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21 Trendy, Instagrammable Spots in the Hudson Valley

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Kaaterskill Falls in Mount Tremper, NY. Adobe Stock / Linda

Stop by these Hudson Valley sites for picturesque views, incredible artwork, and post-worthy provisions fit for an influencer.

There’s a reason why the #HudsonValley tag on Instagram comprises over three million posts. In addition to the flora and fauna for which our region is so famous, the Hudson Valley is home to scenic destinations like sculpture parks, murals, lighthouses, and even a walkway that spans across the Hudson River. What’s more, the area is home to some of the top dining establishments in the nation, providing foodies the opportunity to practice their food photography skills. At the end of the day, the Valley is downright Instagrammable. (Yes, “Instagrammable”—it’s a real word, defined by Oxford’s English dictionary as “visually appealing in a way that is suitable for being photographed for posting on the social media application Instagram.”)

 

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Without further ado, here are the essential stops to fill your camera roll with post-worthy pictures aplenty. Don’t forget to tag us @hudsonvalleymag, and give us a follow while you’re at it.

Art Omi

Ghent

 

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This outdoor sculpture and architecture park features over 120 acres of imaginative, large-scale works by artists from all over the globe. Art Omi displays more than 60 pieces for visitors to admire and updates its artwork on view yearly, so there’s always something new to discover (and pose beside).

Related: Art Omi Day Trip: Where to Eat and Explore Around Ghent

Bannerman Castle

Hudson River

If you haven’t yet paid a visit to Bannerman Castle, you may have seen it from either side of the Hudson River—hikes in Hudson Highlands State Park and Storm King State Park afford wonderful views of the island on which the castle rests. Still, there’s nothing like getting up close and personal to the site. The remaining ruins of the castle, which was originally constructed at the dawn of the 20th century, are hauntingly beautiful. You can book a cruise and walking tour of the island April through November.

Barton Orchards Sunflower Field

Poughquag

 

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While Barton Orchards is a worthy destination year-round, it is especially stunning in late summer when a five-acre sunflower field shimmers in the sunshine. It’s so incredible a sight, in fact, that the orchard hosts a sunflower-themed festival each year.

Bellvale Farms Creamery

Warwick

Homemade ice cream and a million-dollar view…what more is there to say? Open April through October, Bellvale is a sweet staple in Orange County, offering over 50 flavors of ice cream to fill cones, cups, and ice cream cakes. Its seating area overlooks a pastoral valley of flora and farmland.

Boscobel House and Gardens

Philipstown

 

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Originally built between 1804 and 1808, this restored Neoclassical mansion is made even more gorgeous by the surrounding 68 acres of gardens and wooded trails. This Hudson Valley site is a stately synthesis of architecture, history, and nature.

Brotherhood Winery

Washingtonville

As America’s oldest winery, Brotherhood Winery boasts scenic views and—most important of all—great vino. Be sure to snap a selfie in front of the giant wooden wine barrel that marks the entrance to the winery grounds.

Related: Wineries of the Hudson Valley: A Comprehensive Guide

Cohoes Falls

Cohoes

 

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This 90-foot, Instagrammable waterfall in the northern Hudson Valley is nothing short of spectacular. It’s the second widest in New York State—the first, of course, being Niagara Falls—making it an essential pitstop for anyone visiting the Albany area.

Croton Gorge Park

Cortlandt

Speaking of waterfalls, Croton Gorge Park in Westchester is one of those places you have to see to believe. The Croton Dam is massive, as are the falls that cascade from the New Croton Reservoir. The views are tough to beat, whether you’re on top of the dam looking down on the Croton River or down in Croton Gorge Park looking up at the dam and falls.

Related: Explore These 27 Breathtaking Waterfalls in the Hudson Valley

The Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park

We didn’t forget about you, foodies. The Culinary Institute of America, one of the foremost culinary schools in the world, is home to student-run eateries like The Bocuse Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, and the Apple Pie Bakery Café. While the focus is, of course, the taste, each dish is artfully plated and perfectly Instagrammable. Remember, food lovers: the camera eats first!

