100 Ways to Spend Summer Days And Nights in the Hudson Valley

We’ve put together the ultimate summer fun guide.

Paddle Away

Hudson River Expeditions
Cold Spring, 845.809.5935 | Peekskill, 914.737.1202

Explore the Hudson from Cold Spring or Peekskill with Hudson River Expeditions’ kayak, canoe, and paddleboard trips. Try their Paddle Pump tour, combining kayaking with an exercise session on a riverside beach; or opt for a yoga/kayak tour led by an experienced yoga teacher.

Storm King Adventure Tours, Cornwall-on-Hudson

Take a full-moon kayak tour or a newbie’s kayak class.

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Hudson Valley Guides

Hudson Valley Guides offers kayak tours – including moonlight paddles – in the Bashakill Wetlands.

Mountain Valley Guides

Mountain Valley Guides features three kayak launch sites: Cornwall, Hastings, and Newburgh. A cool idea for a hot day: head out from Newburgh on their Paddles & Pints tour. After a guided trip on the river, everybody heads to shore and can wet their whistles during a craft-beer tasting at a local brewery.

Tivoli Sailing Company

Tivoli Sailing Company operates between the Kingston and Rhinecliff areas.

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Hudson Sailing

For sailboat fans, Hudson Sailing in Kingston offers charters on Cirrus, a 28-foot trimaran. Occasionally, they’ll even anchor in a protected cove for a cookout.

Go Cruising

Dutch Apple Cruises

Dutch Apple Cruises in Albany, with narrated sightseeing trips aboard the Dutch Apple II, reminiscent of the now-historic Hudson River Dayliners.

River Rose Cruises

River Rose Cruises, an authentic Mississippi paddle wheeler, departs from Newburgh.

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The Trinity Cruise Company

The Trinity Cruise Company heads north from Peekskill to the West Point area.

Hudson River Cruises

Hudson River Cruises’ dock in Kingston is the site for boarding The Rip Van Winkle. She sails past the Rondout Lighthouse and out into the Hudson.

Hudson River Adventures

Hudson River Adventures in Newburgh offers sightseeing cruises aboard The Pride of the Hudson, gliding past landmarks in the Hudson Highlands.

Classic Harbor Line

Classic Harbor Line offers yacht cruises from Chelsea Piers to Bear Mountain, and locals can cruise from Poughkeepsie to the city.

Hudson Cruises

Hudson Cruises takes passengers from Hudson’s riverfront park.


Go Orienteering or Treasure Hunting

Hudson Valley Orienteering

Take a break from your smartphone and enjoy a summer day with the sport of orienteering. You’ll use “old-fashioned” paper maps and compasses to follow a pre-arranged course that often winds through woods or meadows. Hudson valley Orienteering schedules events in the region.

The Empire State Metal Detector Association

If you’ve got a hankering for treasure hunting, metal detector fans schedule group hunts with the gizmos at beaches, parks, and other spots; they hold contests, too. Who knows, you may find coins, jewelry, and other neat stuff. The Empire State Metal Detector Association meets in Latham, near Albany, and boasts about 150 members.


Glamp it Up

Short for “glamorous camping,” it mixes traditional camping with soothing creature comforts. The website www.glampinghub.com is a handy go-to guide. Here’s a sample of glamping sites in the Valley:

Blue Hills Farm

A variation on B&Bs, Blue Hills Farm in Sullivan County offers a “tent and breakfast” stay-over. Snooze amidst nature in a 16-by-20-foot tented space with a queen-sized bed.

Willowemoc Wild Forest Yurt

Livingston Manor in Sullivan County is home to the Willowemoc Wild Forest Yurt. The yurt – a big, sturdy tent – has a wood floor, solar lighting, and rustic furniture. If you choose the Safari Tent, you’ll swear you’re having an Out Of Africa moment in the Catskills.


Make a Splash

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort’s Big Splash Indoor Waterpark features a 250-foot flume ride. Outdoors, the adult pool boasts a 125-foot giant water slide; the tamer but fun kiddy pool contains a 40-foot slide and spray fountains.

Zoom Flume Water Park

This sounds scary/fun: the Zoom Flume Water Park’s Black Vortex ride plummets you down to the pool in a tunnel of total darkness. Other attractions at the Greene County park include a new Typhoon Twister water slide.

SplashDown Beach

SplashDown Beach in Fishkill recenty opened a new attraction, the Arctic Mammoth: Riders hop aboard a five-person raft for a ride that’s nearly six stories tall. Or try more than a dozen other water features, and check out the low-key play areas for the kiddies.


Try Summer “Skiing”

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount goes full-speed-ahead with summer activities. They include mountain biking and a sky ride to the mountain’s summit. Or visit the Belleayre Beach at Pine Hill Lake for everything from swimming to standup paddleboard rentals.

