Designated as New York’s first capital in 1777, Kingston is an atmospheric city that lies between Albany and New York City. It was burned by the British following the Battles of Saratoga and later emerged as an important transportation hub, with many of its buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Things to do in Kingston
Many of Kingston’s earliest buildings are located within the Stockade Historic District, which occupies the original site of the 17th-century Dutch settlement of Wiltwyck. Highlights include the Ulster County Courthouse and the Renaissance Revival-style Old Dutch Church with its soaring white steeple. The district is also home to an abundance of boutiques selling vintage clothes, artwork and second-hand books.
You can delve into the local history at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, where you’ll find steamship artefacts, ice-harvesting tools and vintage vessels. Admire the 1898 tugboat “Mathilda”, which is displayed alongside the museum, or jump aboard a boat cruise from the nearby Rondout Lighthouse. The museum is also home to the Wooden Boat School, which offers classes and workshops throughout the year.
Travelling with kids? Don’t miss a visit to the Forsyth Nature Center, where you can get up close to friendly goats, alpacas and pot-bellied pigs. Get lost in the family-friendly labyrinth, explore the butterfly garden or let loose in the adventure playground. For something quieter, you can settle in with a good book in the John Burroughs Reading Nook.
Getting around Kingston
Kingston is around an hour’s drive from Albany and Albany International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Buses connect from both Albany and New York City to Kingston and travel throughout the city. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around Kingston.