Friday, March 1, 2024

5 Things To Do In Mid-Hudson: Complete Guide To Life On The Hudson

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The state of New York is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the US. The spectacular Niagara Falls and scenic Finger Lakes, the timeless Adirondacks and Catskills mountains, not to mention, the stylish Hamptons, draw visitors from all over the world.


But a short hour’s drive north of the Big Apple, the Mid-Hudson offers its own breathtaking attractions such as the iconic Hudson River and some of the best small towns in the Hudson Valley.

Things To Do Around Mid-Hudson, New York

The towns of Rhinebeck, Beacon, and Cold Springs are just a few places worth the trip for their well-preserved 19th-century architecture, boutique shops, and farm-to-table restaurants.

Picturesque vineyards, orchards, and wineries as well as several farmers’ markets, make it a perfect weekend getaway for food and wine lovers.

As for the outdoor enthusiasts, the river and neighboring state parks offer a whole range of exciting options not to be missed!

11 Visit Historic Sites And Museums

Photo: ClayBanks/Unsplash

Bear Mountain Bridge, Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley is teeming with history. The valley and its river played a crucial role during the Revolutionary War, with numerous battles and skirmishes.

This fascinating and important time helped shaped the country’s identity and can be discovered in the many living history museums and historic sites and landmarks around the region.

Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh

These Headquarters were used by George Washington during the Revolutionary War and now house a museum showcasing the rooms where American history was made.

West Point Museum, West Point

Located at the United States Military Academy, this museum features a vast collection of military artifacts and memorabilia, including weapons, uniforms, and vehicles.

The First Reformed Dutch Church

Established in 1731 in Fishkill, the church was a gathering spot for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The sanctuary is one of the most historic buildings in Dutchess County.

The Bannerman’s Castle Trust

This abandoned military surplus warehouse located on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River was once uninhabited and accessible only by boat. The castle has a long and fascinating history and played an important part in the Revolutionary War.

The Brinckerhoff House Historic Site, Fishkill

A wonderful example of Dutch colonial architecture, the Brinckerhoff House offers visitors a glimpse into life during the American Revolutionary War era.

The Mount Gulian Historic Site, Beacon

This picturesque 18th-century Dutch colonial home served as the headquarters for the Society of the Cincinnati during the Revolutionary War.

Locust Grove Estate, Poughkeepsie

This beautiful Italianate villa was built in 1851 and was the home of Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph. The Estate is open for tours and offers 200 acres of gorgeous landscaped grounds and five miles of hiking trails.

Museum Village, Monroe

This fun open-air museum showcases life in a 19th-century rural village with over 20 exhibits that depict various aspects of daily life during that period, including a general store, a blacksmith shop, a candlemaker’s shop, and a one-room schoolhouse.

The museum’s collection also includes over 50,000 artifacts, including antique tools, textiles, and household items.

Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz

The street is a National Historic Landmark District with a collection of stone houses and buildings that date back to the early 18th century. These buildings were once the homes of the Huguenot settlers who founded the town of New Paltz in the late 1600s.

The site also includes a museum, a visitor center, and a research library that showcase the history and culture of the Huguenot community. Visitors can take guided tours of the houses and buildings, participate in educational programs and events, and experience 300 years of history of the Hudson Valley.

John Burroughs’ Slabsides

The rustic cabin, located on the bank of the Esopus Creek in West Park, was the home of the American naturalist and writer, John Burroughs, between 1895 and 1921.

The cabin, which was built by Burroughs himself, is now a museum that is open to the public and features many of the original furnishings and artifacts from Burroughs’ life.

The Walkway Over the Hudson

The Walkway is a linear park and pedestrian bridge that stretches across the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie and Highland. It was originally constructed in 1889 as a railroad bridge but was transformed into a pedestrian walkway in 2009.

It’s a popular tourist destination for its awe-inspiring views over the Hudson and has the distinction of being the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, measuring 1.28 miles (2.06 km).

Related: The Hudson River Historic District Is One Of The Largest Historic Districts In The United States

10 Enjoy Outdoor Activities

Scenic overlook view of Hudson River valley
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Scenic overlook view of Hudson River valley

For the nature enthusiast, the Mid-Hudson is a hive of outdoor activity all year round. Spring is a perfect time to hit those nature trails and admire the beautiful wildflowers, or in fall when the trees are ablaze in all their glory. Summer brings the river to life, with opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing.