Hunter Mountain

At Hunter Mountain, climb aboard the Kaatskill Flyer chairlift to glide up to the 3,200-foot summit. Or try the zipline, where you can zoom at speeds up to 50 mph. They also feature guided off-road-vehicle driving adventures.

Catamount Aerial Adventure Park

Catamount Aerial Adventure Park at Catamunt Ski Area in Hillsdale boasts 10-acres of activities, featuring self-guided tree-top adventures and a dozen climbing courses. 

Windham Mountain Resort

Windham Mountain Resort boasts an 18-hole public golf course, skate park, bike park with a quad lift, and the new Kaaterskill Cruise “green” bike trail that’s due to open this season.

Enroll in a Workshop or Camp

The Paul Green Rock Academy

The Paul Green Rock Academy is a real life School of Rock, where kids of all ages learn to play guitar, bass, drums and keyboards from top-notch teachers. Based in Woodstock and Washingtonville.

Hudson River Valley Art Workshops

Get your art on with Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. What’s neat is that the programs, lodgings, and meals are all held in the historic Greenville Arms 1889 inn. Most classes are suitable for all levels, and run by professional artists; you can even dabble in the studio 24 hours a day.

The Wallkill River School of Art

If you’d rather take up an easel than take it easy this summer, The Wallkill River School of Art offers classes for all levels. The nonprofit artists’ cooperative in Montgomery also presents three-day Plein Air Workshops (June 16-18).

Ashokan Center

The Ashokan Center offers a selection of music and arts programs, including its renowned Music & Dance Camps.


Kick it in Kingston
(and other offbeat sports)

Disc Golf

Also dubbed Frisbee golf, family-friendly disc golf is akin to the traditional sort in that it involves tees, holes, and strokes. The big difference: flying discs are used instead of a ball, and elevated baskets serve as the cups. Courses are springing up throughout the Valley, but here’s a sample: Beacon Glades Disc Golf in Beacon offers 18 holes; Gunks Disc Golf in Gardiner, with 9 holes, even has “water hazard” shots; There’s a new nine-hole course at Hackett Hill Park in Hyde Park; Fans of the Joralemon Park Disc Golf Course in Ravena rave about the 27-hole circuit’s scenic layout; A nine-holer in Saugerties is available for folks staying at the KOA campground; The Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz offers an 18-hole course for guests; The Skylands Flying Disc Course at Brakewell Steel/Warwick Town Park in Warwick has been acclaimed as one of the top five courses in the country; A new disc golf course at Wilcox Memorial Park in the Town of Milan opened last season.


​World Adult Kickball Association

Rejoice! Recess has been resurrected: The World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) has an affiliate here in the Valley, with local leagues holding kickball games for grownups in locales including Kingston and Poughkeepsie. Club WAKA also hosts other events ranging from volleyball to softball.


Hudson Valley Volleyball 
Mid-Hudson Athletic Center 

The volleyball scene is alive and thriving. Find games at municipal parks programs, or check out the group Hudson Valley Volleyball — they organize adult grass doubles games throughout the lower Valley; a tournament is slated for May at Memorial Park in Beacon. The Mid-Hudson Athletic Center in Poughkeepsie is home to indoor volleyball (plus private lessons to juniors and adults) and more. If you’re up for other schoolyard memories, join one of their dodgeball events.

Circus Arts

Hudson Valley Circus Arts

Hudson Valley Circus Arts offers a safe space for teens and adults to try their hands (and arms and legs and torsos) at basic acrobatics and flexibility-boosting physical training. Circus-curious individuals have the opportunity to participate in weekly classes like AcroYoga and aerial skills. Don’t worry if it sounds too advanced — they also offer classes for newbies.


Get Nostalgic at a Drive-In

Four Brothers Drive-In

Adjacent to the Four Brothers Restaurant in Amenia, and run by the same owners, the Four Brothers Drive-In launched in 2014. A “boutique theater,” it has parking for 125 cars and presents first-run double features. They also screen classic movies on Throwback Thursdays, and even provide charging for electric cars.

The Greenville Drive-In Outdoor Cinema

The Greenville Drive-In Outdoor Cinema focuses on classic retro films, plus new indie movies. It has space for 225 cars. There’s a “snack shack” serving locally sourced foods, and a new beer garden, too.

Hi-Way Drive-In

Featuring “cinema under the stars,” the Hi-Way Drive-In is located between Catskill and Coxsackie. There’s parking for 600 cars, a snack bar, and if you’re brave (and an insomniac), make a note to attend their annual “Dead Til Dawn” horror movie marathon.

Jericho Drive-in 

Located in Glenmont in Albany County, the Jericho Drive-in is also home to the popular Twist ice-cream stand. They offer special retro movie nights, and “door” prizes are awarded nightly.

