New Paltz

23 Best & Fun Things To Do In New Paltz (NY)

You are all ready to travel to New Paltz, NY for vacation, but then it just occurred to you that you have limited fun things to do there, and you are wondering what you would be doing throughout the remaining days.

Well, you may need to know that your troubles are over by the virtue of reading this article.

New Paltz is best described as a small scenic town in Ulster County, New York, the United States well-known as a result of the State University of New York at New Paltz which doubles as a fantastic site for rock climbing. 

Every lover of outdoor activities tends to settle for New Paltz as their vacation destination as they have a truckload of fun activities to keep you outside of your lodge throughout the day.

That being said, the essence of this article is to expose you to the best and most fun things you should do in Paltz, NY.

I have 23 of them for you, so, stay with me!

23 Best & Fun Things To Do In New Paltz (NY)

1. Explore Mohonk Preserve

This is one of the places in New Paltz, NY occupying over 8,000 acres of land offering limitless outdoor activities throughout all four seasons.

Furthermore, Mohonk Preserve has miles of trails leading to craggy cliffs and backcountry paths with leafy vegetation.

With this, you can decide to climb, run, hike, and ride horseback while you are in the preserve. 

In addition to this, they are being visited by roughly  80,000 people yearly which is evidence that it’s one of the best places to visit in New Paltz.

Address: 35 NY-299, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

2. Tour Main Street

Main Street is referred to as the heart of New Paltz thereby making it a place where every visitor in New Paltz, NY should explore.

Interestingly, you will find all that you need on Main Street and its branches as they are occupied with local boutiques, cozy coffee shops as well as many restaurants ranging from Thai and Mexican restaurants to Indian, Vietnamese, and farm-to-table cuisines.

In addition to this, you will see lots of historic buildings, and open-air shops including the Groovy Blueberry vintage clothes store and Jack’s Rhythms vinyl shop.

3. Admire The Stars At John R. Kirk Planetarium

Located at the New Paltz State University of New York, the John R. Kirk Planetarium is a well-known destination for learners of all ages.

This place serves as a host to students, scouting organizations, and church groups because its numerous presentations are tailor-made for a younger audience.

Nevertheless, families and businesses also contact the planetarium’s director to organize private shows.

Address: 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, New York

4. Huguenot Street

Every history lover should endeavor to visit Huguenot Street in New Paltz, NY because it is a National Historic Landmark District and houses seven colonial houses, a rebuilt church, and a replica Esopus wigwam.

It occupies 10 acres of land and is located on the Wallkill River.

It may interest you to know that the historic stone-house museums, as well as the restored French Church on Huguenot Street, offer a history that can be traced back to 300 years ago.

5. Look Out For The DM Weil Gallery

Being the biggest modern art gallery in town, DM Weil Gallery located in New York’s Hudson Valley shows an extraordinary collection of artwork. 

From its mission statement – “why can’t fine art be fun?”, you can tell that the DM Weil Gallery aims at providing a complete entertainment experience through its artwork.

If you visit there, you may be opportune to interact with DM Weil herself, and also have as much fun as possible.

Guess what? Entrance into the gallery is free of charge.

Address: 208 Brunswick Road, New Paltz

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6. Pay A Visit To New Paltz Art Galleries

This part of New York is known to accommodate lots of artists, including those who relocated to big cities.

One of the major galleries in the city is The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (1 Hawk Drive) l which has both a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions that displays local artists and even upcoming artists from across the world.

Also, the DM Weil Gallery (208 Brunswick Road) I just spoke about can be found there, and the gallery features modern art exhibits.

Mark Gruber Gallery (13/New Paltz Plaza) is yet another art gallery, and it focuses specifically on Hudson Valley fine arts.

7. Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

Taking a tour of the Rail Trail through Wallkill Valley is one of the best fun things to do in New Paltz.

Also, the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail spans 22 miles along the route of the old Wallkill Valley Railroad, and while on this path, you will get to feed your eyes with the best of New Paltz, including mountain views, farms, orchards,  meadows, rivers, and open meadows.

Furthermore, it is a well-known spot for cyclists, walkers, and hikers.

8. Pick Apples At Dressel Farms

Irrespective of your age, Dressel Farms aims at engaging visitors with fun activities, and this is why it has made it to our list of fun things to do in New Paltz, NY.

This farm occupies 300 acres of land, and it is filled with trees thereby enabling visitors to carry out the most popular activity on the farm; picking apples.

In addition to this, Dressel Farms also produces staple fruits and vegetables which include strawberries, peaches, raspberries, and gourds.