The Appalachian Trail offers thousands of miles of hiking tracks for adventurers, and white water rafting and rock climbing are popular activities for adrenaline junkies. With the arrival of the frostier weather, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are the perfect ways to stay active in the winter months.

Catamount Mountain Resort

  • 78 Catamount Road, Hillsdale, NY 12529
  • 4 season resort
  • Suitable for all levels of skiers and snow boarders
  • Longest zipline in North America

James Baird State Park

  • 14 Maintenance Lane, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569
  • Biking and Hiking
  • Pavilions and Shelter Rentals (Accessible)
  • Playgrounds (Accessible)
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Tennis

Windham Mountain Resort

  • 19 Resort Dr., Windham, NY 12496
  • Mountain Bike Park
  • 54 trails with 285 skiable acres
  • Premier golf course
  • Alpine spa
  • Adventure park
  • Three restaurants

Storm King State Park

  • Route 9W, South of Cornwall, NY 12520
  • Beautiful views of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley.
  • Hiking and hunting.
  • Undeveloped with no facilities.
  • Open: dawn to dusk.
  • Limited parking.
  • Hikers must stay on the trails.

Thunder Ridge

  • 137 Birch Hill Rd, Patterson, NY 12563
  • Ski area perfect for skiers and snowboarders.

Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center

  • 3197 US Highway 44, Gardiner, NY 12525
  • Paths for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing.
  • Horseback riding
  • Bouldering and rock climbing cliffs.
  • The Visitor Center has free admission and is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Related: These Are The Most Scenic Hikes Throughout The Hudson Valley

Kingston Waterfront

  • 20 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401
  • Boating and kayaking along the Rondout Creek or Hudson River.
  • Walking or jogging the promenade
  • Visit Kingston Point Beach.

9 Attend An Agritourism Event In The Mid-Hudson

Farmer's Market, Hudson Valley, Upstate New York
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Farmer’s Market, Hudson Valley, Upstate New York

The fertile Mid-Hudson is home to a bountiful array of food festivals and farmer’s markets that show off the wares of local orchards, wineries and vineyards, craft breweries, and more.

Harvest Festivals

Every year, the region celebrates the harvest with dozens of local festivals.

  • Hudson River Seafood Festival
  • Harvest Festival
  • Wine & Music Festival
  • Local breweries and cideries for the Black Dirt Beer Batch
  • Sweet Corn Festival
  • Craft Beer Festival
  • Oktoberfest
  • Garlic Festival
  • Empanada & Latin Festival
  • Rosendale International Pickle Festival

Related: Visit Brotherhood Winery: The Oldest Winery In The US Nestled In The Hudson Valley

8 Check Out Local Farms

Sunflowers in the Hudson Valley
Photo by Jared Lisack on Unsplash

Sunflowers in the Hudson Valley

The Mid-Hudson is a veritable food-lover paradise with a wide range of farm-based activities and attractions.

Visitors can enjoy picking their own fruits and vegetables at local farms, including apples, berries, and pumpkins. Many farms offer tours, demonstrations, and workshops on topics such as cheese-making, beekeeping, and cider-making during cider season.

Animal lovers of all ages can get up close and personal with farm animals like cows, chickens, and goats.

Fishkill Farms

  • 9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY 1253
  • Family-owned farm for pick-your-own fruits and vegetables.
  • Hayrides, and farm-to-table dinners.
  • Farm store with fresh produce, baked goods, and other local products

Mead Orchards

  • 15 Scism Rd Tivoli, NY 12583
  • Pick-your-own apples, pumpkins, and other fruits and vegetables.
  • Farm market that sells fresh produce, baked goods, and other local products.

Hudson Valley Farmers’ Markets

  • Year-round markets in the Hudson Valley offer a wide range of locally grown and produced goods, including fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and more.

