Less than two hours from New York City, Hartford and Albany, Rosendale is an idyllic small-town getaway for anyone fleeing the city. With comfy and unpretentious cafés, taverns and boutiques in town and the looming Catskill Mountains and Rondout Creek winding around the background, civilization and nature work in perfect harmony. Most of the buildings were constructed in the early 1900s following a major fire in 1895 that destroyed half the town. Since the Woodstock music festival days, more and more artists and entrepreneurs have been moving from New York to Rosendale, establishing a thriving arts culture and small business community. They host frequent town-wide street festivals, and mix historic attractions with fresh new community-minded businesses.
There’s a little bit of Rosendale in illustrious monuments and buildings all over America: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, Grand Central Terminal, and the list goes on. In 1825, "natural cement" was discovered in a mine behind the Snyder Estate, which was shipped to New York and Washington. What is left on the site in Rosendale is a large, tunneling crevice of limestone leading to the lake, now used as a performance venue and a cool, creepy place to poke around. On the Snyder property is the Cement Industry Museum where visitors can find out more information on the industrial boom that soon transpired after the discovery of cement limestone and see the former residence of Andrew J. Snyder, built in 1809.
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, New York, by asmirnov
This linear park runs 24 miles north-south along the former Wallkill Valley Railroad Trail corridor. Comprising three different trails running the same way – the Walden trail is completely paved, ideal for bikers – visitors pass the Wallkill River, Rosendale trestle, green forest, footbridges, creeks and ridges, as well as various historic sites, like the Binnewater Historic District and Snyder Estate, all with the Catskills in the background. This trail is available to hikers, joggers, bikers, horseback riders and even cross-country skiers in the winter.
Red Brick Tavern isn’t a glamorous place. Let that be known, right off the bat. Sure, the menu items range from wings and mozza sticks to roasted duckling with black currant and brandy glaze, and Bleu cheese crusted filet mignon, and even the most upscale diner would concede to the quality of this establishment, but still – the Red Brick is neither trendy, nor flashy, stylish, or swanky. Classic and comfy, that’s more like it. This place is packed to the rafters with locals who descend on the former red brick lumber yard for a quick post-work drink, a game of pool, and a friendly catch-up with the staff.
The Alternative Baker can tailor its goods to all the alternative dietary conditions of their clientele – whether their cakes and cookies call to be vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, processed sugar-free, dairy-free, cholesterol-free or low-fat, they’ll find some way to make it delicious and accessible. All their baked goods are made with the purest ingredients, like unbleached flour, fresh-shell eggs, whole fresh milk, unsalted, additive-free butter, pure olive oil, and the list goes on. Known best for their lemon cakes, the Alternative Baker should be on the checklist for any visitor to Rosendale with a sweet tooth.
One of the more upscale lodgings in Hudson Valley and the Catskills, the 1850 House Inn and Tavern was built in 1854 and has continually operated as an inn since then. With their clean and immaculate design aesthetic in the guestrooms and common areas, a well-stocked bar and a full breakfast that incorporates produce and ingredients from local farms and pretzel rolls from Twisted Foods, the 1850 House relies on a classic community appeal with contemporary and upscale amenities. It’s located in Rosendale, and is only a 10-minute drive from the bars, restaurants, shops and cafés of New Paltz.