Other Drive-ins:

Hathaway‘s Drive-In Theatre, North Hoosick
518.659.6098; www.hathawaysdrive-in.com 

Fair Oaks Drive-In Theatre, Middletown
845.361.5774; www.fairoaksdrive-intheatre.com

Hollywood Drive-In Theatre, Averill Park
518.283.4425; www.hollywooddrivein.com

Hyde Park Drive-In, Hyde Park
845.229.8959; www.hydeparkdrivein.com

The Overlook Drive-In, Poughkeepsie
845.452.3445; www.overlookdrivein.com

Warwick Drive-In, Warwick
845.986.4440; www.warwickdrivein.com


The Neighs Have It

There are many places to go horseback riding and take lessons in the Hudson Valley, but how about a horseback riding staycation? For a chance to watch professionals ride, and see some gorgeous horses, head to the HITS-on-the-Hudson horse show in Saugerties. The series runs for eight weeks in the summer, with $3 million in prize money, including the $1 Million Grand Prix  awarded in early September. (845.246.5515; www.hitsshows.com)

Juckas Stables

Juckas Stables, a 50-plus year-old family-owned facility in Bullville offers lessons, rides, and overnight camping by horseback on their nearly 120 acres of trails.

PineGrove Family Dude Ranch

PineGrove Family Dude Ranch in Kerhonkson features trail rides for guests age 7 and up; the resort has 600 acres of mountainside trails. Other folks who want to get into the saddle can sign up for rides by purchasing a day pass.

Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, where guests can register for guided trail rides as part of their stay; trips are grouped according to riders’ experience.

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in Highland; guests who choose an all-inclusive vacation package can take part in western-style trail rides and horse-drawn wagons pulled by a team of Percherons. A pony-riding area is available for the littlest cowpokes, too.

Perfect Places for a Picnic

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival offers a chance to break bread on a lovely lawn, then see an outdoor production of the Bard’s work and other innovative plays. The grounds of the historic Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison are the backdrop. You can bring your own pre-show picnic, or order a meal ahead of time to pick up at the café (which also serves sandwiches and salads, treats, beer, and wine).

Innisfree Garden

The 185-acre Innisfree Garden in Millbrook is a landscaped oasis of Modernist and Romantic traditions showcasing Asian gardens and terraces. You can stroll, enjoy a picnic, then walk some more in this lovely landscape.

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center

At the 450-acre Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar — run by the state Department of Environmental Conservation — you can take self-guided or escorted tours on 10 miles of trails; it’s a noted bird-watching center, too, where 225 species abound.

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center

Vanderbilt Mansion is among the historic jewels of the Valley, and this Hyde Park landmark offers manicured lawns with ample places to stroll and picnic. You can take indoor tours, too.

Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County is said to be the tallest two-tier waterfall in the state, and it’s a pleasant place for a summer picnic. More info is available on their website.

Sleightsburgh Park

Sleightsburgh Park is just a few minutes from the center of downtown Kingston. This 79-acre getaway includes a half-mile of trails paralleling Rondout Creek that lead to a peninsula extending into the water.

The Saugerties Lighthouse

A picnic lunch at The Saugerties Lighthouse is an easy 10-minute walk from the parking area. When you reach the red-brick lighthouse, spread out your meal on a nearby picnic table and drink in the unique view of the Hudson River. Bone up on the lighthouse’s history before you go on their website.


Fly Like an Eagle

​Take a Flight

Hop aboard for a glider ride at the Wurtsboro Airport, which offers 15-20 minute intro flights and 35- to 40-minute soaring trips; 845.888.2791; www.wurtsboroairport.com. Located at Randall Airport in Middletown, the Valley Soaring Club offers glider rides to the public on weekends; 845.564.2054; www.valleysoaring.org.

​Hot Air Balloon Rides

Above the Clouds, Middletown
845.692.2556; www.abovetheclouds.com

Balloon NY, Ghent
607.435.9839; www.balloonny.com

Blue Sky Balloons, Poughkeepsie
845.473.6917; www.blueskyballoons.com

Enchanted Balloon Tours, Inc., Slate Hill
845.649.9654; www.enchantedballoons.com

Fantasy Balloon Flights inc., Middletown
845.856.7103; www.fantasyfliers.com 

Wandering Winds, Randall Airport near Middletown;
845.754.8540; www.wanderingwindshotairballoons.com


Ellenville Flight Park is based beneath a 1,350-foot-high hang-gliding and paragliding takeoff point on the Shawangunk Mountains near Ellenville. 845.647.4917; www.ellenvilleflightpark.com. In Middletown, Hangar3 offers hang gliding and tandem hang gliding with options ranging from intro flights to mile-high trips. 917.270.5669; www.hangar3.netLet‘s Go Paragliding in Millerton provides tandem flights for students and other folks eager to experience the thrill of the sport; 917.359.6449; www.letsgoparagliding.com


Skydiving enthusiasts can head to SkyDive the Ranch in Gardiner; they provide tandem jumps from an altitude of 13,500 feet, plus lessons. 845.255.4033; www.skydivetheranch.com. 





