As you drive away from the city that never sleeps, you might feel like you’ve entered an entirely different world. Instead of busy streets, crowds of people, and sirens, you’ll see tons of secluded gardens, historic sites, classic museums, and beautiful parks. The nearby mountains and riverfront towns make for idyllic family trips with plenty of activities from hiking to antiquing. Here are our top selections for the best spots to visit this summer.
BEAR MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Bear Mountain State Park offers a wide variety of swimming, boating, hiking, biking, and more activities throughout the more than 5,200 acres of the state park. Located right off the west bank of the Hudson River in Orange and Rockland counties, Bear Mountain State Park is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.
WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON
Are you looking for some breathtaking views of the Hudson River? If so, you must visit the Walkway Over the Hudson—a 1.28-mile extended steel cantilever bridge connecting Highland with Poughkeepsie across the Hudson. Throughout your walk on the pedestrian bridge, you can enjoy some fresh air, marvel at views of the beautiful flowers, trees and mountains, and learn about the bridge’s history. You can spend time on the Walkway Loop Trail, Franny State Park, located on the opposite side of the river, or stop for a picnic on the Poughkeepsie Waterfront.
TROY WATERFRONT FARMER’S MARKET
During the summertime, you can expect farmer’s markets galore in Hudson Valley. On Saturday mornings, treat yourself to a walk-through of Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market. More than 70 different artisans, chefs, bakers, and growers are featured at the farmer's market with tons of local produce, tasty treats, or unique trinkets for your home. Whether you need a new piece of art or want a delicious fresh breakfast with locally sourced food, head down to the Saturday morning market.
RIDE THE CATSKILL MOUNTAIN RAILROAD
What better way to experience the fresh air this summer in Hudson River Valley than to take a ride along the Catskill Mountain Railroad? While it was once created to be a part of the Delaware Railroad in the 20th century, it’s now a volunteer-run railroad providing rides along its six miles of track. The journey provides amazing, close-up views of the Catskills pulled along by a steam engine. The train makes a few stops along the way, allowing visitors to check out the Empire State Railway Museum if they want to learn more about the history of the track.
VISIT THE DUTCHESS COUNTY FAIRThe six-day Dutchess County Fair is held every August and attracts more than 500,000 people to its fairgrounds. You’ll find a combination of rides, food, games, performances by top entertainers, and agricultural competitions. One of the favorite competitions ran every year is the Spork Run, a talent show that encourages the audience to vote for the winner. If you want to experience a hometown tradition, you need to check out the Dutchess County Fair.
STORM KING ART CENTER
The Storm King Art Center is not your typical art museum. This museum is known for its incredible collection of outdoor sculptures on more than 500 acres of land. While some art sculptures pop out at you, you’ll find many hidden within the landscape, putting your eyes to the test. With only a 90-minute drive from New York City, the Storm King Art Center is the perfect way to escape city life and experience a fun-filled afternoon. You can rent a bike, take a walk, or enjoy a family picnic on the grounds of the Storm King Art Center museum.