What's so great about the Hudson Valley?
March 22, 2009 10:13 AM   Subscribe

What's worth doing in the Hudson Valley - near New Paltz?

I just moved to the New Paltz/Gardiner, NY area and am looking for some cool places to check out, and things to see.

I've got a car so travelling to some nearby towns is no problem.

Some specific things I'm looking for - independent/foreign film screenings, used bookstores, good food/beer, nice scenery - but any recommendations are welcome.

posted by pilibeen to Travel & Transportation around (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I recommend a day hike at the Mohonk Mountain House-- gorgeous scenery and a location for the movie Road to Wellville.
posted by sharkfu at 10:18 AM on March 22, 2009

The Gunks. Definitely.
posted by watercarrier at 10:19 AM on March 22, 2009

I'd second the Gunks.
The Arthouse movie theater in the area is Upstate Films, just across the river in Rhinebeck.
Rhino Records might still be open on Main St. in New Paltz, as might be Neko Sushi.
I also hear there's some good skydiving up that way though I haven't been there personally.
posted by kid_dynamite at 10:42 AM on March 22, 2009

Get on the e-mail list for the Catskill Mountain Foundation.
posted by jgirl at 10:43 AM on March 22, 2009

Maybe take a glider ride at the Wurtsboro airport? The FDR Estate in Hyde Park is also very scenic.
posted by greatgefilte at 11:02 AM on March 22, 2009

Omega Institute in Rhinebeck in the summer has a wild mix of of cultural, self actualization, creative activities. You're not far from Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties. Check out those towns. Check out Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson. Go to City Data Forum NY and see what pops up in your area.
posted by Elsie at 11:42 AM on March 22, 2009

The CIA. -
posted by watercarrier at 11:51 AM on March 22, 2009

Drum Circles every Sunday on the every Sunday from 4 pm to 6 pm on the Village Green in Woodstock.
posted by watercarrier at 11:57 AM on March 22, 2009

Storm King is a short drive away. When I went to college in Poughkeepsie it was one of my favorite places to go.
posted by katie at 1:08 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, and while I'm at it - I think my college campus is well worth visiting. Don't miss the library and the little (but fantastic) art center.
posted by katie at 1:12 PM on March 22, 2009

Seconding the lovely Mohonk Mountain House. The highlight is of course the Lemon Squeeze trail: steep but short, and if you're a grown-up expect to be, er, squeezed, rather like a lemon would be, at points. It's by far my favorite Hudson Valley / Gunks hike.

Note though that the Mountain House grounds are adjacent to, but not part of, the Mohonk Preserve (which itself has some nice trails as well as internationally renowned rock climbing).

Second favorite hike in the area: Breakneck Ridge, just across the Hudson. An exciting rocky scramble, rewarded with spectacular views of the river and Bannerman Castle.

Betcha didn't know we had castles around here.
posted by a young man in spats at 1:26 PM on March 22, 2009

A couple of more resources that might help you: here's a venue that has some film events (among many other things). And while this site is aimed at tourists, I think it could prove useful.
posted by katie at 1:45 PM on March 22, 2009

Also check out the Vanderbilt Estate in Hyde Park and the Morse Home in Poughkeepsie. If you're in Pokipse, the Beech Tree on Collegeview Ave is pretty solid.
In general, I might also poke around some of the smaller towns in northwestern Dutchess county; Rhinebeck, Rhinecliff, Annandale, and Tivoli. Tivoli, in particular, has some nice restaurants and an overall college-town-in-the-middle-of-nowhere vibe to it.

If you're into the river, there's lots of places that provide public access to the water. Boating, and kayaking are popular, but I'd avoid swimming in the Hudson anywhere south of Albany. In particular, I used to like to drive down to the waterfront on the Marist campus, where Marist, Vassar, and a number of high schools have boathouses for rowing teams. It's right near the foot of both the Mid Hudson bridge and the old railroad bridge.
posted by kid_dynamite at 2:41 PM on March 22, 2009

Following up on what was previously said, The Shawagunks are gorgeous, and if you're at all interested in rock-climbing, considered to be one of the better places in the world to do it.

Hiking is excellent all over the Hudson Valley - Bear Mountain is a particular favorite of mine, about an hour south of you. The Bear Mountain Bridge is an easy walk, and is absolutely beautiful - if you go, take route 218 down for a gorgeous river-side drive - you can part at Fort Montgomery, just north of the traffic circle on the west side of the bridge.

The presence of the CIA has seeded the entire region with intimate little restaurants with great food and little arts communities up and down both Route 9 and 9W (9W on the West side of the river, 9 on the East). Rhinebeck and Cold Spring are two of the many towns worth checking out.

And seconding what Katie said about her alma mater. As it was my alma mater as well, I must agree with her.
posted by swngnmonk at 2:45 PM on March 22, 2009

Mohonk Mountain House is a great place, as others have said. The Lemon Squeeze and Bonticou are really nice rock scrambles there.

Also, Rosendale Theatre is a really great small, cheap place to see alternative movies (and they're getting more mainstream movies there too now).

As far as casual places to eat, I heartily recommend Mexicali Blue (on Main Street in New Paltz) for great burritos and tacos with fresh ingredients.
posted by DeucesHigh at 6:51 AM on May 1, 2009

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