5.9 out of 10

Stanford

Ranked 45th best city in New York
41.9031523369718 -73.6989184011096
Great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Clean & Green
  • Safe & Sound
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A tranquil town with peaceful parks"

Northern Dutchess County is characterized by rural, tranquil towns. Stanford, population 3,800, is one of these quiet and mostly undeveloped locales. The town’s first settlers arrived in 1750, when the town was still part of the town of Washington. In 1793, Stanford became its own entity.

There are nine hamlets within the town. Stanfordville and Bangall are the town’s commercial centers; the remaining hamlets are rural and residential. For the past two years, the town has been collaborating with an outside organization to develop and execute a master plan. The plan’s primary goal is to enhance the town while preserving its rural character.

Two properties, the Dr. Cornelius Nase Campbell House and the Pulver-Bird House, were both recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both homes were built during the mid-1800s.

Stanford does not have its own school district. The town is served mainly by the Pine Plains Central School District, which draws from a 140 square mile area, including towns in both Dutchess and Columbia Counties. The student population is approximately 1,200. Though the district is in good standing with the state, it is dealing with some performance issues on elementary state exams. Almost one-fifth of the district’s students live in poverty. The district recently reconfigured its two elementary schools. Cold Spring Elementary is now the district’s early learning center, housing grades kindergarten to grade 2. Seymour Smith Elementary changed from a K-5 building to an intermediate school for grades 3-5. Students at Stissing Mountain Middle School and Stissing Mountain High School have better test results than the elementary grades.

The town has excellent recreational activities and facilities. The town’s Recreation Park has facilities for baseball, basketball, and tennis. There is also a playground, a skateboard park and a small beach. Nature enthusiasts will especially appreciate what Stanford has to offer. The Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary is a 500 acre property with six miles of trails and a scenic overlook. Amateur and professional ornithologists will both enjoy identifying the 80 species of birds who reside in the preserve. The Stanford Free Library offers programs for adults and children. The library is small, but its inclusion in the Mid-Hudson Library System allows patrons to electronically request and borrow materials from other branches.

Home come at a range of price points, from large estates to smaller single-family homes. Several vacant lots are available for sale.
Pros
  • Green
  • Peaceful
Cons
  • Small real estate inventory
  • Few local businesses
  • Somewhat isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
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 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Hike Stissing Mountain and Smell the Flowers at Buttercup Sanctuary"

There's so many great things to do in the town of Stanford, NY (not to be confused with Stamford, CT). It's near a beautiful mountain (Stissing Mountain) for which one of its hamlets are named for. Stanfordville has great shops, and Pine Plains School District is an excellent place for you kids to attend.

One of my most favorite things to do in Stanford is to visit the Buttercup Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is 550 acres full of breathtaking Chinese landscape, complete with waterfalls and streams and rock gardens to boot. It's a lovely place to go and meditate, and to find your inner peace: especially after a day of work or cleaning the house, this is where you can go to get away from it all. Stanford also has the Hudson Valley Raptor Center. Upon hearing the name, kids might think it's like Jurassic Park; however, what this center actually has are birds of prey, and many different kinds---anywhere between Eagles to Hawks to owls, and trainers will take the birds to flight and call them back to their hand right in front of you: it's a great show! Nearby Stissing Mountain is a great place to hike, and way at the top you can see all the way to Hunter Mountain---it's a breathtaking view. The Stanford Free Library offers many different programs for adults such as watercoloring, knitting, writing and meditation workshops. Like most libraries, children have storytime hours here as well.

There's a few shops in Stanford but not that many; you'll have to go to surrounding areas to shop mainly, so you'll want to have a car. In the immediate town you'll find Carousel Antiques and Elvin's Market for groceries. Basically you'll want to have a car in general because Stanford is a bit removed from other towns, but you'll be fine if you do. You'll also find medical services in nearby Pine Plains, which also offers the town its school district (I highly recommend Hudson Valley Health, which offers its own health plan, excellent staff, services of any possible kind, and a sliding scale to those in need).

Stanford is very safe and a great place to raise a family.
Pros
  • Green
  • Peaceful
  • Little local traffic
  • Safe
Cons
  • must have a car
  • Few local businesses
  • Somewhat isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Tranquil haven with few ameneties"

Stanford is a small and very quiet town in Dutchess County comprised of the hamlets of Stanfordville and Bangall. The area is pretty enough but as for amenities and entertainment, it is pretty slim pickings and you really have to drive to neighboring towns. That being said, if you want a peaceful, relatively undisturbed rural lifestyle with no hustle and bustle, then this place might be for you.

As far as what Stanford does have to offer, you will find Elvin’s Market in Stanfordville. Your best bet for shopping is to head West to Kingston to the Target or down South to Poughkeepsie where you will find just about everything you could want or need, goods and service-wise.