Dia Beacon

Beacon

Dia Beacon is an art lover’s gem in the Hudson Valley, with works by preeminent artists like Louise Bourgeoise and Lawrence Weiner. (Be sure to see Bourgeoise’s magnum opus, Crouching Spider, on view at the museum.) With a penchant for minimal, industrial, and conceptual works, this museum provides opportunities aplenty to snap an artsy selfie.

Early Terrible

Woodstock

 

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This Woodstock bar and grill is the kind of place you bring somebody you’re trying to impress. The atmosphere is eclectic and romantic, the cocktails are out of this world, and the food is simple, yet fantastic. While you’ll likely be far more focused on your food, drinks, and company than your phone, don’t forget to snap a picture to commemorate your night out at Early Terrible.

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

Hudson

 

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There is certainly no shortage of beautiful sites to see around Hudson—and no shortage of art galleries to stroll through, if that’s your cup of tea—but the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse is, in our view, an underrated destination. The lighthouse, constructed between 1873 and 1874, “served as a manned lighthouse until the 1950s” when it became automated. The lighthouse helps ships navigate the Hudson River to this day, plus it looks gorgeous through all four seasons.

Innisfree Gardens

Millbrook

Named after the W.B. Yeats poem, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” this garden in Millbrook is the work of Lester Collins, a famous landscape architect who was greatly influenced by the gardens of East Asia. Open for tours spring through fall, Innisfree is the ideal spot for a contemplative stroll, charcuterie picnic, or photoshoot.

Related: 13 Gorgeous Gardens to Visit in the Hudson Valley

Kaaterskill Falls

Mount Tremper

 

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If you’ve ever scrolled through the #HudsonValley tag on Instagram, it’s quite likely you’ve come across an aerial shot of these iconic falls. It’s one of the hottest outdoor destinations in the region, and for good reason; the two-stage waterfall is enveloped by the Catskill Mountains.

Nyack Beach State Park

Nyack

 

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For water views and a destination that’s ideal for a day trip, look no further than Nyack Beach State Park. Not only is the scenery idyllic, but it’s also so beautiful that it may inspire an impromptu meditation session. Afterward, pop into Nyack proper for a stroll around town.

Opus 40

Saugerties

 

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Sculptor and quarryman Harvey Fite spent nearly four decades constructing this sculpture park in Ulster County, which comprises “55 acres of meadows, forested paths, and bluestone quarries.” The Instagrammable site, which welcomes around 35,000 visitors each year, is “a monument to discipline and hard work,” according to David Wallis of The New York Times.

Orange County Arboretum

Montgomery

This 35-acre wonderland of flora is an essential day trip for any nature lover, promising a range of trees, shrubs, and plants. Although picking flowers is not permitted, feel free to fill your camera roll with the stunning plant life at the arboretum.

Pronkstilleven Mural

Kingston

 

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If you find yourself in Kingston, be sure to schedule a stop at this Instagrammable mural by Baltimore-based artist and muralist Gaia. Located on the side of the Stuyvesant Building in Kingston’s Stockade District, the massive image depicts painter John Vanderlyn and abolitionist Sojourner Truth.

Storm King Art Center

New Windsor

This 500-acre outdoor sculpture museum is home to large-scale works by some of the most prominent contemporary sculptors like Alexander Calder, Andy Goldsworthy, and Alyson Shotz. Be sure to snap a selfie in Shotz’s “Mirror Fence,” which, as the title would indicate, is a 138-foot-long fence made of a reflective material.

Untermyer Gardens Conservancy

Yonkers

Samuel Untermyer’s goal was for his gardens to be the “finest in the world.” With its palatial architecture, reflective pools of water, and vibrant greenery, this Westchester County site could certainly contend for that superlative. You can visit Untermyer Gardens year-round, but it is most splendid when everything is in bloom during the spring and summertime.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

Poughkeepsie, Highland

 

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There is no better place to soak in views of the Hudson River than the Walkway. Spanning from Poughkeepsie to Highland, the 1.28-mile bridge stands over 200 feet above the river. Once you’ve had your fill—and snapped a cute selfie or two—explore Poughkeepsie’s Eastdale Village for even more Instagrammable bites, beverages, and activities.

Related: Photographer Ryan Rusiecki Makes a Muse of the Hudson Valley

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