Like its biblical namesake, the area has deep agrarian roots—many of the original settlers were farmers from Central and Eastern Europe who took advantage of the bog-like land. Farming remains big business—from orchards and vineyards to onions, perhaps the most famous crop that thrives in the lush Black Dirt region.
In the heart of town, the spire of the 151-year-old First Presbyterian Church spire towers over the triangular Church Park Historic District—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—serving as a focal point for the county seat’s skyline. Another notable landmark is the 1838 Goshen Historic Track, a half-mile loop for harness horse racing that earned Goshen the title “Trotting Capital of the World.”
Family-owned businesses, many of which are housed in restored 19th-century buildings, dot Main Street. Joe Fix Its is the spot for all things cycling and bike repair; Sweet Tymes serves up candy and ice cream; Roccoroma sells imported Italian foods and fresh-baked breads and desserts; and Red Door Thrift is a must-visit for vintage and secondhand clothing and accessories. There are also plenty of places to grab a bite: Elsie’s Luncheonette and Howell’s Café are popular for breakfast and lunch, Craft 47 specializes in shareable small plates and flatbreads, served with craft wines and beers, and Dobbins Tavern at the renovated 18th-century Stagecoach Inn has a farm-to-table menu that changes with the season.
There are plenty of things to do outside the village as well including, not surprisingly, a multitude of farms to visit—many of which have stalls at the Goshen Farmers Market. Stop by All One One All Farm for homegrown vegetables, eggs, and meats, as well as workshops in beekeeping, nutrition, and regenerative agriculture. And Orange County Distillery is also worth a visit—they craft spirits from their location on a fifth-generation family farm. And then there’s Legoland New York, open since summer 2021, a fun-for-everyone theme park with a cool attached resort.
According to locals, the town has dramatically changed over the past decade—village officials and business owners marvel at the increase in tourism and decrease in empty storefronts. Whether you’re looking for a picturesque spot to spend a weekend or a quiet town to relocate to, pastoral Goshen deserves a spot on your list.