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:
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.
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?
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”.