Spend a day or a weekend exploring and come away refreshed and lightened; this is a city rich in heart and soul, and Uptown is a showcase of its gems.
Uptown Kingston is a bustling, walkable neighborhood that grew upon what was the mid-17th century settlement of Wiltwyck. There are places where you can see traces of the fortified stockade that used to surround eight blocks of uptown, and a wealth of early architecture¬—you can stand on the oldest corner in the US with its original buildings still intact. Mid-20th-century advertising murals blend with the more recent works created for the annual O+ festival; historic buildings shelter 21st-century services, savory farm-to-table fare, and wildly creative retail. Spend a day or a weekend exploring and come away refreshed and enlightened; this is a city rich in heart and soul, and Uptown is a showcase of its gems.
DIEGO’S TAQUERIA serves up tacos and Mexican classics in a cheerful, casual setting; everything is fresh and scratch-made, with lots of locally sourced ingredients employed in creative ways. Come experience what Eliza and Isaac Cruz mean by “street-style tacos our way,” wrapped in a layer of great music, sweet vibes, and bright colors.
HOFFMAN HOUSE offers classic continental fare—steaks, fresh seafood, pasta, and house-made artisanal desserts, in a historic setting with wide-plank floors and stone fireplaces. Lush gardens surround an open-air patio perfect for summertime dinners or afternoon drinks; choose between the standard generous portions or a “lite” nightly menu of pub fare.
KINGSTON PLAZA holds four good eating choices, meaning if you can’t all decide on one cuisine for lunch, you can still find something for everyone in one place. Savona’s Pizza has been delighting local tastebuds for 40 years (and we’re picky about our pizza in these parts!); Chic’s Restaurant and Sports Bar serves up tasty burgers, wraps, and salads; Paulie-Boy Hero Shop is a classic sub sandwich destination; and BnB Bagels bakes its New York water bagels daily and serves up kickin’ breakfast choices and Boar’s Head deli fare.
YUM YUM NOODLE BAR offers a hip and whimsical take on classic Japanese noodle bowls, with a menu that shifts with the seasons to showcase local flavors at peak freshness. Want to grab a quick bite that’s packed with good nutrition and won’t break the bank? Try Yum Yum.
BIRCH BODY CARE is open seven days a week to help you feel like a whole new human. You’ll find a comprehensive menu of massage modalities with add-on options of CBD, hot stones, and aromatherapy; there are custom facials that start with comprehensive skin analysis, waxing services, and Reiki. There’s also a boutique where you can purchase self-care items, sparkling jewelry, and sweets.
KINGSTON FARMERS MARKET fills the courthouse parking lot with vibrant life and deliciousness every other Saturday from 10 till 2. Come mix with locals and enjoy all the wonderful things that grow from local roots.
FORSYTH PARK AND NATURE CENTER is a great place to unwind, with 24 animal exhibits and a dozen lush gardens. There’s a playground, handball and tennis courts, walking trails, and picnic groves. There’s also a covered pavilion that makes a great spot for birthday parties. Call the City of Kingston to reserve.
PINKWATER GALLERY is run by an artist who understands that buying art for your home should be fun and welcoming, and offers a curated array of contemporary works from Hudson Valley and Catskills artists. Come in, look around, and fall in love with something from the à la Maison collection.
THE OLD DUTCH CHURCH is one of the four corners of Peter Stuyvesant’s original Stockade and has ever been a nest of rebel patriots, inclusive and fierce in their love of community and music. So soaked in history is this place that a visit to its churchyard when the bells ring out, or the choir sings, is haunted in the best possible way. Or sit on the bench on the Wall Street side with a good cup of coffee for truly outstanding people-watching.
BW or Best Western Plus Kingston Hotel and Conference Center offers full-service lodging with complimentary hot breakfast, indoor heated pool, fitness center, and a cocktail lounge in their First Capitol Restaurant and Bar. It’s located within walking distance of all the Uptown goodies.
