9 Stunning Spots for Prom Pictures in the Hudson Valley

Gather your gang for an afternoon of pictures at these Hudson Valley locations with scenic views before dancing the night away at prom.

Spring in the Hudson Valley means food festivals, concerts, Restaurant Week, and, of course, prom. With a surplus of high schools in the area, students across the region are preparing to get gussied up for an unforgettable night that serves as a teenager rite of passage. Remember the evening even more fondly with gorgeous photos in gowns and tuxedos taken at these scenic Hudson Valley locations prior to shipping off in limos to party. To make the night even sweeter, most of these spots are free to visit – or close to it.

Bear Mountain State Park

Bear Mountain
Cost: $10 per vehicle


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In northern Rockland County, Bear Mountain State Park provides a panoramic backdrop of rugged mountains and the Hudson River. For a photoshoot location, choose between a dozen spots from shaded groves to river or lakeside views. If you’re down for the challenge, head up to Perkins Memorial Tower on top of Bear Mountain for an alluring backdrop of the Hudson Highlands and Harriman State Park.

Cold Spring Pier

Cold Spring
Cost: free


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For Haldane students and other Putnam County high schoolers who are willing to travel to the river for stunning prom pictures, Cold Spring is the place to be. The Cold Spring Pier offers more than just riverside views, but also a backdrop of West Point and the Hudson Highlands. If the weather could be better, gather under the pier’s gazebo for some coverage during the shoot.

The Crossings of Colonie

Cost: free unless renting a facility


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Albany County students have an abundance of options at The Crossings of Colonie. The 130-acre park features sites like a pond, acres of meadows, marshlands, and extensive wildflower areas if you visit at the right time this spring. Show up for group photos and scout your locations when you get there or rent one of the facilities ahead of time for guaranteed space under a gazebo or pavilion.

Donahue Memorial Park

Cost: $5.45 per vehicle or free with a parking permit

A less-visited waterfront park on the Hudson River, Orange County’s Donahue Memorial Park overlooks Bannerman’s Island, Breakneck Ridge, and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. Pose for photos next to the large white gazebo that remains the focal point of the park and lay out the tablecloth on some picnic tables to snack on crudité while taking prom pictures.

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Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Cost: $10 per vehicle

Popular for engagement shoots, Minnewaska is sure to stun with views to make your prom photos as memorable as can be. Although some of the park’s hiking trails lead to more unique backgrounds, the green located next to the main parking lot on top of the mountain overlooks Lake Minnewaska and the cliffs that surround it. New Paltz and Wallkill students need not venture too far in their heels and dress shoes for the best pictures this season.

Olana State Historic Site

Cost: free


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A landmark of Columbia County, Olana State Historic Site is well-visited for a reason. While tours come at a fee, access to the grounds is free for spectacular photos of historic architecture and river views in the background. Come early enough in the spring to pose among the blooming trees or enjoy the shade under verdant leaves in the later season.

Poet’s Walk Park

Red Hook
Cost: free

This Dutchess County location calls Rhinebeck and Red Hook students to its 120-acre campus for prom pictures in a beautiful landscape. Two miles of trails wind through meadows, while gazebos, foot bridges, and decorative benches provide the perfect setting for fabulous photos with the Hudson River in the distance.

Untermyer Gardens Conservancy

Cost: free

It’s hard to believe that a place so dreamy is free, but Untermyer Garden Conservancy defies all the odds. The 43-acre public garden combines horticulture, architecture, and design to create a botanical garden in a majestic, natural setting on the Hudson River. Nine different gardens stun with varying backdrops of plants and monuments, resulting in prom photos that far surpass the ordinary for lower Westchester students.

Vanderbilt Mansion

Hyde Park
Cost: free

A beloved location for photoshoots of all kinds, Hyde Park’s Vanderbilt Mansion is central to many Dutchess County schools with students who are looking to get scenic photos for prom. The property’s late-19th-century mansion is a glamorous architectural setting for pictures, while the grounds provide a vista with Hudson River views, a waterfall, and unique plant life.

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