Nestled in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, Dutchess County is just 90 minutes from New York City or Albany. With an abundance of historic landmarks, arts venues, restaurants and striking scenic splendor, Dutchess County is 800 miles of fascinating sites, lively events and breathtaking vistas! Nestled in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, Dutchess County is just 90 minutes from New York City or Albany. With an abundance of historic landmarks, arts venues, restaurants and striking scenic splendor, Dutchess County is 800 miles of fascinating sites, lively events and breathtaking vistas!
Historic sites are an ever-present part of the landscape. Not only can you step back in time, you can choose which time; pre-Revolutionary war, early Quaker days, the Gilded Age, or the early 20th c. and the era of FDR. Explore six historic great estates, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home, Presidential Library and Museum. Our history museums have unique stories to tell, from the daily life on a 1732 Dutch Colonial homestead, to the history of WWI and barnstorming era airplanes. Go straight to the scene by taking an historic tour at a Little Red School House, a 1914 railroad station, or the FDR Presidential Library.
The gift of nature is never far away in Dutchess. Our scenic beauty makes it perfect for nature lovers: an abundance of formal gardens and nature sanctuaries creates a distinct category of environmental attractions ready to explore. They represent the range of our relationship with nature, from the strictly imposed order of a terraced, ornamental garden to the undisturbed naturalness of a forest preserve. Examine native birds and wildlife while hiking, including 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Explore six multiple use areas with woods, fields and ponds. Ramble or bike three Rail Trails, including the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. At 1.28 miles, it’s the world’s longest pedestrian bridge, and 200 feet above the Hudson River! Tremendous views reward you atop Mount Beacon or after a trek up to our fire towers.
Sportsmen try your hand at sporting clays, trap or skeet shooting at five clubs and game preserves, including the nation’s oldest shooting grounds, Orvis Sandanona. On it, over it, or even in it; Dutchess’ 30 miles of Hudson River frontage and many streams and lakes encourage fishing, swimming, riverboat touring, waterside dining and further aquatic pleasures. Enjoy the majestic waterway which made the Hudson River Valley a National Heritage Area. Anglers enjoy nature’s serenity while fly-fishing at Ten Mile River. The fishing is bountiful, in a refreshing mountain creek or the Hudson.
Commune with nature on the links at more than a dozen championship golf courses, all with picture-perfect scenic backdrops. You’ll find a variety of sizes, designs and styles, including an Irish links-style course. Two are among the oldest in the USA! Beginner or pro, find the perfect greens to play through.
Horseback riding lessons are given in show jumping, cross-country and dressage, for the novice rider up to the expert. Spend part of your day on a trail ride, western riding-style.
Cyclists follow suggested biking routes on itineraries that cover all corners of the county. Our Bike Tours outline six clear routes from 27-60 miles, leading you past rural farm landscapes, Hudson River views and historic sites. No bike? No problem! Rent one for the day!
There's no time for boredom at our many kid-friendly play spaces, amusement parks, arcades, and more. Looking for some back-to-basic fun? How about going ice skating, attending a minor league baseball game, or visiting the Dutchess County Fair? We even have a museum full of interactive exhibits specially designed for kids!
Do your eyes light up at the site of an 18th-century oil painting by Hudson River School master Frederic Church? Or do your tastes run to modern art, from visionaries like Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe? Either way, you'll find museums to match your mood. Browse through fine art collections at Dia:Beacon, Vassar’s Loeb Art Center and Bard’s CCS-Hessel Museum. Gallery spaces flourish, featuring multi-media works from area artists, as well as curated collections from around the world.
Dance, drama, film and music all have a home here. Our stages host professional performances and summer residencies, community theater, and children's troupes. Performing art spaces run the gamut from the Bardavon’s historic opera house atmosphere (the oldest theater in New York State), to one of the newest, a bold architectural performance space designed by Frank O. Gehry on Bard’s northern Dutchess campus.
The arts and culture are integral to our daily life, economy, and the social fabric of our communities. The arts thrive and grow here, at cultural centers, in classrooms and even outdoors, thanks to the stewardship of several dedicated arts organizations. They support and strengthen fine and performing arts, and work to preserve and promote artists and arts groups.
What are your plans tonight? After dark, check out the nightlife at venues on every level of the "hip" scale, from pulsating dance clubs to live music clubs, neighborhood pubs and mellow coffee shops. We even have three drive-in movie theaters!
When you need to refresh your mind and spirit as well as your body, we’re home to five highly selective colleges. These highly regarded institutions of higher learning offer a wealth of diversions to excite, intrigue, educate and inspire you. From art galleries to sporting fields, from kitchens to lecture halls, explore the programs and events offered on these fine campuses. From walking tours that highlight architectural gems to conferences, lectures and fine dining, they host a wealth of events for you to experience – many at low or no cost.
Whether you're searching for something specific, or open to the serendipitous calling of a luxury item, increase your odds for success in one of our shopping malls. Your next purchase awaits in a national department store or chain retailer, or perhaps an independent shop.
Specialty shops put shopping on a higher plane. A number of unique retailers offer a wide range of merchandise and experiences. Find one-of-a-kind items handmade by Hudson River Valley artisans, locally-sourced gourmet food products, home décor and accessories. You’ll find distinctive gifts and exceptional furnishings to make your house a home.
Antiquing means hitting towns like Beacon, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Millerton, Pawling, Red Hook, and Rhinebeck. Unearth antique and vintage finds from multi-dealer centers or antique shops lining main streets and country roads. From auction houses, multi-dealer antique centers or small shops lining village streets, you never know what might find!
There's nothing like a treasure hunt! For merchandise old and new, make a day of bargain hunting row by row at our three Flea Markets!
Sometimes a journey can lead to discoveries within and personal growth. Relax and refresh your mind, rejuvenate your body and free your spirit at our many varied retreat centers and spas. Watch the sunsets across a majestic river; breathe in the scent-filled gardens awash with bloom.
Agritourists love Dutchess County! From simple farm-market picnics to gourmet meals at The Culinary Institute of America’s five restaurants, dining in Dutchess is always an event. The Culinary Institute of America, the world-renowned training center for professional chefs, is the centerpiece of Dutchess County’s extraordinary food and wine offerings. Try French cuisine reimagined and brought up to date at their newly opened Bocuse Restaurant. Sign up for a weekend class or boot camp and recreate the meals at home. Learn while enjoying themed lunches and dinners during their Winter Dining Series. The school provides a steady supply of graduates who practice their art from one end of the county to the other, so dining in our restaurants is a never ending delight. Look for our Hudson Valley Restaurant Weeks each spring and fall.
One reason Dutchess restaurants are so special can be traced to the terrific variety of produce and vegetables yielded by the area’s rich, well-drained soil. More and more restaurateurs are developing distinct regional menus featuring locally grown products that afford a special just-picked taste and texture. Tour and taste at three award-winning wineries, plus several new distilleries and brewpubs. Savor freshly made cheeses and breads and meet friendly farm animals at our pick-your-own farms. Farmers markets and farm stands and specialty shops that dot the countryside let you bring some of the bounty home. Discover such high-quality products as Crown Maple Syrup from Madava Farms, served at President Obama’s 2013 Inaugural Luncheon, and Harney & Sons Fine Tea, who were commissioned to create a 2011 Royal Wedding Tea by the Historic Royal Palaces organization.
Enjoy a taste of history, a world-class meal, and a full menu of outdoor recreation, surrounded by outstanding natural beauty. Simple and sophisticated; you deserve Dutchess!
National Geographic Traveler magazine has named the Hudson Valley one of the “Top 20 Best of the World” places to visit in 2013.