10 Top Towns

Settled by the Dutch, Quakers, or Huguenots, nestled in the Catskills or on the river’s banks — these 10 Valley communities all have one thing in common: They’re great places to call home


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red hookRed Hook, Dutchess County: Sprawling farms and winding roads dot the town that’s as picturesque as it is cultured; it’s home to Bard College, Poet’s Walk, and many a restaurateur (including Mario Batali of Molto Mario)

Photograph by Daniel Case

Vanilla, or chocolate? Such is the majesty of the Hudson Valley that selecting the most superlative of our communities is like quibbling over the best ice-cream flavor — whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong. And it’s the same with a Hudson Valley address. From out-of-the-way villages with no traffic lights, to urban centers boasting shopping, dining, and cultural opportunities that rival those of our neighbors to the south, our region has just the right environment to satisfy every temperament.

That some unquestionably excellent ports of call are missing from this list — Saugerties, Beacon, High Falls, Millbrook, and so on — is less an indictment of the omissions than a testament to the abundant charm of our little corner of the state. Think we should have included your town? Tell us why here.

» Click ahead to travel through our 10 Top Towns. First stop: Red Hook, Dutchess County
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