Also, you can buy fresh ice cream from the farm’s roadside stand which is usually open every day.

Address: 271 State Route 208, New Paltz, NY, 12561

9. Mohonk Testimonial Gateway

Mohonk Testimonial Gateway used to be the gateway to a historic mountain resort known as Lake Mohonk Mountain House, a rich resort that stopped functioning in the early 20th-century.

Currently, the Gateway serves as a historic landmark that welcomes all travelers who passed through.

This is a great addition to the list of places to visit in New Paltz, NY.

Address: 35 NY-299, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

10. The Dorsky Museum

The Dorsky Museum, initially known as the College Art Gallery features more than 9000 sq ft of exhibition space square spread across over six galleries.

The essence of this museum is to improve the university’s teaching mission, which changed the “College Art Gallery” into one of the best art museums in the province.

Some of the things you will see in the Dorsky Museum are over 6,000 artworks from all over the world, and they traverse over 4,000 years, the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain region, contemporary metals, photography, and American art concentrating on 19th-century American prints.

A visit to the Dorsky Museum is undoubtedly one of the best fun activities to engage yourself in New Paltz.

Address: 1 Hawk Dr, New Paltz, NY 12561

11. SUNY New Paltz Campus

The youthful energy you will feel in New Paltz is one of the factors that makes it attractive.

Being a host to the State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz is yet another reason for the youthful energy I earlier mentioned.

Yearly, this university which was established in 1828 admits approximately 8,000 students.

A visit to the school will usher you into the Samuel Dorsky Museum which is just one out of the numerous cultural establishments that can be found on-site.

Also, the John R. Kirk Planetarium, as well as the Smolen Observatory, are located on the campus. 

Furthermore, events such as music and theater performances, and also the annual PianoSummer series are hosted here throughout the year.

Address: 1 Hawk Dr, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

12. Denizen Theatre

To enjoy some theatre time with your loved ones, including a visit to Denizen Theatre, a non-profit arts organization to the list of places to visit in New Paltz.

This theatre is widely known as a result of its live theatre performances in its black box theater having a design-forward structure, a glass façade, and high ceilings.

You can use one stone to kill two birds when you visit this theatre because you don’t just watch live performances but also visit an art gallery which can be found in the lobby.

In addition to this, Denizen hosts events with local nonprofits that have a similar vision of assisting artists and organizations.

Address: 10 Main St Suite 501, New Paltz, NY 12561, United

13. Nyquist Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary

Are you a lover of nature? If yes, then include a visit to the Nyquist Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary on your list of things to do in New Paltz.

Some of the beautiful views that you will find here include the river and mountains, approximately 140 species of birds including Bluebirds, screech owls, and orioles as well as wildlife while in the area.

Birders love this attraction site as they don’t fail to bring their binoculars along with them to the pond-laden paths.

I encourage you to pay a visit to this attraction while in the city so as to enjoy all the beautiful scenery.

Address: 133 Huguenot St, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

14. Hike the River-to-Ridge Trail

No doubt, this is a wonderful addition to the list of things to do in New Paltz, NY especially if you love hiking.

River-to-Ridge Trail offers hikers, cyclists, walkers, equestrians, runners, and others the opportunity to have access to the Shawangunk Ridge.

This is an excellent outdoor experience for families, residents, and visitors, especially hike lovers, and it’s suitable for users of all age brackets.

Don’t forget to take your camera along with you to snap some beautiful views of the local area while having fun.

15. Ever Heard Of Robibero Family Vineyards?

It is a  family-owned artisanal winery and can be accessed by visitors of all levels of wine knowledge. 

Irrespective of the season you pay a visit to Robibero Family Vineyards you will be amazed as you walk among the rows of vines.

Interestingly, every wine you taste there is unique and it can only be bought or tasted there, so, if you truly love it, you can order the wine online.

In addition to this, feel free to rent their trendy indoor wine tasting room or picturesque deck for big parties or weddings, and you just need to hire only a caterer and not bother about the wines.

Address: 714 Albany Post Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

16. New Paltz Farms and Orchards

It may interest you to know that New Paltz is home to several farms and orchards, and paying a visit to the orchards and farms, especially during the fall harvest is an exciting and rewarding experience.

Interestingly, visitors are allowed to pick their own pumpkins and apples in the fall at the orchard while during the summer, you can pick berries.

Also, there is a farm store that is usually open throughout the year and sells seasonal products and even baked goods, apple cider, and other items.

If you pay a visit to any of the farms and orchards in New Paltz, NY, you will surely be in awe at the end of your tour.

