We all know Ulster County is a fantastic place. The area is home to thousands of miles of hiking trails, scenic roadways, restaurants and more! The area has plenty to offer any one who visits! There are plenty of family activities to do, from children’s museums, to parks. And don’t worry; there are plenty of things for adults to do too. Ulster County is home to world glass spas, golfing, shops breweries and wineries! So no matter what you like to do, whether it is be outdoors or shop till you drop there is something in Ulster County for you.
Every year budget travel publishes the Top Ten of American’s Coolest Small towns for Budget Travel In order to qualify the town must have a population below 10,000 people, and it has to be on the upswing. It needs to be on the upswing either because of its quality of life, arts restaurants or closeness to nature. Most of Ulster County can qualify to be nominated, but there are many small towns in American that are all of these things and more! But, both in 2009 and 2011 there were small towns in Ulster County, not only nominated, but Ranked in the top ten!
Back in 2009 Saugerties was one of the many beautiful small towns that were nominated for the honor. Budget Travel ended up ranking Saugerties New York in Ulster County New York in the Top Ten! The reason for this being, the town is surprising charming a small, yet well located to everything. Saugerties New York is located at the base of the Catskill Mountains. The town has stunning views year round, being located near the wondrous mountains as well as having a creek run through town. You can enjoy the lush green foliage in the summer, the bright fall colors, the winter’s snow and the spring flowers in this small town. The small town is only 100 miles away from New York City, and even less than that from Albany. The area also plays host for many well know festivals, including both the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival and the Mum Festival. The area still some how maintains the small town American feeling well into the 21st century. There are delightful shops like Hope Farm Press & Bookshop. The owner has bragged that it is the “Book Capital of the Hudson Valley” Then there is the amazing restaurant, they serve delicious food in a home atmosphere. Miss Lucy’s Kitchen is known from serving delicious brown sugar ice cream at wooden farm table! It is like something you might read in a novel, but you can live it in Saugerties New York! There is always Love Bites Café, which is a small yet cozy café that serves French toast with Vanilla Citrus Butter! It is a place to come, visit, enjoy and stay. In fact people love it so much, they make there second homes in Saugerties!
Again, two years later, in 2011 another town in Ulster County was not only nominated, but ranked. Phoenicia, New York with a small population of 306 ranked at number six on Budget Travels Top Ten Coolest Small Towns in America! The town is located near Woodstock in Ulster County. The area is located in the gorgeous Catskills of New York, so there are gorgeous views year round. The small town is less than a two hour drive from Manhattan, yet you can feel a million miles from anything and everything! This place still maintains t pure spirit of small town American! When the Library burned down in the spring, Residents brought boxes upon boxes of books to donate to the library! The small town is also located along a river, and has tubing adventures for you tot take in the summer time. . You can come up for the weekend, and enjoy the Phoenicia Festival of Voice in the summer, and go to the community store where you can buy locally made clothes and underground comic books. There is also a communal art gallery above the Community store! Even with this does of delightful quirkiness, you can check out both books and fishing poles at the local library! You can Stay at the Phoenicia Lodge on Route 28 and then enjoy a delicious and home grown breakfast at Sweet Sue’s! You can get mixed berry pancakes for only $5.25! There are actually over 20 varieties of pancakes at Sweet Sue’s from pumpkin to pineapple coconut! These pancakes are epic and you can expect there will be a line waiting to get inside to enjoy them!