Where is Carmel, NY?

February 23rd, 2023 by

People who associate New York State with the bustling, crowded streets of New York City would do well to venture out to the upstate haven of Carmel for a refreshing change of pace. This historic town with a population of approximately 35,000 people sits on the tranquil shores of Lake Gleneida and the West Branch Reservoir, surrounded by the lush green landscapes of the Hudson Valley.

New Yorkers, as well as residents of Connecticut and New Jersey, love to visit Carmel for a fun weekend to picnic by the lake or try some local breweries. So, how do you get to Carmel? We will give you a whole host of ways to venture up, whether you’re traveling by car, train, or bus, and share a little bit of the city’s history.

Carmel: A Brief History

Carmel, NY Putnam County Courthouse

The town of Carmel has a small population spread out over a relatively large area. The town technically has no incorporated villages, but locals count the unofficial hamlets of both Carmel and Mahopac as villages.

Carmel was founded in 1740 by George Hughson, before the United States was even established as a country. It was a thriving town by the time of the Revolutionary War, and Patriots like Sybil Ludington rode through Carmel to warn locals of the British arriving, much like Paul Revere.

One of the most charming buildings in town, and an interesting glimpse into the local history, is the Putnam County Courthouse. Built all the way back in 1814, it is the second oldest courthouse in the United States that is still in operation.

How to Get to Carmel From New York City

Thanks to its peaceful location, surrounded by New York’s beautiful upstate nature, Carmel provides a lovely retreat for urban New Yorkers looking to get away for the weekend and relax. Getting to Carmel from New York City is relatively easy, as there are several methods of travel.

The first and perhaps most common way to get to Carmel from New York City is by car. Drive 62 miles on I-87 North to I-684 North toward Albany, though you will reach your destination long before you get to the capital. The drive up should take about 1 hour and 15 minutes, provided there’s little to no traffic. If you’re leaving during the afternoon or evening rush hour or early on a Saturday morning, it may take you a much longer time to leave the city.

To avoid driving in traffic, you can take a Metro North-Railroad (MNR) train up to Carmel from New York City. Purchase a ticket for the Harlem line to get all the way to Southeast station, near Brewster. The Harlem train leaves almost hourly from Grand Central, so you won’t have to wait very long to catch the next one. However, look up the schedule to get to the station right before the train departs.

Then, take a cab from the station to Carmel. The drive should only take about 10-15 minutes. Train tickets cost between $13 and $28; they are more affordable during off-peak hours and if you buy them in advance. The train between New York and Carmel takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

How to Get to Carmel from Connecticut

Though there are many possible options for getting from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Carmel, driving definitely makes the most sense. It covers a shorter distance, takes less time, and provides the most direct route; buses and trains must take a very indirect road to get to Carmel, as they must follow the coastline of Connecticut west toward New York and then travel upstate. Since Carmel is almost directly northwest of Bridgeport, this route can add a lot of time and driving distance to your trip.

To drive from Bridgeport, take CT-25 North to I-84 West, where you will cross the state line from Connecticut to New York before eventually arriving in Carmel. The route is 45 miles long and takes about 55 minutes to drive without traffic. Buses and trains will take at least 3 hours to get you from one city to the other.

How to Get to Carmel From Jersey City

If you’re trying to reach Carmel from Jersey City, the easiest option (assuming there’s not much traffic) is to drive. Cross into Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel and then take Henry Hudson Parkway North to get out of the city. Then you must switch to I-684 North before transferring onto NY-22 North to eventually reach Carmel. This route is 64 miles long and takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive on a good day.

Sometimes, GPS may show you that traffic to reach Manhattan and then out of the city will more than double your travel time. If this is the case, take the PATH train from Jersey City to Penn Station, a ride of about 23 minutes, then walk over to Grand Central — or alternatively, take the Q32 bus from one station to the other, a ride of about 7-10 minutes — and take the Harlem train up to Southeast, as you would to get to Carmel from New York City.

Though this is a travel route possibility, only take it if traffic is truly unmanageable. Even if you time the trains right, getting from Jersey City to Carmel this way will take at least two and a half hours.

Once you get to the area, immerse yourself in Carmel’s stunning nature and quiet setting. Take a walk through its historic streets, sit by the lake and gaze out onto the water, explore the small-town shops the village offers, or try out one of the many beautiful hiking trails in the area.

What’s your favorite way to get to Carmel for a weekend escape, or to get out of Carmel to visit a nearby city? Let us know, and if you have a great travel suggestion we didn’t think of, contact us at Meadowland of Carmel ; we would love to include your tip in a future article.

Photo Credit: Carmel, New York by Doug Kerr is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

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