jmicik

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Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 14, 2012

"A quiet village block"

Hy Vue Terrace is a short block in the village of Millerton, Town of North East. It's located a little to the east of the village center in a completely residential part of town.

On Hy Vue, you'll drive from end to end and see nothing but houses. They vary in size as well as in value, with property estimates generally going anywhere from $150,000 to $300,000. These homes go from modest to above average in terms of size, with the largest ones you'd find going up to about 2,000 square feet or so. There's not much land to be had, though the homes are not densely-packed in together. The back yards and front yards are adequate all around. Most do not have swimming pools but a few do.

This street doesn't have sidewalks but you won't need them. It's a perfectly safe place to walk on the side of the road because the only people who will be coming through here are neighbors. There's only one outlet from Hy Vue Terrace, and this is not near the middle of town. You're not far at all from farmland around here, but you won't necessarily see it depending on where on this road you live.

If you're up for a walk then you can certainly get to the center of the village from here. Might take you over half a mile of walking or more to get there, but you can do it. If you feel like driving to a lot of these places, then you'll get there in a very short amount of time. This includes a couple of local restaurants, shops, a movie theater, a pharmacy, and a library. As for what else is in town, there's not much. Millerton is only a village of about a thousand people and if you go two miles outside the village, you're in the middle of nowhere, so don't expect the same kind of modern conveniences that you might find in a place like Poughkeepsie; this place is nothing like it. You'll have to drive for a while for some decent food shopping, variety in restaurants, and even to hook up with public transportation.

This is one of the better neighborhoods in Millerton in my estimation. You're not too far away from what conveniences the village has but you're not on a busy street. This is a 100% residential street and boasts a quiet, charming neighborhood feel.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 14, 2012

"A mix of business and residential"

Century Boulevard is a side street in Millerton, Town of North East. It has some homes on it, but seems to have just as many businesses.

This road is very close to the center of the Millerton village. Add that to the fact that there are businesses on this street and you've got a relatively busy place. In driving down this road, you'll see the trees around and some green front lawns, but there are also parking lots. This isn't an urban area at all -- it's more of a country village with a little bit of population -- but this street does have things going on. Amongst the businesses or non-residential establishments you'll come across are the Millerton News and the Millerton Fire Department.

Some of these homes are really quite nice. You aren't going to have a ton of land to work with on this street (though they aren't zoned too close together), but because of the quality, you'll find those that cost a little more than others. One is on sale around here for about $300k: a quaint and beautiful Victorian home. The others aren't necessarily as visually appealing, but they do get more affordable, with some property values beneath $200,000. It's probably a decent neighborhood feel but with as many non-residences as residences, there won't necessarily be many neighbors to know. Enough, but not a ton on this street.

You're within walking distance of most everything of note in the village, being so close to the center. Within a few minutes of walking, you can be at restaurants, convenience stores, banks, and even a movie theater. There isn't a ton of nightlife in this area but you're close enough to walk to what they have. There is also a community center near here that won't take long to reach on foot. The park is further away, food shopping is as well, and the schools aren't in the village so for all of those things, you'll have to hop in your car. Public transportation won't get you there, because there isn't any up here. There isn't much to do around here in general.

I don't have too many problems with this neighborhood. You will find some houses and some are affordable on most budgets, and you can walk to several key places in town.
Recommended for
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 13, 2012

"Homes in the forest"

Old North Anson Way is a road with a little bit of a strange configuration on a map, but it nevertheless is a residential side road (or network of them, really) in the Town of Stanford, south of Stanfordville hamlet.

From above, you might not be able to spot a lot of the houses here, because this neighborhood is surrounded by trees. When you do go down this road, which doesn't really even stand out when driving past it, you will find those houses, which aren't many in number but tend to be quite a lot in cost. These properties tend to be spread out a little bit, so you're right on top of your neighbors, but chances are you've got an expensive house. Unless I've missed some in my research, they're all at least 2,000 square feet, with some much more. A few have quite a bit of land, and we're talking more than a dozen acres. This has driven some property value estimates up to nearly $700,000, though a couple on and around this road are in the mid to upper $300k range. Of course, there are also large houses in this general neighborhood which are worth over a million bucks. All of the houses are pretty nice, with some pools and even tennis courts around.

Getting to know your neighbors won't be impossible around here, but you won't have too many names to remember. I'm sure it's a perfectly nice neighborhood with good folks living here, but an active neighborhood this is not. This is a quiet country neighborhood in the trees.

This is a very nice area of town and it's quite green (though most of Stanford is), but also like the vast majority of Stanford, there's not much to do around here. Aside from outdoor recreation which is quite prevalent in this part of Dutchess County, you're cut off from good variety in restaurants, school options, virtually any kind of shopping, gyms, and most other things that people take for granted in suburban locales like Poughkeepsie.

It seems like Old North Anson is the sort of place you'd want to live if you (a) have money and (b) want to get away from it all. You certainly wouldn't live here if you wanted to be close to modern conveniences.
Recommended for
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  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 13, 2012

"Another rural driveway-type road"

Haight Hollow Way, like so many other residential side roads around here, is a short dead-end street. This one is in the Town of Stanford, between the hamlet of Stanfordville and the Town of Pine Plains.

Haight Hollow Road is kind of easy to miss: the entry to the road has a lot of trees around and is so narrow that if you didn't see a sign, you wouldn't know that it was an actual street. It's all trees and houses, though a lot more trees than homes; the map indicates that the road ends at a certain point, but it seems to carry on as a dirt road for a few hundred more feet, upon which a couple more houses lie.

Dirt road or not, the houses here are a little bit on the bigger end of average and some are a little less affordable. Sure, you'll find a couple of the less than a dozen homes here at about $250,000, but others go well above $300,000. None go above $400k, so they're not horribly expensive or anything like that, but they'll cost a little more than in some other areas of town (though there are other areas of Stanford where properties cost 7 or 8-digit numbers, so consider yourself lucky).

It's got a decent neighborhood feel, though it doesn't resemble a suburban neighborhood at all. No densely-packed houses, no sidewalks, no area full of houses. There are only a few homes around here so there's not much to look at.

This area is pretty well cut off from a lot of things that most suburbanites and urban dwellers take for granted, such as restaurants, bars, stores (food shopping and big-box retail), and much more. Such is the problem with living in an unpopulated area, and you're going to be miles and miles away from the nearest towns and cities of note where you can actually get some things done. It's a good thing online shopping exists, but that doesn't really help solve too many problems.

As I've noted a number of times when evaluating Stanford neighborhoods, you've got a great deal of scenery locally and Haight Hollow Way, like lots of other streets in this town, is green, calm, and peaceful. What's great about this area is the outdoor recreation: the Buttercup Preserve and Stissing Mountain Multiple Use Area are close-by and ready to indulge you for hiking, picnicking, and more.

The houses here are decent and the neighborhood is about as safe as you'd expect, it's just a thinly-populated neighborhood in an isolated area.
Recommended for
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  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 13, 2012

"Not much of a road if I do say so myself"

Beckwith Place is a very short residential side street (dead-end) in Stanford, close to Milan and Pine Plains and not far from main road Route 82. Despite its tiny length, it does have a few buildings upon it.

Beckwith is not much to look at; the road is paved, but this is no typical side road. It'll take about ten seconds to get from one end to the other going slowly, but you will see several buildings there, a few of which appear to be homes. I know at least one is, and its value is pretty affordable, about $200,000. The rest of it appears to be part of a business or a farm, with lots of cars out front (at least when I saw it). In fact, there were a lot of cars on this road in general, which seemed kind of curious seeing as how little there is around here. This is barely a residential neighborhood and it's not the prettiest one, either -- it's just kind of drab.

You're not really that close to Pine Plains around here, which is the nearest settlement of any size. Stanfordville is closer but there is even less to do there. If you are the lucky homeowner on this street, you're going to be pretty far away from lots of things. Pine Plains to the north has some very limited food shopping, few restaurants, at least a few schools, no gyms to my knowledge, no access to public transportation, and no medical facilities of note except for a small clinic or two. You're kind of on your own out here.

What this area around Beckwith Place does have is plenty of outdoor recreation. Just minutes away by car are the Buttercup Preserve and Stissing Mountain Multiple Use Area. There are also a couple of county parks and more state multiple use areas to the north, and this area is pretty big on hunting and fishing clubs, which you should be able to find relatively nearby. Finally, you've also got the Wappinger Creek very close to this particular road, and if you've got a fishing license, you can drop a line (though the creek is kind of low these days).

This is a really great part of the county to live in general if you like being close to the outdoors. The problems with the area are that you've got just about nothing else nearby, there are just about no home availabilities on this road, and even if you get one, you won't have much land. It's kind of a boring place to live.
Recommended for
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  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 13, 2012

"A horse farm and little else"

Allerage Way, which is listed on some maps as Auerags Way, is a short dead-end road in the Town of Stanford, part of the hamlet of Stanfordville. It is a small part residential, and a large part business.

There appear to be two homes on the outlet end of the road, but neither of them are oriented towards this particular road. In fact, it does not appear as though there aren't any directly attached to this road that aren't a part of the farm.

You can't talk about Allerage/Auerags Way without discussing Allerage Farms. It is a thoroughbred breeding ground which takes up just about all of the space on the road. It's worth millions of dollars, in case you were wondering. As for the homes directly adjacent to this road, they're actually affordable if the home value estimates are to be believed (about $200,000, give or take a few thousand).

Living in this area, you're just going to be isolated. Stanfordville's center isn't far away, but there's little there. Stanford residents usually have to leave town to find places to go for fun, to eat, to shop, enjoy nightlife, and much more. As far as useful, everyday modern amenities, there are few. There's really no public transport around this area, no gyms, definitely no shopping, and the schools aren't close. In Stanfordville, there is a small park (Stanford Recreation Park) and you're not terribly far from the Whitlock Preserve. One plus of being in this area is that you're mere minutes from the Millbrook Winery, which is a nice place to pop in every once in a while if you enjoy wine.

Outside of outdoor recreation, there's little around and you will probably struggle even to find a home in which to live here. There are homes in the area, though.
Recommended for
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 12, 2012

"A pretty lakeshore view for some"

Crescent Drive is a residential side road in Holmes, hamlet of Pawling. This road forms a half-loop around Route 292, but it reaches out to the shore of Whaley Lake, a partially-man made body of water that, if I'm not mistaken, is the largest lake in Dutchess County (and if not, it's close).

Not every home on this road has a clear view of the lake, but even in the ones that don't, you still get that same snug neighborhood feeling everywhere. Of course, this road is very narrow and looks more like someone's driveway, so keep an eye out for the sign, but at least it's not a dirt road, which does happen in eastern Dutchess County at times. This road takes a relatively steep drop as it heads towards the shore and because of how narrow it is, it can be difficult to navigate at times.

One might think that the houses, especially the ones right on the lake, would be expensive, but to my surprise and possibly yours, I've learned that they're really not too expensive. Property value estimates are mainly under $200,000, with a few crossing over that mark. Keep in mind the following: the houses are zoned very closely together and most of them are quite small, under 1,000 square feet. I wouldn't recommend this neighborhood for folks with growing families or those who need a lot of room, though there are a couple larger houses that might be worth your while.

It's a densely-packed neighborhood, and I'm sure that everyone knows everyone or close to it around here. It's obviously got the scenery angle going for it, as well as the outdoor recreation angle for those who live on the shore. As for everyone else, fear not, because there are other parks in this area. Depot Hill Multiple Use Area is only a short drive from here, and there are golf and game clubs in this town as well. It's a green and hilly area with a lot going for it as far as the outdoors goes.

Holmes is pretty isolated, though. From this side of Whaley Lake, you have to go either well north or well south of the lake to find a direct route to Pawling, the closest settlement. This means it'll take you a while from here to find places to shop, eat, work out, and all of the other things that the village of Pawling offers. You're not close to any major roads, either, so it'll take time to get to Poughkeepsie or Danbury and all of their conveniences, which are far more numerous than those of Pawling.

This isn't a bad place to live at all, though there's little to do that's not outdoors.
Recommended for
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  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Aug 11, 2012

"Interesting name, nice road"

Loose Strife Road is a very small cul-de-sac in East Fishkill; despite being short in length, it has six houses on it.

You won't have to spend much time on this street to know that there's no strife around here. Generally speaking, the houses are big, the lawns are big, and the cars are nice (most of them, anyway). This is backed up by the estimated home values, almost all of which are in the $400-500k range, which is pretty steep for most people, but sometimes if you want quality, you have to pay for it. This neighborhood, which I figure is close-knit seeing as they're six homes on their own out here, delivers on quality, but also has several other things going for it.

This road is only a few minutes out of Hopewell Junction, the nearest village which offers some shopping (including groceries) and a decent variety of restaurants, as well as other local businesses such as nail salons, laundromats, bakeries, and so forth. Schools are close to here as well. There's also a great park a little to the north (and one with a beach a little further than that), as well as several golf courses and/or driving ranges near here, so you have some things nearby for sure. What you won't have is a ton of nightlife -- perhaps a little up in Hopewell -- hospitals or major stores. You'll have to do some driving to get to either one but plenty of locals do it, so it can't be all bad.

This really is a peaceful little street; obviously it gets no traffic because nobody needs to pass through it, but as for Route 376 which is right here, that'll get some activity. Arbor Ridge catering hall is within walking distance, and when they're throwing parties/weddings or anything else, you know. (That's about the extent of the local nightlife, anyway.) I doubt you can hear it from here, but it gets busy in the immediate area. While it is generally quiet, 376 is a main road in this region so you'll have to adjust.

You could certainly make do living on this street, though many won't find it affordable. Keep in mind that home values have fallen all over the county, so it's likely that these were worth possibly hundreds of thousands more five years ago. None are on sale right now, anyway, but if you're looking for a home that's a step up and something comes available here, it might be worth a look.
Recommended for
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Aug 11, 2012

"Not a getaway spot, but good enough"

East Vacation Drive is a side-street in the Hillside Lake hamlet of East Fishkill, in the northern part of the town. This road does not border the lake, but comes close. It's no place to go on vacation, but it's a decent enough place to live.

As you'll see, there are plenty of trees to go around in this area. The side streets around Hillside Lake are somewhat densely-packed and the homes are close together but it's not like living in a city where you've got six feet separating you from your neighbor. Some of these homes aren't zoned on a lot of land, though. Just about everyone here has less than half an acre, which is probably enough for most people. On the plus side, it's a fine neighborhood. There are lots of houses around, on this street and on adjacent streets, meaning lots of people to meet and get to know.

The houses themselves vary a little bit. Most are average size, though some are above average and others are downright small. A few have pools while others don't. Obviously, the smaller ones are worth less than the bigger ones, and those smaller homes can go for well under $200,000 in the market with the way it is these days. That's if they're on sale, of course. I was unable to find anything valued at over $300,000, so it's decent value and it's relatively affordable around here as well.

Hillside Lake is not very far from certain local businesses and other buildings. For example, Van Wyck Junior High is close, as are a number of other businesses like those in Route 376's Summerlin Plaza. Also, Hopewell Junction is just a few minutes away from here. It'll take you maybe 15 minutes or so to get to the malls in Poughkeepsie, depending on the flow of traffic, which isn't too bad. There isn't much medical care in the immediate area but within a few minutes' drive you may spot some doctors offices and dentists.

I am honestly uncertain if Hillside Lake is available to use for residents of this area, but to me it always seemed like it was surrounded by private property, so I'd imagine not. There are still parks and recreational areas nearby, like the Dutchess County Rail Trail, and there's even an orchard around here.

This isn't a bad neighborhood. It's not top of the line as far as East Fishkill neighborhoods go but it's respectable, and not quite as far away from amenities as some other spots.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 09, 2012

"Village street, safe for non-smokers"

Tobacco Lane is a very short street within the Red Hook village, practically in the center. It does not appear to be completely residential, as there are some businesses on it (despite its brief length).

It will only take a matter of moments to get from one end of Tobacco Lane to the other, though if you approach it from Route 9, like some other roads in the rural areas of Red Hook, it looks more like a driveway or alley. One might say that's what it actually is, but I don't have a detailed history of Tobacco Road at my fingertips, nor do I know it an erstwhile tobacco farm or store is the reason for the name. Parking on this road seems to be more in parking lots off to the sides where there is housing, and street-side parking is very limited and difficult, given that this is a narrow street.

Of the single-family homes that stand here, they're affordable. It's unusual to see something way over $200,000 these days, and keep in mind that if you live here, you'll have essentially no land. You would be living near the center of a growing village, and everything is zoned closely together. It would also appear that there are apartments on both sides of the street, but in driving through it's kind of hard to get a read on what every building is precisely. They look like apartments, though.

One bus to Poughkeepsie and back runs through here. You're going to need a car to go places outside of the village, but you won't need a car to go a whole lot of places in it. It seems to me that most folks living on this small alley have cars. Back to what's available to you in the village: most everything you'd need, with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is a hospital, and another is a shopping mall. The closest hospital would be in Rhinebeck and the closest mall is in Kingston across the river.

