Whether it's someone new to the area or a Hudson Valley native, the question behind defining a town, village and hamlet can get confusing.

While we may be the most familiar with Hudson Valley towns, it could also be difficult to describe the difference between a village and hamlet as well.

Each town, village and hamlet within New York state has it's own story to tell and unique feel to it.

What's A Town?

According to Merriam Webster,

A town is 

"a compactly settled area usually larger than a village but smaller than a city"

They also explained a town to be an area that is settled from rural areas.

Towns usually have houses, buildings, stores and more. Some residents may also refer to a town as a township as well.

For instance, Shandaken, NY is a town located in Ulster County, NY. The Town of Shandaken shared information about the 12 hamlets of this serene Hudson Valley town.

Shandaken, NY's hamlets consist of Mt. Tremper, Mt. Pleasant, Phoenicia, Chichester, Woodland Valley, Allaben, Shandaken, Bushnellsville, Big Indian, Oliveira, Pine Hill, and Highmount. That's alot of hamlets!

It's also possible that you may live in one of the smelliest towns in the Hudson Valley. A poll was taken on WRRV's Facebook page and local residents shared their experiences of the smelliest towns in our are including Middletown, Kingston and Ellenville, NY.

Some Hudson Valley towns that I have visited have been fun and lively such as the Town of Woodstock and of Town of Kingston, NY.

SEE MORE: What Makes These Hudson Valley Towns 'The Coziest In America'?

What's A Village?

Dictionary.com shared that a village is

"a small community or group of houses in a rural area"

They also explained that a village can be

"larger than a hamlet and usually smaller than a town,"


At times, some Hudson Valley villages remind me of scenes out of Hallmark movies with their decorations and hometown feel.

Some Hudson Valley villages that I have visited have been cute and charming such as the Village of Rhinebeck and Village of New Paltz, NY.

New York State shared the importance of villages.

"Many villages have public service responsibilities which differ little from those of cities, towns and counties, and village officials face the full range of municipal obligations and challenges."

What's A Hamlet?

Merriam Webster shared that hamlet is a small village.

A hamlet could also be referred to as a smaller settlement than a town according to Merriam Webster.

While Vocabulary.com also shared that a hamlet is

"a community of people smaller than a village"

For instance, an Ulster County, NY hamlet is only about 2 square miles big. While I was on Google Maps, I came across this undiscovered hamlet and found out that as of 2014, there was a population of only 214 people in this hamlet.

Cottekill, NY is located in Ulster County, NY is only about 2 square miles big.

The Hamlet of Wallkill is located in Ulster County, NY. It is also the home to the Borden family from Borden Dairy company. This family helped shape the Hamlet of Wallkill, NY into what it is today.

Some Hudson Valley hamlets that I have visited that were quaint and unique are the Hamlet of Phoenicia and the Hamlet of Wallkill, NY.

Do You Know What Determines A Village In New York State?


New York State shared interesting information about villages. They explained,

"Population size alone, however, does not determine whether one community becomes a village and another remains as an unincorporated “hamlet” in a town."

They also included that villages were once formed in towns in order to provide services to local residents that lived in rural and suburan areas.

What's your favorite town, village and hamlet within New York state or specifically within the Hudson Valley?

8 Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle In Dutchess County, NY

There have been plenty of times where I have questioned if and where I could recycle household and random items.

If you're also wondering if and where you can recycle batteries, certain electronics, light bulbs and more, Dutchess County, NY's guide will explain more.

According to the Dutchess County, NY Government and their Division of Solid Waste Management's Recycling Encyclopedia, the following information is about what can be recycled in Dutchess County, NY.

Gallery Credit: Allison Kay

5 Must See Scenic Drives In The Hudson Valley

When was the last time that you took the scenic route or the back road? There's something so peaceful about taking in the views of the beautiful farmland and the smells of fresh grass with the windows down. 

The next time that you're out for a drive, take one of these scenic routes to capture the beauty of the area that we get to call home.


Gallery Credit: Allison Kay