1000_F_479390163_mFhHNWoUhuLrgMI2q0KxPVVnSbzzxXVecold spring by kirkikis
Photo:Kirkikis/unsplash

Cold Spring, Hudson Valley

The Mid-Hudson Valley is renowned for its local boutiques and antique shops. Each town offers its own unique shopping experience of big-box stores and local businesses.

Poughkeepsie

Shoppers can find a mix of national chains and local boutiques at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall.

Rhinebeck

A charming village known for its upscale boutiques, antique shops, and art galleries.

Beacon

A mecca for artists and creative types, with a selection of funky shops and boutiques selling artisanal goods.

Kingston

Kingston Waterfront in the historic downtown district has a perfect mix of culture, dining, and shopping.

New Paltz

The Waterstreet Market features a variety of galleries and antique and boutique shops selling everything from clothing and jewelry to pottery and handmade crafts.

6 Best Time To Go To Mid-Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley (1)
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Poughkeepsie View From Walk Over The Hudson

The Mid-Hudson Valley is an outstanding place to visit any time of the year with something for everyone in every season:

  • The fall (September to November) is the best time to visit the
    vibrantly-colored foliage in small towns
    . It’s also a great time to participate in the many
    fall festivals and harvest events
    such as apple picking, visiting pumpkin patches, and wine tastings.
  • The winter (December to February) is the least crowded time of the year to visit. But while the weather can be cold and snowy, there are still
    plenty of indoor activities
    such as visiting historic sites, museums, and art galleries. For the winter sports adventurist, the area comes alive for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
  • In spring (March to May) the weather is mild, and there are several outdoor events and festivals, including
    maple sugaring
    ,
    wildflower walks
    , and
    farm tours
    .
  • In summer (June to August) the weather is warm and sunny. It is the busiest time of the year for tourism, but it’s the best time to
    participate in summer activities and events
    such as hiking, biking, swimming, boating, and outdoor concerts.

5 A Little History To Know When Visiting

Hudson Valley in the fall
Shutterstock

Hudson Valley in the fall

 

  • The Munsee Lenape and the Wappinger tribes inhabited the Hudson Valley long before the arrival of European settlers.
  • The Hudson River was named after Henry Hudson, a 17th-century English explorer who sailed up the river looking for a passage to Asia. Despite failing in his search, he opened up further exploration and colonization of the region to the Dutch.
  • The Dutch led expeditions into the Hudson Valley between 1611 and 1614 with the aim of establishing a fur trade in the area. When the British invaded in 1164, they changed the names of the regions “New Netherland” and “New Amsterdam” to “New York.”
  • The Hudson River was once an important transportation route for goods and people, and many of the region’s historic mansions and estates were built along its banks to take advantage of the river’s commerce. Today, the Hudson River is still used for shipping, but it is also a popular destination for recreational boating and fishing.
  • The Woodstock Music Festival, which took place in Bethel in 1969 and was moved there because the town of Woodstock had denied the organizers a festival permit.
  • The town of Rhinebeck was once the location of an early experimental radio station called W2XAD, which began broadcasting in 1928. It was the first station to receive a commercial license for television broadcasting in the United States.
  • The Mid-Hudson Bridge, which connects Poughkeepsie to Highland, was opened in 1930 and was the first bridge in the United States to use a new construction method called “cantilever truss” design.

4 Best Ways To Get To And Around The Mid-Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley landscape from NY 82
Wikimedia Commons

Hudson Valley landscape from NY 82

  • If traveling from New York City, the most convenient way to get to Mid-Hudson is by train. The
    Metro-North Hudson Line
    offers regular services to several stations in the region, including Poughkeepsie, Beacon, and Rhinecliff.
  • If you’re driving, the most accessible highways include the New York State Thruway, Route 9, and the Taconic State Parkway.
  • Once you’re in the Mid-Hudson Valley,
    renting a car
    is a good option to explore the area at your own pace, as public transportation can be limited.
  • Taxis and other services like
    Uber
    and Lyft are available in the region, though less common than in larger cities.
  • Biking
    is a popular way to explore the scenic landscapes of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

  • Many of the towns and villages in the area are pedestrian-friendly, making it easy to explore on foot.