Of the neighborhoods I've reviewed, and there have been many, few did poorly on the green front, but this one's just not as green. This road is so small and built-up that there's not much plant life on it, and that includes trees. It's almost like being in the center of a small city. It's a clean road, and a safe one for that matter, but it's kind of busy (with multiple parking lots and businesses here) as well.

There's not a whole lot to Tobacco Lane aside from its convenient location with regards to the village, but that can be a blessing and a curse.
Recommended for
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 07, 2012

"Of houses and parking lots"

Croydon Court in the City of Poughkeepsie a very small cross-street that runs near Route 9G (Parker Avenue). On one side, it's two (maybe three) houses, and on the other, it's two parking lots. Of those two or three houses, I'm not sure any are technically on Croydon, with at least two oriented towards the connecting streets. Perhaps what I thought was a house was just a large garage, but it's too late to check now.

Since it's such a short road, it's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of place when driving down it. You'll notice both the houses and the parking lots, though perhaps the lots stand out a little more. If you're wondering what they're for, it's not municipal parking: the Dutchess County Aging Office is on the other side as well. One is the loneliest number, after all, so there will be plenty of street-side parking for you if you're the lucky person who gets to live on this street. That parking lot does exit out onto Croydon, though, so with all of those folks going in and out it can get a little busy.

Back to the subject of the homes here and on adjacent streets, they're definitely affordable. $150,000 is on the high-end of what you might find here, and there's obviously no land for these homeowners. Houses are pretty close-together as well.

The entry to the Walkway Over the Hudson is a few blocks away from here. Malcolm X Park, a Baptist church, and an elementary school are very close to this mostly-unpopulated street as well. Nothing is truly far away in the City of Poughkeepsie, though. Public transportation runs all throughout the city, but I'd still recommend a car to get around to the restaurants, doctors, shopping centers, gyms, and more. You're probably no more than 5-10 minutes from being well covered in all of the above categories.

This doesn't appear to be a particularly well-to-do neighborhood when driving through. The houses are in okay shape, but driving through I kind of get a blah feeling. I didn't feel anything particularly vibrant; it's just an average city block.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 07, 2012

"Decent urban street"

Grubb Street is deep inside the City of Poughkeepsie, intersecting Worrall Avenue and South Grand Avenue.

The houses on Grubb and in the neighborhood in general are packed together very closely. Sometimes you expect to drive down the street in cities and see some homes that are a little run-down but that's not really the case here. Actually, even though the homes are a little bit the type you'd expect to see in New York City (high, narrow, and long), some are rather nice. Most of the estimated home values are a little under $200,000, though some come over that mark. Keep in mind that if you end up purchasing a property on Grubb, you will be doing it with the expectation of having next to no land. That's just how it goes in a city.

With regards to the overall area, recent data suggests that it's about average as far as home values go in Poughkeepsie. It's not a low-income area, nor is it a higher-income area like around Springside near Vassar Hospital. Definitely more average. Still, there are plenty of trees around and they keep the streets up well. Further, it's a big neighborhood with all of the houses around. You will probably have a lot of neighbors here.

It's in the City of Poughkeepsie, after all, so you're close to most everything, because Poughkeepsie now has most everything. Restaurants, schools, shopping, public transportation, banks, and much more aren't far from here. Vassar College isn't that far away, neither are Poughkeepsie Middle or High Schools, or the restaurants and shops on Main Street and Raymond Avenue, and that's just for starters. You're not smack in the center of Poughkeepsie, but you're close enough to be able to get around to places. Even just by walking a few blocks, you can accomplish a lot as far as visiting local amenities.

Of course, living in a city does have its drawbacks. While Grubb Street isn't necessarily busy, a number of the roads around it are. It might not be the quietest place you ever live and with the houses being so close together, privacy might take a slight hit. In better news, parking is alright here, and most houses have driveways leading behind their homes.

I don't have anything particularly negative to say about Grubb Street. I've driven through here a number of times and honestly, it's not that bad of a neighborhood. You could do worse.
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5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 07, 2012

"Small road in a wealthier area"

Gus Siko Road in the City of Poughkeepsie is in one of the most well-to-do areas of town. It is in the general area of what used to be the Vassar Springside estate, and with all of its greenery, it's evident that the area is still higher-class.

Based on current real estate estimates, there's not a house on this road under $350,000, with a few climbing into the high 400s. No matter what, it's not going to come with a great deal of land, but some of these houses are quite large, with most at least three thousand square feet. It's a very verdant and peaceful neighborhood; there's a dead-end so no passing traffic, and you've got trees and green lawns. A map shows that you're close to Route 9, but I doubt you'd even know it around here. It's about a thousand feet away and the trees around this neighborhood insulate you fairly well. In fact, this is one of the most isolated streets in its neighborhood, so chances are you're not going to be bugged out here by much. It is quite possible, though, that you'll have neighbors and you'll be close enough to them to get to know them.

In the surrounding area, there are houses worth or selling for in excess of half a million dollars, which should tell you what kind of neighborhood this is. It's legitimately one of the nicest and most pleasant places in Poughkeepsie in which to live. As far as I know, it's also safe.

It won't take you many maneuvers to get out to Route 9 by car, and once you do, you're within 5-10 minutes of a wide variety of restaurants and big-box stores, and there are also hospitals and doctors' offices, schools, banks, churches, parks, and so much more. If you're into nightlife, some of the best bars and clubs in Poughkeepsie are within a similar drive from this street. From this neighborhood, you're a short drive from all of it.

Aside from it being a little pricey to live here, I can't associate any bad thoughts or comments with this neighborhood. It's a perfectly fine place in a great setting and you're close to just about everything you'll need without being right next to all the action. As neighborhoods go in Poughkeepsie, this one might not be perfect, but it's pretty close. I don't know who Gus Siko is, but he sure has a nice street named after him.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 05, 2012

"Part of a rural housing development"

Washington Court is a very small side-street in the Town of Pawling, which is part of one of the few housing developments in town at King's Way (I don't know if that's what it's called officially, but that's the main street). Washington Court is very close to the entrance of this development from Dutchess County Route 20 and actually looks more like a long parking lot than a street, but it has a name, so it's a street.

On this very short road appear to be condos, some of which run for under $200,000 and others over $200,000, but virtually none are above $300,000. They appear from the outside to be in very good shape, as everything around here is relatively new. Housing developments have not really blown up in Pawling as of yet -- the neighboring town of Beekman is just starting to see more of them in recent years, so they're probably coming soon -- so this is one of the most identifiable in town. The parking situation around here appears to be acceptable; there seem to be some open spots usually, and there's street-side parking evidently available up the block, so you won't be in too bad of shape.

In a closely-packed neighborhood like this, you'd think that neighborhood spirit runs relatively high. Not just in your condo complex, but in the others around you, as well as the houses around here (of which there are about as many as condos).

In this part of town, despite the development, it's still very green and undisturbed otherwise. Washington Court is in a quiet and green neighborhood, it isn't far from some ponds, and nearby there is a place called Mistover, which trains and boards horses. If you leave the development and get on the main road, you'll have to drive for a mile or two before you see anything, namely Pawling village. It's not exactly as busy and full of local businesses as Poughkeepsie and Wappingers Falls, but there are a few eating and shopping options (but not mall shopping). The Pawling schools are generally regarded as being good, and many are within about ten minutes or so of here, but what you can find several of in the vicinity are parks, both local and state. Eastern Dutchess County is more of an outdoor recreation type of area, since there aren't a lot of local businesses here (relative to the western side by the river), and though this development isn't that far from a village, that doesn't really change much. Another plus is that the Metro North train line to New York City is only a short drive from here.

This is probably amongst the nicer places to live in Pawling, and certainly affordable. If you're the type who is seeking a condo, there may be a few available on Washington.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 05, 2012

"A road in two counties"

Buhleier Road is a cul-de-sac which is partially in Pawling, Dutchess County. What's interesting is that you have to drive to the end of this road to get to Pawling; a majority of it lies in the Town of Patterson in Putnam County. For the sake of convenience, we'll evaluate the whole street and not just the slice in Dutchess County.

Not all of the houses on this road are big, but some are. All of them are in good shape. This is a pretty quiet neighborhood with not many houses, but it's in a peaceful enough setting. It's connected to a main road, South Quaker Hill Road, which itself connects to Route 22, which is the most major highway on this side of Dutchess County. Even though Buhleier has close proximity to both of those roads, traffic is not a big problem around here. Buhleier is a dead-end street, so no thru-traffic, but 22 is far enough away that the autos passing through won't bother you, but you're close enough to it (and all of the conveniences associated with it) so that it's convenient.

Speaking of nearby amenities, you've got the towns of Patterson and Pawling nearby. Along Route 22 between both of those two towns, there are plenty of resources. This includes restaurants, bars, some stores (including supermarkets), pharmacies, a gym, and more. As mentioned earlier, living on Buhleier, you're not far from any of these things, but one thing that's pretty far away is a shopping mall. Unlike most parts of Dutchess County, here, you are closer to Danbury's mall than Poughkeepsie's, and that'll be 25 minutes on a good day. The nearest hospital is in Carmel, Putnam County. On the plus side, public transportation by train is good in this area, as there are several nearby Metro North stops.

Back to this neighborhood, the costs of the homes on this short road vary. They range from about $200,000 up to about $500,000. The one at the high end of the spectrum is large, over 3600 square feet. A majority, however, are under $300,000 in estimated value. One home on the Dutchess County side recently sold for about $280k.

As neighborhoods go in eastern Dutchess, this one is actually alright. In many of them, you wouldn't expect to be close to much of anything, but here in Pawling/Patterson, there are actually local businesses and other houses nearby.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Aug 02, 2012

"Down by the river"

Poppinga Lane in Hyde Park sits near the Hudson River and is a very tree-lined, short street that ends at the water. It's a road that's actually a little bit out of the way, as you'll have to navigate some side streets and cross over the train tracks to find it, but once you do, you won't see many houses.

Of the three I could identify, only one is relatively affordable at about $340,000, though nothing on this road is up for sale as of summer 2012. The other two are pushing a million bucks, and they're pretty big. You're going to pay to live along the river, and that's Poppinga Lane.

When you finally get out of the back roads from here and onto the highways, you'll still be a little while away from things. The hospitals and shopping aren't close; the schools aren't horribly far and neither are some restaurants. There are also parks nearby as well as the two homesteads, Vanderbilt and FDR. Of course, you have the available recreation of the Hudson River right at your fingertips.

I would imagine that it's usually fairly quiet around here, but the train is going to come through several times a day. I don't know if it'll be with horn blaring or what, but at only a few hundred feet away, you will probably notice.

It probably sounds more isolated than it actually is, but you're not in the thick of a big neighborhood. In fact, there really isn't much of a neighborhood around here. Not many houses stand on this street and the train tracks really separate you from the other side streets in the general vicinity. It's also not the kind of place for those on fixed incomes, unless it's fixed at something quite high.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Aug 02, 2012

"Quiet religious community"

Circle of Love in Hyde Park sounds like it should be the name of a sitcom, but it's a real street. In fact, it connects to Comforter Way, Life Crescent, Intellect Way, and Union of God Lane, amongst others. Yes, it is part of a religious community.

Little information on it is available outside of some published reports, but the name of it is Mariapolis Luminosa, and is unofficially associated with the Catholic faith (apparently part of the "Focolare Movement." Members of his community live in close proximity, with some facilities in the neighborhood for prayer and such.

This is clearly not a traditional neighborhood where it's just as simple as finding a real estate agent and showing up. What exists on this road is part of its own planned community. I would imagine that there is a certain procedure one must go through in order to move here, and that isn't a question I'm equipped to answer. You would have to assess that with its leaders.

Being in this area of Hyde Park, it's not very close to lots of major amenities, but it won't take forever to get there, either. One would imagine that they chose this location because it's in a green and safe setting and it's a little bit out of the way.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 31, 2012

"Typical street in a small city"

Lincoln Avenue in the City of Poughkeepsie runs parallel to Route 9, very near to Vassar Brothers Hospital.

Coming down this street from north to south (Jefferson Street changes its name to Lincoln Avenue), you'll see Vassar Hospital's complex at the end but also houses on both sides, as well as a decent city park to the left. It's a city, after all, so the homes tend to be somewhat small and closely-packed, though many actually appear to be small apartment buildings as opposed to houses. The quality isn't the greatest for some of them, but again, it's a city, and sometimes that happens. The home values are generally not very high, partly because the lots on which they exist tend to be very small. The vast majority are under $200,000, with some well under that. It won't be massively expensive to get a home here, relative to other areas in Dutchess County. For those who prefer apartments, you will be able to find at least a few rental opportunities around here as well.

Generally speaking, there are better areas of the City of Poughkeepsie in which to live. Driving through here, I've always found the neighborhood to be a bit unappealing, with some houses and buildings that aren't always kept up as well as others and the dwellings just too close together at some points. It's also a little plain-looking. This appears to be a low to average-income neighborhood from the outside. Further, it is kind of busy, as this road connects Route 44/55 and the hospital, and people come through here to get to Route 9 and the hospital.

Aside from obvious proximity to the hospital and the park, being in the city, you are close to things. Public transportation, local restaurants, banks, offices, churches, and many things of that nature are all around here. There are also day cares and schools in the vicinity, and Lincoln Avenue also isn't terribly far from the center of the city.

While this may not be my favorite part of town, there is some level of convenience associated with living here.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Jul 31, 2012

"A main road that doesn't feel much like one"

Jackson Corners Road in Milan is a county highway that enters town from Columbia County to the north and west and exits back out to Columbia again on the east side. It has a major intersection with the Taconic State Parkway and is by all accounts a main road, but it's a fairly lonely one.

This road is mainly in farm country. Going in either direction, you aren't going to encounter many houses, but one thing I can say about this road with certainty is that it's green and hilly, but when all those trees change colors in the fall, this is just one of those places you have to be. Aside from that, there's little around here, including homes.

The values of those homes are about what I've come to expect for rural areas of this county, which means properties with lots of land: they're expensive. Some are under $300,000, but you're likely to find just as many over that amount, with some way over. There are a few very large, with-land homes here worth millions of dollars. Is it a rich neighborhood, though? I wouldn't say so. In fact, I wouldn't say it's much of a neighborhood at all because it's so rural. It's nowhere near your average suburban side-street with houses close together and people walking their dogs on the sidewalk. You'd be lucky to know more than a few people living near you up here.

When you do find other buildings, some might be farm-related, which isn't that uncommon in this area of Dutchess County. What you will not see are an array of local businesses; some small towns in the county have relatively vibrant business districts, but Milan doesn't really, and even if it did, it's not on Jackson Corners Road. It's more productive to tell you what is here than what isn't, because the list of what isn't is virtually endless.

One of those things that is nearby is outdoor recreation. The Roeliff Jansen Kill Multiple Use Area (park/recreation area) is very close, as is the Roeliff Jansen Kill (creek) for which it is named. Golf also isn't too far away and if there's one thing this road has going for it, it's that the Taconic State Parkway is right here, so you can get to other places north or south of here quickly.

Traffic and crime aren't going to bother you up here, but you also won't have any local options for eating out or shopping, and doctors and schools are miles away. This is not the kind of road you live on if you want to be close to things or desire a suburban area. It's not even somewhere you'd want to be if you want to be close to a job or your kids' schools, because neither exists around here. It's rural, it can be costly, and it's isolated.
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 31, 2012

"Small and pleasant"

Thurston Lane in Hyde Park is a very short dead-end road which runs parallel to Crum Elbow Road. It's a green neighborhood in a green area of Hyde Park.

This road doesn't have a lot of homes on it because of its size, but you're likely going to have neighbors across the street from you and behind you and on both sides. The homes aren't that far apart, and this seems to be to be a quieter, more cozy little cul-de-sac. These residences are about average in size and appearance -- nothing overly fancy and nothing extraordinarily modest. Some have swimming pools and some don't, and some have garages while some don't. Home values on this street are a bit more affordable than I might have expected, with several valued at under $200,000. A home recently sold on this block for under $150,000, so it's definitely possible to find (relatively) inexpensive housing in this neighborhood -- this could also be a symptom of the general housing market.

In this area of Hyde Park, there are only a few amenities within a couple minutes' drive. A gas station, a pharmacy, parks, and some doctor's offices are close, with a few restaurants, schools, and small shops and bars a few minutes further. It is not horribly far from most things that a person needs, but you're not five minutes from the biggest local hangouts or shopping malls, either. This is a less active neighborhood that does have enough residences, but not so many businesses. In being a quiet area, it's also a bit dull, which is the trade-off you'll sometimes find.

Traffic on Crum Elbow Road generally isn't bad, and it's non-existent on Thurston. It's a cul-de-sac after all. Passing cars and outdoor commotion aren't going to bother you here. Neither is crime, as Hyde Park is a very low-crime town.

