSTER COUNTY:
>It is located approximately 90 minutes North from the NYC/Hudson Valley border and 90 minutes South of Albany

>Some more popular places in Ulster County NY are Kingston, Woodstock, New Paltz and Saugerties.

>Although not densely populated, there is still plenty to do when visiting Ulster County.

ulster county
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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Popular Places to Visit in Ulster County NY

Ulster County covers a fairly large area of the Hudson Valley and sometimes a little planning ahead may be the best way to experience more than one thing in a day.

For Those Who Love Art

Opus 40

Aerial view of Opus 40
Photo Courtesy of Opus 40

Located in Saugerties, Opus 40 is located on the northern tip of Ulster County.

Opus 40 is open seasonally, typically from May – November, is an awe-inspiring art & landscape phenomenon.

As stated in my Ebook and Planning System, “My Top 101 Things to do in the Hudson Valley“, this impressive outdoor sculpture created by Harvey Fite is made of the blue quarry from this land. The most interesting part is that the sculpture is comprised of ramps and pedestals that you can explore.

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art

If you’re looking to spend the day in New Paltz, then a visit to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art should be on your list.

In addition to being located on the campus of SUNY New Paltz, the museum houses over 6,000 pieces of art and is an important influencer in the Hudson Valley when it comes to art.

Open year-round, they welcome all visitors to enjoy their permanent and temporary exhibits.

Visitors to Katonah Museum of Art

For Those Who Love the Outdoors

Ulster County is a vast area full of nooks and crannies to explore.

If it’s a hiking and/or outdoor adventure that you’re craving, then Ulster County NY is the perfect place.

Mohonk Preserve

This nature preserve is located on the famous Shawangunk Ridge. Attracting hikers and rock climbers from all around, the Mohonk Preserve is a favorite spot for many.

Other activities that you can do on the trails are cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, & horseback riding.

The Visitors Center is the hub of the preserve and is open year-round. It offers information and exhibits. The trails in the immediate area of the Visitor’s Center & the Butterfly Garden are open to the public for free.

Land further out of the Visitor’s Center are accessible with a day pass or membership.

Walkway over Hudson in Ulster County NY
Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park

Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park

Walk over the Hudson River on the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. Connecting Highland, NY (Ulster County) to Poughkeepsie, NY (Dutchess County), this spectacular structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open year-round.

It’s a popular place for walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. They also host popular events throughout the year.


READ MORE ABOUT
THE WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON STATE HISTORIC PARK


For Those Who Love Animals

Besides the many farms located in the county, Ulster County NY is home to two amazing sanctuaries for an array of different animals.

Forsyth Nature Center

Explore this outdoor learning center in Kingston. Forsyth Nature Center is open year-round and get visitors up close and personal with nature and animals.

Bring a lunch, some snacks for yourself and the friendly animals and spend the day enjoying the nature center.

Each animal has a special sign listing favorite foods or you can bring a mixture of carrots, apples, lettuce/spinach/greens & plain popcorn to share. They also host special events throughout the year.

Hand feeding goat in Ulster County NY

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Meet the rescued animals that call the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, in Saugerties, their home.

These farm animals have been rescued from cruelty, abandonment & neglect. With over 11 species, you can visit these animals, from April through November, by purchasing a Day Pass or by taking a tour.

For Those Who Love History

Historic Huguenot Street

Here is another reason to visit New Paltz.

Stroll down Historic Huguenot Street, lined with original 18th-century homes that are in their original village setting. Open from May through December, guided tours are available for a fee. 

For Those Who Love Unique Experiences

Joseph Bertolozzi – Bridge Music

View of the Mid-Hudson Bridge from the Walkway over the Hudson
A View of the Mid-Hudson Bridge

This unique experience showcases music by Joseph Bertolozzi on the Mid-Hudson Bridge (between Highland and Poughkeepsie) where the bridge is the instrument.

The Listening Stations are located on the bridge’s towers and are open seasonally (April – October) to the public. You can also listen from your car in any of the parks located on either side of the bridge.

For Those Who Love Wine

Benmarl Winery

Benmarl Winery

Benmarl Winery is America’s Oldest Vineyard and boasts an award-winning collection of wines. Among its 37 acres, Benmarl Winery is the location for premier wines and impeccable hospitality.  Located in Marlboro, NY, it is close to the Orange County border in Southern Ulster County.


READ MORE ABOUT
BENMARL WINERY IN MARLBORO, NY


For Those Who Love Music

The Falcon

Be a tourist in your hometown and visit a new restaurant
The Falcon Marlboro, NY

Sitting above the beautiful Marlboro Falls in Marlboro, NY is The Falcon, home to live music and great food.

Formerly a 19th-century button factory, The Falcon has become an important part of music history in the Hudson Valley. Hosting the music industry’s most impressive acts, The Falcon is a well-known and loved establishment in Ulster County.


READ ALL ABOUT
THE FALCON SPRING FEST


Ulster Performing Arts Center

Visit the only un-altered pre-World War II theater left in the city of Kingston and one of three left in the Hudson Valley.

Ulster Performing Arts Center does not only host performing arts events for adults, but this venue also shows classic and vintage movies, musical performances, and children’s theater, dance and musical performances.

Because of the acoustics, it is home to the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Open year-round.


Tips for an Amazing Visit to Ulster County NY

>With any place your visiting in the Hudson Valley, make sure you check individual websites for days/hours of operation.

>Unlike NYC, many places in the Hudson Valley are not open year-round and are only open 6-8 months out of the year.

>Weather is always a factor when visiting any county in the Hudson Valley and particularly true when visiting Ulster County. Check the weather before heading out to your outing.

>If you like this post, my popular Ebook and Planning System, “My Top 101 Places to Visit in the Hudson Valley” has even more places listed for you to visit in Ulster County NY.


LEARN MORE ABOUT OTHER HUDSON VALLEY COUNTIES
BY READING:
WHERE IS THE HUDSON VALLEY, NY LOCATED?


This Hudson Valley Planning System is all you need to plan the perfect itinerary like a pro!

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Looking for local deals? #shoplocal
Check out Groupon.com. This is where I always find amazing deals for local things to do & services.


Explore my Hudson Valley Map

My interactive map features all of the attractions, parks, museums and businesses that I’ve personally visited to date.

The blog posts written about each location are linked in the corresponding pin.

Be sure to zoom in and/or out in order to see all the locations.

Map Key for the Hudson Valley Exploring Map

Until the Next Adventure…

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The view of Ulster County from the Hudson River
About Author

Jackie is the HV blogger behind Hudson Valley Exposed, featuring the hottest things to do, places to see and weekend getaways. Get information from a local who is seeing it all! She lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region with her hubby, kids, and doggies.

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