New Paltz is home to the largest private nature preserve in the state of New York. Mohonk Preserve covers over eight thousand square miles of protected forests, mountains, and waterways and admission for visitors is always free!
New Paltz is a village in Ulster County, New York. According to the 2010 U.S. Census the population was estimated to be around 6,818 people living in an area a little over a mile and a half square. It is about 80 miles from Albany, the state capital, and about 70 miles from New York City. The village of New Paltz is actually a smaller section of the Town of New Paltz. The village section is a suburb while the outlying town areas are much more rural. New Paltz was founded in 1828 by French Huguenot, Louis DuBois to escape revolutionary France.
Moving to New Paltz
This bustling community has a high turnover in real estate due mostly to the fact that it has a lot of seasonal residents. State University of New Paltz is in the center of New Paltz and as a result many of the students that attend the college rent short term during the school year. The plus to this is that a lot of rooms tend to open up during winter break, and especially in late May after graduations are over. So if you want a hot tip as you begin your apartment search start looking for a rental around those times of the year in order to get the most choices.
The college atmosphere also means that there is a variety of rental housing options up for grabs. Available rental residences range from one bedroom apartments to townhouses and house rentals with a wide price range so you're sure to find a place that works with your budget.
The Village of New Paltz is small and very walkable so there isn't much dependence on public transport for getting around inside the village itself. If you need to reach public transport for your daily commute the nearest train station is 11 miles away in Poughkeepsie, so you will probably need a car if only to get in and around the surrounding areas outside of New Paltz. If you travel by bus, New Paltz does have its own bus terminal where you can catch a ride to the Port Authority in order to commute into NYC. The major highway in this area is I-87 and the nearest airport is Stewart International Airport. It's a bit of a hike, about a half hour ride south of the village.
Neighborhoods in New Paltz
New Paltz has the rare ability to appeal to a variety of people. It's got the very active academic college community and the hip and happening center of town that has an eclectic hippie vibe. It even has a quieter more rural area for people who just want to enjoy the natural beauty of upstate New York.
Village Center: The Village Center in New Paltz is the hip and trendy, happening area in town. There are a ton of little boutiques, especially antique shops and local specialty restaurants designed to attract the young college crowd right next door at SUNY New Paltz. This area is extremely walkable and aesthetically attractive so on any night of the week you'll see crowds of younger and older people alike stopping by hot spots like Lagusta's Luscious, a well-known (and very popular) chocolatiers shop specializing in confections designed to silence anyone's sweet tooth.
State University of New York at New Paltz: SUNY of New Paltz is a small college community in the center of the village of New Paltz. Within this area are a lot of dorms, academic buildings, and some on-campus eateries. They are mostly frequented by students but like most college campuses they host guest speakers, seminars, continuing education events, and concerts. Living near this area gives you some great access to extra activities, if you feel like getting some extra knowledge dropped on ya.
Ohioville/Plutarch: This is the outlying rural neighborhood surrounding the busy center of New Paltz. For those looking to get some peace and quiet and enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Ulster County, this is the place to be. If you're living in this area, you will need a car to get from place to place as it tends to be pretty spread out. There aren't many restaurants in this area, the primary place to get food is to head into the center of town.
Living in New Paltz
New Paltz has a very active Chamber of Commerce that constantly sponsors events for residents. They sponsor art making experiences, business networking meetings, half marathons, stress reduction seminars, and family 5ks. In short, there's a lot to do and it's a great way to make new connections locally! Their community mixers are designed to help residents meet and are hosted at a different restaurant every month so you can try a different little sample of the local cooking every month!
The moment you start arrive in New Paltz, one of the first things you'll notice is the stunningly beautiful natural surroundings. There are mountains, gorgeous fields, forests, valleys, rivers, and lakes, which makes this the prime place for the outdoor enthusiast. New Paltz features two very highly rated nature preserves, the first being Minnewaska State Park Preserve which has excellent birding, hikes, breath taking vistas and trails that are not crowded. The second is Mohonk Preserve, where you can climb one of their rock scrambles, do some hiking, biking, and even take advantage of the horseback riding trails.
For those looking to soak up some local culture New Paltz got you covered. Your first stop should definitely be Historic Huguenot Street which is a preserved section of the original settlement settled by French Huguenots who left during the French Revolution to seek religious freedom. There are a number of old stone houses and those who maintain this quaint area hold summer camps, history talks, community events and a lot more. The very next stop should be Mohonk Mountain House. Not only is it a historical Victorian resort and popular weekend getaway destination it also has a luxury spa, its own hiking trails, swimming, greenhouse tours, exquisite gardens, fine dining, and special events making this a definite MUST visit location.