Get Up-close with Critters

Stony Kill Farm

Stony Kill Farm in Wappingers Falls is a working farm with chickens, cows, pigs, and other livestock. Its Environmental Education Center, run by the Stony Kill Foundation, offers weekend barn and greenhouse tours.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls rescues and cares for farm animals. They also educate the public about the realities of raising animals for food, and advocate a vegan lifestyle. Guided tours are held on summer weekends.

The Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park

Many of the critters at The Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park were orphaned, abandoned, or injured and can’t survive in the wild. The facility houses native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, too. You can walk from here to the walkway over the Bear Mountain Bridge, or go on the trail under the bridge to Fort Montgomery.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a 123-acre Saugerties refuge for abused, abandoned, and neglected farm animals. It offers educational programs for kids and adults, has a homestead for overnight guests, gives weekend tours, and offers vegan cooking classes.

Trevor Zoo at Millbrook School

The Trevor Zoo at Millbrook School is open to the public and operated by an on-site boarding high school. A variety of domestic and exotic animals are cared for by the students.


See a Professional Baseball Game​

Hudson Valley Renegades

Head to Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls to catch the Hudson Valley Renegades, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays. They feature theme nights, barbecues, kids’ play areas, and a variety of concession stands including craft beer stations. And in August, the stadium is home to Hudson Valley magazine’s Burger & Beer Bash.

Tri-City ValleyCats

The Tri-City ValleyCats, an affiliate of the Houston Astros, draws summer crowds to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, a 4,500-seat venue on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College near Albany. The ‘Cats’ ballfield includes a picnic pavilion, concessions, and an inflatables play area for kids.

The Rockland Boulders

The Rockland Boulders is an independent pro baseball team that plays at the Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona. The stadium features picnic areas, snacks, a kids’ playground, and a bar for the adults. Live music kicks in Friday and Saturday nights after the game.


Go Fish!

The West Branch Angler Resort

The West Branch Angler Resort in Hancock offers guided trips and fly fishing along the river, too.

The Beaverkill Angler

The Beaverkill Angler fly-fishing shop on Roscoe’s main street sells gear, plus half- or full-day walk/wade fishing trips.

Trout Town Adventures and Guide Services
845.665.9521 or 845.665.2079                                                      www.trouttownadventuresandguideservice.com

Roscoe in Sullivan County (dubbed “Trout Town USA”) offers fishing instructionals including Trout Town Adventures and Guide Services.

​The Catskill Mountain Club

The Catskill Mountain Club is a good overall resource for guides and other outdoor activities in the Catskills.

Visit www.nyfisherman.net/hudsonriverguides.html for more suggestions.

Gone Fishing Guide Service

Along the Delaware River, try the Gone Fishing Guide Service in Narrowsburg for float trips on the upper river.

Hunter Mountain Fly Fishing School and Guide Services
518.263.4223, ext. 2233                                                www.huntermtn.com/summer/fishing

Hunter Mountain Fly Fishing School and Guide Services has a shop, fishing instruction, access to a 10-acre lake and the Schoharie Creek, and more.

If you have a yen to fish in the Hudson River, try:

Ace Charters, Coeymans
413.346.7675; www.acecharters.com/hudson-river

Chance of a Lifetime Charters, Connelly
914.443.8706; www.hudsonriverfishingcharters.com 

Hudson River Charter departs from the Saugerties marina
845.532.1555; www.hudsonrivercharter.com 

Reel Happy Fishing Charters, Cairo
518.622.8670; www.reelhappyfishingcharters.com

Off The Charters, Newburgh; runs striped-bass fishing expeditions; 845.238.7508; www.offthecharters.com

Tie One on Charters, Esopus; specializes in striped bass; www.tie1oncharters.com; booked for 2017


Take a Guided Tour

The Valley boasts tours galore — historic sites, mansions, wine and food trails, art havens, and more. County tourism departments are good starting points for “locally sourced” tour ideas; www.travelhudsonvalley.com. Or try Hudson Valley Bucket List; they create personalized tours where guests can travel by mini-coach, town car — even a limo, if you yearn to splurge. Made-to-order adventures include a chance to explore just about anything you’d like to see in the region. Choose from walkable downtowns to boutique wineries, cider houses, and distilleries to farms and mountains. Based in Beacon, the service was created by Valley native Becky Varone. 845.943.9490; www.hvbucketlist.com 

Click here for our annual roundup of the Valley’s greatest summer fairs and festivals.

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