17. The Village Tea Room

During your stay in New Paltz, it is important that you have a taste of different varieties of dishes so as to have a story to tell about the city’s food.

This is where the Village Tea Room comes into the picture, they offer not just tea but also a tasty mixture of European classics such as scones and gravlax combined with American fish cakes, gravy, and baked chicken.

Lastly, you can find them open from Tuesday to Sunday between 8 am and 9 pm, so, make sure to visit as it is one of the best things to do in New Paltz.

Address: 10 Plattekill Ave, New Paltz, NY 12561

18. Minnewaska State Park

This is yet another beautiful thing to do in New Paltz, NY – Minnewaska State Park, settled among the Shawangunk Mountains.

There are so many fun things to do there as a result of the amenities they have which include the park’s numerous clear lakes, waterfalls, dense forest, and more than 50 miles worth of trails. 

In addition to this, visitors can ride their climb rocks, bikes, swim, or even scuba dive from the sufficient space available.

Address: 5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY 12446, United States

19. Stroll Through Water Street Market

The next fun place in New Paltz, NY is the Water Street Market, and in case there is a need for you to buy something when you are in the city, then this market is the most suitable place to be.

This market features about 20 award-winning shops thereby making it very suitable for unwinding while in New Paltz, NY.

You can spend time there scanning through beautiful boutiques and little stores where you can shop for gifts, especially during the festive period.

20. Lagusta’s Luscious Chocolate Shop

Once you step your feet into Lagusta’s Luscious Chocolate Shop, you may just forget about your body goals.

As the name implies, in a chocolate shop, you will find rows upon rows of chocolate bars, truffles, and bobbins, and it may interest you to know that all of them are vegan, handmade, and organically made with ingredients that are obtained from either fair-trade farms or local farmers.

You will be tempted to buy either truffle with beet-coriander and lemon, and chocolates made with yuzu cream, or lemon, truffles with pomegranate.

If you are in New Paltz for a long time, you can as well subscribe to the Chocolate of the Month Club in order to obtain monthly specials delivered to your home.

We all know that kids love chocolates a lot, so, taking them along with you when visiting Lagusta’s Luscious Chocolate Shop is an interesting thing to do in New Paltz.

Address: 25 N Front St, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

21. A Tavola Trattoria

If you want to experience an incredible dining experience, then I advise that Tavola Trattoria should make it to the list of things to do in New Paltz, NY 

I must state that if you are looking for romantic ideas in New Paltz, NY, then this is a place to be as it has a rustic, warm, and inviting dining attraction filled with soft jazz. 

At night, they also make use of candles to create an Italian neighborhood trattoria atmosphere.

Furthermore, you will find a large basket of fresh produce, and classic Italian dishes like branzino grilled, pasta, and Pappardelle Bolognese.

 Wines are not left out as they have a tremendous selection to complement the menu. 

Address: 46 Main St, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

22. Coppersea Distilling, New Paltz

Copper Sea is best described as a historic award-winning distillery situated in Springtown.

A tour of this place will last roughly an hour and you will be visiting the distillery, malt house, barrel warehouse, and also Tavern for a tasting.

They also have a farm in New Paltz’s Wallkill Valley which occupies75-acre of land where they grow grain and fruit used in making whiskies and eau-de-vie.

In addition to this, they malt their own grain, distill them in a direct fire still, ferment them in old-fashioned wooden tanks, and also produce a spirit that has been aged in wine barrels, brandy, and bourbon.

From all I said, you can deduce that there is just so much to see in New Paltz, NY.

Address: 239 Springtown Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561, United States

23. Taste Good Meals At Main Street Bistro

While in New Paltz, NY, if you don’t know what to have for breakfast, don’t fret, just go straight to Main Street Bistro – a place where you will be given a wide range of options to choose from.

On getting there, you will see a good number of people who came for the same purpose, so, you may have to exercise some patience with the line running down Main Street. 

Some of the meals they serve include Scooter Frittata Skillet, Italian sausages, Salmon Hash, and classical eggs in any form you want.

Please note that all meals served here are fresh and prepared with attention, you may just decide to return for lunch as well.

Address: 59 Main St, New Paltz, New York


New Paltz, NY is one of the best cities that you can settle for as a choice of vacation destination.

I bet that you can already deduce that from all I have said.

That being said, Paltz, NY has numerous fun activities to engage yourself in as well as your family.

Which of the aforementioned fun things are you willing to try out? I will be expecting your answers in the comment section, and I sincerely wish you a fun-filled vacation…

Make sure you arrive at the airport in time so as not to miss your flight!

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