The Port of Kingston is a vibrant city with a long history. It boasts historic architecture and an active arts community as well as many of the region's best restaurants and local shipping.
The Port of Kingston has a humid continental climate with warm, sometimes hot, summers and occasionally severely cold winters. Temperatures in the Port of Kingston range from an average high of 21°C (70°F) in July to an average low of just over -5°C (20°F) in January. Rainfall reaches a peak of almost 13 centimeters (five inches) in May and falls to a low of 7.6 centimeters (three inches) in February. Humidity levels range from about 85% in September to 70% in April. Snow comes to the Port of Kingston from late October through April, with over 33 centimeters (13 inches) falling in January. December and February also have heavy snowfall of over 30 centimeters (12 inches).
Visitors to the Port of Kingston love to cruise the river to see the historic shoreline aboard the Rip Van Winkle. Hudson River Cruises' guides reveal luxurious estates, charming lighthouses, and quiet villages that hide within orchards, vineyards, and historic preservation sites. The Rip Van Winkle has a shaded deck and snack bars. The water taxi The Lark carries travelers from the Port of Kingston to Rhinecliff in New York for dining and shopping on the eastern shore of the Hudson. In the spring, the cruise is blessed with new leaves and the fragrance of fruit tree blossoms drifting across the river. In the summer, passengers enjoy glorious sunsets and warm breezes. In the autumn, colorful fall foliage blends with crisp breezes to make precious memories. During the summer, the Rip Van Winkle glides under the stars for romantic night voyages. Music cruises are popular during summer weekends. Hudson River cruises are available for $21 for adults, $13 for children from four to eleven, and $19 for seniors. Children under four can take the cruise free.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum brings back the maritime history of the Port of Kingston and the regional industries that depended on the river for moving their goods. There are also collections of boats and paintings at the museum. The East Gallery at this popular Port of Kingston attraction includes ongoing exhibits that include the Mary Powell steamboat, river ferries, iceboats, tugboats, and the Rondout Lighthouse. The small fleet of boats on display feature an Algonquin birch bark canoe, a small wooden sloop, duckboats, rowing shells, guideboats, and an electric launch.
Also on display the Hudson River Maritime Marina is the 1898 steam tugboat Mathilda that traveled the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes before sinking at her pier in 1976. The donor, McAllister Towing Company, chose the museum as the best place to preserve the historic vessel that represents the maritime history of the region. From May through October, the museum is open seven days a week from 11am until 5pm. Admission to the museum is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and children aged five to 18, and free for children aged 4 and under. Families of two adults and two children can visit the museum for $20, and group and school rates are also available.
The Rondout Lighthouse is just 1.6 kilometers (one mile) from the Museum at the mouth of Rondout Creek. Owned by the City of Kingston, the lighthouse is still a working navigation aid on the Hudson River. Boats for tours of the lighthouse leave the museum on weekends from May through September, and groups can also reserve a tour. The Lighthouse's famous keeper, Mrs. Catherine Murdock, assumed duty when her husband drowned in 1856. She continued to tend the light until at least 1915, adapting to two new structures built in 1907 and 1915. Families occupied the building until 1945 when the US Coast Guard took over maintenance through 1954. In 1984, the Hudson River Maritime Museum leased and restored the building and started offering tours.
The Trolley Museum of New York is located in the Port of Kingston. The museum has exhibits and educational programs that tell the story of transportation in the Hudson River Valley. This non-profit Port of Kingston educational museum includes static displays of cars from trollies, subways, and rapid transit from both the United States and Europe. The museum is open from noon until 5pm on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekends, and 2.4-kilometer (1.5-mile) trolley rides to Kingston Point Park are offered from May through October. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and children, although children under five are admitted free of charge. Tickets are good for the day.