Luckily, there are some fairly decent restaurants in Stanford to satisfy your need for good food and social interaction. The lovely Red Devon Restaurant & Market in Bangall which serves environmentally friendly locally grown sustainable fare which is super fresh and delicious. They have organic beer and wine at the bar. They sell goods in their market during the week and serve breakfast and lunch there. The actual restaurant is open for dinner on Fridays thru Sundays. There is also Stanford Pizza, Picolo 82, Home Plate, Uncle Sonny’s Café & Pizzeria, The Bangall Whaling Company and Doreen Brown in Stanfordville,

The Stanford Free Library does hold some nice programs including a defensive driving class, a writer’s group, a watercolor class, a meditation workshop, a mountain lion presentation and the wonderfully wholesome “Songs Around the Campfire,” a festive night of singing, s’mores and hot chocolate.

For outdoor activity in Stanford itself, there is Stanford Recreation Park, Whitlock Preserve and the beautiful Buttercup Preserve where you can picnic. Stissing Mountain is within driving range in nearby Pine Plains, NY and has an elevation of 1,400 feet as well as 595 beautiful acres. One can hike here on several trails and mountain bike and there are absolutely splendid views.

Stanford students are a part of the Millbrook Central School District.

Stanford is quite safe and the crime rate is relatively low.

The median household income is about $54,118.

The population of Stanford is approximately 3,825.
Pros
  • Green
  • Peaceful
  • Little local traffic
  • Safe
Cons
  • Few local businesses
  • Nothing to do
  • Somewhat isolated
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"A quiet slice of life"

I don't have nearly as much to say about Stanford as some other parts of Dutchess County. This is because you won't find too many towns that are this quiet. There are positives and negatives to this.

On the plus side, Stanford is quite safe, and there's a peaceful air that I'm fond of. Buttercup Preserve is lovely, and though the hiking is very easy-going you will generally enjoy yourself. If you're looking for a challenge, Stissing Mountain is right nearby as well and will give you more of a challenge than Buttercup. Both are beautiful pieces of land that are perfect for a relaxing day outside with the many wonders of nature. Nothing fancy, but peaceful and relaxing.

Otherwise, I don't think about Stanford too much. I don't generally come here to find a bite to eat, and I've heard next to nothing about the school system, which I believe is because the population is so low and widely dispersed that you just won't find the student population for a top notch school. It might not be the best place to raise a family because of this. If you want to raise your kids in a simpler environment you might love the peace, quiet and safety (it is super safe) of Stanford, but if you're single or a tourist you might find it just a bit too slow for your tastes.

That was ultimately my problem. I briefly looked into Stanford when moving to the area, and it does nothing for me. You have a bit of a drive if you want to get to anything, and I like to have a bit more to do, even when I'm seeking the quiet life. If you visit Stanford and feel it delivers on what you're after, then by all means enjoy the solitude, but if you need even a bit of excitement you will want to go elsewhere.
Pros
  • Safe
  • Green
  • Peaceful
Cons
  • Few local businesses
  • Nothing to do
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
2yrs+

"Green and serene, but out of the way"

Stanford is a town in north central Dutchess County, located along the Taconic State Parkway which practically bisects the county. As a general rule, the further north and/or east one goes in Dutchess, the less civilization there is to see. Stanford is no exception.

Here, you'll see some hills, lakes, and greenery. Stanford has always seemed like "farm country" to me, but your mileage may vary. You may also see some homes, but that's about where it starts and ends. There are a few local businesses in this town, but not many, and knowing from second-hand experience, residents tend to have to go towards the Poughkeepsie area when it comes to retail shopping, eating out, medical facilities, working out, enjoying some nightlife, and so forth; it can take 20 minutes or more to get there, depending on where exactly you're going. You just won't find much around up here.

That, of course, is very beneficial to those looking for quiet living. 50 years ago when my father used to visit Stanford with his family, this town was 100% rural living. In 2012, not much has changed. Sometimes it seems like the only way people find out about it is if they drive through it on the Taconic. There is traffic passing through on that highway, but rarely will it ever find its way onto Stanford's back roads (unless it's residential traffic).

Public transportation does not make it to Stanford. The Dutchess County Loop Bus does not pass through the town and there are no active train lines, either. Stanford is a town where an automobile is a necessity, and having to commute to work using said vehicle is the name of the game.

At least some of the residents are of higher-than-average income; again, through second-hand experience. It's the kind of place where you have a nice, secluded house and a nicely-sized piece of property. This makes it an ideally quiet setting to raise a family. There's just not much of a "town" in the conventional sense where one would expect to see a cluster of buildings/local businesses.
Pros
  • Green
  • Peaceful
  • Little local traffic
Cons
  • Somewhat isolated
  • Nothing to do
  • Few local businesses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers

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