America's Coolest Small Towns: Saugerties
Every now and then, you stumble upon a town that's gotten everything right—great coffee, food with character, shop owners with purpose.
SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (pop. 5,000)
shop owners extend the welcome mat
Don't be surprised if you're invited into someone's house the minute you set foot in Saugerties, 100 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. Richard Frisbie operates Hope Farm Press & Bookshop out of his converted living room (15 Jane St., hopefarm.com). "We're the book capital of the Hudson Valley," says Frisbie, who often shares anecdotes from some of his 3,500 books, which focus on the region.
It's not uncommon for other shop owners to extend the welcome mat, too. In their two-story 1826 building, chef-owners Marc Propper and Michelle Silver serve homemade brown-sugar ice cream at long, wooden farm tables downstairs at Miss Lucy's Kitchen; upstairs they rent out two warmly inviting apartments, each with a kitchenette (90 Partition St., misslucyskitchen.com, rooms from $150, desserts $7).
Saugerties can feel so much like home for weekenders that some have made it official. On a mushroom-foraging trip in the Hudson Valley, friends Mark Grusell and Juan Romero decided to plant themselves for good and opened Love Bites Cafe, a cozy, 16-seat café with an open kitchen that serves dishes like coconut-carrot French toast with vanilla-citrus butter (85 Partition St., 845/246-1795, $7).
Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.