It's not terribly expensive to live in this neighborhood, relative to some other places in Dutchess County. If you live here, you'll have a small but reasonably nice neighborhood with some nearby benefits but not many, but a good deal of peace and quiet.
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 29, 2012

"Pleasant village neighborhood"

Traver Place is a short side-street within the village of Millerton in far northeastern Dutchess County. It's only a few blocks from the heart of the village, but is far enough out of the action to render it a quieter, peaceful street.

This road doesn't have many houses on it, but the ones that are here are reasonably affordable. One sold on this road for $240,000 recently, while others in the vicinity have sold or are selling for around the same price. Some smaller houses value at far under $200,000. Few houses on Traver are at or above 2,000 square feet, while several actually come in below 1,000. There are bigger homes around, but some are really quite small. The houses are relatively close together and there are homes all around on other connecting streets, and having been here before, I can say that the combination of all of these things gives it a nice neighborhood feel.

In the surrounding area, you'll find some stores, a pharmacy, churches, parks, schools, a library, restaurants, and even a movie theater. This isn't to make it sound like Millerton's a bustling town with lots to do, because it's still small, but there is just enough to do here to get by. To the east of Traver Road (in other words, Connecticut), there are also some lakes with beaches, and to the north at Taconic State Park, there are places to hike. Finally, there are horse stables for public riding within a few miles of this road. Outdoor recreation rules around here, but if you live on this road, you're definitely close enough to some other things to do. You'll have to drive down to Sharon, CT for close-by medical care, but that's not too terrible of a trip. Of course, it's not as good of a hospital as those in western Dutchess County like Vassar Brothers, but that's much further away. For mall shopping, that's farther -- a lot farther.

Traver Road isn't the most active neighborhood in the world, nor is it a short drive from everything imaginable to do. It is, however, a decent enough place to be. It's in a village but it doesn't have an urban feel, thanks to all the greenery around. You're within walking distance of some activities, and with this being a tiny bit of a trendy village these days, it might even be fun for some younger couples (and I do know a few living around here).
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 29, 2012

"A whole lot of nothing"

Very little of Stissing Mountain Road runs through the Town of Milan; it carries into Pine Plains where it heads towards the village. In the end, it wouldn't matter if you took a 200-foot slice of this road or the whole extent: there's nothing here.

I cannot say that there is much neighborhood spirit here at all because I only count about a dozen houses, and this road's almost 2 miles long. As you might then expect, there is a lot of open land here (much of it appears to be farmland) and there are quite a lot of trees around as well. It's named for Stissing Mountain in Pine Plains, which stands to the south of this road, but isn't the reason why there are so few homes here.

You'll not find many other places as green, pristine, and undisturbed as this one. Even the farmland looks nice. Finding a place to live here, however, will be your problem. There are no homes in the Milan section of this road; on the Pine Plains reach, the farm is expensive land as one would figure but the other houses on Stissing Mountain Road are downright inexpensive, a little bit to my surprise. Almost all of the home values are under $200,000 -- many of them are modest, which would explain why, but this is a little unlike rural roads around here which tend to have more expensive housing. It's that there are just so few of the that getting to take advantage of the cost wouldn't be easy.

Towards the east end, you've got the village of Pine Plains, which does have a few stores and restaurants, along with schools. Don't kid yourself into thinking there's much to do there, however. You can do some food shopping, take your kids to the park (or go hiking up Stissing Mountain), or perhaps get a bite to eat, but little else.

There's no way this isn't a safe area, but it is one lacking in things to do which don't involve outdoor recreation. It's a road that also lacks places to live, which in itself is a problem. You surely won't be bothered too much around here, if that's your goal.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 29, 2012

"In no way spooky"

Spooky Hollow Road is in the far northern reaches of Hyde Park, almost off into Rhinebeck. This is a relatively short road in an unpopulated area, and assuredly does not live up to its name (though I'm sure if kids go trick-or-treating around here on Halloween, they can get a little mileage out of it).

The most prominent thing you'll see on this road isn't a home or a forest of trees; rather, it is Edition Farm. It has operated on this road since 1986 and is a breeding ground for thoroughbred horses. It's unclear if just anyone can go riding there, and I'd think not because these horses are being trained to be champions, but it's still a pleasant sight in this rural area.

As for the houses on this road, there are only a few. Some would appear to be quite modest, while maybe a few are larger than that. The horse farm dominates Spooky Hollow Road, and there are not many people living on adjacent streets, so chances are you're not going to have many neighbors around these parts. With regards to home values, in the more rural areas of Dutchess County (where people have more land), property values often tend to be higher than in places like Poughkeepsie or some other Hyde Park neighborhoods. Here, it's a little different, but not completely. The most inexpensive places around here are $200,000 and under, while the most expensive close in on half a million dollars.

Just about nothing, and I mean nothing, is close to here. Shopping does not exist in this part of Dutchess County, and neither does dining out. You must have a car to live here, and you'll be using it quite a bit even if you just want to drive your kids to school or you have a doctor's appointment somewhere. This is one of those rarer spots on the western side of the county where you can go several miles in any direction and not even run into a village of respectable size. There are local parks, like Clinton Hollow and Helen Aldrich, but that's probably about all.

Though I cannot vouch for this neighborhood when it comes to finding things to do, I can with regards to finding somewhere quiet. I wouldn't think that the horse stables cause much of an issue, since most of the homes aren't right next door to it, and you're also pretty spread-out from your neighbors here as well. It's probably not the most spirited neighborhood around as a result, and activities are lacking, but it's very calm around here.
Recommended for
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  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 29, 2012

"Small street in a sea of housing"

Lorie Lane in Poughkeepsie is a very short dead-end road off of Cedar Avenue. It only has about half a dozen or so houses directly attached to it, but it is surrounded by many others. Across the street is the Knightsbridge condo complex, next to it on the north is Fox Run's complex, and both behind it and to the south there are heavily-populated streets.

Cedar Avenue is a relatively well-traveled road, but Lorie Lane definitely is not. Traffic on this small street will not be an issue at all, but pulling out onto Cedar might at times be a challenge, as there are a lot of people living all around and they all have cars.

Even though there is a lot of housing around, it doesn't feel much like a city in this part of Poughkeepsie. In fact, a little further down Cedar Avenue heading into the Town of Poughkeepsie, you'll see an old barn. There aren't any office buildings or places that people would recognize as urban constructs around here, so it's perhaps quieter and greener than you'd expect to see elsewhere in the City of Poughkeepsie. Further, I've never had any reason to believe that this is an unsafe area in any way.

As for the homes on Lorie, many are shrouded in trees. None of them are overly flashy but I'd describe them as about what you'd expect in a typical urban/suburban, well-maintained American neighborhood. Home values are all similar, all estimated between $200,000 and $250,000. It's definitely a small neighborhood, but it seems like a pretty close one.

Spackenkill High School and some other private schools like Our Lady of Lourdes HS, St. Martin de Porres (PK-8) and Poughkeepsie Day School (PK-12) are only a few minutes away from here. Oakwood Friends School isn't far away, either; all of them are good. The restaurants on Route 9 and the City of Poughkeepsie are not far away, and neither are hospitals, doctor's offices, gyms, churches, day care centers, stores, or anything else you'd expect to find in the largest city in the region.

Lorie Lane might be a small street, but it definitely has a lot of points in its favor.
Recommended for
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  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 29, 2012

"Modest homes, small road, big neighborhood"

Estelle Road in the City of Poughkeepsie is a very short one; it's the sort of road where you might go from end to end and not even realize it. It's maybe about 250 feet long, and there are only about six houses or so on it. Nevertheless, it's part of a larger neighborhood with plenty of spirit.

This part of the city is quite nice, and features some Victorian homes, plenty of greenery, and other older buildings as landmarks. Estelle Road has the trees, but not the Victorian houses or landmarks. What dwellings are here are relatively modest but not of bad quality. Home values for this neighborhood run in the low to mid $200k range, which is fairly affordable all things considered. Just about all of the homes appear to have driveways so parking would not appear to be an issue, but streets around here do tend to allow parallel street parking as well.

Having been in this neighborhood a number of times before, I know it's quite possible to get to know the neighbors because the houses are packed in more densely and the streets have sidewalks to facilitate foot travel. Some streets around here have had block parties in the past; there might not be enough people living on Estelle to pull that off, but it's not like this road is an island: there are streets all around, and those houses are also close to here.

The City of Poughkeepsie in this surrounding area offers plenty to do and you're not very far from restaurants, decent schools, city parks, the hospitals, the malls, or anything else. Public transportation does exist in the area but having a car is almost an afterthought around here; everybody does.

It's a city, so it's not going to be like living in the middle of nowhere in Amenia or somewhere else, but this is a little bit off of the main roads so living here won't be a particularly bothersome experience, either. It's a safe neighborhood and a relatively pleasant one, in one of the best parts of Poughkeepsie to live.
Recommended for
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 28, 2012

"Nice homes and greenery"

Jennifer Hill Road is a dead-end road on the eastern side of the Taconic State Parkway, directly next to Union Vale Middle School. That school also happens to be very close to Vail Farm Elementary, so right away, this is a good spot for those raising young kids, as the schools are very close. Arlington High School and the private/Catholic high schools are more of a trip, but you won't have far to take your kids to school at an early age.

From the perspective of someone who's been through here without having lived here, I'll say it's a perfectly fine place to be. I can't say it's always 100% quiet because it's right next to a school, and they do tend to have recesses outside (not to mention the activity caused by the buses and cars going in and out), but that's really the only thing. Yes, adjacent Noxon Road does get other traffic but it's not brutal. As for this road, you won't have to worry about a ton of cars blazing down your street, because it's a dead end and that doesn't happen here.

It's definitely a green road. There are lots of trees around and big, grassy lawns. As for dwellings, a good number of homes have pools and range from modest to relatively nice. Most home values are under $300,000 if current estimates are to be believed, so it's possible to get quality around here without having to get blown away by the cost.

There's not a great deal of nightlife in the area, not are there many amenities within a few minutes' drive. I wouldn't call this area of the county isolated, but you will have to drive about 10-15 minutes before you get to the malls and major chain restaurants, and probably a little longer for the hospitals. This looks like a suburban area and yet it doesn't really feel like one out here; you're just as likely to see some open fields and pleasant country views around this road as you are likely to find clusters of homes and a few businesses.

I personally like this neighborhood. Being so close to the schools is probably a blessing and a curse, but it's a good neighborhood in a fine area of Dutchess County.
Recommended for
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  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 26, 2012

"Trailer park in the woods"

Off of Palen Road, in between Routes 82 and 52, you'll find Mapleview Road. It is part of the Charlett Grove Trailer Park, which appears to contain several dozen very modest homes.

Location-wise, this isn't a bad spot. You're relatively close to Hopewell Junction, which has restaurants, places to shop, places to worship, places to send your kids to school, parks, public transportation, and all that good stuff. You're also not a tremendous drive away from other things to do, being in the most populated part of Dutchess County. This road itself, however, is in a relatively woodsy area and there's not much around the trailer park.

As one might expect, home values are definitely more affordable. I was only able to find a few for this street, but they're generally in the low-to-mid $100k range. It is a low-income neighborhood, which is unfortunate but true. The trailers are very densely-packed, also not unexpectedly, which can sometimes mean your home is a very short distance from your neighbors on both sides. I'd imagine there's quite a bit of community with neighbors here.

Parking appears to me as though it can be a problem; there aren't a lot of places to maneuver around here with the streets being narrow and not every place looking like it has a driveway.

Mapleview Road is alright if this is the kind of neighborhood you can afford. It's not in a bad setting and it's not far from things to do.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
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  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Jul 26, 2012

"A very dead end"

Ohland Road in Stanford is a relatively long dead-end street which flows off of County Route 65, better known as Hunns Lake Road. It is sparsely-populated, as many roads around this part of the county are. As you drive up to it from Hunns Lake Road, it almost looks more like someone's driveway than a residential road.

There are few homes to be seen here, as a lot of Ohland Road is consumed by trees, but you'll also see what is unmistakably a little bit of farmland as you drive up and eventually have to turn around at the dead-end. There are perhaps a few more houses here than one might think, as a few are buried deep within the trees. Most everyone's driveway is long and seems to cut through a forest. Looking at it from above is almost extraordinary, because you'll sometimes spot a house alone, completely surrounded by the woods. Driving through here, you know you're in a remote location.

Because it's so remote, you're going to be left alone. I haven't lived in this neighborhood but while I'm sure those who live here may know their neighbors, you can't exactly see them, either. Like I said: some houses are completely isolated, never mind the road itself. I wouldn't think interaction is frequent and common like you'd get in typical suburbia. Ohland Road is out-of-the-way, and so are the neighbors.

Home values run a fairly substantial range. Some appear to be below $300,000, while others cross well above $600,000. Most fall somewhere in the middle. I would assume that certain properties around here come with a great deal of land, but the homes themselves look quite nice, so you probably won't find too much dirt-cheap in this area.

Bangall is the nearest hamlet to here, and it's very small. Stanfordville is right after that, and it's not much bigger. You'll find a few restaurants in those places several miles away, but your options for most everything are limited up here. Food, shopping, schools, gyms, medical facilities and so forth -- for the most part, you can forget them all, and none of it is within a couple miles of this road. Major retail shopping is especially distant, but being in this region of Dutchess County, there are plenty of parks and lakes in the general area. You'll need a car for all of it, because public transportation doesn't run anywhere near this part of town.

A road like Ohland isn't for everyone, of that I can assure you. The kinds of people who need to be near major amenities and want to be part of a vibrant suburban neighborhood won't find what they're looking for here. They probably won't find it within several miles of here, either.
Recommended for
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  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • 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
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 26, 2012

"Quiet neighborhood near a pond"

Tee Holly Pond Road is a very short road in Beekman, New York. It's only a few hundred feet long and there are not many houses on the road itself, but it is part of a larger neighborhood. I've seen it in some other places called Ice Holly Pond Road, but whatever it is, it's an agreeable spot in which to live.

This neighborhood is a little out of the way. To get here from the closest main road, Green Haven, you'd have to go down and around a few side roads to get to this dead-end street. When you get here, you'll see some homes, many of which have small swimming pools in the backyard. You'll also see more than your fair share of trees. The nearby pond is small and not necessarily easy to see from all parts of the road, but it's there. Given its nice setting, few homes, and distance away from the bigger roadways, I'd have figured that this neighborhood was quiet, anyway, but being familiar with the area, I know it to be true. You'll have some neighbors and I'm sure they're friendly, but you also won't be bothered much out here, either.

The homes aren't necessarily modest, and the estimates for home values in this neighborhood reflect that, coming in at about $400,000. Two homes recently sold on adjacent streets went for $425k and $465k. You wouldn't necessarily think it would be expensive to live here, but it kind of is.

In Beekman, you don't really have a lot of amenities in the area. In fact, you're closer to a prison (about a mile away) than the nearest supermarket. Forget about major shopping around here or other things to do indoors like eating out often or going to the movies. The town is growing, but the businesses haven't caught up to the population yet. It's still a quiet town in general, and you'll have to go to Poughkeepsie or Fishkill for big-time shopping, and possibly Hopewell Junction for a few more restaurant options. There's little in the immediate neighborhood of Tee Holly Pond Road except houses. You definitely need a car to live here, as most everything you'll need to get by in everyday life is several miles away at least.

Aside from the isolation, this is a nice place to be. The neighborhood isn't very big, but it is quiet and calm.
Recommended for
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  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 25, 2012

"Short road, small neighborhood"

De Garmo Place in the City of Poughkeepsie is a very short road. From end to end, it only measures about 400 feet and has maybe half a dozen homes on it. It's almost impossible to judge this road being that it's so minute, but that doesn't mean I won't try.

There are houses next to those on De Garmo, behind them, in front of them, and on all sides of them. Though this road in particular has very few homes, the neighborhood at large has plenty to make up for it. As for the ones that are on this road, the home values are in the affordable/modest range. The most expensive one appears to be about $250,000, with most sitting in the low 200s. The homes and properties are likewise modest, both here and in the surrounding neighborhood, though some of the homes on nearby streets crack $300,000 and up. By and large, however, the dwellings in this neighborhood are not on the costly end of things, despite the fact that this is one of the least economically challenged areas of the city.

You're quite close to Poughkeepsie Middle School and High School here, and being in the City of Poughkeepsie, you're only minutes from many different kinds of amenities. Within a 5-10 minute drive of this road, you'll find more schools, restaurants, shopping, parks, churches, excellent hospitals, and public transportation. Clearly none of those things exist on De Garmo Place, and few are on surrounding streets, but nothing is truly far away. With regards to the streets, the parking situation is alright around here, at least as far as I can tell. At least some of the homes appear to have driveways as well.

There are some neighborhoods near here which aren't the safest, but I have no basis to say that De Garmo is a part of that. Still, locking your doors and having an alarm system is a fairly common practice in the City of Poughkeepsie, regardless of where you live, so it might be a prudent undertaking here as well.

