Town of the Week: Tannersville

  |  August 29, 2011

Pretty, pastel-colored Tannersville is one of the better-known villages in relatively little-known Greene County. Part of Hunter Township, Tannersville is just down the road (or more precisely, down route 23A) from Hunter Mountain and Hunter Village. If you’re driving up wooded, winding 23A  to get to Hunter from the city—a nice, scenic way to go—you’ll pass through Tannersville en route. Stop here for lunch, or dinner, or drinks. Because that’s the thing about Hunter village—other than the ski resort itself and its occasional summer concert or festival—there really isn’t much to do, or eat, in Hunter proper.

While not as bustling as Saugerties or Woodstock down the mountain, Tannersville does have more of destination feel than its neighbors.   Its one-traffic light commercial strip offers a couple of appealing restaurant options, including Currans, with its locavore menu and gorgeous hand-carved bar, Maggie’s Krooked Cafe, a favorite brunch spot with a deep front porch for al fresco dining and Last Chance Cafe, a kinda Frenchie-kinda American place with a very nice beer list and antiques for sale. There’s also the Spinning Room, a local dive bar, an assortment of antique/junk shops and a country store with an old-fashioned ice cream counter and a cute stuffed bear. Oh, and a kosher deli. And a couple of B&Bs, including one called Grateful Bed, complete with dancing bear. (Get the reference?) All of these spots are found housed in brightly painted Victorian buildings, many of them converted residences, thanks to a beautification effort called the Paint Program spearheaded by the Hunter Foundation and local artist Elena Patterson. The Catskill Mountain Foundation just opened the Orpheum Performing Arts Center, also on on Main Street in Tannersville, which seats 325+ and aims the be the Northern Catskills biggest performing arts draw. Upstater will be visiting it later this week.

In sum, Tannersville’s businesses and community initiatives are a bit of a hodge-podge, much like the town itself. Its most visible weekend tourists are skiing hippies and Hasidic Jews, the former in the winter, the latter in the summer. Second homers abound, particularly the posh private communities of Elka Park, Twilight Park and the Onteora Club. Despite being home to these exclusive enclaves, Tannersville as a whole is still economically depressed, much like the rest of Greene County. The main employment opportunities are in construction or the service industry, and unemployment is at 8.8%, above the 8%  state average. The median home price before the 2009 downtun was $254, 491, but now it’s closer to $200, 000. For these and more stats, click here.

To buy in the desirable private sections of Elka Park, Onteora, or Twilight Park, you’ll need board approval, much like buying into an NYC coop. But go anywhere in Tannersville, and you’ll find great natural beauty and killer views, much of it protected as part of the 300,000 acre Catskill State Park. Lake Rip Van Winkle, in addition to the usual water sports, has a playground and a skate park. And if, like me, you love nature but don’t particular like walking uphill, visit the Mountaintop Arboretum for a stroll or a picnic. It’s a beautiful piece of cultivated-to-look-wild land, with lovely walks, amazing views, and rarely a soul in sight.

We’ll be looking at homes for sale and things to do in Tannersville all this week. Let us know if you have any questions or if you have any local knowledge to share.

Town of the Week: Tannersville

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