Photo courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House
Want to plan a fun weekend with family and friends? Head to these Best of Hudson Valley spots for the coolest things to do.
1960S-STYLE MOTOR LODGE
Starlite Motel isn’t the type of stay you’d find in Schitt’s Creek. The motel transformed tacky design into modern vibes, with a comfy getaway featuring hardwood floors, retro-tiled baths, and Wi-Fi. There’s even a saltwater pool and fire pit. For a nifty souvenir, pick up their fabric homage of a classic 1960s motel-room key fob.
Hudson Valley Renegades
The next Derek Jeter or Aaron Judge might have an 845 area code. Nearly a year ago, Hudson Valley baseball fans learned that their beloved Renegades were the new official farm team of the New York Yankees. The ‘Gades also earned their first full season as a High-A team since the 90s.
Wappingers Falls; milb.com/hudson-valley
BIKING TRAIL (IN THE WORLD)
Empire State Trail
New York is many things: bustling cities, picturesque valleys, charming villages and pastorals, and much more. The Empire State Trail connects them all. From Manhattan to Hudson Valley, and then forking west to Buffalo and north to the Adirondacks, this 750-mile-long route gives hikers and bikers a scenic glimpse at all that New York has to offer.
CONCEPT FOR AN AIRBNB
Yes, there’s a hobbit house in the Hudson Valley. Let that sink in. Then head to Airbnb to book a night at Hobbit Hollow, the earth-sheltered passive house in Pawling that’s straight out of The Lord of the Rings. With its energy-efficient design and movie-themed details, it’s 100-percent Frodo approved. And did we mention there’s a hot tub?
Pawling; find them on Airbnb
LAND & WATER TOUR
Bannerman Island and Storm King Adventures Tours
Once a military surplus warehouse, this abandoned but stunning gem is a top Hudson Valley excursion. Learn about its interesting past and walk among the deteriorating building by booking a cruise or kayak tour. Though a bit nippy, kayaking to Bannerman Island in the fall is a win-win for stunning foliage and castle views.
NEW AMUSEMENT PARK
LEGOLAND New York Resort
Don your hard hats and get building, LEGO fans. LEGOLAND New York opened its doors in Goshen this year after much anticipation. That wait paid off in spades: guests can explore entire cities made of LEGO bricks, ride the Dragon roller coaster, and live the life of a minifigure before settling in for the evening. Five different room themes make nights at its hotel unforgettable.
The historic event venue was once a functioning brickyard that exported bricks into Manhattan. Fast forward to 2021, Hutton Brickyards is one of the hottest Valley destinations with 73 acres of personal cabin accommodations, a luxurious spa, gourmet cuisine headed by acclaimed Executive Chef Dan Silverman, formerly of NYC’s Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, and captivating views of the Hudson.
NEW GOLF COURSE
Celebrating the incredible nature of the Valley, INNESS is an “intimate country refuge and members club” complete with a hotel, restaurant, organic farm, and several athletic pursuits — now including a large golfing green. The course spans over 55,000 square feet and features stunning views from the double putting green to the third hole on the grounds’ highest peak.
NEW WINTER FESTIVAL
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts: Peace, Love, and Lights
Don’t miss the Valley’s newest holiday tradition. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts designed a one-mile drive-through seasonal lights display, where guests can travel through the 120-foot Twinkle Tunnel, the psychedelic Groovy Way, Candy Cane Lane, and The Enchanted Forest. Peace, Love, and Lights ticket holders also get discounted entry to the museum.
PANDEMIC PIVOT BY A MOVIE THEATER
Covid has been especially difficult for movie theaters, and movie-goers. To celebrate the return of cinema, landmark Rhinebeck institution Upstate Films took its show on the road. The Hudson Valley Picture Show held open-air screenings at Opus 40, The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Kaatsbaan, and other iconic destinations. Del’s Roadside traveled alongside Upstate, bringing fresh scoops of ice cream to every showing.
PARK TO HONOR VETERANS
Lasdon Park & Arboretum
At this 234-acre public park, you can explore both classical gardens and serene woods. But the most notable element is the free Westchester County Veterans Museum, documenting those who fought for our country, dating back to the Revolutionary War. You’ll also find four memorials honoring Westchester residents who have served in the armed forces.
Urban Cowboy Lodge
This lodge is fit for a king — and a cowboy. Discover the scenic hiking trails and streams of the Big Indian Wilderness, or spend a cozy day inside, surrounded by American antiques and stone fireplaces. Close your day with a strong cocktail or local beer before a much-needed relaxing soak in a clawfoot bathtub.
Big Indian; urbancowboy.com
AIRBNB FOR ANIMAL LOVERS
How does an escape to a magical corner of Dutchess County filled with pygmy goats, countryside walks, and stargazing sound? Thanks to Hudson Valley author and Airbnb host B.J. Forte, it’s a dream-come-true experience in Red Hook. The Airbnb is popular among animal lovers and features a cozy glamper, strolls with the goats, a fire pit, and Wi-Fi, too.
Red Hook; find them on Airbnb
HIDDEN GEM PUBLIC GOLF COURSE
Copake Country Club
Take a visit to this breathtaking and serene 18-hole golf course adjacent to the gorgeous Berkshire Mountains. The setting makes it easy to survey Copake Lake itself, as well as the surrounding Columbia County. It’s a million-dollar view — minus the hefty membership fee for a private country club.
SMALL HIKE, BIG VIEWS
At the tippity top of this popular hiking trail, you’ll be greeted by some of the best views in the Hudson Valley. While the hike is steep, the reward is worth it — the panoramic view of rolling mountains doesn’t get much better. A map carved into the slabs of rock atop the hill identifies the surrounding mountain peaks.
The Old Catskill Game Farm Inn
Embark on a safari-style stay in the heart of the Catskills. The Old Catskill Game Farm Inn celebrates the region’s history and converted an abandoned zoo into a relaxing hotel. We especially like the Giraffe Room, a former giraffe-barn-turned-suite with a walk-in shower and three-person jacuzzi. Plus, explore three and a half miles of paved trails through the zoo’s ruins.
RESORT FOR HIKERS
Mohonk Mountain House
This beloved retreat is perfect for anyone looking to get away from it all. With over 85 miles of scenic trails, ranging from beginner to advanced, plus easy access to plenty of additional trails in the area, it’s a hiker’s paradise. After a long day, you can look forward to luxurious accommodations (nothing beats a room with a view), indulge in meditative spa treatments, and feast on extraordinary farm-to-table cuisine.
New Paltz; mohonk.com
Bed & Breakfast
Beacon Bed and Breakfast
Bike & Rail Trail
Dutchess Rail Trail
Carmel, Poughkeepsie, and Wappingers Falls
Dutchess County Fair
Farm to Take the Family
Hurds Family Farm
Sheep & Wool Festival
Golf Course (Public)
McCann Memorial Golf Course
High Falls Conservation Area
Mohonk Mountain House
Hudson River Cruise
River Rose Cruises
Ice Skating Rink
Bear Mountain State Park
Independent Hotel or Resort
Diamond Mills Hotel
Paint & Sip Venue
Zhane’s Palette Studio
Mountain Tops Outfitters
Greenport Conservation Area
Vanderbilt Mansion National
Roller Skating Rink
Catamount Mountain Resort
Buzzer Trivia with DJ Tony Flash
Pizza E Birra Poughkeepsie