Tannersville Tempts With Attractions and Culture Galore

High in the northern Catskill mountains—over 1,900 feet above sea level to be exact—you’ll find picturesque Tannersville.

Remote and enveloped by nature, the 1.15-square-mile village (part of the town of Hunter) entices homebuyers and tourists alike for its bucolic setting, which is stunning in every season.

Much of Tannersville’s current appearance can be credited to one woman. In the early 2000s, Elena Patterson, the former head of The Hunter Foundation—an organization that was created to improve the town’s buildings and tax base—offered Main Street business owners the opportunity to repaint their stores and offices. Patterson agreed to pay for a portion of the paint if the businesses used a specified color palette. “Lo and behold, almost everybody signed up and one by one, each building was painted in these super vibrant colors,” says Sean Mahoney, current executive director of the foundation. Through this project, Tannersville earned the moniker “the painted village in the sky,” which has been formally adopted as a tagline by the local government.

Williams Lumber Co.’s Tannersville store.
Williams Lumber Co.’s Tannersville store. Courtesy Williams Lumber.

In 2022, Tannersville was awarded a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant from the state, which will be put toward improving Main Street, creating affordable housing, and launching several arts expansion projects. “There’s a lot of economic growth that’s going to happen,” says Mayor David Schneider.

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The Culture

In and around the village, you’ll find venues that host regular events. The Catskill Mountain Foundation (CMF) runs The Orpheum Performing Arts Center, which hosts music and dance shows (catch a night of American roots music on August 19). The Orpheum theater will be expanding their studio space, annual arts season, and educational programs thanks to a $1.75 million DRI grant.

In nearby Hunter, the Catskill Mountain Shakespeare troupe performs the bard’s plays under a tent at CMF’s Red Barn space during summer.

Family Life

During the pandemic, Tannersville’s population jumped 13 percent from 515 in 2019 to over 580 by 2021. As a result, housing inventory tends to be low. “We’re surrounded by state land which will never be developed, so we’re not going to get much bigger. People want to live here year-round, so it can be competitive and expensive to purchase a home,” says Mahoney.

Children attend the Hunter-Tannersville Central School District, which consists of an elementary school in Hunter and a junior/senior high in the village. Mountain Top Library hosts a variety of children’s programming.

On the Town

Mama’s Boy Burgers.
Courtesy Mama’s Boy Burgers

Despite its petite size, Tannersville has plenty to offer along its bustling Main Street. Dining options include Mediterranean-focused Tabla, Mama’s Boy Burgers, Pancho Villa’s, farm-to-table Jessie’s Harvest House, Maggie’s Krooked Café & Juice Bar, and Shandaken Bake bakery. There are also two antiques stores, Tannersville Antiques and Last Chance Antiques & Cheese Café. The CMF gift shop carries books and art. Chic home goods can be found at Rustic Mountain and Catskills Candle Studio.

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Tapas restaurant Tabla.
Tapas restaurant Tabla. By Montgomery Sheridan.

Given Tannersville’s remote location, there are lots of spots to enjoy the outdoors. Hunter Mountain is minutes away and offers skiing and other snow sports in the winter and scenic skyrides and hiking in summer; Rip Van Winkle Lake Park has a beach, playground, and sports courts; and Mountain Top Arboretum is a public garden with walking trails.

Lifelong resident Mahoney speaks highly of his hometown. “It’s unique and beautiful with good, hardworking people living here, but very welcoming to visitors. Tannersville is a great place to visit—and it’s a great place to live.”

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

Related: What to Do in Tannersville: A 24-Hour Guide to the Upstate Town

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