Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Saugerties, NY

  • Published 2022/12/13

A two-hour drive away from the concrete jungle of New York City welcomes you to the quaint town of Saugerties in Ulster County.

This town is famous for being the hometown of television host and comedian Jimmy Fallon.

However, Saugerties is also the home to several natural attractions, parks, and lighthouses.

It makes a perfect destination for a short vacation outside the hustle and bustle of New York.

With a population of roughly 20,000 people, this town is also home to delicious restaurants, delis, shops, an animal sanctuary, and art museums.

Saugerties sits in between the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River.

With tons of activities, this town is also widely known for its rural beauty, making it the best destination for relaxation.

You will instantly feel its calming environment once you arrive in the town.

However, don’t be deceived by its sleepy appeal.

Saugerties have so many exciting things waiting for you to discover, especially with your family.

So, here are the 20 exciting things to do in Saugerties, NY:

Explore the Historic Saugerties Lighthouse

Exterior of Historic Saugerties Lighthouse

James Kirkikis /

The lighthouse served as a navigation guide for passing ships along the Hudson River.

Built back in 1869, the Saugerties Lighthouse remained the town’s top attraction because of its picturesque view of the Esopus Creek and the Hudson River and its historical significance Saugerties.

Today, the Saugerties Lighthouse welcomes visitors and offers tours to its museum.

Front view of Historic Saugerties Lighthouse

Mark Rosengarten, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors can also stay there since the lighthouse has bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

In addition, the lighthouse also houses a souvenir shop and a parlor.

Ultimately, the place has a short nature trail wherein visitors can hike and a picnic area for the whole family.

Chairs overlooking the water at Saugerties Lighthouse porch

Nancy Kennedy /

Taste Austrian Smoked Meat at the Smokehouse of the Catskills

For 70 years, the Smokehouse of the Catskills served the locals of Saugerties with top-quality processed meat that strictly follows the Austrian tradition.

This small shop located at Route 212 in Saugerties is home to the town’s most delicious Austrian and German sausages, hams, cheeses, along with fresh and smoked meats.

Aside from the meat, they also have hand-made German food products proudly made in-house.

The shop’s owners Mike and Heidi Ferraro, want to maintain their traditional way of smoking and preserving meats the way they do back in Austria.

Thus, this smokehouse is already considered a food institution in Saugerties.

Join Local Happenings at the Seamon Park

The Seamon Park is one of Saugerties’ main social areas since it’s the favorite venue for birthdays, weddings, and other occasions for locals.

This man-made park is known for its beautiful flowers and plants with a calming atmosphere that relieves anyone’s stress.

It has a playground for children and a barbeque area for picnics.

It is also where locals gather to celebrate Christmas and New Year as well.

If you happen to be in Saugerties, don’t forget to drop by Seamon Park for an afternoon stroll either with your family or your pet.

Support Local Art at the Emerge Gallery & Art Space

Aside from its gallery featuring the unique creations of young artists from the Hudson Valley, the Emerge Gallery & Art Space is also a place to buy original art pieces.

This gallery/art shop is home to numerous young and emerging artists from New York and the Hudson Valley who want to showcase their talent and earn at the same time.

So, if you want to take your travel adventures have an artistic twist, the Emerge Gallery & Art Space is your best destination in Saugerties.

You can choose from different artworks ranging from pottery, collage, sculpture, and paintings made from watercolor and acrylic.

The place also holds exhibits and art events regularly wherein its in-house artists display their newest work to the public.

The place is famous for producing beautiful and unique souvenirs and gifts for birthdays, weddings, holidays, and anniversaries in Saugerties and nearby towns.

Help Abused Animals at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Exterior of Catskill Animal Sanctuary

EQRoy /

This non-profit organization in Saugerties serves as the central hub for compassion and charity.

Most of the abused animals around Hudson Valley get a second chance at life there.

