Whichever building you’re staying in, you’ll check in at 301 Wall Street. You won’t find any pinstriped suits or bullish egos here – Kingston’s Wall Street is two hours north of the other one, lined with colourful townhouses, antique shops and cafés.
The nearest airport is Albany, a 50-minute drive from Hotel Kinsley, but you’ll likely be arriving at JFK, just over two hours away by car.
Take the Amtrak service from Penn Station to Rhinecliff, the nearest train station to Kingston. From there, it’s a half-hour taxi to reach the hotel.
There’s free private parking for guests two blocks north of the hotel at 57 Pearl Street. Or, use the metered street parking in uptown Kingston. Uber and Lyft are slowly arriving upstate, but don’t expect them in an instant – it can take between 20 to 30 minutes for a ride to arrive.
Worth getting out of bed for
History buffs should stroll to Kingston’s historic Four Corners, just one block from Hotel Kinsley. This intersection of Crown and John Streets is the only one in America where the buildings on all four corners – colonial Dutch houses – were built before the Revolutionary War.
Also uptown is BSP, Kingston’s thriving concert and music venue, which occupies an entire block – there’s something happening on stage almost every night of the week, so saunter in to see live DJs, sing karaoke or catch a concert. For more high-brow happenings, Ulster Performing Arts Center on Broadway hosts classic-film screenings, plays and ballet performances.
For a taste of Kingston’s creative clout, visit the extraordinary artists’ community, The Lace Mill. The former factory building provides affordable housing for Kingston’s musicians, writers and artists, who often put on readings, exhibitions and talks in the gallery spaces.
Forgot your flannel shirt? It’s practically de rigueur in these parts, so hustle to Hamilton and Adams to browse its selection of rustic menswear, hoodies and hats. Homeware boutique Exit Nineteen is filled with tasteful tableware, novelty napkins and memorable gifts (we found something for everyone on our Christmas list). Hudson Valley native Rebecca Peacock crafts her one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces in her Catskills farmhouse. Her shop on Front Street is where you can stock up on delicate earrings, necklaces and bracelets that will have people asking where you got them from at dinner parties. And, even if you can’t fit the beautiful bouquets at Hops Petunia in your suitcase, you can still stock up on scents, salts, vases and candles at this tiny charmer of a shop on West Strand.
Then, it’s time to get outside and hit the 22 miles of perfect cycling, jogging or cross-country-skiing terrain that make up the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail – it winds along a former rail corridor and connects the Ulster County towns of New Paltz, Ulster and Kingston. Or, stay closer to home and plug into Kingston’s thriving wellness community by taking a class at the Yoga Lab or the Yoga House, beforing soothing tired muscles in the hotel’s infrared sauna.
For breakfast, walk one block up Wall Street to Outdated Café, a vegetarian coffee shop in an antiques store where everything is for sale, from the mismatched coffee mugs to the retro school supplies and the chair you’re sitting on (they once had to ask a group to move because their table was sold). For breakfast, there are egg sandwiches, buckwheat pancakes and huevos rancheros; the health-conscious lunch menu is heavy on quinoa bowls and roasted-root salads. Another option for weekday breakfast is Village Coffee and Goods, a café in midtown with a community feel – you’ll overhear lots of ‘hellos’ and ‘missed you in yoga yesterday’ among the regulars – owned by two ex-Brooklynites (a common theme in Kingston). Here you can linger over artisanal coffee, use the super-fast WiFi and stock up on eco-friendly home goods.
On the Four Corners, Rough Draft Bar and Books is a bar-slash-bookstore with nightly events like quizzes, book clubs, readings and talks by local authors. Or, find a piece of Paris in the Stockade District at Le Canard Enchȃiné, a cosy bistro serving classic French cooking: garlic snails, trout amandine and onion soup.
Frill-free, garden-to-table restaurant Wilde Beest welcomes many Manhattanites who have made the trip especially – Chris Turgeon’s laid-back fine dining is just that good. Expect simple, often-single-ingredient plates like fried Brussels sprouts, cavatelli and pan-seared trout.
At Kingston Standard Brewing Company, the focus is on home-brewed beers that pay homage to the town’s culture and history. In the summer months, sprawl out on the picnic tables underneath sail cloths on the porch. There’s a concise but crowd-pleasing food menu of sourdough pretzels, locally sourced oysters and deliciously buttery lobster rolls (NB: it’s currently only open from Thursday to Sunday). After a roam around the Rondout district downtown, nip into the adorable Brunette Wine Bar for a glass of small-batch wine. And, it turns out the owners of Exit Nineteen (that homeware store we just told you about) are multi-talented – they also own uptown’s sultriest cocktail lounge, The Crown. The moody, velvet-accented interiors were inspired by Parisian speakeasies. Ooh là là.