Getting to Know Rhinebeck NY | Community Spotlight | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Getting to Know Rhinebeck NY 

Last Updated: 11/30/2022 12:03 pm
click to enlarge Le Petit Bistro
  • Le Petit Bistro

Very Rhinebeck Saturday: A new perspective from the cockpit of a 1929 biplane at the Olde Rhinebeck Aerodrome. A drink at the Beekman Arms, a tavern that helped host the American Revolution. An array of destination shopping: well-curated fashion, home goods, books, toys, kitchenware, and much more. Finish with a five-star meal at any one of an array of farm-to-table restaurants.

When the Beekman ancestors settled here, they knew it would be a good place, and they’ve been proven right. The mansions of millionaires would rise nearby, presidents and notables would visit, and the village of Rhinebeck—expanding from the intersection of Kings Highway (now Route 9) and the Sepasco Indian Trail (now Market Street) offered a warm and intelligent welcome to all.

It still does. Everything you need is here, with state-of-the-science wellness choices like the barre and Pilates workouts at Breathe Studio and the array of therapeutic modalities offered at Izlind Integrative Health Center. If you’d like to learn to be a healer, this is the home of the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, where the workshops have gone virtual this year. The year-round Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market has been voted “Best in the Hudson Valley” four years running.

Retail is a fine art here. Want sparkle? Hummingbird Jewelers brings together the wares of over 75 designers and makers from around the globe, and they’ve got a full-service workshop on the premises where a master goldsmith repairs restores antiques as well as crafts custom pieces. The addictive Rhinebeck Antique Emporium features a rich array of everything from curios to major furnishings, pulled together by experts who can repair or appraise your favorite heirloom. Oblong Books and Music is eclectic and indie, Land of Oz Toys is magical, the Rhinebeck Artist’s Shop is comprehensively expert, and there are emporia that defy description—check out Winter Sun, Summer Moon and Periwinkles. The Rhinebeck Department Store offers classic Woolrich and Pendleton gear.

When festivals return, Rhinebeck will again be Event Central thanks to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, where a typical season brings a bounty of celebrations dedicated to antique autos, sheep and wool, wine and food, crafts, antiques, outdoor gear, and hot air balloons—not to mention the vast, lively county fair itself. December brings Sinterklaas, when the village manifests sheer enchantment with fire jugglers, Krampuses, a children’s Star Parade and far too much more to list.

Restaurants are eclectic and top-notch; fresh-farm fare and topnotch culinary talent take center stage in cuisines from everywhere. Try the artfully prepared Middle Eastern at Aba’s Falafel, or the authentic Indian (with some Sri Lankan flair thrown in) at Cinnamon. There’s a cozy French spot (Le Petit Bistro), Mexican at Gaby’s Cafe, Japanese small plates at Osaka, and the recently opened Willow at Mirbeau Hotel and Spa.

There’s so much within the village itself that one might never leave, except that one is surrounded by still more fun: minutes from the cultural feasts offered at Bard College and Vassar College, a short drive from both the Berkshires and the Catskills—and five minutes from an Amtrak station that will get you anywhere. Chances are, you’ll still want to come back to Rhinebeck.

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