Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bonus Blog With Local Stuff in Kingston, New York!

Today I took a little drive over to the Hudson River Valley and visited a city that I like more all the time.  That city is Kingston, New York.  Kingston is mid upstate New York in the Hudson Valley, just across the way from Rhinebeck and Red Hook.  This is one of those spots along the river that has had a little bit of a rough way to go, but as of late, they are getting it together.  Kingston was along the whaling route back in the day, and while the Hudson River is still a shipping lane, things have changed.  During the days of industry leaving the area, Kingston ran into some rough times.  When I first moved to New England it was called a slum.  But today they are reviving the waterfront and getting it together.

The riverfront walkway and park is dedicated to T.R. Gallo.  He was the mayor here years ago.  The walkway goes along the water, not to be confused with the Hudson, because that's a little ways off.  It's still a beautiful waterfront and it does connect to the Hudson River.

The area is coming along nicely with a lot of restaurants and bistros, and a great visitor center with very helpful ladies.  They even helped us pick out a great place to have lunch.  There are several bridges towering overhead as well along the water that make for some great photos.

Today there isn't much going on down on the waterfront, but the fire department was taking the opportunity of a beautiful day to flush the tanks on their trucks.  They are a friendly bunch that took the time to show us how all of the trucks worked and let us play with the hoses.  There will be much more going on down at the waterfront when the summer season begins. The entire Hudson Valley is very seasonal for tourism.  There will be free concerts, boat tours, activities, festivals, and all kinds of stuff.  The season will be starting soon with things opening for the weekends, so now is the time to look into it.

Along the waterfront is the Maritime Museum.  It is open year round and has a lot of interesting exhibits about the history of ships on the Hudson.  They have a great gift shop too.

The great part about the Hudson Valley waterfront areas, is that they are really promoting the heck out of them lately.  Most of the towns along the river are working on this to improve tourism.  Most of these areas up and down the river have maps to help you find what you want to see and to get around in general.  They are normally located in the park or along the walk right by the water.

But, the thing that I'm waiting for the most this year is the opening of river tour season.  Last year we took the River Rose out of Newburgh.  This year I plan to take the Rip Van Winkle out of Kingston.  This river tour goes down to Hyde Park and back.  I love to take rides on the Hudson, and I can't wait for this one to open.

Kingston has a historic section of town that when the season starts will have a few state houses, and historic residences to tour.  This is one of the things that I love about the Hudson River Valley.  There are tons of famous residences to tour with great architecture and amazing stories.  From FDR's house to the Vanderbilt mansion, there are tons of places to tour.  Whether you take the boat tour out to Bannerman's Castle or schedule a tour of West Point Academy, you will find some great places to see.  Whether you like to eat at the Culinary Institute of America or watch the antique planes fly at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, you won't be bored in the Hudson River Valley.

The great thing about Kingston, however, is that it's your shopping hub as well.  They have a  mall, a giant Walmart and all the stores that you may want to stop at while you're in town.  There are countless restaurants of all kinds and every chain food place imaginable.  You can even stop in and try something new at Beer World.  There's a lot to do and see in Kingston.  There's also a lot of hiking and some great vistas for photographing.

Gone are the days of Kingston being nothing but slum.  Come on over and visit one of my new favorite cities in the Hudson River Valley of upper New York State.  Come and see Kingston and enjoy!

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