Top 10+ Ulster Co NY Museums
Worth Visiting This Weekend
Uncover the rich history of Ulster County and its proud citizens by visiting many points of interest. The county has a museum for everyone – from history buffs to science enthusiasts, there’s something for everyone to love!
Ulster Co NY Museums are a great place to visit in the Hudson Valley, as they offer plenty of local history and future-forward experiences. There’s always something new to explore and see.
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Why Ulster Co NY Museums?
Are you a museum kind of person?
Well, I am and if you’re like me, any kind of museum is a good kind of museum. I addition to exhibits, many Ulster Co NY museums offer special events, special traveling exhibits and performances.
When people think of Ulster Co NY Museums, they often just think of places in Kingston. But, I’m here to tell you that there’s more to Ulster Co NY museums than the ones in Kingston.
Many of these Ulster Co NY Museums are run by volunteers and local historical societies.
I’ve got the following 10 museums that may change your mind about this county and what it has to offer.
Tips for a Successful Visit to Ulster Co NY Museums:
- Make sure to always verify days and hours of operation. Many of these Ulster Co NY Museums are run by volunteers, so the days/hours of operation may be limited.
- Use the links in the titles to go directly to the website and/or online information regarding the specific location.
- If you’re planning to make a day out of this outing, these ‘Made-For-You’ Itineraries may be helpful.
Top 10 Ulster Co NY Museums
The Ulster County Historical Society at Bevier House Museum is located in Kingston, NY. The Bevier Family donated the building in 1935 to serve as meeting space and to house the collections of local historical artifacts stewarded by the UCHS. The house and its long history as a family dwelling offers a diverse and significant collection of local artifacts, artwork and cultural items.
Exhibits are showcased throughout the house, including in the 19th century parlor. Filled with furnishings, decorative items and family portraits, this intimate space offers an inside look into the family and how they lived during that time.
Located in High Falls, The Delaware and Hudson Canal Museum was established in 1966 as a way to preserve the stories, landscapes and artifacts of the canal and the unique history of the Delaware.
The building is a contributing property to the High Falls Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The museum includes approximately 4000 artifacts, including maps, photographs, documents, models, paintings, and prints. It also maintains and operates a walking trail, the Five Locks Walk, which provides access to locks 16-20 of the former canal.
Located in a 19th century Queen Anne Victorian House, The Ellenville Public Library & Museum is a beautiful place to visit. They have a collection of artifacts from Ellenville Glass Works, stoneware from Ellenville Pottery and other cultural items.
Because it is small in size, the museum is open limited hours and should be verified before a visit.
Open seasonally, this museum is the perfect place for train and railroad enthusiasts. A trip to Phoenicia will be complete after completing your visit here. Tours are available and celebrate the rich history of the Catskill Mountain Railroads.
In addition to visiting the Waiting Room, Agent’s Office and Freight Room, you can also visit the Train Yard.
Because the history of Kingston is so rich, the Fred J Johnston House Museum and the FHK Gallery is the perfect place to visit from July through October.
The Fred J Johnston House is known as a Treasury of American Decorative Arts. Guided house tours are offered for a fee. The Friends of Historic Kingston maintains the integrity of the property and continues this unique preservation story by displaying the house and its contents as they were left by Fred J. Johnston.
Located in New Paltz, Historic Huguenot Street is located (as the name says) on Huguenot St. Consisting of 10 acres, this ‘living museum’ allows visitors to walk and experience 300 years of history. Walking around the area around Huguenot Street and Broadhead Ave is like walking back in time.
The area consists of seven (7) historic stone home museums, a reconstructed 1717 French Church and a replica Esopus Munsee wigwam. Showcasing life in the 17th century, it is a wonderful representation of the French and Dutch peoples that settled in the area.
Open seasonally and for special events, guided tours (of up to 8 people) can be purchased on their website. At the time of this posting, tours cost $12 per person. Free for veterans, active military families, and children under 6.
A Free Walking Tour App is also available.
Located in city of Kingston, NY, the Hudson River Museum is a very special place. Not only is it located on the Roundout Creek which makes it the perfect place to spend the afternoon. Preserving the history of shipping in the area, this is one of the most unique Ulster Co NY Museums and may be one of the most unique museum in New York State.
In addition to the various exhibits hat showcase historical vessels, objects and art related to the Hudson River and its transportation system, there are also ship models.
The Hudson River Museum is also the owner of a 100% solar-powered tour boat that is part of over 12 themed boat tours. This makes probably the most popular of Ulster Co NY Museums.Their most popular tour is of the Roundout Lighthouse. The best part is that all boat tout tickets include admission to the museum.
The small town of Esopus, NY is home to the Klyne Esopus Historical Society Museum. Best known for their Strawberry Festival, taking place in June, the museum is housed within an old Dutch Church. The annual event began as a community reunion and fundraiser to save the building.
Open seasonally and run on donations, the museum showcases the history of the area from the Archaic Period to the Present.
Located in Saugerties, Opus 40 is a outdoor sculpture consisting of ramps and stairs, as well as, tunnels. Created over 37 years by pioneering artist and professor Harvey Fite, Opus 40 is a sculpture park but there is also a small museum on site.
Quarryman’s Museum is housed in the garage that Fite built. It houses his collection of quarryman’s tools and artifacts, as a way to honor the men who toiled in the quarries before him.
Open seasonally, it is recommended that tickets be purchased online before your planned visit.
Located on the campus of SUNY New Paltz, it is quite close to Historic Huguenot Street (see above). They are the hub for the art and artists of the Hudson Valley.
The Dorsky Museum comprises more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries. The opening of The Dorsky Museum transformed the original College Art Gallery into one of the leading art museums in the region.
The Senate House Museum, adjacent to the Senate House was built in 1927 as a museum.
Located in Kingston, the museum has three galleries.
- The Vanderlyn Gallery contains portraits, landscapes, drawings, and other artifacts related to the Kingston born artist, John Vanderlyn. The Senate House continues to own the largest collection of Vanderlyn works.
- Showcased in an exhibit on colonial furniture are a stunning chairs, tables and other domestic furniture used by colonists in Dutch New York, such as spinning wheels, looms, and kitchen furniture.
- The museum is also where you will find major works by Ammi Phillips, James Bard, Thomas Sully, the Kingston born Joseph Tubby, and the Hudson River School artist Jervis McEntee.
Open seasonally (End of April – October), The Trolley Museum of New York is also located on the Roundout Waterfront in Kingston. This unique museum plays an important role in educating others about the rich history of rail transportation, not only in the United States but also in Europe.
This is the only museum in the area that not only offers full-sized machines on display, but offers a ride of 1.5 miles to picnic grounds. The three main stops on the trolley line: T. R. Gallo Memorial Park (Downtown at Rondout Creek), Kingston Point Park and the museum itself.
This all-volunteer organization works to preserve Ulster County firefighter history, artifacts, and documents in the original Wiltwyck Fire Station located in Uptown Kingston. Open seasonally, people enjoy viewing the artifacts on display. The museum is Free to the public.
Don’t forget to send me a message and let me know if you’ve visited any of these Ulster Co NY Museums and how you enjoyed your visit. You can email me here.
Looking for More Museums in the Hudson Valley?
Reference my article all about Popular Museums in the Hudson Valley and take a day trip out of Ulster County to enjoy these other fascinating places.
Looking for more things to do in Ulster County?
Until the Next Adventure…
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