Aside from being a haven for abused animals, the Catskill Animal Sanctuary also raises awareness against animal cruelty.

Landscape of Catskill Animal Sanctuary

EQRoy /

Its animal sanctuary sits on a 150-acre land in Saugerties, wherein visitors can experience a tour around the place or perhaps volunteer to take care of the animals momentarily at the sanctuary.

The tour mainly focuses on educating the public against animal cruelty.

Pigs at Catskill Animal Sanctuary

EQRoy /

Score Precious Finds at the Saugerties Antique Center

Saugerties is full of surprises.

Despite its quaint appeal, it is home to numerous art galleries, nature preserves, and this antique shop that houses a unique collection of old things worthy of buying.

The antique shop boasts a wide array of estate jewelry, fine art, luxury bags, antique furniture pieces, and other items that you can take back home.

Ultimately, their antique pieces date back a hundred years old, which significantly holds a precious value, especially for avid antique collectors.

If you collect knick-knacks of antique items, you should check out the Saugerties Antiques Center at 220 Main St.

Embrace Nature at the Esopus Bend Nature Preserve

If you want to spend your entire day with nature, head to the 160-acre protected nature preserve of Esopus Bend.

Aside from the Falling Waters Preserve, the Esopus Bend is also an excellent place for outdoor activities such as hiking, nature photography, bird watching, wildlife tracking, and kayaking.

The nature preserve offers a lot of unique opportunities for visitors to embrace and appreciate nature.

You will come across deers and their fawns along with red foxes roaming around the nature preserve’s woodlands.

It also has different kinds of butterflies, turkeys, lizards, and insects endemic to the area.

If you’re fortunate enough, you’ll get a glimpse of the majestic bald eagles on treetops or coyotes hunting their prey during winter.

Experience Local Food and Hospitality at Saugerties Farmers’ Market

Saugerties may be a small sleepy town, but its local hospitality and food speak loudly.

To experience all these, you must visit the town from May to October to get the chance to see its farmers’ market.

It offers everything good the town offers, from food to handicrafts.

The farmers’ market’s venue is at Main Street, featuring around twenty vendors selling their best products.

There, treat yourself with seasonal produce turned into delicious dishes while you can take home seasonal fruits and vegetables.

The place offers a wide array of meat, dairy, seafood, preserves, and natural products such as soaps and lotions.

Plus, there are live musical performances to entertain everyone.

Uncover Saugerties’ Unique Masterpiece at Opus 40

Daytime view of Opus 40

quiggyt4 /

The Opus 40 combines a museum and a sculpture gallery conceptualized by well-known sculptor Harvey Fite back in 1938.

He turned the abandoned bluestone quarry into a magnificent place of history and art.

The highlight of the museum is Fite’s last masterpiece, the Opus 40.

View of Opus 40

Dennis W Donohue /

The place itself is a substantial environmental sculpture comprising a layer of dry-stone platforms, pedestals, and ramps made from dry-stone from the bluestone quarry.

The sculpture has a size of 6.5 acres, with its name is derived from the Latin word “Opus,” which means work, and the number 40 refers to the approximate years Fite needed to finish his work.

Unfortunately, Fite died in an accident at the Opus 40’s site three years before completing it.

The grounds of Opus 40

quiggyt4 /

Fite passed away on May 9, 1976, in an accident while working on Opus 40.

Today, Opus 40 is more than a museum; but a monument to Fite’s passion for art.

Despite not being completed, his stepson and writer Jonathan Richards considered Opus 40 a finished artwork as it ever should have been.

Spoil Yourself With Good Food at the Dutch Ale House

The Dutch Ale House is famous in Saugerties for its fusion of southern flavor and Dutch cuisine.

They are well-known for their smoked meats and pastrami paired with their 15 brews and cocktail drinks.

The Dutch Ale House also boasts a cozy wooden mahogany interior design that instantly creates a welcoming feeling right as you step inside the restaurant.

