What to Do in Wappingers Falls: How to Spend a Day Trip in Town

Walkable and picturesque, Wappingers Falls is a hidden gem in the Hudson Valley.

Village of Wappingers Falls Downtown Historic District. Wikimedia Commons | Photo by Wapphist

Walkable and picturesque with restaurants and shopping destinations galore, Wappingers Falls is a hidden gem in the Hudson Valley.

By Jane Anderson and Sabrina Sucato

Wappingers Falls is more than just a walkable little village with a picturesque falls. Young families continue to move to the region as new businesses open along the scenic streets, giving the sleepy little burg a new, exciting vibe. Here are some suggestions on how you can spend a day trip in the charming Dutchess County locale.


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8:30 a.m. – Get your motor running at The Ground Hog

At this Main Street spot, you can get sweet with a peanut butter latte or jolt yourself awake with a cup of Sledgehammer joe. Pair your coffee with one of the omelets (try the “Fun Guy,” with sausage, cheddar, and — you guessed it — mushrooms). If you go on weekends, do yourself a favor and order the blueberry pancakes, which are arguably the eatery’s most beloved entrée. On your way back to the village center, pass County Players at the Falls, the community theater that’s been around for more than 60 years.

2703 W Main St, Wappingers Falls


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9:30 a.m. – Use up your breakfast energy at the Greenway Trail 

The truly ambitious can tackle the entire 10-plus-mile loop. If you’re not up to the journey, start at the kiosk at Market Street Industrial Park instead. Surrounded by historical factory buildings, the Wappinger Creek offers inspiring views of the beautiful falls. It’s near this industrial area where the original Sweet-Orr blue-jean factory got its start in 1871 — a few years before a more well-known manufacturer who went by the name of Levi. If you feel like it, follow the green-and-white Greenway Trail logos into the woods for a bit, then wander back to view the falls.

10:30 a.m. – Take a peek at Windsor Machinery

Those falls aren’t there just for looks (although they are truly impressive); the 20-feet-tall, 245-feet-wide dam powers a real 2-megawatt hydroelectric plant run by Windsor Machinery. Although public tours aren’t generally available, the circa-1800s building and its post-industrial location are interesting to view. Walk north on Market Street, and you’ll soon find yourself in the heart of Wappingers Falls.


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11:30 a.m. – Go window shopping in Wappingers Falls

The winding, hilly East Main Street is a good way to work out as well as window shop. Make sure to stop and admire the artwork that the Wappingers Falls Civic Association installed in the area. Don’t leave without checking out the circa-1880s Grinnell Library; the Swiss/English-inspired architecture is unique.

12 p.m. – Stop in at the Candlelight by the Falls Gift Shop

Just off East Main, Candlelight is worth a trip to admire the candles and home décor that are lovingly displayed, and maybe pick up something for yourself. In season, stop next door at The Village Creamery for a yummy ice cream cone. If you’re in the market for a bicycle, visit Wheel and Heel (by appointment only) across the street. Just a short walk away, tattoo fans can swing by the beautiful Graceland Tattoo studio a few doors down to browse the latest in body art and piercings.

16 Mill St, Wappingers Falls

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1 p.m. – Grab a bite at County Fare in Wappingers Falls

Hungry for lunch? Stop at County Fare on Main Street for some comfort food (like great burgers) in a hip, rustic atmosphere (don’t miss the weathered brick walls and vintage Sweet-Orr sign).

2652 E Main St, Wappingers Falls

2 p.m. – Hop in the car and visit Mesier Park

Not far from the village’s downtown, the former home of Loyalist tea merchant Peter Mesier was the site of a “Boston Tea Party”-like revolt in May 1777, when his customers grew angry at his prices and imprisoned Mesier, his family, and his servants in the house. Today, his homestead and surrounding property are a peaceful respite.


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3 p.m. – Grab a margarita at Mexicali Blue

Leave some room for libations at Mexicali Blue. One of the most beloved Mexican restaurants in the Hudson Valley, this beautiful, inviting eatery is committed to serving natural and fresh food that’s equally delicious. If you’re in the mood for something fruity, try the Tropical Margarita mixed with pineapple juice, mango, freshly squeezed lime, and a splash of sangria. If you want something classic with a punch, you can’t go wrong with the Spicy Jalapeño Margarita made with Don Julio silver tequila, jalapeños, triple sec and Mexicali lime mix.

1571 Rte 9, Wappingers Falls


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4:30 p.m. – Score an afternoon snack in Wappingers Falls at AJ Café

On your way back downtown, stop by AJ Café for award-winning chicken wings and a warm welcome. If it’s nice out, plan on a game of horseshoes out back, or just chill at the outdoor tiki bar. Check the website often for the fun benefits the eatery holds for various causes.

2557 South Ave, Wappingers Falls


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6 p.m. – Sip in style at Di’Vine Wine Bar and Coupe Champagne Bar

Head to Di’Vine Wine Bar on Market St. and grab a seat overlooking the falls. In the warmer weather, enjoy the outdoor seating. Pick some small plates from the menu, enjoy some wine or other drinks, and stick around for some live music. You’ve had a long but enjoyable day — you deserve it! Then, head across the street to pop some bubbly at Coupe Champagne Bar. Order pies from Wagon Wheel Pizza through a hole in the wall, and discover new wine pairings.

1 Market St, Wappingers Falls

7:30 p.m. – Tuck in for the night at a Wappingers Falls Airbnb

While you’ll need to drive over to nearby Poughkeepsie for hotel accommodations, you can find the perfect place to catch some rest at one of the town’s picturesque Airbnbs. Whether you’re looking for a cozy spot near the New Hamburg train station, a bedroom in the village, or an entire house with modern touches, you can find exactly what you want nearby.

Related: What to Do in Nyack: Spend a Day in This Peaceful Waterfront Town

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