Kingston is a pleasant but nondescript town in the Hudson River Valley south of Albany and 100 miles north of New York City. As the first capital of New York, the town contains some sites of historic interest enhanced by the nearby mansions of 19th-century tycoons such as the Vanderbilt family. The setting is attractive and nearby Catskill Mountains ski areas and the Ashokan Reservoir provide some recreation,
The economy is a mixed bag. Like most Hudson River towns, Kingston and Ulster County have undergone a transition from a declining old-economy base to, with the help of New York State Economic Development Zone status, an attractive location for emerging businesses. Lower costs of doing business in the form of labor, real estate and taxes are luring some businesses to the area from more expensive areas in the region. Crime is low, and the cost of living is moderate for the region but high on a national scale, as are median home prices.
Kingston is located in an area of flat to gently wooded landscape on the Hudson River, with a mix of agricultural and wooded areas surrounding the town. The Catskills rise to over 4000 feet to the northwest. The climate is primarily continental with some Atlantic influence. Summer days are warm and usually humid but may be cooled by mountain breezes at night. Winters are cold and harsh with frequent lows below 10 degrees. Precipitation is frequent, one day in three, and made up of summer thunderstorms, spring and fall rainy periods and winter snows, some heavy. First freeze is early October, last is early May.