About Ulster County
Ulster County is a true four-season destination with a rich historical heritage. Named after the Irish province of Ulster, it is comprised of the New York Metropolitan Statistical Area and is home to Kingston, the birthplace of New York’s first State Capital.
From the site where the first meeting of New York State’s Senate took place, Senate House in Kingston to Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, you can take a trip back in time to discover all the history that was made in Ulster County.
Our towns are the heart of our vibrancy as a county. Its history, culture and diverse activities make Ulster County a destination for the entire east coast. Some memorable places include:
- Village of Ellenville
- Town of Gardiner
- Town of Saugerties
- City of Kingston
- Village of New Paltz
- Town of Woodstock
- and many more!
The schools among county borders deliver a well-rounded education for all of its residents. The New Paltz School District was recently commended in Newsweek Magazine as having one of the best high schools in the nation, and many of the other schools in the county follow suit with similar accolades and honors. Ulster County residents and students have pride in their schools and it shows in their achievement and state test scores.
One noteworthy school in the Ulster County region is SUNY Ulster, which is among one of the top ten best community colleges in New York.
Dining and Shopping
The Hudson River Valley is ground zero for the resurgence in farmers markets and natural foods. Ulster County has been able to take advantage of its farming community through its restaurants and the constant influx of new culinary delights created by chefs eager to attract both the local population as well as the adventurous tourist.
With so much fresh food available in Ulster County, it’s natural that wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries are so prominent here as well. What better way to complement fine food than matching it to a fine wine, beer, cider or distilled beverage? In fact, the Hudson Valley is the oldest wine region in the United States. Ulster County’s portion of the Shawangunk Wine Trail offers a great opportunity to meander through the countryside, tasting what the valley provides.
Unplug, relax and indulge. Ulster County offers a variety of spa and wellness centers where you can relax and reset.
It is hard to believe that less than 90 minutes from mid-town Manhattan lies 250,000 of forever-wild acres encompassing 35 peaks and 350 miles of hiking trails. From biking to hiking, from kayaking to wind surfing, from hitting the sweet spot on one of our 12 golf courses to horseback riding and fly-fishing, Ulster County is truly a four-season recreation area.
From unique boutiques and shops to department stores and malls, you’ll discover a variety of shopping opportunities in Ulster County. Recognized for our world-famous Main Streets of Woodstock, Phoenicia, Kingston and New Paltz, you can also head off the beaten path to Rondout, Ellenville and Rosendale to discover quaint shops with many distinctive items.
Moreover, if all you want is to stroll along a back lane and view the fall colors we have rural vistas, which, well, will just knock you out with its beauty. The winter provides great downhill and cross-country skiing, cozy lodges with fireplaces, ice skating and more.
Parks and Recreation
Ulster County is the center for arts and culture in the Hudson Valley. Including the spectacular artscape of Opus 40 galleries and outdoor theatre, Ulster County has been home to the creative arts for more than 100 years. Music, of course, has a storied and popular history from Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles to the current live performances at the Ulster Performing Arts Center.
Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) offers safe, affordable, reliable public transportation service throughout Ulster County, with limited service to Orange County and connecting service to Dutchess County.
Group Tours are a great way to see Ulster County! Many of our hotels, resorts and lodges offer great group deals. There is plenty to see as you can tour our history, arts and culture sites, plan a craft beverage tour and take a scenic boat ride on the majestic Hudson River.
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