79 Wurts St, Kingston
The first thing you notice when you pull up to Church des Artistes is that you are quite literally surrounded by churches — the B&B sits on the same street as St. Mark’s AME Church, St. Peter’s RC Church, and Redeemer Lutheran Church within Kingston’s historic Rondout district. A former church itself, the space was abandoned when innkeepers Julie Hedrick and Peter Wetzler happened upon it more than 20 years ago while they were passing through Kingston. Hedrick, a poet-painter, and Wetzler, a composer-musician, took a chance on the uninhabitable space and renovated the church, originally built in the 1800s, into what it is now: a boutique bed and breakfast with an artist studio. The rooms are beautifully appointed with little touches such as fresh flowers, rose water for the bath, and earplugs on the nightstand (although if you stay in The Abbey Room, you might not want to use those earplugs so you can be serenaded to sleep by the water fountain in the garden, right outside the windows!). Each of the rooms features some of Hedrick’s paintings, ethereal works that complement the natural light that pours in. A bonus in some of the rooms? The church’s original stained glass windows.
Breakfast is served family-style, with coffee and tea available at 8 a.m.; at 9 a.m., a hearty bowl of fresh strawberries and yogurt set alongside a platter of warm croissants and jam greet you on the rustic farm table when you arrive in the kitchen. On the stove, Wetzler cooks up specialties like tomato and red onion frittata with sautéed asparagus. In warmer months, guests can enjoy breakfast together outside in the garden.
Rates: Summer weekend rates for single rooms start at $175/night; the entire church, from $775/night.
Book a walking tour with Friends of Historic Kingston through two of Kingston’s four historic districts, the Stockade District or the Rondout District. (Friends of Historic Kingston; 63 Main St, Kingston; 845.339.0720)
You can not only learn about the area’s maritime heritage at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, but also take boat building and woodworking classes with the museum’s Riverport Wooden Boat School. (50 Rondout Landing, Kingston; 845.338.0071)