The sign at the New York State Thruway announces that Saugerties is on Budget Travel magazine’s “10 coolest towns” in America. This month the American Automobile Association has a picture of the Saugerties lighthouse on the cover of its magazine, “Car and Travel,” and includes Saugerties among the four must-see towns to visit this summer.
Saugerties gets top billing. Inside there’s a photo of Opus 40. The other three towns are Saratoga, Port Jefferson on Long Island and Auburn in the Fingerlakes.
The town is especially attractive to people who enjoy the outdoors, the magazine states. “With the Catskill Mountains to the west and the Hudson River to the east, Saugerties is a Mecca for sports enthusiasts. Hikers, canoeists and kayakers love the region.”
The lighthouse is a popular bed and breakfast as well as an attractive place to visit, writes Lyn Dobrin. “The lighthouse can be reached through a short walk through a nature preserve,” she states, but “make sure it won’t be high tide when you want to return.”
Dobrin describes the town as “vibrant, unpretentious and welcoming,” and asserts that many artists have moved to Saugerties from Woodstock. The village business district has houses dating back to 1780 and is included on the nation’s National Register of Historic Places. Especially attractive is the Inquiring Mind Bookstore, “a gathering place for book clubs, music groups, a chess club and for people who just want to hang out and play a board game.”
During the summer, visitors should see the HITS horse shows, featuring world-class competitors. Opus 40, the life’s work of sculptor Harvey Fite, was a highlight of the visit, Dobrin states. “It is a place to visit in all seasons.”
“This will have to be tremendous for our tourism, and it creates status for our community,” said Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel. He noted that the citation comes shortly after the designation of Saugerties as one of the 10 coolest towns in the country, and said the recognition “shows the hard work we put into our town and village, into economic development, cultural development
and improvements. It is especially gratifying to have this honor on the town’s 200th anniversary,” the supervisor said.
Village trustee Jeannine Mayer agreed that the article will help boost tourism and business for the town. Potential economic benefits aside, however, “finally other communities will realize what we’ve known all along,” she said.