The Hudson River Valley in New York is rich in history, nature and fun things to do. The Hudson River, named after the explorer Henry Hudson, stretches from New York City to well past the state capital in Albany. The river region is divided up into the Upper Hudson Valley, Mid-Hudson Valley, and Lower Hudson Valley. The Lower Hudson Valley is an hour drive north of New York City. On the contrary, the Mid-Hudson Valley is approximately two hours north of the city. Within the short driving distance, there is so much to see and do year round.
The Hudson Valley’s main focus is the Hudson River. There are numerous cruise lines available that travel up and down the river. Also, the Hudson River has a few private beaches as well. Most of the area’s beaches are found at lakes in the region including Lake Sebago, Lake Welch and Lake Tiorati found in Harriman State Park and Lake Taghkanic in Lake Taghkanic State Park.
Located in Fishkill, New York is the area’s only water park, Splash Down. Splash Down has several attractions including a Monster Wave Pool, Croc Creek Wavy Lazy River, and Bullet Bowl. In addition, several water slides and New York’s only Zero Gravity Half Pipe. There is also a small arcade and several places to purchase food, beverages and ice cream. Children under the age of two must wear a re-usable swim diaper available for purchase at the park.
Splash Down is a fun destination for summer camps. Most of the time it’s fine, but occasionally it can get crowded. You could try calling ahead to see what the camp schedule is for the day you intend on visiting the park.
The Hudson River Valley features an abundance of hiking trails, tubing, rock climbing, trails and breath taking views. Whether you are a diehard hiker or just someone who enjoys a leisurely stroll, you’ll find that the Hudson River Valley is one of the most beautiful places around. Bear Mountain State Park, located approximately an hour north of Manhattan, features spectacular views, plenty of walking and hiking trails, ice rink (Winter months), a community pool, playground and a lake where you can rent paddle boats and row boats. A short drive from the main park area is the Perkins Memorial Tower on top of Bear Mountain. In addition, the top of the mountain offers spectacular views and is a popular destination for those who enjoy looking at the many colors of autumn.
Two of the parks main attractions are the Merry-Go-Round and its trail side zoo and museum. One of the best features of Bear Mountain State Park, aside from its beauty, is the trail side zoo and museum. It is free, although a small donation is very much appreciated.
Scattered around the trail are small buildings that feature some historical artifacts from the area. If you are brave enough, you could walk or bike across the Bear Mountain Bridge located along the side of the Bear Mountain Trail.
Not far from Bear Mountain State Park is West Point Military Academy, approximately 5o miles north of New York City. The grounds of the academy are home to numerous monuments and statues. There is also a West Point Museum and tours of the grounds. The Hudson Valley is also home to numerous antique stores. Some great antique hunting destinations include Sugar Loaf Village, Cold Spring, Rhinebeck and the infamous Woodstock.
If you are looking for something a bit more exciting in the Hudson River Valley why not consider walking OVER the Hudson River. Two hundred and twelve feet above the Hudson River to be exact.
The Walkway Over the Hudson is the former Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge. It was built in 1889, and at that time it was the longest bridge in the world. The Walkway is 1.28 miles long, 25 feet wide and features 4 foot 6 inch high railings. If rock climbing is more your speed, you’ll want to check out Breakneck Ridge near Cold Spring, New York. Newsweek calls Breakneck Ridge one of the top 10 hikes in the country, followed up by calling it the number one hike trail in North America.
Located in Rockland County, approximately 25 miles NW of Manhattan, is one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. The Palisades Center is located in West Nyack, New York the mall is home to over 200 stores and restaurants.
This is just a small sampling of all the fun things you can see and do in the Hudson Valley. More attractions include minor league baseball games (Rockland Boulders and Hudson Valley Renegades), street fairs, museums, playhouses, art galleries and one of the highlights of the summer, the Dutchess County Fair. The fair is one of the premier destinations for residents of the Hudson Valley every year. The fair is held in Rhinebeck, New York at the end of August. The Dutchess County Fair has been going strong for over 160+ years.
Whether you are looking for something to do for the day, a weekend or longer, the Hudson Valley is a great place to visit.
This post was written by Kimberly with SheScribes. She has lived in the Hudson Valley all of her life and is now able to enjoy all the things it has to offer with her own family.