Although it’s a couple of miles from the Hudson River, the hamlet of Wappingers Falls has a creek running through the center that once powered several mills. Today you can gaze down at the series of cascades as you enjoy a glass at a local wine bar.
Hundreds of years of history
Named for a series of cascades along Wappingers Creek, the village of Wappingers Falls found prosperity when the first textile mills were built here in the 18th century. Today, the town’s modest commercial strip changes from East Main to West Main as it crosses over its namesake creek. Because the nearest train station is several miles away in the community of New Hamburg, Wappingers Falls isn’t as attractive to those commuting to the city. That makes it much more affordable than nearby communities, with a handful of older homes along with ranches and other midcentury styles.
New Hamburg began as a port community on the river, and the New Hamburg Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the U.S. If you are looking for a Greek or Gothic Revival, this sleepy little hamlet of about 450 people may be for you.
Where to Get Your Bearings
The dining room at Café Con Leche is simple, because chef/owners Phil and Melodie Cordero put all of their creativity into the food. Brunch is different here than anywhere else in the Hudson Valley. Because of their Puerto Rican heritage, your omelet may be stuffed with chorizo and hot honey.
What Locals Recommend
Wappingers Falls isn’t on the river, but you can catch a glimpse of it at 301-acre Bowdoin Park. There are plenty of hiking trails and tables where you can enjoy a picnic.
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1. More bang for your buck. The median price for single-family homes is considerably less in Wappingers Falls than in surrounding Dutchess County. Many of them date back to the 19th century. 2. Heaps of history. On the National Register of Historic Places, Wappingers Falls has a Main Street lined with handsome brick buildings dating from before the Civil War. 3. A small-town feel. Wappingers Falls doesn’t have many businesses intended to draw in the day-trippers, which locals say suits them just fine.
Residents of Wappingers Falls love a parade — the thousands of onlookers at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade immediately comes to mind — but the truth is they appreciate any reason to get together, whether it’s a craft fair or the opening of a new shop on Main Street. It doesn’t have a train station of its own, so Wappingers Falls isn’t as attractive to commuters. People here have put down roots, and many grew up in the area.
There are a couple of chain supermarkets in and around Wappingers Falls, including the European discount chain Aldi. We are big fans of Adams Fairacre Farms, a little south of downtown. It’s got everything you’d expect, plus a few things you wouldn’t, such as a nursery where you can buy those seedlings for your new garden. For home renovations you can head to Home Depot or Lowe’s, but our favorite is William Tell Hardware in nearby Hopewell Junction. The staff is eager to help you, which isn’t always the case at the big-box stores.