Guest Column

A Trip to Stars Hallow

Stars Hallow may be a fictitious town in the show "Gilmore Girls," but you can find its cozy charm in Rhinebeck, NY. Credits: Elizabeth Pagano
Bread Alone Bakery & Restaurant -- this coffee shop is the spirit of the quaint town of Rhinebeck. Credits: Elizabeth Pagano
Paper Trail: This shop has just about anything you can think of, and everything you didn’t think of. Credits: Elizabeth Pagano
The Village Pizza is amazing in its simplicity; a great slice of pizza on a white, paper plate. What else could you need? Credits: Elizabeth Pagano
Krause’s Chocolates -- this chocolate shop, located in the alleyway next to Paper Trail, is the spitting image of an “old, classic chocolate shop”. Credits: Elizabeth Pagano

Stars Hollow, Connecticut is not just a fictional town in the television show, Gilmore Girls; it happens to be just about 25 miles north of Marist College. The cozy town of Rhinebeck, New York is the closest fans of the show will get to living a day in the life of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore.

On the sidewalks adorned with vintage trees, small shops and restaurants stand, each with their own, unique façades. The insides of the stores are distinct as well, becoming the personality of each shop. Although Rhinebeck is lacking “Luke’s Diner”, the town makes up for it with its wide array of places to shop, grab a quick bite, and take in the atmosphere of this very special town. A few of the many “can’t miss” spots include:

Sign Up for E-News

Bread Alone Bakery & Restaurant:
This coffee shop is the spirit of the quaint town of Rhinebeck. Last weekend, I attempted to grab a coffee from here but was stopped short due to the immense crowd of people congregating inside and out of the shop. Although I was unable to get my coffee, it was a new and refreshing sight to see every person in the shop enjoying themselves and catching up with neighbors. Unlike your local Starbucks where each person waits in line staring at their phones, Bread Alone successfully brings back the “old coffee shop where everyone knows your name” aura.

Paper Trail: This shop has just about anything you can think of, and everything you didn’t think of. Paper Trail offers an expansive variety of home accessories, calendars, jewelry, stationary, gifts, and tons of seasonal items. For the holiday season, unique ornaments and decorations are available, and as of right now, they have a wide array of holiday-themed gifts and knick-knacks. What makes Paper Trail so unique is that each individual item in the shop is there for a specific reason; nothing is just thrown on the shelves as an afterthought. These items all have a distant, old-fashioned feeling to them, yet also give a fresh take on simple objects. It’s tough to do this store justice in writing; stop by and see just how extraordinary it is.



Village Pizza:
Although a portion of this pizza is covered by the Rhinebeck “geotag”, it is still the finest pizza I have had to this day. Coming from New Jersey, we are taught that we have the “best pizza”, but I am going to give it to New York this time. This little pizza place is the perfect spot to take a break from shopping in Rhinebeck. The Village Pizza is amazing in its simplicity; a great slice of pizza on a white, paper plate. What else could you need?



Krause’s Chocolates:

This chocolate shop, located in the alleyway next to Paper Trail, is the spitting image of an “old, classic chocolate shop”. For over 80 years, this family-owned store has been making its chocolates in Rhinebeck, offering over 50 different candies to choose from. A few of my favorites include the cookie dough fudge and the coconut toastie. Although my FitBit app would advise me not to buy out the entire store of its chocolates, I cannot think of a better way to end a day at Rhinebeck than going home with a massive bag of chocolates.

Even if you are not familiar with Gilmore Girls, it’s easy to appreciate the old-timey atmosphere of Rhinebeck. Though these are only a few of the countless shops in town, you will discover many tiny places just like these as you walk through my version of “Stars Hollow”.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Have Your Voice Heard Tonight on Vote for $4 Million Extra for Municipal Complex

July 10, 2018

The Berkeley Heights Municipal Complex project is the largest and most expensive local public project we will likely witness as Berkeley Heights residents. It is a vast responsibility. Therefore, it was concerning to learn that the Township Council and Mayor placed an ordinance on the agenda June 26 for an additional $4 million for the municipal complex without much regard to time.

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...

17 Years Running and the Pizza is still Hot!! The Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza is July 25, 2018

July 16, 2018

The 17th Annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza, now more often referred to as the ‘Pizza Run’ will be here in no time! Don’t forget to sign up for a night of running, pizza, prizes, and entertainment! The event will be held on July 25, 2018 with a start time of 7 pm. Register online at before our Monday July 23, 2018, at 11:59 pm deadline will be ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1, a Pearl Jam  tribute band, taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series, presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

5 Against 1, which ...

Award-Winning Senior Art Exhibited at Freeholders Gallery

A new exhibit of award winning artworks by local artists age 60 and up is now on display at the Freeholders Gallery through August 29. Each of the 13 works received first place honors in the countywide Senior Art Exhibit held earlier this summer in the Atrium at Liberty Hall in Union Township.

“Each in their own unique way, these artists have contributed to an enriching, creative ...

Union County Students Invited to Experience a Unique Silent Party

Students ages 12 to 16 are invited to “Youth Chella,” a silent party scheduled for Friday, Aug.16 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Union County’s Watchung Reservation at the Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

Admission and refreshments are free with the donation of a snack item. The donations will be provided to students in the ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for Berkeley Heights Tuesday Afternoon

July 3, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union County until 2:30 p.m. and a flash flood warning until 5 p.m.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding,” the service warned. “Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

Sign up for our free enews and get ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

Healing the Children, new providence

Summit Old Guard

Giving Back

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Berkeley Heights Public Library, Berkeley Heights

Story Time & Craft with DIVA DELORES AND THE ...



Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Senior Summer BBQ at the Summit YMCA

Food & Drink

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website,


The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...