half a day in the Hudson Valley
December 26, 2016 6:22 PM   Subscribe

What to do with half a Sunday/holiday in Orange County NY?

We will be in the Catskills through New Year's and heading back south again on January 1. It is a Sunday and a holiday so we're not expecting much to be open, but we would love suggestions to make our drive interesting.

Largest balls of twine, short-ish hikes, the pub with the best local brew and cheesesteaks, famous antique malls ... really anything that we can squeeze into a few hours and feel like we didn't just drive through the area. We are taking 17 south from above Middletown to the Garden State Parkway to 95 south. What should we do?
posted by headnsouth to Travel & Transportation around Hudson Valley, NY (6 answers total)
Touring West Point is "if you're interested in this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing that will interest you", but if you are, it's very worth it.
posted by Etrigan at 7:16 PM on December 26, 2016

Go have lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, and/or visit the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt historic house museums in Hyde Park.

The pastry case at the CIA lunch counter is spectacular and inexpensive, and I'm pretty sure I had the best quiche of my life there.
posted by witchen at 11:31 PM on December 26, 2016

Orange County is a large-ish one about an hour south of the Catskills. Not sure where you will be. The Gunks at the north end of the county are nice. Kiryas Joel would be a weird place to drive through. Woodbury Commons, the massive outlet mall may be open. Harriman Park has some nice hikes.
posted by pynchonesque at 7:20 AM on December 27, 2016

Hyde Park is a bit out of the way of the given route, I think.

I'm more familiar with the northeastern part of Orange County, which you'll be bypassing. Along your route, I think Kiryas Joel is kind of interesting to drive through. You'll go right through Goshen, which is cute in a WASP-y way and has the oldest (horse) racetrack in the country. If you don't mind a quick detour across the Hudson, the Peekskill brewery has great beer and food.
posted by enn at 7:27 AM on December 27, 2016

The Bannerman Island Tour is really cool. (It's technically not in Orange county, the boat leaves from just across the river in Beacon.)
posted by Cranialtorque at 11:18 AM on December 27, 2016

Thanks all. As expected most everything was closed so we didn't do anything guided. Drove through Kiryas Joel to start - what a place. Reading about it elicited very strong reactions from this secular female, and driving through it was surreal. After that we shook off the tension and stretched our legs/got some fresh air & history at Fort Montgomery. Then read Crainaltorque's link to the fascinating Bannerman Island story while driving down Palisades Parkway to lunch at the Filling Station. Best veggie burger I have ever had, and I have had a lot of veggie burgers.
posted by headnsouth at 7:22 PM on January 2, 2017

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