Obviously, there's not much happening on De Garmo Place. With about six houses, it's one of those forgotten streets in the City of Poughkeepsie. Still, there is affordable housing here (when you can find one on this street) and you've got a lot of the conveniences of a city close-by.
Recommended for
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  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 24, 2012

"Nice neighborhood in the forest"

Woods End Road in LaGrange has its name right -- it's in the woods. This is a small side street on the east side of the Taconic State Parkway, off of Todd Hill Road. It's a perfectly nice location, but right away, there is one minor nuisance with which residents must contend: on the west side of the Taconic, there are some shops, places to eat, more schools, a supermarket, and so forth. Here's the problem: when the county attempted to make the highway safer about 10-15 years ago, they closed all at-grade crossings of the Taconic. Todd Hill Road was one of them. If going west on Todd Hill Road, you can't go from one side of the highway to the other because the median was sealed and there is no overpass, so you'll have to go down and around or up and around to get to the other side. Put another way, the main road to which Woods End is connected is now essentially a dead-end upon reaching the highway. This probably doesn't create a tremendous issue, but it may require you to hop on the highway and back off just to go food shopping.

As for the neighborhood itself, it's on the more well-to-do end. It's a more secluded side road with nice houses and well-maintained yards. Of course, there are trees all around as well. It's a short street -- maybe a little over a quarter of a mile long -- so you'll have maybe a dozen neighbor families or so, but they're all pretty close together (but not too close) so I figure it's relatively close-knit and friendly. I wouldn't think that the nearby Taconic poses a threat for sound, since there is a buffer of a few hundred feet and a lot of trees in the way. The highway almost certainly won't be a bother to you here.

There are some conveniences on this side of the highway, like a few elementary and middle schools, parks, and churches. For the rest of the good stuff, like local hospitals, shopping, and everything else, you'll have to cross the Taconic to the west.

Woods End Road is a small neighborhood but a classy one with its above-average properties, setting, and quietness. You might need to have a little money to get a place here, but you can do far worse than this neighborhood.
Recommended for
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  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 21, 2012

"Another well-to-do neighborhood"

Beekman certainly has some nice homes, and you can find more than a few on Gabriels Path. In fact, this street is one of several in this general area of town where the houses are all fairly large and well-appointed with a decent amount of land. This means quite simply that if you go over to the next road and the one after that, the quality of home is going to be about the same. It's a wealthy neighborhood, let's put it that way. Homes currently on the market here are selling for $400,000 and up.

The homes aren't really that spread out, but they tend not to be very close to the roads. Property owners here will have big front yards as well as back yards, some of them dotted with trees. These back yards might have large swimming pools and/or patios. You can also tell just by driving down this road that landscaping is high on the list of priorities, as many of the properties are maintained well, and this contributes to the overall feel of a rich, safe, clean neighborhood.

Sometimes, you pay the price for living well, and though Gabriels Path is a perfectly fine street with great homes, but you're not really close to much of anything. There are some parks and golf courses, but being blunt, there's nothing out here but houses. There is a supermarket a couple miles away, and you may spot some restaurants here or there, but mall shopping isn't close, medical facilities/hospitals aren't close, and as far as I know, gyms and schools aren't very close. Gabriels Path is at least 4-5 miles from some of those things; much more when it comes to the malls.

I'd say that this street is exclusive, a little isolated, but very agreeable.
Recommended for
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 19, 2012

"Simple residential side street"

Kirchner Avenue in Hyde Park is a side street which branches off of Route 9. Driving down it, you'll see a fairly simple road with some houses bunched closely together, some trees, and some grassy lawns. If that sounds generic, it is, because that's the word I think of when I consider Kirchner Avenue.

Hyde Park isn't a terribly unpopulated town, so there are things to do in the nearby area. All one needs to do is hop on Route 9 and drive south for a few miles to see some restaurants, places to shop, places for medical care, parks, gyms, schools, and more. Everything you need is close enough, just not here.

It seems like it's at least a relatively pleasant neighborhood with some friendly people, but it's not really the tree-lined sort of street I'm used to seeing around here. Furthermore, as mentioned, the lot sizes are pretty small here so houses are practically on top of one another. If you're looking for some silver lining on that, perhaps neighborly togetherness is improved here as opposed to other locales where homes are much more spread out. The bad news is your backyard almost certainly won't be that big and I haven't seen a lot of swimming pools in them, if that sort of thing interests you.

In driving down Kirchner, I can't really assign any positive or negative characteristics to it. To me, it's just a street, albeit one that doesn't leave me with a particularly bad impression. The homes are nice enough and the neighborhood at large isn't a bad place to live.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 17, 2012

"Fox Street: Famous for its doctors' offices"

Fox Street in the City of Poughkeepsie is a short roadway intersecting Route 9 south of the Mid-Hudson Bridge. It is very close to Vassar Brothers Hospital, one of the best hospitals in the area. As you might find at any medical center, there are a number of specialist offices around it, and for this hospital, many doctors are located on Fox Street.

If going north/east on Fox, you will see several buildings, almost all of which contain medical practices. Down at the other end heading towards the river, there is a hair salon.

This is a relatively green area and doesn't feel too urban, despite being right near an active highway. The problem with Fox Street is that I'm not sure there are more than a private homes or apartments here. It's a small number to be certain, however many it is. It's kind of hard to have a neighborhood when there's almost nobody living there. If there are more than a few places to live, the fact that the doctors' offices bring in so much traffic (and having the hospital a block away) would probably be a bit annoying.

There just aren't too many places to live on Fox Street, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Jul 15, 2012

"Isolated side street, great for peace and quiet"

Fishkill Creek Road through the Lomala area of East Fishkill. With a train track (inactive as far as I know) running through it, this is one of the more secluded areas of town that's not in Stormville.

Because of its isolation, Fishkill Creek Rd. is very peaceful. It's uncommon to see cars going by as it's not a main thoroughfare and it's definitely out of the way. It'll take you a few minutes to get here from Route 82, which is the nearest major roadway.

There are some parts of this road which are pretty densely forested, and there is a little brook running through here as well. In spite of that and the train track, there are plenty of houses here, though the homes are not stacked closely together in most cases. There aren't any sidewalks but you will see your neighbors walking their dogs around here and playing outside with the kids. Most homes have some land, and a good many have swimming pools. There really aren't any open fields and the lots aren't very big though, so I can't say this is thoroughly a country paradise.

I would peg this neighborhood as being average income. The houses vary in size as you might expect on any street, with some one or two-story dwellings. Just about all of them are kept up well. As for anything else, there are no local businesses here at all.

While it's obviously really quiet and a nice enough neighborhood, you do have to do some driving to find places worth your while. Hopewell Junction and its conveniences are not *that* far away, but there's nothing in the immediate area of Fishkill Creek Road. Same goes for schools and things of that nature.

Despite all that, this is a really pleasant little road. I'd struggle to come up with negatives about it.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 11, 2012

"Scenery and nice houses -- what's not to like?"

Red Hook is the town in the northwestern corner of Dutchess County, pressed along the very scenic Hudson River. Most of its activity is contained within its two villages, Red Hook (village) and Tivoli, each of which offers a little different feel.

In Tivoli, you've got the prime location on the Hudson River, the trendy feeling, and the presence of the arts. In Red Hook's village, you have the larger community, the local businesses, and more places to go. What unites them, other than being in the same town, is that both of them, and everything in between, is bucolic, quiet, peaceful, and a wonderful place to raise a family in some peace.

Now, it's not perfect, especially if you want to live in an area where everything you could possibly need is a short drive (or even a walk) away. Red Hook is not that kind of town. You'll need a car to get around here, and even at that, Red Hook doesn't have everything. For example, there is no hospital here -- you'll find that in Rhinebeck or Kingston, if you feel like crossing over the river. You will also not see major retailers; for those, it's either Kingston to the west or Poughkeepsie to the south. Finally, there's not a ton of nightlife, despite there being solid places to dine out.

What you will find are some quality local businesses, including a number of restaurants which have been pleasing the community for years. Generally speaking, you've got good variety amongst them (Italian, Chinese, Japanese, et al.) and most peoples' needs are met. The big chain restaurants (like your TGI Friday's or Chili's) don't exist here; those are in Kingston and/or the Poughkeepsie area. You will also find some fitness facilities, a supermarket and drug store, and a few specialty shops.

Red Hook rarely gets swamped with traffic, though at times you'll see cars passing through. At peak hours, Route 9 can get a little busy, as it does in all towns it passes through in Dutchess County, but it's markedly less than you'd see in Poughkeepsie. Public transportation reaches here in the form of the Dutchess County Loop Bus, but there is no train access from Red Hook. I would imagine that commuting from here to New York City would be on the impossible end, unless you like spending close to 5 hours a day in the car; more likely than not, you'd have to seek out local opportunities. There are a few, but bigger cities like Kingston and Poughkeepsie have more.

The school system in Red Hook is known area-wide to be rather good. There is also a university here, Bard College, in the Annandale-on-Hudson neighborhood. Yes, part of Red Hook is a "college town."

In spite of that, there's nothing wrong with wanting to raise a family here or settle into a peaceful lifestyle. A number of houses are quite nice, some of them antiquated (in a good sense: they're older, but they're kept up beautifully). Further, it's just a nice community with a good neighborhood feel. You could do far worse than this town; it's worth a look.
Pros
  • Nice place to raise a family
  • Fair amount of restaurants
  • Good Schools
  • Indoor and outdoor recreation center/park
Cons
  • Not a ton to do
  • Scant shopping
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 11, 2012

"A quiet, peaceful, and reasonable place to live"

In the southeastern corner of Dutchess County, you'll find the Town of Pawling. Being on the eastern side hugging the Connecticut border, you'd correctly assume that this area is less developed and a little more isolated than the western side. With that said, there is still civilization here, as well as other points that make this town an appealing place to live.

Other than Routes 22 and 55, there is nothing resembling a highway coming through here. You'll be driving south for a little while before you hit Interstate 84, and there's no highway link from here to Poughkeepsie -- Route 55 will get the job done, but you will contend with traffic lights just like everybody else. The good news is that there are two public transportation options as well. First, the Dutchess County Loop Bus does operate a route between the City of Poughkeepsie and Pawling, and second, the Metro North's Harlem Line train to New York City stops here. Neither trip to the end of the line will be brief, but it is nevertheless available. Still, don't kid yourself: you need a car to get around here.

When you drive around this town, you'll see a peaceful, safe, and green community. Like many other areas of Dutchess County, it has grown, but with that, you'll find a fair amount of houses for sale in most towns, including Pawling. Just because this town has drawn more interest in recent years, however, doesn't mean it's sprawling out, nor does it mean it's becoming less peaceful. I've always found Pawling to be pretty reasonable in that regard.

There is a supermarket in town (a Hannaford, if I'm not mistaken) but your major retail options are very limited -- as in, they don't exist. For most places in Dutchess County, the logical and closest place to go for big-ticket shopping would be Poughkeepsie, but down here, it might be better to head south and swing to the Danbury Mall. There are a few medical clinics (including pediatric care) here, but the closest hospital is in Carmel in Putnam County. More good news, though: there is a gym in town for fitness fans.

The school system here is reportedly pretty strong and is able to service students all the way up through high school.

There are lots of local businesses in town, including restaurants, some of which I've heard are very good. There are places to eat, sure, but a drawback is that there still are not many other places to enjoy a night out in this town. You'll have to find your fun elsewhere for the most part.

Pawling is quiet, but not so quiet that it's just you and the trees like some other Dutchess County towns. You're not swamped with traffic or urban sprawl like in Poughkeepsie, either. In some respects, Pawling is like a happy medium, where you've got a number of modern conveniences available to you and get to live in a nice community while not having to worry too much right now about an area that's getting too big, too fast.
Pros
  • Beautiful, natural setting
  • Reasonably affordable
  • Recreational activities
  • Safe
Cons
  • A tiny bit isolated
  • Limited nightlife
  • Lack of access to major highways
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 10, 2012

"Developing, art-friendly city on the Hudson"

Beacon is a city in the southwestern-most corner of Dutchess County, hugging the Hudson River while flanked on its south side by mountains (like the appropriately-named Mount Beacon). This city has been on the move in recent years and is becoming a more attractive location for artists and tourists.

Lately, Beacon's big draw has been the Dia Art Foundation Gallery. It's located right on the banks of the Hudson and can draw a crowd. Knowing from experience, there are also a few artists/thespians I know living in the town who were drawn to it for a variety of reasons; having a place like Dia there only added to the appeal for them.

As far as location, it's in a good one. It's right near Interstate 84 and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge while having a Metro North train station to New York City sitting right there in town. The commute down to the city won't be short, but it's doable (and plenty of residents engage in it). That's not to say there aren't some opportunities right here, however, because there are local businesses, including shops and restaurants (one in particular of which I've heard good things is River Terrace, which clearly has a view of the Hudson if you're to believe its name).

There aren't big shopping malls or anything like that here, but you will find plenty of shopping nearby in Fishkill (to the east on I-84 at the Route 9 intersection), but also about 15-20 minutes to the north in Poughkeepsie.

Some of the houses here are very nice. Again, from knowing residents, I am aware that some date back to the Revolutionary War era -- and with houses that old in town, you know there's history to be found here. Indeed, there are historical markers here, and you're not far from places like West Point or Washington's Headquarters, just to name a few. Further, a little to the south (probably technically in the Town of Fishkill), those hugging the Hudson's eastern shoreline will notice quite the spectacle: the remnants of a castle on an island. It's called Bannerman's Castle and was built over a century ago as a munitions storage ground; before that, the island itself was part of Revolutionary War strategies to control the Hudson. It may be just outside Beacon, but it's an interesting historical draw for sure.

One complaint I would have about Beacon is that not every neighborhood is as nice and quaint as others. Some houses are still on the more run-down side and look uninviting, but overall I would still say the town is safe and on the rise, and issues with crime are rarely heard of locally.

Beacon is a fine place to settle down. I know of many who have successfully raised families here in a relatively peaceful environment.
Pros
  • Good location
  • Things to do in town
  • Great historic shopping district
  • Terrific Restaurants
  • Galleries and museums
  • Riverfront parks
Cons
  • Some neighborhoods are still run down
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 09, 2012

"Hyde Park: Not a bad place to live at all"

The Town of Hyde Park lies just to the north of Poughkeepsie, the biggest municipality in Dutchess County, but it holds its own. Hyde Park has plenty in the way of history, places to live, places to eat, and places to enjoy yourself.

Hyde Park residents are generally very proud of their town's significance in American history. Indeed, the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it home, and you'll see plenty of reminders all over town (not the least of which is the "Welcome to Hyde Park" sign). Further, the Vanderbilt homelands are here, not far from Roosevelt's, in fact. Both of these locations bring in their fair share of tourism and still draw interest from the locals.

In the northern part of the town, you'll find the hamlet of Staatsburg. It's a little more isolated and there's not nearly as much to do except hang out at home (or head up to the village of Rhinebeck, perhaps), but the southern part of town is where most of the action is. This is where you'll see the shops, local businesses, schools, movie theaters, quality restaurants, pubs/bars, and all of the other establishments you'd expect to see in a reasonably-sized town. The rest of the good news is that you're close to Poughkeepsie, where you're bound to find much more to do. Of course, some serious fine dining is located right here in town: the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). For those not interested in that sort of experience, there are plenty of local restaurants that will suit your fancy, many of which are along the main roads.

Getting around by car is easy here, though Routes 9 and 9G get a little heavy at peak hours or on weekends. At rush hour near the Roosevelt Mansion, those local shopping centers and diners are busy and Route 9 can crawl at times (as someone who commuted through here my fair share, I know what I'm talking about). The Dutchess County Loop Bus services this town, while the Metro North train to New York City is nearby in Poughkeepsie. That same train station is also where one can catch the Amtrak.

You're not going to find big-box retailers in Hyde Park -- supermarkets yes, but for the major shopping options, Poughkeepsie and points south are your best bet. There are local shops and grocers to take care of you otherwise. Still, those towns aren't all that far away, so Hyde Park is conveniently located in that respect. With medicine, you're covered: the two main area hospitals, St. Francis and Vassar Brothers, aren't in Hyde Park, but neither one is far from it. There are plenty of doctors offices and specialists in the surrounding area. There are also gyms nearby, like Planet Fitness and Mike Arteaga's.

In spite of the town being busy and having lots of attractions and things to do, it's still kind of quiet in some respects. Hyde Park always crossed me as one of those towns that was a little bit of both: not too active but not too dull. With some solid schools in town and new housing (like everywhere else in this area), this is a good town to settle down and raise a family, though many professionals also reside here, as do retirees looking for a little bit of a more peaceful, safe existence.
Pros
  • Not far from conveniences
  • Culinary Institute of America
  • Safe
  • Fabulous parks
  • Some stellar restaurants
Cons
  • Traffic gets a little heavy
  • Busy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 09, 2012

"Former rural town in transition"

Beekman is one of the towns in the south central area of Dutchess County. Being closer to the eastern side of the county, one would probably assume that this is a rural, isolated area. True, it is still more isolated in some hamlets and census-designated areas within it, but Beekman, like much of the rest of Dutchess, is growing.

