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Staycation on the Hudson: How to Properly Visit Kingston

While asking yourself what’s with all the high gas prices, you may have worried over how you’ll be able to afford any sort of summer vacation. At this point traveling to the City feels impossible, much less traveling down south to the land of palm trees and sandy beaches. That’s where this guide to the ultimate Staycation on the Hudson comes in.

Vacationing in your own city might seem a bit drab, but there are more things to do in Kingston than you might know about. There’s a reason this charming city was New York’s first capital, after all. Here’s just a taste of the city on the Hudson for those of you not interested in traveling to Miami this summer.

Where to Stay

The first thing to plan for a vacation is the lodging situation, and for a staycation that won’t change. Kingston has options for every type of staycationer. Here’s the rundown of where to stay to please your inner tourist.
With everything from downtown apartments to cabins in the Catskills, Airbnb has a bit of something for everyone. The Kingston area has over 1,000 Airbnb stays, to be exact.

Hotels in Kingston range from boutique like the Emerson Resort and Spa to classic brands like Best Western options. We recommend one with an in-house spa to truly feel like you’re on a luxury vacation in the Hamptons.  If pampering isn’t your style, consider camping in the Catskills. After a long day of exploring Kingston, replacing the city lights with pristine stars and cars whizzing by with wind rustling the trees. The Hutton Brickyards are perfect for scratching this itch.

Of course, home sweet home is a viable option for lodging as well. Open a few windows and play some music to set the mood. In fact, we at Hudson River Cruises have compiled a YouTube summer playlist for you here.

What to Do

When you live so close to the water, why not get out on it for a staycation you’ll never forget? That’s where Hudson River Cruises comes in, or rather, cruises in. Hop on this sightseeing excursion of your own backyard and experience the history you may not have known about.

Right across the street from the Rip Van Winkle II’s departure point is the Hudson River Maritime Museum, a must-see while you’re in the neighborhood. Here you’ll find ships and some of the artifacts sailors of old used to cut through ice, fish, and make use of the Roundout port.

Another museum on the water is the Trolley Museum of New York, that offers trolley rides along the Hudson River as well as captivating exhibits. They’re currently working on their centerpiece, the Path car 143 rescued from the rubble of the World Trade Center after 9/11.  Nothing beats the price tag of free, which is the admission to the Forsyth Nature Center nestled deep in Forsyth Park. Enjoy this sanctuary of flora and fauna alike, and if you have kids in your vacationing group, be sure to stop by the children’s labyrinth.

Uptown Kingston, also known as the Stockade District, is a cultural hub, full of mom-and-pop boutiques, art galleries, and candy shops. Take photos of the murals, visit a show at the Ulster Performing Arts Center, and grab a bite to eat at the many local restaurants.

Kingston Point Beach and Rotary Park is your one-stop shop for outdoor sports such as kayaking, hiking, fishing, and even disc golf. Be sure to let your pet tag along for his own mini-vacation to the dog park there.
Ride a biplane at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome to get the adrenaline pumping and stop by America’s first flying museum right after. If you love the excitement of flying but prefer to stay firmly on the ground, you can catch their air shows every Saturday and Sunday.

Where to Eat

A critical part of any vacation is enjoying some good food, preferably local. Why not reacquaint yourself with your town by way of taste and smell? From uptown to the creek, no matter where you are, there’s something for everyone.  After leaving Hudson River Cruises’ ship to shore, why not swing by Ship to Shore for some dinner? Close to the Maritime Museum and branded as an American bistro, here you’ll find a variety of palettes catered to from lamb lollipops to the best burger in Kingston.

Who doesn’t love some good Italian? Savona’s Trattoria is here to scratch that itch and immerse you in a contemporary take on classic Italian dishes. We recommend that you try their lobster ravioli at least once.
For those of you with dietary restrictions, Sissy’s Cafe is a must-visit. Their tamari tempeh is like nowhere else in town. Specializing in breakfast, lunch, and afternoon pick-me-ups, this cafe really sets the mood for uptown Kingston.

Given that this is a staycation, should you opt to turn your home into a five star hotel, why not make it a five star restaurant as well? Stop by a specialty grocery store like Cruz Mexican American Market, heat up your skillet, and get to cooking. Make a night of it by watching crime thrillers on Netflix or the latest Marvel movie.

Carpe Diem Economically

Kingston is full of history and culture, some of which you probably already know about as a local, but some you may be surprised to learn. We hope this Kingston itinerary will inspire your own as you help support local businesses and keep this town alive. Grab your Hawaiian shirt and your old Nikon camera and have fun experiencing Kingston as a tourist. Bon voyage!