Dear AARP, New Paltz Doesn’t Want to be on Your Stupid List
New Paltz, NY may be the first town that's happy to be snubbed. In the latest installment of AARP's American Road Trips series, our beautiful corner of New York State is heavily featured in an article titled "A Road Trip Through New York's Hudson Valley". The unfortunate problem was that they either severely misunderstand the definition of what the Hudson Valley is, or they simply have no idea what they're talking about.
Visiting Dutchess County, NY
To be fair, they picked out a few great spots. Storm King in New Windsor, NY, Hudson Beach Glass and Dia Beacon in Beacon, NY, and Magazinno Italian Art in Cold Spring are all wonderful detours on a Hudson Valley road trip. Stops in Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, and Rhinebeck, NY are also on their list. But that's also the problem.
Things to Do in Ulster County, NY
Other than Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, NY, every single one of their suggested attractions are in Dutchess County, and every stop is on the east side of the Hudson River. I may be biased since I grew up in Accord, NY in Ulster County, but leaving the area completely off the list is (pardon my French) baloney. Arrowood Farms in Accord, NY, Mohonk in New Paltz, NY, and even a stop at Davenport Farms in Stone Ridge, NY is worth your time. Not everyone feels that way though...
New Paltz, NY reacts to Snub
I considered it an insult that Ulster County was left of the list. Residents of New Paltz, NY, however, took it as a compliment. "Good!", posted on Facebook user in response to the article, "traffic is bad enough already!". And the comments kept rolling in. By the fifth "keep the tourists out!"-flavored comment, the message was clear: New Paltz residents are fed up with the inundation of tourists in their area.
Tourism in New Paltz, NY
It's hard to blame them. I was in New Paltz last weekend and it took a good ten minutes just to drive a few blocks down Main St. Traffic from both cars and pedestrians turned a normal drive into a crawl. On the flipside, though, it's hard to blame visitors either. New Paltz in an amazing blend of history, culture, and nature. Who wouldn't want to visit?
At least the silver lining of AARP's sub is that it could keep a few extra gray-haired visitors from clogging up the sidewalks. Don't care about potentially angering locals? Check out some gorgeous hikes on BOTH side of the river below, and keep scrolling to check out another amazing gem in Ulster County, the giant kaleidoscope in Mount Tremper, NY.