What used to be a lot of farmland -- well, still is farmland in some areas at least as far as I can tell, but there has definitely been more development in the town in recent years. There are homes to be had here and also in neighboring towns to the west, most of which have seen an explosion in housing with the increasing population. New places to live are popping up all over here.

What makes Beekman a more attractive option these days? Well, for one thing, it is away from the hustle and bustle of the Poughkeepsie area (as in, quieter, cleaner and safer) while still being close enough to major highways to get where you need to go. Commuting to New York City from here does happen, as hopping on the Taconic State Parkway going south is relatively easy and the nearest Metro North's Harlem Line train to the city is in Pawling, which also is not a terribly long distance. As far as other means of public transport, the Dutchess County Loop Bus's route does clip the town. Still, if you don't have a car, you won't be going much of anywhere.

There aren't any malls here -- you'll find some local businesses of quality but for the big retailers, you'll have to head out to either Poughkeepsie or Danbury. For restaurants, same thing: you will come across a few options, but for more, it's out of town you go. You won't be driving all day to find them, anyway, but as Beekman grows, expect the number of solid local options to grow along with it. There is no gym in Beekman, but there is at least one in a nearby town like LaGrange. Finally, with hospitals, you'll have to go either to Poughkeepsie or Carmel in Putnam County.

As one might imagine, there's not much to do in this town at this point in time, and having known residents of Beekman (Poughquag) in the past, I'm well aware of the fact that they had to go to the Poughkeepsie area to enjoy a night out. That was a personal preference I suppose, but one I imagine they'd still choose today if they still resided here. There is Sylvan Lake for some quiet local recreation, particularly in the summer, but its appeal is largely seasonal.

I can say with some level of certainty that Beekman is a pleasant locale to raise a family and/or settle down for whatever reason. It's growing, but is still not to the point where it's a full-fledged Poughkeepsie suburb yet. There's still plenty of greenery and enough quiet to live in peace.
Pros
  • Still relatively quiet
  • Growing Quickly
  • Safe
Cons
  • Not much to do
  • A bit expensive
  • Not a ton of retail options
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 08, 2012

"Growing town with nice homes and friendly people"

East Fishkill is located in south central Dutchess County, obviously to the east of Fishkill, and is home to a reasonably-sized population. It is also home to a number of amenities and places for education and fun.

There are a few hamlets/centers of civilization within this town, the foremost of which is called Hopewell Junction. Hopewell is a pleasant little village with stores, quality local eateries and other assorted local businesses, parks which commonly have events scheduled, and fitness and other recreational facilities (like a rec center and golf courses). You won't find absolutely everything you need there, but there are establishments around and a number of things to do. Most of the big conveniences like malls, hospitals, and national chain restaurants can be found closer to Route 9, which isn't all that far away when you think about it.

The rest of East Fishkill is as good a place to raise a family as Hopewell Junction. For one thing, area schools are generally believed to be good, though an issue with some in this district (not necessarily those in East Fishkill) is overcrowding. Indeed, the area is growing and this town is not impervious to the trend. Still, it's a peaceful and safe area, and it's relatively quiet. Other hamlets in East Fishkill like Stormville are more quiet, but there's also less to do there and a much lower population in general.

There is big business here. Most notably, there is an IBM plant located on Route 52 as part of the "Hudson Valley Research Park," and over the years I've known adults who were employed by said institution. There is also an IBM building to the northwest in the Town of Poughkeepsie which over the years has seen its fair share of layoffs which made the local news (I can't assume this plant is necessarily the same, however). Back to the East Fishkill location, this facility does drive the economy (to some degree, at least) in this town.

Traffic is not a major issue. There is definitely some, especially if you're in Hopewell Junction waiting at one of the longer traffic lights or are traveling down one of the main roads in East Fishkill, but it tends to only appear at peak hours or on weekends. The Dutches County Loop Bus does provide some public transportation here, but for the Metro North train to New York City, you'll have to drive to the station in Beacon, which is a few towns over but isn't too far. If you're in Stormville, then you're further from all of it -- Stormville is the only part of this town which is more on the isolated side. Just about everywhere in town will you need a car to get around.

Based on past experience with East Fishkill, I know that there are some areas which are nicer-looking than others, but there is a lot of community spirit here and there are things to occupy your time. People who live here typically like and appreciate their setting.
Pros
  • Community spirit
  • Fun parks, golf courses and more for the nature lover
  • Growing economy
  • Safe and good schools
  • Safe environment for children
  • Strong recreational programs
Cons
  • Just a few isolated areas
  • A bit expensive
  • Need a car to travel most places
  • Not as quiet as other towns
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 07, 2012

"Wappinger: A little bit of everything"

The Town of Wappinger sits just below Poughkeepsie and is one of the more populated towns in Dutchess County. Being in Dutchess's southwestern quadrant, the population has seen a bit of a boom over the years.

One way you'll know this is true is because of the traffic. Simply put, there is just a lot more of it than there used to be, and at peak weekday hours or on weekends, the main roads through Wappinger are full of cars. Much of this congestion will be found on Route 9, either coming down from Poughkeepsie or up from Fishkill (and Interstate 84).

The good news is that there is also public transportation. The Dutchess County Loop Bus system is very active through Wappinger, and the Metro North's Hudson Line train down to New York City is close-by in New Hamburg. A car is still what you'll primarily need to get around, though. Finding residents who commute to the New York City area is not uncommon, and with regards to those residents, more than a few live in nice homes but I'd describe it more as an average income area overall.

Another piece of good news is that there are things to do here and places to shop. Wappinger is not at all far from the malls and major retailers in Poughkeepsie, while having some big-ticket stores of its own (such as BJ's Wholesale Club on Route 9). There are several supermarkets here as well, including Hannaford and the new Adams superstore further down on Route 9 heading towards Fishkill. Further, you'll find MANY restaurants in town, particularly in and around Wappingers Falls, including major chains like Outback and Perkins but also some great local establishments such as Double O Grill and a Chinese & Japanese restaurant called Jade Palace, amongst others. Finally, there are a few bars in town for adults to enjoy a night out, if they choose to spend it that way. There's even a place called Fun Central for the kids to play mini golf, hit the arcade or go on bumper boats. And if one would rather work out, there's a tremendous Planet Fitness right near Home Depot.

Medical care is not far away, but most of the action is again near Wappingers Falls. There are clinics, dentists and doctor's offices here, but the big area hospitals are to the north in Poughkeepsie. Driving up Route 9, they'll take a little bit of time to reach, but it's not an outrageously long drive.

There are a number of schools in the town, and they are not necessarily all aggregated in Wappingers Falls -- Ketcham High School, Wappinger Junior High, Van Wyck Junior High, and so forth. The only issue with them that I know to be true is that in some, overcrowding has been an issue. The Wappingers Central School District is big and growing, and as such, the schools are getting packed.

Not all of Wappinger is built-up and congested, however. Yes, there are other areas of town (in Myers Corner along Route 376, for example) that have shops, stores, and restaurants, but there are plenty of trees and some nice open lands. Over towards Chelsea and Hughsonville, other than Route 9D coming through, there's some level of quiet and the picturesque Hudson River is nearby. Most of the activity, however, is right near Wappingers Falls.

Wappinger is a fine town with which I rarely have a problem. If you took away the increasing traffic, this would be a really convenient place to live with a lot of things to do, and no matter where in Wappinger you live, you're not terribly far from even more things to do. Everything you need to get by is here, but if you're looking for a truly quiet lifestyle, you might not like it as much.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 07, 2012

"Pleasant and wide-open, but little to do"

Amenia is a town located in the generally more unpopulated eastern half of Dutchess County, right along the Connecticut border. To the north is the Town of North East, while Dover lies to the south. None of these settlements are particularly alive with activity, and Amenia is no exception.

Given the lower population, traffic is not much of a problem here. There are some cars normally passing through on US Route 44 and New York Route 22, but tie-ups are very uncommon (and I have yet to see one in any of my experiences with Amenia). The highest probability of seeing any cars at all is in the Amenia village center, which is a charming little town with a few local businesses, restaurants, and plenty of greenery.

Speaking of greenery, Amenia definitely is not lacking. One can drive through the town and see plenty of trees and hills, and perhaps a few lakes and/or rivers. Outside of the Amenia hamlet, there is a winding part of Route 44 in coming down a hill -- if going from west to east towards the village, motorists will be treated to an expansive panoramic view. These vistas are not uncommon, as there are plenty of places to admire nature around here. Expect to see lots of vacant land and farms in Amenia.

Public transportation does almost reach here in the form of a train. Just outside the Amenia town border, the last stop on the Metro North's Harlem Line is reachable by car. Of course, a commute to New York City using it would be plenty long, but if nobody took the train from there, there wouldn't be a train station. The county buses go to Dover, not Amenia, and you will need a car to get around.

There is not much to do in Amenia. The center of the hamlet has some local businesses and a few food options (off the top of my head, Four Brothers Pizza), but not many. Nightlife doesn't really exist here in much any form. Finally, there are no places to do heavy-duty shopping or exercise in town.

Luckily, there is a hospital on the Connecticut side of the border in Sharon, which means residents won't have to drive all the way to Poughkeepsie for medical care. There are also some other medical care options in town and on the Sharon side.

Amenia is a quiet place to raise a family, and despite some level of isolation, you're not completely cut off from the rest of the world in having schools, local businesses and a hospital nearby. Some may term this area (whether rightly or wrongly) as "cow country," but it's a peaceful, safe and green town that has some nice qualities.
Pros
  • Clean
  • Great Place for Families!
  • Safe
  • Really pretty area
  • Some nice restaurants
Cons
  • Relatively isolated
  • No nightlife/things to do
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 05, 2012

"Isolated, but not without pockets of civilization"

The Town of Dover is on the eastern side of Dutchess County, sharing a border with the neighboring state of Connecticut. Most of the town is rural and unpopulated, but there are two villages/hamlets of consequence: Dover Plains and Wingdale.

The former is the larger of the two by far, and probably the only one that you'd recognize as a village. There are good schools, some churches, a few restaurants/cafes, park lands, gas stations, and a supermarket, amongst other local businesses. The latter is much smaller and more scattered, with a small library, a diner, a little strip mall and a bakery being amongst its most notable attractions.

Living out on this side of the county means peace and quiet. If you drive in between Dover Plains and Wingdale, or outside either one in any direction really, prepare to see not much of anything. There are trees, fields, hills, and some smaller bodies of water, if that's agreeable to you; you'll also occasionally see houses and local businesses, but otherwise, most of the action in Dover is in Dover Plains.

Some neighborhoods of Dover are quite nice while some are a little weathered, but all are quiet. There's little in the way of local attractions, but the neighbors are friendly.

Dover is not completely without auto traffic thanks to Route 22, despite feeling somewhat isolated, but it's rarely a hassle. On the plus side, Dover is serviced by two different methods of public transportation: the Dutchess County Loop Bus which will take you to Poughkeepsie and the Metro North train (Harlem Line) to New York City. The latter makes Dover more of a viable place to settle for a New York City commuter, but be advised that it'll still be a long trip from here.

Aside from the supermarket and local shops, that's all you have in terms of shopping. For that, you'll have to go either to Poughkeepsie (maybe about 35-40 minutes depending on traffic) or Danbury, CT, depending on how adventurous you're feeling. For medical facilities, again, Poughkeepsie is an option, but there is a hospital to the northeast in Sharon, CT. As for fitness, there are no gyms in town.

A retiree or family looking to quietly raise their kids might find this to be a nice area, whereas a single person or someone looking for a trendy area with lots to do will probably be disappointed by Dover.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 05, 2012

"Dutchess County's hit or miss city"

The City of Poughkeepsie is the seat of Dutchess County, located right along the Hudson River. The city proper has a population of about 30,000 people at last check and is mostly urban throughout its borders.

If I am going to be honest, there are some places of the city I like and some places I don't -- hence, it's "hit or miss." For example, there are some side streets of the city in the vicinity of Vassar College/Hooker Avenue/Wilbur Boulevard (which I hope to review later) that are very pleasant. From first-hand experience, a few of these neighborhoods have a great feel and are very welcoming. On the other side of the coin, there are some parts of the City of Poughkeepsie that I would consider almost to be "no-go." Not every neighborhood is the best, the nicest, or the cleanest, and unfortunately that is the case here. Some lack greenery and you will probably see some buildings that are not kept up well in those "miss" areas. Unfortunately, crime is also not completely unheard of in Poughkeepsie in general.

As far as modern conveniences, they're here. You have an excellent hospital in Vassar Brothers in the city, with many other medical facilities, clinics, and specialists nearby. There are also nightclubs, restaurants, places to shop, concert halls (such as the Bardavon and the Mid-Hudson Civic Center), and bars (a local favorite is Mahoney's, right near the train station). There are also places to exercise in the nearby area, and you're not very far from the big shopping malls in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

Speaking of the trains, there is public transportation. Not only does the Dutchess County bus system pass through here, there is also a City of Poughkeepsie bus system that operates with several different routes, giving residents a few options. Further, the Metro North train to New York City comes through here, and it doubles as an Amtrak station which I have taken advantage of in the past.

There are a few parks here, but the biggest attraction of them all (literally) is the Walkway Over the Hudson, the former railroad bridge which was converted into a pedestrian walkway and state park with majestic views. Since opening a few years ago, it has been an important draw for the area, and on weekends, you're likely to see pedestrians, vendors, joggers, and so forth.

I did not attend Poughkeepsie city schools, for full disclosure, but there is somewhat of a local reputation for a few not being very good. This does not necessarily apply to all, but there have been a few over the years with lower test scores and such. That is something for you to look into further.

I know some folks who are happy living here, but then again, they're in some of the more quiet residential neighborhoods (and there are a few). Otherwise, it's not really my favorite place in Dutchess County, though there are plenty of things around and it's not without its history.
Pros
  • Renowned colleges
  • Larger population
  • Lots of restaurants and bars
  • Major transportation hub
  • Public transit
Cons
  • More poverty than the rest of Dutchess
  • Not every neighborhood is nice
  • Higher crime rate
  • Lacks a wonderful community feeling
  • Not great for families
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 05, 2012

"Populous and with things to do, but growing fast"

The Town of Poughkeepsie, not to be confused with the City of Poughkeepsie (which is an entirely different entity with a different municipal government), is located by the Hudson River in Dutchess County's west. The town wraps around the city like a half-donut as it borders Ulster County on its west side. The northern, eastern, and southern sides of town all have a bit of a different feel to them -- or at least they do to me, having been a lifelong resident.

On the southern side of town, south of the City of Poughkeepsie, there is a lot to do. This is where the area's big malls are located, with the Poughkeepsie Galleria chief amongst them. Nowadays, most any major retailer you can think of is here or near here. The same goes for restaurants: with the growth of the Poughkeepsie area, many national chains have come here over the years, such as Chili's, Uno's, Red Robin, TGI Friday's, and Olive Garden, and there are plenty of local restaurants, varying from fast food to casual to finer dining. Given that many types of eateries are here now, chances are you'll find at least one to your liking. We're not talking Manhattan-style options, but there are lots of options indeed. Options also extend to nightlife, as you probably won't have to work too hard to find a decent bar, and there are nightclubs and movie theaters here as well, amongst other things. If Manhattan is your thing, though, New York City is not a horrible drive from here -- no more than 2 hours if all goes well.

The northern and eastern sides are much the same, with shopping centers, supermarkets, places to eat, available housing, schools, maybe a place to work out, and access to medical care.

With that said, yes, the Town of Poughkeepsie is growing. Traffic gets much worse now than it did 15 years ago, and recently I've started experiencing traffic on streets on which I've never seen it before. On Route 9 on a busy weekend or at peak weekday hours, it can be a slow crawl at times (especially factoring in some long traffic lights). Unless you're on a more isolated side street and stay there, you're probably going to notice this.

Public transportation is available. Several Dutchess County Loop Bus routes pass through and the Metro North train to New York City can be picked up either in the City of Poughkeepsie or a small hamlet called New Hamburg, located on the far southern tip of the Town of Poughkeepsie near the village of Wappingers Falls. Still, this isn't really a "sidewalk" community in many places and the residential areas aren't really on top of the wide array of local businesses, so you will need a car to get around.

The school system here is fine in most places; one issue of which I have heard in the area (not just Poughkeepsie) is that overcrowding is becoming a problem in some school districts. There are also options for universities, as well as parochial or private schools here, depending on your personal beliefs. Speaking of those, there are also plenty of churches in the area serving a variety of different faiths.

