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What to Do in Kinderhook: How to Spend 24 Hours in Town


The upstate town charms with a walkable Main Street and heaps of historic sites in the quiet countryside of Columbia County.

Want to know a secret? Kinderhook is the hidden gem of Columbia County. Unlike Hudson, the county’s Instagram-famous destination for New York City weekenders, Kinderhook remains relatively inconspicuous. Nestled between riverside Stuyvesant and central Chatham, the pint-sized town is much more reminiscent to Dutchess County’s Hyde Park. Not only is it packed to the brim with historic sites and monuments, but it also houses eateries that entice with healthy takes on comfort food. Whether you plan a visit as a side trip on your way to Albany or venture upstate just because, you’ll soon realize that there’s more than enough to do during a full day in town.

Our Peach Cobbler Cream CheeseðŸ‘

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9 a.m. – Grab breakfast at Broad Street Bagel Company

Go for the many affordable variations on classic breakfast sandwiches, which range from cream cheese or lox to “the Tuscany,” with egg, mozzarella, tomato, and prosciutto. They’re just the thing for a burst of energy in the morning.

1 Broad St, Kinderhook

Mon-Sat 6 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

10 a.m. – Explore Main Street

Though small, Kinderhook has a charming collection of shops, with antiques at Lindowen’s American Country, art at Pavilion, and handicrafts and local interest texts at the Columbia County Historical Society Book Store. Nearby Valatie, only a quick drive away, brings second-hand clothing, sporting goods, and toys.

11 a.m. –  Visit Jack Shainman Gallery: The School

This 30,000-square-foot extension of the NYC and DC gallery hosts large, rotating exhibitions from world-class contemporary artists. Recent installations include work from the mixed-media artist Radcliffe Bailey and solo shows from sculptor Valérie Blass and photographer Gordon Parks.

25 Broad St, Kinderhook

Sat 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

12:30 p.m. – Munch on lunch at Eat. Sip. Smile.

Creative health food is the name of the game, and E.S.S. offers a variety of sandwiches to fit the bill, including a vegan BLT and several kinds of grilled cheese, as well as almost a dozen salads which come topped with curry chicken, honey ham, and fresh berries.

3 Albany Ave, Kinderhook

Mon, Thurs, Fri 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sat-Sun 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

2 p.m. – Take a walk and visit the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

A hidden gem of the Hudson Valley, the Van Buren Historic Site contains both the former president’s grave and the house he occupied until his death in 1862. Once you’ve taken a tour, make sure to put on your walking shoes and, across Route 9H, take in the nature trails and other grounds, with streams, fields, and a view of the Catskills from the north.

1013 Old Post Rd, Kinderhook

Tours daily mid-May through October, weekend tours only in November; Grounds open year-round 7 a.m. – sunset 

4 p.m. – Wander through Stroll The Fields Sculpture Park, a.k.a. Art Omi

This unique park, more intimate than a similar installation like Storm King, provides a calming environment for visitors to take a stroll through the many world-class artworks on display. Walking the fields, you’ll come upon artists-in-residency completing works to be installed permanently on the grounds featured in the attached gallery.

1405 County Rte 22, Ghent

Fields are open to the pubic daily from dusk to dawn 

6 p.m. – Try a flight at Chatham Brewing

One of the region’s longest-running craft breweries has an inviting tap-room with snacks, live music, and, of course, flights of its many indelibly-named brews like the Infinite Zest (a Belgian wheat ale), Shilelagh Lager, and the Farmer’s Daughter, a classic take on a rye IPA.

59 Main St, Chatham

Mon, Wed 4-9 p.m., Thurs 4-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sun 12-8 p.m.

7:30 p.m. – Savor dinner at The Flammerie

When the hunger pangs hit, head to this mid-range Mitteleuropean establishment on Hudson. The ever-changing seasonal menu is heavy on dishes from Germany, Switzerland, and eastern France. Recent dishes, timed for Oktoberfest, include potato pancakes with apple butter, house bratwurst, and pan-roasted rainbow trout, as well as an imported wine menu.

7 Hudson St, Kinderhook

Wed-Sun 5-10 p.m.

Weekend bolthole. Hudson trip #2

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9 p.m. – Stay at The Van Schaak House

This late 18th century building, reputedly New York’s first law school, has four rooms, ranging from $150 to $210 a night and filled with antiques and period furniture, right on the main street. Breakfast is provided by coupon to a restaurant within walking distance.

20 Broad St, Kinderhook

Related: Here’s How to Plan a Refreshing Day Trip to Cornwall