Just over the state line from the Berkshires, Columbia County has been a favorite getaway and second-home spot for city dwellers for decades. Rich in rural beauty, arts, and culture, Columbia County consists of 18 towns, including New Lebanon, [link to New Leb blog post] Chatham, Kinderhook, Canaan, Austerlitz, Hillsdale, and Copake. Nearby is Stephentown, on the borders of Columbia and Rensselaer County. Each Columbia County town is quiet, peaceful, and noncommercial, with a rustic yet refined quality. Collectively they boast a plethora of beautiful homes, some centuries old; a varied landscape of forests, farm fields, hills, and valleys; more than 50 public heritage sites; and easy access to theater, dance, music, and a wide array of seasonal festivals.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Columbia County—and even more reasons to live here. In the winter, Columbia County residents take to the fields and trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and trekking. The Crandell Theatre, located in a renovated vaudeville house in Chatham, offers year-round showings of first-run movies at family-friendly prices. And dozens of restaurants and retail shops experiment with new seasonal menus and products.
In the summer and fall, enjoy swimming, paddling, and the incomparably colorful houseboat festival on Queechy Lake in Canaan. Or take in dinner and a show at the Mac-Hadyn Theater, and innovative PS/21 outdoor performance venue in Chatham. In Austerlitz, sample all things sweet and fruity at the annual Blueberry Festival, shop for antiques, or take a meditative walk through Steepletop, the former home of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Make a special stop in historic New Lebanon to check out the Behold! “museum without walls,” and stop for a homemade snack at the local cafes and farmers’ market.
Columbia County represents country living at its most easygoing and effortless, yet it’s only 2.5 hours by car to New York City and Boston—perfect for second-home owners, and those who love to take frequent trips to the city. And with land and home values generally lower than the bigger Berkshire towns, it’s a wonderfully affordable option for single professionals and families.
We can help you find your dream home in Columbia County; contact us today.
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