9.4 out of 10

New Paltz

41.7487088470854 -74.0815390988129
Great for
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
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5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5

"One of My Most Favorite, Funky & Friendly Towns in NY!"

When visiting New Paltz, NY, you might feel like you've gone back in time to the free-loving 60's. There's lots of old-time (as well as new-time) hippies in this college town, and most of them go to SUNY New Paltz, which is in the heart of New Paltz itself.

That said, it's no surprise that downtown New Paltz has an overall small college-town feel, where everyone seems to know everyone else, and you can walk everywhere and do (just about) anything. Some of my favorite stops in New Paltz is the Mudd Puddle Cafe, where you'll find a great funky atmosphere with many different types of seats, many of them cushioned (once you sit down in one, you won't want to leave). There's free wifi so you can bring your laptop. The Mudd Puddle is on Main Street, right next to a rival coffee shop, The Slashroot Cafe, which also has exceptional coffee, great staff, and live music---as well as its own personal art gallery and lovely, welcoming décor. Walking into each of these places is like visiting someone's living room. The main difference between the two is that the Slashroot uniquely offers technological services in addition to being a coffee shop---yes, that's right, they'll fix your laptop, too---and the only drawback is it's a lot smaller than the Mudd Puddle. That said, that doesn't make the Slashroot any less cozy, and the prices are more than reasonable. Come to either one of these coffee shops to relax after a hard day of work or study, and you'll know why so many people make their home in New Paltz.

In addition to great coffee shops (there's also a Starbucks, by the way, which I feel is totally unnecessary considering the other two coffee shops, both independent and far less expensive) there are many great restaurants to choose from during your visit. One of my favorites is Bacchus, where you can have fine American food in one of New York's most literary towns (they have an annual Poetry festival at SUNY New Paltz every year). The Gilded Otter is another great stop, where you can have meals with very cute names like “If An Otter Had Wings” and “Chicken Paws” (the food is positively scrumptious).

SUNY New Paltz is also a great place to book shop. There's two book stores near Main Street, within walking distance: the modern bookstore Inquiring Minds, which is a bit too modern for this town for my taste, but with a nonetheless great selection, and a very Barnes & Noble-like feel. Then, right around the corner, there's a gem of a used bookstore named Barner Books, where you can browse narrow isles chock-full of great finds (you won't want to leave; even though it's small, it's very cozy and almost like a maze, but the friendly, knowledgeable staff will help you find what you need---as well as find your way out).

New Paltz is fairly affordable and a great town for families. You'll always find students who are looking to babysit in the local job-finder or see posts put up around town. It's a bit in the sticks, but if you have a car, you're golden. There's great places to hike and be out in nature (including the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, for example), and there's also Hueguenot Street, famous for the French protestants who first settled here many years ago. Today you can take tours around the small village which has all buildings still intact, including the blacksmith shop, the schoolhouse and the church as well. It's a beautiful little collection of well-preserved history, a living museum where people will guide you through a day in the life of a Hueguenot, and you can appreciate how New Paltz came to be.

New Paltz is definitely one of my most favorite towns, and I can't wait to go back again someday!
Recommended for
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  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
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  • Hipsters
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