I find it convenient living in an area with so much around. I enjoy being able to say that I'm 5-10 minutes away from just about everything I need, and highway access isn't far, either. I have personally had no experience with local crime, though I know it's not unheard of, and there's enough land space in my neighborhood that we can spread out a little bit. This area is growing, however, so be ready for some congestion and crowding.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 05, 2012

"Small, pleasant town in Dutchess County's center"

Along the Taconic State Parkway in north-central Dutchess County, one will find the small town of Clinton. There is not much population here, nor is there necessarily a lot to do, but it is peaceful, green, and wide-open in many spots, but not so terribly far from modern conveniences and local business that it's completely isolated.

Traffic through here is not what I would consider a problem. Yes, there are often enough cars going through on the Taconic Parkway, but a lot of times, it's just passing though and doesn't really make its way onto the side streets. Most every neighborhood in this town I've encountered in Clinton is pretty quiet.

There is essentially no public transportation available in Clinton. The county bus system comes close (Millbrook), but doesn't quite stop here, so you'd need a car, anyway, and the Metro North/Amtrak trains run closest in Poughkeepsie, which will take you a little time to reach by vehicle.

In the Salt Point area, you'll find a few prominent local businesses and perhaps a restaurant, amongst other establishments; in Clinton Corners, you have a gas station, a park with a baseball diamond, and maybe if you're lucky somewhere to eat (perhaps the gas station's convenience store). A little out of the way, you might find some nice little vineyards and/or a nice lake to admire. Otherwise, that is pretty much the long and short of life in this town. Clinton is quite rural and though there is a residential population, there's not much of anything else.

Restaurant and/or nightlife options, medical facilities, variety in schools, fitness establishments and retail or grocery shopping are in short supply here -- which is to say, virtually none. You will have to leave the town boundaries for all of that and more. Clinton is a place where you go to live in peace and quiet in a close-knit community, perhaps with a lot of land and a large house. Speaking of, having also known previous and current residents of the town, Clinton folk tended to be a bit more on the well-to-do side, but that was only my experience; your mileage may vary. For what it's worth, some of the other nearby towns and villages like Millbrook and Stanford can say the same thing about their residents.

Clinton is a very pleasant place to be if you want a bit of isolation without being an hour away from civilization. You will need to go outside of it, however, for medical care, shopping, eating out, and all the rest.
Pros
  • Not much traffic
  • Green and serene
  • Outstanding community
  • Plenty of fun local events
Cons
  • A bit isolated
  • Little to do here
  • A little more expensive than nearby towns
  • Not a place you can easily walk where you need to go
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
May 05, 2012

"Quiet, peaceful, and secluded"

North East is the town in the far northeastern corner of Dutchess County (which makes sense, doesn't it?) The primary village located within it is Millerton, a small, quiet and a bit trendy locale near the Connecticut border.

As a general Dutchess County rule, the closer one is to Poughkeepsie, the more population and development there is. North East is about as far away from that in the same county as it can be without being in Connecticut or Massachusetts, both of which it borders.

There is some traffic passing through on US Route 44 and on New York Route 22, but neither tends to be problematic. Sometimes, a little bit of tourism will cause things to pick up, but again, it's not that bad. You will need a car to get anywhere, because there is not a whole lot in North East and no public transportation reaches here. The Dutchess County bus system frankly doesn't even come close to this town, while the Metro North train to New York City has its last stop in Wassaic to the south, which is not necessarily a short drive. For Amtrak, you'd probably have to go to Poughkeepsie, which is definitely not a short drive from here.

One of the bigger draws in North East, aside from the cozy village of Millerton, is the parkland. In the northeastern tip of the county, there is a state park (Taconic State Park) as the mountains pour over from Massachusetts and Connecticut. There are also lakes and waterfalls nearby to add to the overall scenery. For hikers, there are mountains to climb, though the popular Appalachian Trail passes close to this town but not through it. Outside of the park (and outside Millerton), there are lots of wide-open spaces -- you could drive down Route 22 for miles and see nothing but pastures, hills, and a generally bucolic setting. The first time I ever did, it was hard not to admire it a little.

For nature lovers, there are a lot of things in North East to appreciate. For those not looking for a country lifestyle or who require certain local amenities, however, this won't necessarily feel like home to you. Shopping is very limited to some local businesses and the occasional supermarket, there are some good restaurant options but they are limited, and there are no hospitals or fitness facilities nearby, for starters. Furthermore, your choices regarding nightlife are scarce at best. This town is isolated, so if considering it, be sure that's what you want.

Otherwise, there's nothing particularly bad that one can say about North East, unless you consider rural areas to be inherently bad, which I don't necessarily.
Pros
  • Nice state park
  • Peace and Quiet
  • Safe
Cons
  • Isolated
  • Few amenities available
  • Not much to do
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 05, 2012

"Nice town, nice parks, and nice homes"

LaGrange is one of several towns bordering Poughkeepsie, and much like the others, it has a good-sized population relative to the rest of Dutchess County and is close to modern conveniences.

First, with regards to traffic: there is some. Those who plan to move to Dutchess County must know that this area has grown quite a bit over the years, and population continues to make sizable jumps from census to census (increased 6.2% in 2010). What were some quieter country roads around here back in the day, as they say, might not be any longer. Residential traffic has really picked up in some areas. In LaGrange, you're not likely to see Manhattan-like congestion or anything like that, so let's not blow it out of proportion, but you'll be far from the only car you see on the road. When it comes to public transportation, the Dutchess County Loop Bus does pass through here, but the nearest trains are in Poughkeepsie, which could take you about 15 minutes or more to reach, depending on where you are. You still need a car to get around.

When driving through, LaGrange seems to be part suburban and part rural. Generally speaking, the closer you get to the Poughkeepsie side, the more suburban it is, and the closer to the eastern (more unpopulated) side, the land really starts to open up and there's just less development. What locals consider to be LaGrange is a slightly bigger area than is seen on the map provided here, as it extends a little further west on Noxon Road and Route 55, where you'll see some more local businesses, including popular restaurants. I've been to more than a few and haven't had many disappointments.

There are no medical facilities here in LaGrange, but not being far from Poughkeepsie makes it less of an issue. Of course, you'll find some clinics and dentists in the general area. Furthermore, there are no malls here, but there are local shops and supermarkets; you'll also find a few strip malls around that should be able to take care of a lot of your needs. Also, there are gyms here, including Gold's Gym on Titusville Road and a relatively new Planet Fitness that just opened. Finally, the schools around here do tend to have a good reputation locally.

From experience, I know that there are at least a handful of larger, more expensive homes here with big lawns and pools, but by no means does that describe everyone's living arrangements. The communities seem to be on the more tight-knit side.

Finally, there are parks in the area. Three that come to mind as being in this general vicinity are James Baird State Park, Overlook Park and Stringham Park, all of which are worth a visit. It's not uncommon to hear of festivals at places like Stringham Park during the year.

There are some nice sights in LaGrange, and though it has more noticeable auto traffic coming through, it feels like a peaceful community. You may not have every modern convenience in the world right here with you, but you're close enough to them (in other towns) that it's not much of a bother.
Pros
  • Nice parks
  • Good Schools
  • Great Farmer's Market in the summer/fall
  • Sense of community pride
  • Some decent area restaurants
Cons
  • A bit expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 04, 2012

"Quaint village with a few things to do"

Tivoli is a small village in the northwestern corner of Dutchess County which borders the Hudson River. It may not look like very much is there on a map, but there are actually things to enjoy if you live here or visit.

First, Tivoli does not have one issue that most northern Dutchess County towns do: lack of public transportation access. The Dutchess County Loop Bus DOES run through town, and Tivoli is the last stop on the line; residents, if so inclined, could take the bus to Poughkeepsie. I can't imagine it's a short ride, but the option is open. Unfortunately, it does not have access to the Metro North train to New York City and the nearest station for both that and Amtrak is in Poughkeepsie. You'll still need a car to get around from place to place, since not everything you need is located right there in the village, but even with that said, traffic is hardly a major issue (at least it has never been in my experiences).

For full disclosure, there are no medical facilities in town, there is no significant shopping around aside from local businesses (you'll have to do some driving even to get to a supermarket), and good luck finding a gym. The good news is that unlike some of the other northern towns like Milan, there actually are places to go for a night out. Tivoli is home to a few local restaurants, some or most of which are quite respectable. There is also a bar in town, for those looking for that kind of nighttime experience.

There are a few other amenities available, such as a library, nicely-kept town parks, the Hudson River and its views of course, and an inn or two for visitors.

Tivoli is green and quiet while having some of the charms of a rural village. With an art gallery and dance studio also in town, that almost makes it feel a little bit on the trendy side.

Still, there is some level of isolation here, despite the nice setting and the few restaurants in town. The next closest town of consequence is Red Hook, and you'll be driving about 5-10 miles to get there -- and they don't even have medical facilities, major shopping, etc. That'll all be in the Poughkeepsie area. If you don't require those things, then there's no harm in giving Tivoli a look. In spite of that, it has always seemed like a nice place to stop by and enjoy the local charm.
Pros
  • Beautiful Park
  • Decent Schools
  • Good restaurants
Cons
  • Isolated
  • A little too quiet some days
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 04, 2012

"Another scarcely-populated northern Dutchess town"

Milan (pronounced My-lin, not like the Italian city) may be another one of those underpopulated towns in the northern part of Dutchess County, but this one actually has less people and civilization than most of the rest when compared to Red Hook, Pine Plains, and Millerton, amongst others. Believe me, while it's a peaceful town and I'm sure many residents have good things to say about it, it can in no way be confused with the aforementioned cultural center of Italy which shares a common spelling.

The town's center, if there truly is one, is located off of the Taconic State Parkway and its main road passing through is New York Route 199, the highway which connects most towns in the northern part of the county and links it with the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. There will be some cars coming through, but it's not the kind of place that has a large enough population to generate a great deal of traffic, nor is it one to get slammed with tourists very often. There is a summer camp here, but even at that, it's not much of a bother.

Every now and then in passing through on 199, you'll see a local business (and you may even hear an ad or two for some of them on radio stations in the area). There are not many, however, though a few are restaurants. What you'll spot on the journey will probably look something like this: house, house, nothing, nothing, house, local business, extended period of nothing, houses, nothing, etc. That's not to say it's completely and totally abandoned, but this is the type of town where you won't find much of anything. As such, you can expect that the nightlife doesn't exist.

Shopping doesn't, either, and you're a LONG way from a mall. You're not even close to a supermarket, for that matter. You can also forget about finding medical facilities or fitness centers here, amongst other things. There are a few parks and some nice scenery, and you're definitely closer to better parks like Lake Taghkanic up to the north, but if you crave modern conveniences nearby, then the isolation of Milan will not suit your style at all.

If you couldn't guess, there is no public transportation available in town, either, whether it's by bus or train. This is a place where it's crucial that you have a car. Given its distance, I would have to imagine that commuting to New York City from here would be a major undertaking.

Peace and quiet is definitely on the menu in Milan. If that's not for you, then neither will this town be.
Pros
  • Peaceful and green
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Few local businesses
  • Isolated
  • Boring
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
May 04, 2012

"Trees, fields, and hills -- and that's about it"

For residents of Dutchess County, mentioning the Town of Union Vale brings very little to mind. A few who don't live in said town might even say "where's that?" It's not hard to imagine why, because even though this town shows up on a map, there's basically nothing in it of which to speak (aside from the aforementioned natural phenomena). I'm not kidding: there is almost literally nothing here in the way of local businesses or other establishments aside from private homes. You could drive through it from end to end and not even know you were in a town, because you won't see much of anything like a cluster of civilization.

If peace and quiet is your thing, you'll likely find it in abundance here. Being more towards the eastern side of Dutchess County, like nearly every other incorporated municipality around here, it's scarcely populated. If being surrounded by wide-open spaces and nature's beauty are also your thing, there's no reason you wouldn't find Union Vale appealing. There is also quite a bit of farmland that one can even see from a satellite view, which should adequately demonstrate what a quiet lifestyle you're likely to experience here. This also means that traffic is essentially not a concern.

There are some schools here in the general area, if not in the town proper; some are newer and appear to be nice facilities for schoolchildren.

Now the bad news, and there's plenty depending on your perspective: first, you're pretty isolated. There are no malls, hospitals, major retailers, or fitness facilities anywhere near Union Vale. Next, restaurants, bars, or other nightlife attractions simply do not exist here, and if they do, I've yet to learn of their existence. Finally, there is no public transportation for miles around. Your best bet on accessing the latter from Union Vale would likely be Dover Plains for the Metro North train to New York City, and perhaps Millbrook for the Dutchess County Loop Bus, both of which would take a little bit of time to get to, but you'll need a car to live here and get around, anyway.

Union Vale is the kind of place you want to live if you seek a quiet, undisturbed lifestyle. Perhaps you want to raise your kids or maybe you're just a country lover or retiree who seeks a peaceful setting. If that's your aim, then consider this town. If you're looking for activity or close proximity to restaurants, stores, and so forth, this is not the place for you.
Pros
  • Traffic not an issue
  • Peace and Quiet
  • Nice parks
Cons
  • Far away from amenities
  • Boring
  • Can feel isolated
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 4/5
May 03, 2012

"Cute, isolated town with a mountain to hike"

In far northern Dutchess County, almost near the border with Columbia County, you'll find the small town of Pine Plains.

There may be a few state highways passing through and the Taconic State Parkway's not all that far away, but it's still pretty isolated. There's nothing in the way of civilization within at least several miles of Pine Plains in any direction. As you might then expect, problems here with traffic are pretty light and reasonable.

To say it's clean and green is certainly true, and as visitors can see for themselves on the Pine Plains main page, there are some quaint small-town buildings here that give the village a bit of a charming feel. It's quiet and certainly a peaceful place for someone to raise a family (but if you or your kids are looking for local hangouts, there aren't a ton, or in other words, there's just not much nightlife to be had here at all).

Commuting from here to any city of note probably wouldn't be very easy, especially taking into account the fact that no public transport lines make it here, whether buses or trains. To live in Pine Plains and get to work, one must have access to an automobile (unless you're fortunate enough to have a job in town and relatively close-by). Otherwise, not just for commuting, but also for accessing medical facilities, fitness facilities, shopping malls and variety in restaurants will you need a car to get where you're going. If you're looking for a shopping mall, your best option might be Kingston or even Poughkeepsie, both of which are a fairly long drive from Pine Plains. Because of the lack of public transport and sheer distance, this is probably not a place I'd live if I were commuting to and from, say, New York City, if anyone had the idea.

As mentioned, there is a mountain and its affiliated park located right outside the village called the Stissing Mountain Multiple Use Area. It draws some interest from locals or even tourists looking for a pleasant hike, and it's picturesque as well, so why not. There are other local parks in the area, so I'd rate Pine Plains to be decent to good overall in this category.

There are a lot of things to like about Pine Plains, including its nice area, bucolic scenery, quietness and small-town feel. You are going to be somewhat cut off from society, however, so if you are looking for bigger and better options with regards to shopping, medicine, and more, this area probably won't be for you. Those who appreciate country settings and retirees looking for a modest lifestyle may very well like it here.
Pros
  • Green and pleasant setting
  • Genuine local businesses
  • Stissing Mountain is a cool hiking area
Cons
  • Isolated
  • Kinda sleepy
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
May 03, 2012

"A town that lives up to its name, or at least its descriptive adjective"

Pleasant Valley is a town to Poughkeepsie's northeast and is a popular "suburb" of that city, if one wants to call it that. At one point or another in my life, I've always known at least one person living in Pleasant Valley, and few have expressed disappointment about their surroundings.

This town is close enough to Poughkeepsie to have the nearby conveniences of hospitals, stores, supermarkets, gyms, restaurants, bars, and all other establishments/local businesses along those general lines, but without the higher population and inevitable traffic that comes with it. Don't get me wrong, there are usually plenty of cars coming through on US Route 44 (some residential, some not), but I have never witnessed it as the kind of congestion that makes you want to gouge your eyes out and give up driving altogether.

Public transportation is available here, but only in the form of the county bus system (the "Loop Bus"). Based on the current routes as of spring 2012, this bus comes to Pleasant Valley at least seven times a day; consult the Dutchess Loop Bus website for more details. The trains to New York City or elsewhere, however, do not pass through here; to catch the Amtrak or Metro North, you'd have to go to the City of Poughkeepsie, which isn't a terrible drive from Pleasant Valley, but a drive nonetheless -- and one commuters here do occasionally make.

The center of town does have some civilization in the traditional sense, with restaurants, gas stations, churches, a supermarket and so forth. Again, residents are also close enough to the built-up Poughkeepsie area that everything else that one might need is not terribly far away.

Pleasant Valley, despite having some population and enough local businesses to make a difference, also features some wide-open spaces. Some side streets feature larger houses and carefully-manicured properties that are clearly owned by the well-to-do -- perhaps not extremely wealthy, but some here do have money. There are plenty of other residents, however, that seem to be of a more average income. Nevertheless, the area is fairly green and in some places picturesque, also taking into account that the Wappinger Creek passes through.

