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Kinderhook Is a Must for Art, Food, and History in Columbia County

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Photos courtesy of Renee Shur / Village of Kinderhook

Twenty minutes north of Hudson, you’ll find a village just as rich in culture: Kinderhook. Here’s why the hotspot is such a stellar place to live.

Known for being the economic center of Columbia County’s agricultural industry for centuries, the community is still serving that purpose today. Despite a 1.6 percent population decline between 2010 and 2020, farms like Katchkie Farms, Roxbury Farm, and Samascott’s Garden Market are as busy as ever. On Saturdays beginning in May through October, you can sample the area’s bounty at the Village Green farmers market, at the intersection of Broad and Hudson streets.

Pink building in Kinderhook

Kinderhook is also the birthplace of the eighth President of the United States, Martin Van Buren. At Lindenwald, Van Buren’s homestead-turned-historic site, you can explore where the politician spent the last two decades of his life. The historic homes of Benedict Arnold and Dutch dignitary David Van Schaak can also be seen by strolling down Broad Street. Prominent judge James Vanderpoel’s Federal-era home has been converted into a museum. On nearby Route 9H, you can visit the Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse; allegedly, in the early 1800s, one of the teachers inspired the famed character in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. While farming and history are the roots of the village, young entrepreneurs are breathing new life into its revitalized downtown.

Check out the renovated Kinderhook Knitting Mill, one of the industrial-age buildings that has been converted into a business hub. Since 2020, two new eateries, three shops, and an art gallery have taken up residence in the space. Morningbird Café dishes out classic breakfasts with a southeast Asian twist. Its sister location, The Aviary, serves Indonesian- and Dutch-inspired dinners with a seasonal menu. Part coffee shop and part culinary goods store, OK Pantry stocks olive oils, baking mixes, and much more. Also worth a visit: 2 Note (formerly of Hudson’s Warren Street), which crafts unique scent blends for their perfumes and skincare, and September Gallery, an intimate space that showcases contemporary art.

Kinderhook Brick House

Speaking of art, stop by The School: Jack Shainman Gallery, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It’s a 30,000-square-foot space dedicated to contemporary art.

In addition to the Mill, local foodies gravitate toward Dyad Wine Bar for light bites and extensive wine and beer menus; Broad Street Bagel Co., a cozy café and deli with Brooklyn-style bagels; Saisonnier, a gastropub serving artisan charcuterie, sandwiches, and craft beer; and The Brooklyn Pizzeria for an authentic NYC-style slice.

For a relatively small village, there’s plenty to do: Beyond exploring historic homes, you can visit the Columbia County Historic Society Museum for exhibits on local heritage. A portion of the Empire State Trail winds through the outskirts of the village and is perfect for walking and biking. Plus, Kinderhook is just 30 minutes from Albany.

If you’re searching to relocate somewhere historic, rural, and peaceful, but don’t want to sacrifice access to an active and growing community, look no further.

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