ESTER WINE & SPIRITS is the place to delve into the regional and planetary craft beverage evolution. They offer a curated selection with a focus on small farms, organic, biodynamic, natural wines, and craft distilleries, and will be happy to suggest something that pairs well with everything from the weather to the dessert.
HALF MOON BOOKS offers a quirky, eclectic, and inspiring assortment of used and rare books. The owner is fascinated by far too many subject areas to list, and the contents of this cozy and fully packed shop reflect that, with something for every bibliophile’s taste and pocketbook.
HAMILTON & ADAMS has trademarked the phrase “Upstate and Chill” and was voted Best Menswear by Hudson Valley magazine three years in a row. Their curation of apparel, gifts, historical curiosities, and more into a “modern-day haberdashery for the curious” needs to be experienced to be fully understood..
HERZOG’S HOME CENTER is the century-old, family-owned go-to for locals in the know when we need paint, building materials, tools, or hardware, not to mention gadgets, a huge gift department, and outdoor living stuff from grills to patio pavers. You’ll find helpful, knowledgeable humans here who are passionate about helping you do whatever project you’re doing easily and beautifully.
HILL VALLEY CANDLES will light up your life with soy and beeswax scented and unscented candles of all shapes and sizes, many created in the in-store studio by a third-generation Kingstonian. You may get to watch him at it, and you can sign up for candle-making classes, too.
KARINA DRESSES are the brainchild of Kingston-based designer and fashion industry veteran Karina Cousineau, who wanted to make something great-looking that would be equally easy to wear and care for, hold up like iron, and flatter like crazy. At this, her flagship boutique, you’ll find the latest iterations.
KINGSTON CONSIGNMENTS is two treats in one: a general consignment store with quality items at affordable prices and a dealer-curated Antique Center full of furnishings, artwork, rugs, ceramics, collectibles, and more. It is constantly bursting at the seams with all things vintage, useful, and beautiful.
KINGSTON PLAZA is incredibly useful: supermarket, auto parts, flowers and cards, art supplies, salon services, clothes, party supplies, dry cleaning, chemical-free tobacco…from a sports pub to hot yoga, it’s hard to think of a practical problem these stores can’t help you solve, and all of it in a compact and user-friendly format. You can also grab a crosstown bus here to go explore the Rondout waterfront.
PEOPLE’S PLACE THRIFT STORE is a 4,500-square-foot thrifter’s bonanza. The retail arm of a wonderful local nonprofit, they get a lot of donors with excellent taste and resell the nice things at reasonable prices.
SCHNEIDER’S JEWELERS was founded back in 1928 as a little watch repair and engraving shop on Broadway; today, they’re Uptown Kingston’s comprehensive jewelry source. Come in and be dazzled by their array of jewelry, watches, and bridal and unique gifts in a no-pressure, welcoming environment—or just get your watch fixed; they’ve got a service menu that would thrill Grandpa Gustav.
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Hudson Valley Properties combines the clout of a national real estate network boasting 98% consumer awareness with the savvy of longtime local brokers at 13 offices around the valley. If you’re looking, their Market Watch service will keep you on top of the shifting trends.
HALTER REALTY ASSOCIATES empowers their seasoned team of expert professionals with hyper-local market knowledge, state-of-the-art digital resources, and a customer service standard that fits today’s fast-paced market; they’ve built a reputation on responding when you need them and doing it right.
ULSTER COUNTY TOURISM offers comprehensive searchable directories and a feast of practical info at ulstercountyalive.com. Any good thing you desire, these folks can help you find.
ULSTER SAVINGS BANK has been serving the community for 170 years, and has been hip the entire time. A mutual savings bank with no stockholders, they’re the county’s number-one bank by both deposit market share and mortgage loans originated. They rate 5 stars from Bauer Financial, and won a 2019 Banky™ Award from The Institute for Extraordinary Banking,