It may not be the most exciting place to live or visit, but there is a reason it does have appeal to people around here. Many find it a nice place to settle down and raise a family, and more than a few have chosen to retire here as well. The schools in Pleasant Valley have always appeared to be of good quality and the setting is relatively peaceful.
Pros
  • Not far from conveniences
  • Mostly peaceful
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Good restaurants, especially for pizza
  • Great hiking trails!
Cons
  • Nightlife is pretty slow
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • 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
May 03, 2012

"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
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
May 02, 2012

"Small town with a hint of a big town feel"

Just because Red Hook is small doesn't mean there's nothing around. It's not like some of the other towns in the more rural areas of Dutchess County, particularly those further away from Poughkeepsie.

For the most part, when it comes to modern conveniences that people look for when trying to find a place to live, Red Hook has you covered. There is a supermarket, a pharmacy, a few stores, restaurants, gas stations, a gym, and schools. There is also even a movie theater in town, for those looking for something to do on a night out. There aren't a ton of options in terms of bars or things like that, but restaurants yes.

Red Hook has some nice buildings in the center of town which are kept up well, giving it some of that small town feel, and yet there are enough local businesses and other non-residential establishments around that you don't feel very isolated, either. As far as neighborhoods go, this tends to be a close-knit community and is a clean, green, and quiet place to enjoy your life and raise a family. Bard College is not far away, but it's far enough that it doesn't feel much like a college town.

Public transportation does reach here by way of the Dutchess County Loop Bus, which has a line running from Poughkeepsie to its south to Tivoli to the north. As far as trains go, the Metro North line to New York City doesn't reach up this far, and though there is an Amtrak line to the west, the closest stops are in Poughkeepsie and Albany, which probably won't be of much utility to you on a daily basis. The good news is that the bus system does visit the big malls in Poughkeepsie, so if driving isn't an option for you, that is available. Traffic into and out of Red Hook can get a little busy at peak hours, but there are places in the county with much worse.

There's not much to Red Hook about which one can complain. It's a cozy town with enough amenities nearby that you won't be bored all the time, you won't have to drive half an hour to go food shopping, you can enjoy a nice meal out of the house, you can find a place of worship if that's your choice, and you can raise your family in peace.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
May 02, 2012

"The land between two colleges"

If you're very familiar with US geography, you may know of the "Land Between the Lakes" in Kentucky. Fairview is kind of like the "Land Between the Colleges" as you have Marist on one side and Dutchess Community College on the other. In the middle you have homes, local businesses, medical facilities, and much more.

Being a part of the Town of Poughkeepsie -- none of which is isolated in any way, shape, or form -- Fairview houses a decently-sized population and plenty of modern conveniences. Being wedged in between two colleges, you'll find lots of things that college kids might enjoy, notably restaurants, bars, stores, and gyms. Furthermore, you're not that far of a drive from the malls in Poughkeepsie (around which there are many more restaurants and restaurant types), so if you want greater options, they're reasonably close.

Driving through here on Route 9, it can get irritating, especially during rush hour. The problems are exacerbated by Marist College foot traffic: the crosswalks are part of the traffic light cycle, and some traffic lights are FOR crosswalks in this area, so add an extra 30 seconds to a minute each time you sit at a light and watch the college kids walk through. I used to thoroughly despise this part of my late afternoon commute, but on the bright side, there are stores and restaurants on the other side of the street, which is probably appealing to many.

Both major hospitals in the Poughkeepsie area are very close, with Saint Francis Hospital practically visible from Marist College and Vassar Brothers Hospital only a few minutes away by car. As you might expect, there are a number of clinics and doctors offices near the hospitals, so medically, you're pretty well covered in Fairview. You won't have far to go in an emergency.

With the population being what it is, there are schools nearby (and not just the aforementioned higher education) at all levels.

Some parts of this neighborhood are nice and suburban, while others are a little more urban getting in towards the City of Poughkeepsie. On the northern end of it, there is some nice parkland and very nearby Fairview is the entrance to the Walkway Over the Hudson, one of the more popular and notable state parks around.

There are some things to do here, and even if it's not enough, you're close enough to big population centers to be able to get to more. It's not as quiet and peaceful as some areas outside Poughkeepsie, and it's definitely not secluded, but there are worse neighborhoods around.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
May 02, 2012

"Isolated but cozy little town"

Millerton is a small village located in the Town of North East in Dutchess County (and if you're wondering why the town is named that, check out a map -- Millerton is way up in that corner of Dutchess). Closer to Connecticut and Massachusetts than Poughkeepsie, the economic and population center of the county it's in, you're out in the wild a little bit here, but what you'll find is a pleasant, small community which offers a few benefits.

US Route 44 and New York State Route 22 pass through here, and sometimes you'll get travelers coming through (I've been one of them), but don't expect snarling traffic jams or anything like that, even at peak hours. I'm sure that there is some amount of tourism up this way, especially from those heading up to the nearby Taconic and/or Berkshire Mountains and parks therein, but simply put, the town's too small and a little too far out of the way these days to draw any traffic like that.

It's too far away for a commute to New York City, at least if your idea of a reasonable commute is under two hours. The Metro North train line ends in Wassaic, which means you'd need to drive about 10-15 miles just to get to the last stop on the line, never mind all that time you'd be on the train thereafter. Driving the whole way to NYC wouldn't be much more charitable, either. Finally, Millerton is also inaccessible to the county public bus system, which reaches Dover, but not here. Simply put, you've got to have a car to get to your job, and the big city is way too far away.

Millerton is home to a few restaurants, gas stations, a school, churches, and local businesses; it also has a CVS Pharmacy, a movie theater, and even a beer and wine distributor. The town extends essentially all the way to the Connecticut border, and along that stretch (Route 44), you'll find some of the more prominent businesses. Along some other streets, you may also find parks. Your best bets for hospitals or fitness facilities will probably be a significant drive away, as Poughkeepsie is not close, Rhinebeck is not close, and there's not much right over the border in Connecticut, either.

The neighborhoods in Millerton are quiet and friendly; many houses seem to have nicely-sized backyards or plots of land. If you really want to see wide-open spaces and great views, however, head about three miles out of the village in any direction. There is some civilization in Connecticut along Route 44, but otherwise, you'll go miles without seeing much of anything else, hence it is isolated.

Millerton is green and pleasant while not completely lacking things to do. Based upon my experiences with it, it seems like a quiet place to raise a family or even retire. Having lakes and mountains nearby only adds to the attractiveness of the overall setting. With the charming inns it has, it seems like a nice place for a relaxing day in a peaceful village as well.
Pros
  • Little traffic
  • Picturesque surroundings
  • Great Local businesses
  • Phenomenal community feeling
Cons
  • Isolated
  • Cut off from public transport
  • Not a lot of schools
  • Very small
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
May 01, 2012

"Clean village with a few local options"

Pawling is a relatively secluded village along Route 22 in southeastern Dutchess County. It is similar to other towns in the eastern part of the county, like Millerton, Dover Plains, and Amenia in that it is small, quiet, green, and peaceful.

There may be some traffic coming through on 22, but there's not going to be much in the way of a bother to local residents when it comes to cars. From here, it would take travelers a while to reach the closest highway, Interstate 84, which makes it a little bit too far out of the way for some. For those who choose to live here and commute to New York City, however, there is a Metro North train line running through the village, which will deposit you in the city at the end. Pawling has the benefit of being closer to the city than the aforementioned towns to its north, which means less commute time (though it still won't be a quick and easy train ride).

There is a supermarket nearby, as well as a few restaurants, inns, other shops, and gas stations. You'll also find some schools and churches in town, if that's of interest. For major shopping, fitness facilities and medical facilities, though, it'll either be west towards Poughkeepsie or south towards Danbury, both of which would eat up a reasonable amount of time.

Those looking for an active nightlife will have to have an automobile or be able to get to that train station, because there are very few establishments in town where one may shoot the breeze and enjoy a drink. Having a relatively low population also keeps down general activity in the area, and with few businesses, that also means fewer local opportunities than in other areas (though not as few as some other parts on this side of the county).

All indications to me are that this is a pleasant, close-knit community. It may be isolated, but it would be uncharitable to say there's nothing here at all. There are a few things, just not many, but tourists, commuting professionals and retirees may find this a nice place to see or settle.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
May 01, 2012

"Wealthy village with a charming feel"

Dutchess County residents, when asked to associate a word or words about the village of Millbrook, would probably choose "wealthy." It's fairly well known around these parts that Millbrook is a small colony for the well-to-do. The village itself has a few attractions, including some cafes and restaurants, and it does have a gas station, but otherwise there still isn't much here.

Driving through Millbrook, you'll see a picturesque little town, but you won't see anything even remotely close to a big box store, major medical facilities, or fitness centers. There are, however, churches, golf courses, ponds, and nice secluded homes (particularly just outside the village).

Millbrook has the advantage of being on US Route 44, which gives residents a straight shot at Poughkeepsie to find medical care, shopping, etc. They're also close to the Taconic State Parkway, which means a highway down to the New York City area. Speaking of cars, while you might get tourism through here (and I'm fairly certain that they do), I'd hardly call it anything like a tourist trap and you won't be in gridlock all day trying to get in and out -- I've heard Millbrook favorably compared to the Hamptons, but the Hamptons get way more auto traffic than Millbrook does. This village is nowhere near mass transit trains to New York City, which are located on the western and eastern sides of the county.

This area also has its fair share of wineries around, several of which are real tourist draws.

Millbrook is certainly a quiet area, relative to most of Dutchess County, but it does have some appeal that brings in visitors.
Pros
  • Quiet and safe
  • Green and picturesque
  • Many well-to-do residents
Cons
  • Little nightlife
  • Few local businesses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
May 01, 2012

"Near the interstate, yet very isolated"

Holmes is an area primarily in Pawling, New York, located right off of Interstate 84 in Dutchess County (and extending into northeastern Putnam County). Just because there's a highway here, however, doesn't mean it's not isolated and lacking things to do. I'm sure that those who live there can appreciate it as a small, green community, but there simply is not anything here except houses, and they aren't necessarily all that close together.

This part of Dutchess County is generally unpopulated, anyway, and Holmes is no different. There are very few businesses present here -- off the top of my head, there is an auto repair shop visible from the interstate, right near a large highway department winter salt shed. Otherwise, when you drive through here, either on the highway or the side streets, you'll see few signs of civilization. Forget about finding restaurants, bars/nightlife, fitness centers, medical facilities, shopping, and other conveniences along those lines. I know someone who lived in Holmes for a good long while and he ended up having to go in towards Poughkeepsie or sometimes down to Danbury, CT to shop, work out, etc. Driving here, there, and everywhere would often require a notable investment of time.

The largest clump of civilization to Holmes is Patterson in Putnam County, and there is barely anything there, either. The next closest after that is Pawling, which is bigger and similar to other eastern Dutchess County towns like Amenia and Dover Plains with a few shops, places to eat, inns, and a general small-town feel. None of that is located within Holmes, however.

It's a very green area and it tends to be hilly. One may see the occasional swamp driving through, but sometimes that water aggregates in the form of lakes, of which there are quite a few in Holmes. This is at times accompanied by parkland and the scenery can be quite nice. Holmes is a quiet place to raise a family or even just retire.

For professionals, there is at least the Metro North's Harlem Line located in Patterson as well as Interstate 84 very nearby. This helps mitigate the isolation a little bit, but in Holmes, it's you, houses, lakes, and trees. Country lovers might very well be able to appreciate it, but those looking to live an active social life or have amenities nearby will not.
Pros
  • Peaceful
  • Safe, residential communities
  • Secluded environment
  • Nature setting
Cons
  • Not much business
  • Little for entertainment
  • Car needed for most travel
  • Commuter lifestyle
  • Very isolated
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
May 01, 2012

"Trendy village with a few options"

Rhinebeck is a village which I used to pass through every day when I worked to the north, and I came to realize that it looked like a fun little place with a couple of things to do.

Much of the activity in town is along Route 9, where you'll see shops, antique stores, coffee shops, and a few restaurants (including the Beekman Arms, one of the most identifiable amongst them). Elsewhere in town, you'll find some other small restaurants, churches, maybe some bars, schools, and stores. The most major of the stores is a CVS pharmacy on a side street off of Route 9 (East Market Street). There is also a supermarket in the general area of the village, but outside it.

There are a few inns which make Rhinebeck an appealing stop for tourists. Furthermore, the Dutchess County Fairgrounds are located just to the north of the village, which hosts county fair and Renaissance Faire activities, as well as the occasional wine tasting expo and other local events as scheduled. The nightlife is not as good as in Poughkeepsie, but it's not non-existent, either.

Also to the north of the village center, there is a hospital and fitness center. Otherwise, the next closest gym is Planet Fitness on the Hyde Park/Poughkeepsie border south of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America, for those non-locals who might confuse it with the intelligence agency).

For mall shopping, your closest bet would be crossing over the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge into Kingston; maybe about a 15-minute drive or so. Your other choice would be going to Poughkeepsie, which might take you longer. The good news is that Rhinebeck, like virtually all areas of Dutchess County, is serviced by the public transportation system called the "Loop Bus." It is not serviced by any other mass transit, meaning a commute from here to New York City would be very long and difficult.

Otherwise, there is some neighborly spirit here and it's a clean, green community, but it does have passing traffic from Route 9. During the holiday season, Rhinebeck is very bright and Christmasy, and that does bring in the crowds as well. It's an enjoyable, trendy town to see and it does bring back a fond memory or two.
Pros
  • Quaint
  • Community programs
  • Local shopping
  • Recreational facilities
Cons
  • Parking sometimes difficult
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
May 01, 2012

"Formerly small village that's not so small anymore"

Fishkill is one of the more noticeably growing areas of Dutchess County, and why not: it's located roughly at the junction of Interstate 84 and Route 9 and is home to some new housing developments and many, many relatively new businesses.

Along Main Street (Route 52) in the village, there are many quaint buildings and it sort of gives that small-town feel, but once you see the traffic crawling through, you realize that it's not really much of a small town -- it's instead become a very busy village despite looking the part otherwise. The traffic light at the intersection of Main Street and Route 9 usually sees backups.

A little further north, there is a supermarket (Shoprite) in a strip mall with restaurants and other stores. This is across the street from an elementary school, some gas stations, more restaurants, and a Dunkin' Donuts.

Further south of the light, in between Route 52 and Interstate 84 on Route 9, is where most of Fishkill's action is. Some of the highlights include a Wal-Mart, a Sam's Club, Starbucks, Cracker Barrel, multiple hotels (several of which are relatively new), and a large medical clinic. There are many other restaurants and shops available here, but mainly because of the Wal-Mart and the outflow from the interstate, this area is capable of experiencing heavy congestion.

There is a little of everything available here, also including public parks, bars, and a fitness center. With plenty of new housing having been built around here in the last decade (Merritt Blvd. comes to mind), it's clear that there's a push to grow the area, and it's succeeding. Fishkill has plenty of local commerce, though you won't find most of it in that quaint center of the village.

If you live in Fishkill, you'll get by with the conveniences available to you, which are plenty and increasing. Fishkill is far too busy to be quiet, but it's still safe and clean. With all of the hotels right off the interstate, it's also a decent place for tourists to spend the night.
Pros
  • Many modern conveniences in area
  • Strong school system
  • Village-like atmosphere
  • Access to major roadways
  • Safe
  • Welcoming
Cons
  • Heavy traffic possible
  • Loud because of Route 9
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
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 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
Apr 30, 2012

"There may be highways passing through, but there's not much here"

Over the years, I've known people who live(d) in Stormville and I have passed through relatively regularly. It's the sort of locale where you drive from one end to the other and don't even realize it. It's very green and rural in this area of Dutchess County, and even though the Taconic State Parkway and Interstate 84 come through here, it's still quite isolated.

Despite the divided highways and relatively important state roads cutting through or near Stormville, expect to see many hills and country back-roads, a stark contrast to what you'd find in the Poughkeepsie area just 10-15 miles away. Some of it is mountainous and some is not, but all of it is sparsely populated. I have also seen some of the local roads not in the best shape. Therefore, as one may expect, there's not much to experience in terms of modern conveniences.

There are no stores, notable restaurants, or even clusters of civilization such as strip malls and gas stations that you might find in a place like Dover Plains or Wingdale, both of which are further east in the more rural part of Dutchess County. Despite this characterization, it's not exactly the middle of nowhere, either: people obviously have cars, internet, and cable while a handful of the homes are rather nice, though some have been in better shape.

Still, you're pretty much out on your own here, with one saving grace being close proximity to major highways in this area of the state. Medical facilities and schools are also not quite close to you here, and to find a gym, you may have to drive further than you're willing to drive (I knew a guy from out here who had to go to Wappingers Falls to be able to work out and it took him over 20-25 minutes to get there).

