The Best Places to Live in Each County of the Hudson Valley

Local spots top the charts in Niche’s 2019 rankings of where to live, buy a house, and raise a family in New York.

Adobe Stock / Mark Lotterhand

Niche just released its list of the best places to live in New York State! Here’s the top town in each county of the Hudson Valley.

Lists are Niche’s niche. Whether it’s places to live, work, or go to school, the platform is a trusted resource for ratings and ranks. Naturally, when we heard that it had released its list of the best places to live in New York, we wanted to know which cities and towns in the Hudson Valley earned a nod. Niche’s ranks are determined by factors like public school quality, housing, safety, and diversity. Here are the top-ranking locales from each county in the region:

Albany County – Westmere

Coming in at the number one spot to live in Albany County is Westmere, a suburb of the city of Albany. The main drag of this hamlet features a wide range of eateries and shopping boutiques as well as the Crossgates Mall, the largest retail center in the Capitol Region.

The Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook
The Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook. Adobe Stock / Steve Cukrov

Columbia County – Kinderhook

The town of Kinderhook—which comprises the hamlet of Niverville as well as the villages of Kinderhook and Valatie—takes the cake in Columbia County. Niche designated Niverville as the number one town to live in throughout the county, but we would be remiss not to mention its proximity to the village of Kinderhook, with its eateries, shops, art, and historic sites just a short drive away.

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Dutchess County – Spackenkill

Located just slightly inland from the Hudson River, this hamlet is in the heart of it all, just a short drive away from Wappingers Falls to its south and Poughkeepsie to its north. Niche notes that this town is a particularly good choice for families, combining a “rural feel” with its proximity to more active cities.

Greene County – Halcott

Nestled in the Catskills at the southwest corner of Greene County, Halcott is idyllic as can be. Aside from Bellayre Ski Mountain to the south, there is little to do but explore the wilderness and enjoy the mountain air. But hey—that’s just how Halcott likes it.

Adobe Stock / J. Novack

Orange County – Cornwall-on-Hudson

No surprise here! Culture in Cornwall has been on the rise over the last few years, with cute coffee shops, two professional theater companies, a massive outdoor sculpture park, and incredible hikes so close to the town’s epicenter. Want to scope it out for yourself? Take a peek at our day trip guide to the area.

Places to live in the Hudson Valley
Adobe Stock / Nancy

Putnam County – Cold Spring

Love food, art, antiques, and the great outdoors? Of course you do! Cold Spring, perched on the edge of the Hudson River, has all of that and then some. Plus, it’s a great choice for families, notes Niche. Give it a looksee this weekend using our day trip guide to the riverside town.

Rensselaer County – Hampton Manor

With the cities of Rensselaer and Albany so close by, this suburb is a superb place to live in Rensselaer County. It may be small, but it sure is mighty, with pizza joints, a juice bar, a photography studio, and outdoor destinations like Hampton Manor Lake.

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Upper Nyack
Adobe Stock / Mark Lotterhand

Rockland County – Upper Nyack

Upper Nyack is upper crust, owing to its high quality of public education and proximity to a bustling downtown area. We couldn’t agree more, given that Nyack proper is a hub for incredible views of the Hudson River, craft beer, top-notch food, and entertainment. What’s more, it’s just a short drive from Westchester; just zip on over the Tappan Z— ahem, we mean Mario Cuomo Bridge.

Sullivan County – Wurtsboro

Wurstboro packs a lot into a little town. Find great eats at The Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen, Pasta D’oro, Las Mañanitas Mexican, or Ming Moon; grab a drink at GiGi Java; and explore the history of canals in New York at the D&H Canal Museum.

Places to live in the Hudson Valley
Adobe Stock / Marjorie

Ulster County – Hurley

Just a stone’s throw from Kingston, this Ulster County town has a lot to brag out, from a Stewart’s (an upstate necessity) to the Ashokan Reservoir. Life in Hurley is delightfully quiet and quaint, but with Kingston so close by, there is no shortage of things to do in the area.

Westchester County – Hartsdale

Hartsdale reigns supreme on Niche’s list, even earning a top 10 ranking for cities in New York State (Ardsley was close behind at number 11). It’s close to the Big Apple without being in the Big Apple, complete with a nature preserve, golf course, shopping, dining, and even a Trader Joe’s.

Related: These Historic Sites in the Hudson Valley Offer Affordable Fun

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