Saugerties offers the best of upstate in one place. Look to the west, and you’ll find the Catskills. Look to the east, and you’ll find the Hudson River. Bisecting the town and village across the center is the Esopus Creek, making Saugerties a point at the intersection of some very fun, very pretty outdoorsiness.
Located in Ulster County about 2.5 hours north of Brooklyn, Saugerties has seen its fair share of hard times, not unlike its other upstate counterparts. Locals can recall a time when the village’s indie movie house, the Orpheum Theater, showed adult movies. During the 1990s and early 2000s, however, Saugerties found itself in the midst of a renaissance.
Brooklynites and others started coming up to look for antiques in between hikes in the Catskills and kayak trips down the Hudson and Esopus. Meanwhile, quirky, independent shops started to move in, locavore eateries began opening up, and a large-scale equestrian center made Saugerties its home, turning the once-languishing Hudson Valley burg into one of the area’s most popular (and coolest) small towns.
If you visit: Grab a pint of craft beer goodness from the Dutch Ale House. You can stick around for one of the burgers, or you can head down the block to Miss Lucy’s Kitchen on Partition Street for sophisticated, simple and seasonal fare. Browse the selection at the Hudson Valley’s largest indie bookstore, Inquiring Minds Books and Cafe.
When you’re finished there, take a yoga class at Shakti Yoga located above the bookstore. Head out of the village for some light day hiking with stunning views of the Hudson River and burbling waterfalls at Falling Water Preserve. When it’s hot, take a dip in the Esopus Creek from the Saugerties Beach, conveniently located within in the village itself. Explore the gardens at Seamon Park, or visit in September for the staggeringly popular Hudson Valley Garlic Festival.
Accommodations: There’s no shortage of places to stay both in the town and the village of Saugerties. We found over 200 on AirBnB.com ranging from less than $100 a night to luxury homes renting for thousands of dollars. You could also bunk up at the Diamond Mills Hotel, also located in the village.
For the kids: GreatSchools.com will give you ratings on local public schools (overall, they’re fairly average. Nothing spectacular, but not terrible). If you’re interested in private schools, there’s Woodstock Day School, High Meadow School in Stone Ridge, and Poughkeepsie Day School.
Outside of school, there’s a ton to do, including theater programs in nearby Hurley and Rhinebeck. Saugerties even has its own rock school, the Paul Green Rock Academy. The PGRA offers private lessons and performances for kids from ages 8 to 18, as well as a little kids’ and adult music programs.
Buying a vacation home: Saugerties is one of our favorite real estate markets in the Hudson Valley, with a decent mix of high-end properties, affordable homes, residences walking distance to the village, and places on lots of land out in the country. In general, property taxes are a bit cheaper outside of the village, so make sure you include the entire town of Saugerties in your search. The median Saugerties home price is $192,500, according Brownstoner market data. Delve into the listings here on Brownstoner Upstate.