Plus, they serve their famous homemade cheesecake and brioche donuts which you can munch on after finishing a whole slab of ribs.

The Dutch Ale House is at 253 in Saugerties’ main street.

Travel Back in Time at the Odd Fellows Temple Art & Theater Space

Aside from Saugerties’ lighthouses, its art galleries are subtle storytellers of its past.

Thus, if you want to immerse in arts and history, head to the Odd Fellows Temple Art & Theater Space along Main Street.

Artist Kelli Bickman maintains and manages the art and theater space on a historic building in Saugerties.

Bickman purposely upgraded the building’s second level for travelers like you and for the locals to visit.

The top floor, meanwhile which houses the ballroom are most of the public events happen.

Art exhibits, art workshops, mural classes, and aerial yoga classes regularly occupy the 4,000 square foot ballroom area.

It boasts a gift store that features Bickman’s finest works in both art and fashion.

Before it’s converted into art and theater space, the place once served as a temple for the Odd Fellows, an eighteenth-century fraternal organization that originated in the United Kingdom.

Learn the Woodstock Culture at the Woodstock Museum

The Woodstock Museum aims to display and inform the public about the reality and the concept of the famous Woodstock arts and music festival back in 1969.

The museum displays artifacts, memorabilia, fashion garments, and other relevant items encompassing Woodstock’s history and culture.

Head to the Woodstock Museum to learn the history of this world-famous music and art festival that most of our parents or grandparents raved about back in the day.

The Woodstock Museum is at 13 Charles Bach Road, Saugerties.

Hike Through the Scenic Falling Waters Preserve

Scenic View of Falling Waters Preserve

Andrew Tuttle /

The Falling Waters Preserve is Saugerties’ one of two nature preserves.

The preserve is also an essential part of the Esopus Creek Conservancy, which focuses on sustaining the natural environment and wildlife in Hudson Valley and Ulster County.

The nature preserve is teeming with wildlife that thrives from its wetlands, wooded shorelines, streams, waterfalls, and meadows along the Hudson River.

View of the Hudson river from Falling Waters Preserve

sweens /

The nature preserve is open year-round for outdoor activities such as hiking and sightseeing.

For a relaxing afternoon stroll in a scenic area, you should head to the Falling Waters Preserve.

Watch Equestrian Events at the HITS-on-the-Hudson

Surprisingly, Saugerties is also a place to find Olympic-level equestrian horse competitions and exhibitions at the HITS-on-the-Hudson.

You can sit, watch, and be amazed by some of the country’s best equestrians on horseback hurdling six-foot fences and other obstacles.

Regular equestrian competitions and shows happen between May and September during Wednesdays and Sundays.

Aside from locals, equestrian enthusiasts and competitors around New York and neighboring states visit the place to join its events.

After watching the equestrian events, you and your loved ones should visit their horse park to see expensive equestrian horses.

The HITS-on-the-Hudson is at 454 Washington Avenue, Saugerties.

Taste Local Flavors at Love Bites Café

Before starting your adventure in Saugerties, you should start your day with a hearty breakfast at Love Bites Cafe.

Love Bites Cafe on Partition Street is best known for its delicious eggs’ benedict, corned beef hash bowl, and their French toast that visitors and locals love.

To experience Love Bites Cafe’s famous breakfast, order their favorite “Partition Street Breakfast,” consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and salad.

Love Bites Cafe proudly uses farm-to-table ingredients from Saugerties’ farmers, making it extra special to order one of their breakfast meals.

Explore the Hudson River with Saugerties Marina

Planning to explore the Hudson River? You can get excellent boating services offered by Saugerties Marina.

This family-owned business is located on Ferry Street and is owned and operated by the third generation of the Currey family.

You can rent top-notch boats and vessels for celebrations and private events, or just enjoy and relax on your vacation.

Give yourself a treat on a luxury boat ride and cruise down the river waters, or paddle up on a kayak, standup paddleboard, or canoe.