The scenery is very nice though and it's definitely a quiet, secluded place to raise a family without having to be right next to the growing Poughkeepsie area. There are parks and lakes to see nearby, which is great for those who appreciate being outdoors. If, however, you're looking for a trendy area with lots of young people and/or plenty of amenities, you better open a shop or bar yourself because you won't find them here otherwise.
Pros
  • Little traffic
  • Major highway access nearby
  • Green and picturesque
  • Good for outdoorsmen
  • Very quiet
Cons
  • Sparsely populated
  • No amenities nearby
  • Hardly anything to do
  • No business or nightlife
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
Apr 30, 2012

"A Vassar-centric hamlet with plenty of things to do"

Arlington is an area within Poughkeepsie which is largely made up by Vassar College along Raymond Avenue. Going by the map boundaries and the overhead view alone, you can tell that this place is roughly half-urban and half-suburban, and the further away from the Poughkeepsie city center you get, the more greenery/trees and less concrete you see. There is a large population here relative to the rest of the county.

As mentioned, though, Vassar is truly at the center, and much of the activity is in and around this area. Not surprisingly, there is quite a bit of traffic possible during the day. In the mid-2000s, New York State changed Raymond Avenue, one of the main streets here, from two lanes in each direction to one and created three traffic rotaries. On the plus side, this took out the traffic lights which used to be in this section directly adjacent to Vassar, but traffic does tend to move slowly on Raymond and there is plenty of it. Furthermore, there are shops, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops (amongst other things) within a few blocks of Vassar, but parking can be quite limited at times. If you do get a chance to visit or live here, there are some trendy eateries (I've eaten at a few with good results) and places to have fun with friends.

Away from Vassar College, it's a little less lively, but there are churches, schools, some more restaurants (including chain places like Uno's), and some nearby shopping. Since it is in essence a college town, there are things to do, and there are also modern conveniences within a reasonable distance, including malls, hospitals/medical facilities, and gyms.

Being a college town also has its drawbacks. As you might imagine, they can get a little rowdy and here in particular, town-gown relations have sometimes appeared on national magazine rankings for universities, and not in a good way.

Though it gets a little more suburban as you head away from the City of Poughkeepsie side and towards the Town of Pleasant Valley side, this is an active, growing area and wouldn't be recommended for those seeking a quiet lifestyle. If you enjoy being near a college town and having some semblance of nightlife nearby, then Arlington is one of the better places to be in Dutchess County, if not the best.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Apr 30, 2012

"Staatsburg: Very pleasant, but very empty"

Staatsburg is a hamlet of Dutchess County in between the Town of Hyde Park to the south and the village of Rhinebeck to the north. Anyone who has traveled US Route 9 in between those two locales know there is not much to see in between, and that also happens to be where Staatsburg lies. I have known people who lived here and they remarked about the close-knit community, which is quite small.

There can be a fair amount of traffic in Staatsburg coming through on Route 9 during peak hours, as it connects Poughkeepsie to Rhinebeck and the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, but it's not anywhere near as heavy as the traffic you'll find in Poughkeepsie. In fact, despite the highway running right through it, Staatsburg has a secluded, almost rural feel. There is a golf course right off the road, as well as a park, and the hills can make for some really terrific views, especially in the fall.

There's not much in the way of schooling there in town, and for medical care, you'll have to drive up to the hospital in Rhinebeck or to the big hospitals in Poughkeepsie. As for major shopping choices, you'll be putting in a decent amount of driving to either Poughkeepsie or Kingston. Aside from the odd gas station within a few minutes drive, there's virtually nothing in town available to you.

You won't get much in the way of restaurants here, either, as Staatsburg is very much a blip on the map with a tiny population. Rhinebeck isn't all that far away and there are a few cozy, somewhat trendy options for a nice meal, but if you're feeling like a big chain restaurant, again, it's probably Poughkeepsie or Kingston for you. Same thing goes for bars and nightlife: they are literally non-existent in Staatsburg.

If you're looking for a quiet, green area that's relatively isolated and is more country than anything else, then you might like Staatsburg. It's a safe, clean place to raise a family. The close proximity to the Hudson River only manages to enhance the desirability of the area. If, however, you want a place with a happening social scene and/or plenty of restaurants and shopping, there's not going to be anything for you to do here.
Pros
  • Green and picturesque
  • Quiet and safe
  • Peaceful
Cons
  • Not many conveniences in the area
  • Small population
  • Very little to do
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
Apr 29, 2012

"A few conveniences in this small village, but not many"

Dover Plains is one of the villages/hamlets on the eastern side of Dutchess County. Though it's bigger than the practically non-existent Wingdale next door, it's still a tiny community with a small-town feel.

Unlike Wingdale, there are a few more options in Dover Plains. There is a supermarket, a pharmacy, a few cafes or diners, some fast food like McDonalds, churches, gas stations and schools. Generally speaking, though, there isn't much to do. For nightlife, you simply don't come to Dover Plains, and because it's not all that close to any larger settlements like Poughkeepsie, you'll be driving a while for that or major shopping such as at a mall. There was a world-renowned colonial era restaurant nearby, the Old Drovers' Inn, but it has since closed.

There are a few more cars passing through Dover Plains as opposed to some of the other local villages, but you won't spend all day crawling through the town like you might in Poughkeepsie at rush hour or when there's quite a bit of "mall traffic." That simply doesn't exist here: it's a small, quiet town which is surrounded by rural areas and farms, and if you take just a short drive outside the center of the Dover Plains, you'll see those empty green spaces.

One plus this hamlet has is that the Metro North's Harlem Line runs through it, which gives commuters to New York City and points in between some options. Other than Route 22, however, there is nothing like a major highway coming through town -- you'll be driving a while on back roads before you find an interstate.

In eastern Dutchess County, things are a lot simpler, quieter, less populated, and cleaner than in the west near Poughkeepsie, Wappingers Falls, Beacon, and so forth. It is rather isolated, so if you prefer that pace of life, you may enjoy this town. Be warned, however, that while there are a few local amenities, which do not include medical facilities, you're still a fair drive away from real suburban civilization.
Pros
  • Little traffic
  • Mostly green
  • Peace and Quiet
  • Safe
Cons
  • Far away from shopping
  • Small population
  • Nothing to do
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
Apr 29, 2012

"A nice, small hamlet, but with few things around"

Wingdale is on the eastern side of Dutchess County near the Connecticut border, and anyone who knows this county is aware that the western half (particularly the southwestern quadrant) and the eastern half might as well be in other states. The difference could not be bigger: in Poughkeepsie, it's built-up, suburban and urban, and with plenty of modern conveniences and hangouts like malls, restaurants, bars, clubs, and more. In Wingdale, you're just not going to find much of anything, try though you might.

If your idea is to be out of the way in a small town, then Wingdale may be the place for you. There is a strip mall with a pizza place and a hair salon, amongst other things, as well as a library, an elementary school, a diner, and a very good bakery called Cousin's (try the danishes -- in fact, try everything at least once). There is also a gas station nearby, and Dover High School is not far from the main intersection (Route 22 & Pleasant Ridge Road). That's about it.

If you're looking for wide-open spaces and a place with scenery and parkland, this might be a good destination. If you're looking for nightlife, however, this is definitely not the place for you. You'll almost certainly have to go out of Wingdale to find a nice restaurant, either in Poughkeepsie (over half an hour away), Pawling, or maybe even Connecticut.

This is the kind of town where you'll see the occasional Mercedes or BMW on the roads, because there are wealthier areas around, but Wingdale still is not what I would consider a destination for the rich and famous. Indeed, a great many houses there are modest, as is the way of life here. Speaking of roads, Route 22 is the main road passing through here, and although it is a useful state highway which is no stranger to through traffic, any congestion you'll see is nowhere near that of the Poughkeepsie area. In fact, I have never seen any traffic backups here whatsoever. Seeing more than a few cars stopped at the main traffic light is almost shocking.

Wingdale is a very quiet, small town which is not all that close to major amenities like shopping malls or major medical facilities; if that and the prospect of wide-open spaces has appeal to you, then certainly give it a chance. It's a pleasant community, but if you need to be near civilization, you probably won't think much of it.
Pros
  • Picturesque rural setting
  • Virtually no traffic congestion
  • Quiet and simple lifestyle
Cons
  • Virtually unpopulated
  • Relatively far from amenities
  • Hardly anything to do
Recommended for
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Apr 29, 2012

"A small but active village"

Hopewell Junction is unlike some of the areas and hamlets surrounding it in that it is partially built-up. Whereas in a place like Hillside Lake you won't find any shops or few amenities, in Hopewell Junction, there is a supermarket, a few pizzerias and bakeries, fast food places, ice cream and restaurants, gas, churches, schools, and parks. Virtually everything you'd need in your everyday life is there in town, so it's an easy, convenient, safe place to live.

It's a nice area and I know from second-hand experience that neighborhood spirit is strong here. Despite having signs of development and civilization, it manages to stay fairly close-knit. The homes are generally very nice and well-kept; aside from the strip malls and supermarket in the center of the village, there is plenty of greenery and recreation available. Dogwood Golf Course, open to the public, is nearby, as are a few other local courses.

There are bars and restaurants in town, which means hangouts for young professionals and any others who want to enjoy a nice time locally. Granted, the selection isn't very big, but the well is not dry.

The main intersection(s) in Hopewell get congested during the day and many of the parking spots in the strip mall end up filled, but there certainly modern conveniences here. The hospitals in Poughkeepsie are over 20 minutes away, and that's about how far the shopping malls are, but you can find some clinics in town, including eye and dental practices.

If you're looking for a residential area that isn't too big but isn't desolate, either, then Hopewell Junction is certainly worth a look. It seems to be an easy place to raise a family.
Pros
  • Amenities available in town
  • Beautiful homes and properties
  • Hopewell Junction Rec Center is lots of fun!
  • Plenty to do
  • Private yet it feels like a community
Cons
  • Car necessary
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Apr 27, 2012

"Cute village with a few things to see"

Wappingers Falls is a small village split in between the Town of Poughkeepsie and the Town of Wappinger, with the dividing line being the Wappinger Creek. If you're wondering why it's "Wappingers Falls," that would obviously be because of the falls located right by the Route 9D bridge. Wappingers Falls is not to be confused with the falls in Red Oaks Mill at the "Inn at the Falls;" that's a different but notable waterfall in the area.

Driving through, it's hard not to notice you're here, as the speed limit drops to 30 and there's a lot of activity on the sidewalks. The only parking in the center of the village is parallel, and spots can be hard to come by at times. If in that Route 9D central part of the village, you'll see a few bars, a Chinese restaurant which isn't bad, and a very nice Italian place called Il Continori. If heading uphill from the falls, you'll come to a quaint church and the Grinnell Library on the corner. St. Mary's Catholic Church and its good elementary school are located on the Poughkeepsie side of the falls.

Near the center of the village, opposite the library, is the very green Mesier Park. The side streets near here and some of the houses driving through Wappingers Falls appear to be a little run down in spots, but there are certainly some nicer sections of the village.

Many people also know Wappingers Falls by passing through on Route 9, the main roadway in the Poughkeepsie area. Alongside the road, there is a Home Depot, several fast food places like Wendy's, Subway, and McDonalds, a Dunkin' Donuts, a Perkins, a Big Lots, and there is a pool supply store called Namco on the higher end. Near that Namco is a bowling alley. The malls are very near Wappingers Falls, despite not being in Wappingers Falls; also close-by is a Kohl's.

The Planet Fitness off Route 9 in Wappingers Falls is a large and very popular place to work out. The downside is that it can get crowded at peak hours, but is the largest Planet Fitness in the area as far as I can tell.

Wappingers Falls does have things to do and a few places to go, and there are occasional annual activities here like parades and runs for good causes.
Pros
  • Things to do
  • Good restaurants
  • Shopping nearby
Cons
  • Can get congested
  • Parking limited
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
Apr 27, 2012

"Not a bad place, but not much to see"

Crown Heights is mostly a residential area on the west side of Route 9, adjacent to the Hudson River. A large chunk of the map-defined area is a concrete-producing plant right along the river, but many of the side streets are not directly connected to it.

This neighborhood is mostly green and has average-income houses. There is essentially no shopping, nor are there very many amenities in this particular hamlet, but they're not far away, either. The Poughkeepsie Galleria is quite close to Crown Heights, but not in it. If traveling up or down Route 9 through this area, you'll see a few restaurants such as Red Lobster, Umberto's and Bonefish Grill. At the very top end, you'll see IBM Road, which is where the Italian restaurant Coppola's and the Hampton Inn are located, as well as several rental car agencies and, of course, the IBM plant.

Living in the area and having traveled a number of the side streets, I see a nice neighborhood in Crown Heights. It is uncommon to hear of serious crime issues anywhere in Poughkeepsie, and this neighborhood is no different. Some people who live here are relatively well-to-do but we're still talking about well-kept average homes.

Sheafe Road Elementary school is nearby, as is Bowdoin Park on the riverside.

The Metro North train line to New York City runs through Crown Heights, but the closest station would be at New Hamburg, further south in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

Not every neighborhood in Poughkeepsie is hopping with activity; Crown Heights is no exception. But like every neighborhood in town, if things to do aren't here, they aren't far away. This is not the kind of place where you can step out of your house and walk to the local hangouts; you get in your car and drive there. Still, it's a decent, safe area.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
Apr 27, 2012

"Another growing Poughkeepsie hamlet"

If we're going by the official map boundaries of Spackenkill, then there is plenty of stuff around. It runs on the east side of Route 9 from the Poughkeepsie Plaza Mall down to Casperkill Golf Course, and then a few miles east down Spackenkill Road.

Generally speaking, the part of Spackenkill away from Route 9 is quieter and has more of a neighborhood feel (though Spackenkill Road, like other main roads in Poughkeepsie, is becoming used more heavily). As you get towards 9, the stores and restaurants pop up. One in particular at the intersection of Spackenkill Road and 9 is Giacomo's, a nice Italian restaurant/pizzeria. In the Poughkeepsie Plaza Mall just to the north, there is another one. At or around that mall, some of the biggest stores are Marshall's, Toys R' Us, Modells, and Barnes & Noble. On the other side of the road, which technically isn't in the Spackenkill hamlet, there is more of the same.

Aside from that part of Spackenkill right along the Route 9 corridor, there's not much to see or do. Don't get me wrong, the neighborhoods are nice, clean, average-income locales, but if you're looking for shopping and restaurants or just anywhere to hang out, you've got to head for Route 9. It won't take long to get there from one of the side streets in this hamlet, though, and the big shopping malls in Poughkeepsie are only a few minutes outside of Spackenkill.

The major school here is Spackenkill High School in the Spackenkill district; I did not attend it but I have not heard bad things about it.

There are some nice parks here including Spratt Park, which is very close to McCann Golf Course.

Spackenkill is not a bad place to be and is not far from more significant shopping and restaurants, but it's not a happening place to be. Outside of the on-and-off congestion, it's a relatively quiet, safe area. It's essentially a place you drive through to get where you're going, so if that appeals to you, then this is a place to consider.
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
Apr 27, 2012

"Small hamlet on a map, but not in real life"

I have lived in Red Oaks Mill for my entire life (save the four years I went to college). Over the years, I have watched it grow, and overall I'd say it's a very convenient place to have nearby.

When locals normally think of Red Oaks Mill, they think of the big intersection in the town of Poughkeepsie of Vassar Road, Route 376, and Spackenkill Road, but it also means the gas stations, shopping and restaurants on both sides of the road.

On one side, you have Rite Aid (which is a convenient option if you're looking to quickly pick up an item), several banks, and several gas stations and convenience stores, such as Stewart's. There is also a liquor store, a deli, cleaners, a Carvel, and a new pizzeria, amongst other places. On the other side, there is a Shell station, a terrific little Chinese restaurant, a pizza place, a bagel place, and a Subway; again, amongst other things.

I don't live far from this clump of civilization, and I often brag to friends and others that I have a Chinese place, a pizza place, and/or an ice cream place just a short drive away. At the same time, I have learned what times it's easy to drive through here and when it's not fun at all. If you're heading through Red Oaks Mill during the daytime hours, say late morning, there will be plenty of cars, but it won't be a mess. If you're there at rush hour, say 5pm or so, making a turn out of one of those shopping centers will seem like it takes forever (especially if trying to make a left). It's constantly busy and there's usually activity in the shops, gas stations and eateries.

In the general area around the places of business, the neighborhoods are nice, green, and tree-lined. Some homes are modest but it's a clean neighborhood. The roads that run through Red Oaks Mill, however, are always busy, and I know that trying to turn onto Vassar Road or the other nearby main roads can be tricky. If you live on a main road like Spackenkill or Vassar, you may not know all of your neighbors because of some space in between houses, no sidewalks, and an active roadway separating you from the folks across the street. On the side streets it's probably easier, anyway.

Vassar Road and Kinry Road School are some elementary schools in Red Oaks Mill; there are high schools and junior high schools just outside of Red Oaks Mill, both public and private.

Red Oaks Mill also includes part of Lagrange, which has the Inn at the Falls (now a Best Western) and a few more big intersections. Again, at peak times of the day, these roads can get a little backed up, and it didn't really use to be this way when I was younger.

If you go to Red Oaks Mill, you'll always find a place to pick up a good bite to eat, fill up your car, and so forth.
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