3 Where To Stay In Mid-Hudson Valley

Beekman Arms Inn, Rhinebeck, Hudson Valley, New York
Wikimedia Commons

Beekman Arms Inn, Rhinebeck, Hudson Valley, New York

There is so much to choose from when looking for accommodation in Mid-Hudson. From inns to luxury hotels, farmhouses, B&Bs, charming cottages to ski retreats or camping sites, the valley caters to all tastes and budgets.

Cozy Cottage-Hot tub-Dog Friendly

  • Off US 44, Poughkeepsie.
  • Garden and terrace
  • Dog friendly
  • 1 bedroom, living room
  • Well-equipped kitchette
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Hot tub
  • $$

The Baker House Bed & Breakfast

  • 65 West Market Street, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
  • Garden
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Breakfast included
  • Free WiFi
  • $$$

Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston

  • 800 Frank Sottile Boulevard, Kingston, NY 12401
  • Indoor pool
  • Fitness Center
  • Business Center
  • Free WiFi
  • Free parking
  • $$$

Related: 10 Best Campsites In The Hudson Valley For The Best Views

2 Places To Eat And Drink In Mid-Hudson

an apple orchard in hudson valley, apple cider and donuts
Sandra Foyt / Shutterstock.com

An apple orchard/apple cider and donuts

Dolce

Start the day with a wide selection of breakfast dishes, from crêpes, flapjacks and baked goods, to omelets, sandwiches, and French toast. Dolce is renowned for the best crêpes in the valley with at least 14 sweet or savory ones to choose from every day.

  • 27 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401
  • Thursday-Sunday, 9:00am-2:00pm
  • Kitchen open until 1:40pm and cafè open until 2:00pm
  • Gluten-free and vegan options
  • $$

Foster’s Coach House Tavern

This historic red weatherboard tavern is a favorite watering hole for locals and offers the best-priced meals in town. Open since the early 20th century, the Foster’s Coach House Tavern with its horse stall dining booths is open for lunch and dinner and offers simple but delicious pub fare.

  • 22 Montgomery St, Rhinebeck, USA
  • Open: 11.30am – 9pm Tuesday to Sunday
  • Mondays closed
  • Cocktail menu
  • Pub food
  • $

Ship to Shore

Located on Kingston’s waterfront, Ship to Shore is modeled on the classic New York Steakhouse and offers an impressive menu of meat and seafood dishes. For those looking for a lighter lunch, they have a great choice of creative sandwiches and salads.

  • 15 West Strand | Kingston, New York
  • 12 pm – pm Monday to Thursday
  • 12pm – 10pm Friday and Saturday
  • 11am – 9pm Sunday
  • Wide selection of Brunch, Lunch and Dinner cocktails and wines.
  • Indoor and outdoor dining
  • Live jazz Fridays and Saturdays.
  • $$

1 How To Spend A Perfect Day In Mid-Hudson

jimmy-woo-C9ZN4U3FFjs-unsplash
Phot: JimmyWoo/Unsplash

Walkway, Poughkeepsie

Start the day by exploring one of the many trails in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve for its waterfalls and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Or head on over the Walkway pedestrian bridge for breathtaking views of the Hudson River before visiting a farm for some fruit and vegetable picking.

Enjoy an afternoon town hopping and absorbing the local history in one of the many museums. Or take in a spot of shopping and an afternoon tea in a quaint café surrounded by charming 19th-century architecture. End the day on the Kingston Waterfront with a cocktail and some nightlife of music or theater.

With so much to do and see in the Mid-Hudson, a perfect day may just end up turning into a perfect week.

FAQ

Q: Where is Mid-Hudson?

Mid-Hudson extends through the seven counties of Orange, Sullivan, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Ulster and Greene in the state of New York, from the town of Cold Spring in the south to the town of Kinderhook in the north.

Q: Why are there lighthouses on the Hudson River?

Lighthouses were built along the Hudson River to help guide ships and boats through its narrow channels and rocky areas, especially during the night or during storms when visibility was poor.

Lighthouses served as important navigational aids for captains and sailors and are now considered historic landmarks.

Q: Can I go camping in the Hudson Valley?

Yes, there are many options for camping in the Hudson Valley. Several state parks offer camping facilities, including Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Harriman State Park, and Taconic State Park.

There are also private campgrounds and RV parks throughout the Hudson Valley.

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