Cornwall-on-Hudson is the kind of village that we think of when we close our eyes and ask, “What’s a quintessential upstate town look like?” It’s scenic, it’s on the river, and it’s a haven for great small businesses and gorgeous homes.
Located about 50 miles north of NYC and right on the Hudson River, Cornwall-on-Hudson has become a popular bedroom and second home community, and for good reason. It’s close to a NJ Transit station and a Metro-North station, and surrounded by culture and nature: Black Rock Forest and Storm King Art Center, for starters. The village is extremely pedestrian- and bike-friendly, so you could conceivably kiss your car good-bye and get around purely under your own steam. Cornwall encourages that kind of behavior. It’s just below Newburgh, and across the river from Beacon, but feels very small town.
Property taxes for Cornwall-on-Hudson real estate are high, around $7,000 on average, which quite a bit higher than nearby communities such as Vails Gate or New Windsor. But you can expect to find plenty of decent houses in the $300,000 range, plus many a luxury property and an affordable one here and there, too. Cost of living is high here, but usually there’s a reason for that. In this case, it’s because Cornwall is so sought-after.
Cornwall-on-Hudson is home to two K-12 private boarding schools, New York Military Academy (NYMA), located right in the village, and Storm King School, just a few miles up Bear Mountain. Both are excellent schools, but if you’re more interested in public school education, the website www.greatschools.com gives Cornwall public schools a decent 8-of-10 scoring. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is also about 5 miles away.
There’s a great community outdoor pool right in the village of Cornwall, open from May through the end of the summer. It’s a great family attraction and also features a wading pool for little ones and a nice playground. The Cornwall Library is right next door and offers tons of events and activities for the public, many of them for free.
Cornwall also has lots of restaurants, and one of our favorites is Painters. Painters not only has great food, but it’s also an art gallery featuring works by local artists. The Inn at Painters offers seven rooms if you want a cozy place to stay, right in the heart of the village. It books fast, though, so call well in advance for reservations.
Just a few miles away up Bear Mountain Road lies the Storm King Art Center, a premier outdoor sculpture park and an absolute must-see. They are closed during the winter but will be open again in the spring. The paths that lead you to the sculptures are a great stroll, and bikes are available to rent so you can ride through the park, instead. Be warned, though: Storm King will not let you bring in your own bikes “for insurance purposes,” or so we’ve been told. We learned that lesson the hard way. Bike rental is $10 an hour, 2-hour minimum, or $40 a day.