They also offer pedal kayaks, ponton pedal boats, and bowriders.

You’ll surely spot many bird species in the area like bald eagles, osprey, and blue heron, and other wildlife like beavers, turtles, and more.

You can have lunch at the restaurant just off the dock or pack some food for a picnic; you can also have time to take a dip, go fishing or just bask in the warm sun.

Enjoy water activities with Saugerties Marina.

Enjoy Activities on Ice at the Kiwanis Ice Arena

Have fun activities on the ice at the Kiwanis Ice Arena located on Small World Drive.

The arena offers public skating sessions so you can enjoy hours around the rink.

Want to practice your hockey skills? then sign up for Sticks & Pucks so you could work on your skating, shooting, stick handling, and hockey drills.

The venue also offers Drop-in Hockey exclusively for hockey skaters and Freestyle Sessions for figure skaters.

You can check the availability of the rink and arena events on their website.

Drop by the Pro Shop for your skating needs like laces, skate blade covers, hockey tape, shirts, figure-skating apparel, and more.

You can trade in your old but good condition pair of skates for discounted new pairs or have them repaired at the shop.

If you’re looking for figure skating costumes for your kids, you can find plenty of designs at the Unique Boutique Consignment Shop.

Have lots of fun on the ice at the Kiwanis Ice Arena.

Have Fun Amusement Activities at Puttin Plus

Enjoy a day of fun and games at Puttin Plus located on Saugerties’ Washington Avenue Extension.

Zoom your way on the Go-Kart tracks and see who gets to the finish line first.

If your kids are into baseball or softball, they can practice their swings at the venues’ state-of-the-art batting cages with Little League, Babe Ruth, Semi-Pro, and Major League speeds.

Have a friendly game of Miniature Golf at the 18-hole course built with Waterfalls and Fish Ponds to challenge your golfing skills.

Play Laser Blast at the arena with multi-color lights and music to keep the game exciting or get your game mode on with classic arcade games you surely missed.

If you’re hungry, the Concession Stand offers delicious burgers, hot dogs, pizza, quesadillas, and other snack favorites.

Enjoy the amusement attractions at Puttin Plus.

Indulge in Sweet Treats at Krause’s Chocolates

A visit to Krause’s Chocolates on Partition Street will surely bring out the chocoholic in you.

This specialty store has been voted Hudson Valley’s Best Chocolate/Candy Store several times over the past years.

The shop also has locations in Rhinebeck and New Paltz.

They have been making chocolate confections using traditional techniques passed on to four generations of chocolate makers.

Take your pick from over 50 chocolate varieties and candy treats you’ll love to bite into.

Try their decadent truffles and caramels, peanut brittles that sweetly melt in your mouth, rich chocolate creams, chocolate-dipped and covered fruit and nut clusters, and so much more.

You can also customize your orders at Krause’s Chocolates with personalized chocolate molds.

Take a Cool Swim at Saugerties Village Beach & Playground

Warm sun, grains of sand, and cool waters all spell a great beach day.

Take your family to Saugerties Village Beach & Playground to relax and slow down.

Walk along the sandy beach then take a dip in Esopus Creek’s calming waters from the swimming dock.

You can also enjoy fishing or threading the waters on a boat or kayak.

There’s also a playground area for your little ones to run, climb and enjoy.

Have a fun family picnic around the park while enjoying the natural views and fresh air.

Saugerties Village Beach & Playground is a great place for some unhurried time with the family.

Final Thoughts

Saugerties’ small-town charm makes it a dream day destination for anyone who wants to escape the stressful city life.

Surprisingly, the town is teeming with art galleries, shops, restaurants, and nature preserves that take your experience there to a whole new level.

To breathe fresh air and recuperate from the city stress, this small town in Ulster County is your perfect weekend destination.

With just a two-hour drive, you will achieve the ultimate relaxation with your loved ones.

© All rights reserved.