Red Hook Is a Vibrant Village for Hudson Valley Residents

The Dutchess County town welcomes locals and visitors alike with an abundance of dining options, not to mention cultural attractions galore.

In 2010, when searching for a Hudson Valley home, Rebecca Rothstein traded the hustle and bustle of New York City for quiet, farm-dotted Red Hook. “My husband and I had both been weekenders in the region, and although we hadn’t been to Red Hook at the time, we fell in love with a property in the village,” she says.

It wasn’t long before they grew enamored of the village itself, too. “It’s a melting pot of the original agriculture community, which is still thriving, as well as people who have moved up from the city in the past 15 years. It’s attracted people of all socioeconomic brackets, and everyone’s welcome,” says Rothstein, now the owner of Little Pickles Children’s General Store on North Broadway.

Red Hook park
From strolling through town and Poet’s Walk Park to visiting the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Red Hook has plenty to do. Photo by Zachary Gawron

Kendra Sinclair, who co-owns the Reclaimed Motel with her husband Jared Vengrin, shares Rothstein’s sentiments, adding that the town is extremely community oriented. “I love that every time I have an errand, I can take a moment to connect with a local business owner, bump into a friend, or check in with a neighbor,” she says.

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The greater Town of Red Hook is comprised of 36 square miles of rolling hills and farmland. In addition to its eponymous village, the town also encompasses the Village of Tivoli, and the hamlets of Annandale-on-Hudson and Barrytown.

The Culture

Prestigious Bard College (Annandale) puts on several music and art events throughout the year. Locals can catch dance performances, orchestral programs, and more at the Fisher Center for Performing Arts, or see rotating exhibits at the Hessel Museum of Art.

culture
Courtesy of Dutchess Tourism

Pieces from regional artists are on view at Verse Work/Shop in the village, which is half art gallery, half mercantile. If you want to pick up a new hobby, art classes for all ages are offered at i2Evolve studio, and instrument lessons and classes can be taken at the Community Music Space.

Family Life

Children attend schools in the Red Hook CSD, rated B+ on niche.com, which has a total enrollment of 1,666 students across four schools (2021–2022 year). Rothstein, a mother of two, says that the district is “fantastic,” and the high school has several successful sports programs.

There are plenty of activities throughout the year, including visiting local farms—such as Greig, Rose Hill, or Migliorelli—for seasonal pick-your-own opportunities, or attending Red Hook events like the Apple Blossom festival in May or September’s Hardscrabble Day. The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (despite the name, it’s actually in Red Hook) is a great family destination. It’s a living museum, meaning that most of the aircraft on display are still in use, and hosts summer air shows.

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On the Town

Post-pandemic Red Hook is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, according to Rothstein. New businesses in the village include The Corner Counter, a cheese and sandwich shop, Greek restaurant Mazi, and Red Hook Stationery Co. (all opened in 2023), The Locavore provisions market (Fall 2022), and the upcoming Mighty Donuts and Misto eateries, expected to begin service this year. Longstanding favorites include Salvatore’s Wood Fired Pizza; Annabelle’s Village Bake Shop; Yum Yum Noodle Bar; Brigitte Bistro; Flatiron steakhouse; The Crows Nest home store; H.A.S. Beane Bookshop; and Little Pickles Children’s General Store.

Red Hook
Courtesy of Dutchess Tourism

Outside of the village, outdoor recreation options include going for a stroll at picturesque Poet’s Walk Park or kayaking and canoeing through the marshy Tivoli Bays, an estuary reserve with waterways and paths open to the public (it’s also a part of the NYS Birding Trail).

Ready to move? Sinclair assures that you’ll be warmly received. “People engage in the Red Hook community because it’s accessible and welcoming. Folks that have lived in Red Hook for years are proud of its schools, of its embrace of entrepreneurs and small business, and of its agricultural appreciation.”

To find a real estate agent in Red Hook or any Hudson Valley town check out near-me.hvmag.com/realtors.

Related: Reclaimed Motel Is All About Boutique Stays in Red Hook

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