Ulster County is located in the humid continental climate zone and has cold, snowy winters, and hot, wet summers; the county experiences four distinct seasons. Snowfall is significant. Ulster County is close enough to the Atlantic coast to receive heavy snow from Nor'easters and the county occasionally receives Alberta clippers. Winters can be very cold with fluctuating conditions. Summers in Ulster County can contain stretches of excessive heat and humidity.
- Stewart International Airport, 1180 First St, Newburgh/New Windsor, +1 845 564-2100. The closest major airport, but at present offers few direct flights to major destinations. A bus connection to Ulster County may be available with Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT).
- Westchester County Airport, 240 Airport Road, White Plains, +1 914-995-4860 (airlines). Several counties away, but an alternative to the congestion of the 3 major international airports around New York City. Rental cars available.
- Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport: Livery cars offer service to and from 3 major international airports. Amtrak offer rail links to Rhinebeck, across the river from Kingston.
Common access routes are:
- From north and south: I-87 (New York State Thruway) Exits 18 & 19.
- From west: NY-52 from Liberty and NY-28 from Margaretville.
- From east: NY-199 across the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge from Red Hook and NY-44/55 across the Mid-Hudson Bridge from Poughkeepsie
There is no direct rail service to Ulster County, but a UCAT bus (bicycles carried) connects Rosendale, New Paltz, and Highland to the Poughkeepsie train station, served by Metro-North and Amtrak, across the river in Dutchess County. The bus schedule coordinates with specific Metro-North arrivals from and departures to New York City.
- Shortline-Coach USA, toll-free: . Shortline Bus Line-Coach USA offers three bus trips daily between New York City and some towns in Ulster County, such as Ellenville and Kerhonkson. Other ground transportation will be needed once inside the county.
- Pine Hill Trailways, New Paltz, toll-free: . Pine Hill Trailways offers several bus trips daily between New York City and New Paltz. Ground transportation will be needed from New Paltz to your final destination. A connection may be available with Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT).
In most cases, a car is necessary to get around Ulster County. However, there is limited bus service, operated by UCAT, from Kingston to outlying areas. Taxis can be summoned by phone in all towns.
- Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT), ☎ . UCAT offers bus service inside Ulster County, and connects the larger towns and villages within the County. Check the website for the exact schedule and details.
- Minnewaska Bird Conservation Area, 5281 Route 44-55, ☎ . The Bird Conservation Area includes birds of forest habitat including breeding northern saw-whet owl, black-and-white warbler, black-throated blue warbler, Canada warbler, eastern wood-pewee, northern flicker and scarlet tanager; and breeding shrub/scrub species eastern towhee, field sparrow, gray catbird, indigo bunting and prairie warbler. Species at risk include a pair of peregrine falcons (endangered) that nest on the cliff face.
Belleayre Mountain is a state-run, world-class ski resort in the heart of the Catskill. Wide array of trails and compared to the other large mountains in the region (eg Windham, Hunter), Belleayre is much more affordable.
Climb some of the best climbs in the northeast at the Shawangunk Mountains also known as the "Gunks". You will need to get a day pass from Mohonk Preserve.
Visit the Kingston farmers market every Sa 10AM-2PM Wall Street Kingston from the end of May until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Annual and seasonal, a grower producer market.
Make a difference when you travel and find a freshly prepared meal at no charge when you volunteer at the Queens Galley Soup kitchen. Join an increasing number of Voluntourists: people who choose to combine vacation with a small bit of community service. The Queens Galley soup kitchen at 254 Washington Ave, Kingston is the only soup kitchen in Ulster County to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year. Volunteers are welcome 7:15AM-7PM. Please call ahead to arrange your volunteer schedule: +1 845 338-3468. Donations are also welcome.
Cellular signal is spotty west of the Thruway but can be found around some of the larger towns and generally outside of the Catskill Park region.
Area Code is 845