Whether you’re planning a vacation or a staycation, look no further than the Hudson Valley. With activities catering to the adventurer, such as hiking, fishing and whitewater rafting to those for the culture-seeker such as antiquing, browsing museums and galleries, and farm-to-table dining, there’s something for everyone. But with so many possibilities, where do you begin? Elliman Insider asked Douglas Elliman’s Hudson Valley agents, who know the area in-and-out, for their recommendations of what to see and do. Here’s their list of top picks.
North Salem, New York
A fall destination offering all the quintessential activities we associate with autumn: apple picking, a pumpkin patch, a farmer’s market, hay rides and pony rides. The main apple harvest is in September, so plan your visit accordingly.
Pound Ridge, New York
With 4,315 acres, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is Westchester county’s largest park. Activities for all seasons include picnicking, lean-to camping, fishing, horseback riding, hiking and cross-country skiing.
Pleasantville, New York
Formerly the John D. Rockefeller family and William Rockefeller country estates of Pocantico Hills and Rockwood Hall. The Preserve is open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset. The 45 miles of scenic trails were once carriage roads. Made of crushed stone, the carriage roads are wide and easy to walk, ride or jog through the landscape, over stone bridges and past streams. Make a stop at Rockwood Hall to enjoy the arresting views of the Hudson River and Palisade Cliffs.
New Paltz, New York
Plan a weekend getaway or a day trip to this mountain resort where you can be as active or relaxed as you please. Hike the 85 miles of mountain trails, kayak or fly-fish on the lake, take a tennis lesson, golf or go horseback riding. Or spend the day pampering yourself at the award-winning spa.
Art & Theater
Beacon, New York
Opened in May 2003 in an out-of-use Nabisco box printing factory, Dia:Beacon has since helped helped revitalize the city of Beacon into a destination for art. At Dia:Beacon you’ll view Dia’s collection from the 1960s to the present, in addition to special exhibitions and new commissions. Benefits to the local community include free admission on Saturdays and Sundays to City of Beacon residents, and free admission for Hudson Valley residents on the last Sunday of every month. To make the most out of your visit—especially if it’s your first time—join a free guided, thematic and interactive tour on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30pm or 2pm.
Cornwall, New York
At this 500-acre outdoor museum you’ll find large-scale sculptures tucked into the natural landscape of the hills, meadows and forests. All year long there’s something new to discover with changing exhibits and the changing seasons. Storm King brings together art and nature en plein air. On Saturdays from June through September, start your visit to Storm King with a yoga class at 10:15am.
Poughkeepsie, New York
Holding the title of oldest continuously operating theater in New York State, the Bardavon’s inaugural performance was on February 1, 1868 under it’s original name the Collingwood Opera House. In 1923, the theater was sold and renamed the Bardavon after the original Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare. Saved from demolition by concerned citizens in the mid-1970s, the Bardavon 1868 Opera House reopened it’s doors in 1979. It has remained a premier performing arts center in the Hudson Valley every since. The fall show lineup includes Neko Case, “Flamenco Pasion” presented by Campania Flamenca Eduardo Guerrera, and the Met Live in HD: Aida, a live satellite broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
Eat & Drink
Pelham, New York
The first annual Wolfs Walk Street Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 8 from 4pm–11pm. The festival will highlight the diverse restaurants, food purveyors, artisans, musicians and non-profits of the region. The festival will coincide with the 4th Annual Westchester International Children’s Film Festival from September 7–11 taking place at the historic Pelham Picture House.
West Point, New York
Your first stop upon arriving to West Point will be the Visitors Center and West Point Museum, open daily from 9am to 5pm. You may want to schedule a guided tour in advance. Or, just check out the exhibits at the Visitors Center, including a full-scale cadet barracks room, videos on cadet daily life, cadet uniforms, academic fields of study and the admissions process.
Then head over to the Thayer Hotel for a much-deserved lunch. Dining options include the MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant where you can look out the Gothic windows onto the Hudson; or for a more casual setting, try General Patton’s Tavern, adjacent to MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant, where you can enjoy beverages and lighter bites while getting the same scenic views. If you visit on a Sunday, Zulu Time Rooftop will be open from 12pm to 8pm and offers spectacular views of the Hudson River and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Millbrook, New York
Voted best winery in the Hudson Valley for the last 20 years, Millbrook Vineyards and Winery offers tastings of their award-winning wines year-round. Take a guided tour of the vineyard and cellars, then enjoy a wine tasting in the 1940’s Dutch-style barn. Wines available for tasting inlude Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Tocai Friulano and Riesling.