Town of the Week: Valatie

  |  July 8, 2013

Beaver Kill Falls, Valatie; photo by Kandy Harris

Columbia County is chock full of surprises around just about every corner. It seems like the curves in the roads winding through the countryside are hiding something eye-catching, from patches of stunning day-lilies gracing the shoulder, to babbling creeks, to one amazing property after another. We have a hard time keeping our eyes on the asphalt as we’re cruising along, taking in the sights, and occasionally we get lost, and we’re usually glad we did. Last time we got lost in Columbia County, we stumbled upon the village of Valatie (pronounced “vah-LAY-shah”), located right in the heart of the town of Kinderhook. After hanging about for a bit in Kinderhook village, we decided to head back over to the Hudson River and go south to hit Hudson, but took a wrong turn and ended up north of Kinderhook in Valatie.


The first thing we noticed upon approach was the massive waterfall right in the center of the village, which a lovely little overlook spot complete with tables and chairs for al fresco dining and snapping a few picturesThe rest of the village is intriguing. It seems to be in a state of flux, with many storefronts empty and renovations (and tear-downs) happening right next door. The architecture is stunning, with Victorians and Colonials a-plenty, and ornate 19th century facades towering above the village streets. A magnificent Gothic-style church is Valatie’s crown jewel. However, there seem to be a scant few businesses up and operating in the village, like the two pizza joints right next door to each other. Not that there’s nothing going on in Valatie: We spied a community theater, a decent wine store, a diner, a florist, a few specialty boutiques, and some antique stores. Plus, the village’s proposed library expansion helmed by architect David Bienn was recognized for its net-zero, sustainable design (you can read more about in this article from Library Journal). The village seems poised for something big, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for a place fairly bursting with potential.


First Presbyterian Church of Valatie; via Wikipedia

There’s plenty of mid-range real estate on the market for a village this size (pop. around 1,800), with a few million dollar properties and a handful of five-figure houses. Quite a few investment properties available, as well (looking for a 19th century Colonial with a Tiki bar? How about this one?). Need a reason to go exploring? There’s a village-wide tag sale on July 27 starting at 8am.

The village of Valatie is located approximately 2 hours, 31 minutes from NYC, 28 minutes from Albany, and 25 minutes from Hudson.

valatie capture



About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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