DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBE YOU?
- You enjoy hiking in the fresh mountain air.
- You are visiting New York City for a few days or longer.
- You venture off the beaten path when you travel and like to find unique hidden gems most tourists don't know about.
- You love taking photographs of landscapes and other natural scenes.
- All of the above!
If you said 'yes' to any or all of the above, keep reading to find out why the Mountains, Falls & a Funky Little Town itinerary is a day-trip designed for you!
Photo of the author rock climbing in the 'Gunks.
Just 90 minutes north of the greatest city on earth (New York City, of course!), lays the Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains*. The Shawangunk Mountain Ridge is famous in the rock-climbing world because it best climbing spot on the East Coast. For those who don't enjoy hanging off rock-faces, however, the Shawangunk Mountains are filled with hiking trails through forest, meadow, and marshy habitats as well as natural glacial lakes, waterfalls, and views of the Hudson Valley.
*For all my fact-lovers and literature geeks, the Catskills are the setting for the famous Rip Van Winkle stories!
NATURAL GLACIAL LAKES, RIVERS, & WATERFALLS
Photo of a natural glacial lake in the Shawangunk Mountains
The Shawangunks contain several natural mountain-top glacial lakes that provide visitors stunning views and a chance to take a cool dip in water so clean you can drink it! This day-trip itinerary includes a mild-moderate hike around one of the most popular of those glacial lakes and a short walk to a nearby 60 ft waterfall.
FOOD & DRINK
Photo of a brunch frittata in New Paltz...so good it's soon to be gone!
With an itinerary meant to keep you on your toes, it's a good thing that fresh food and drink will be an important part of your day. Start out at the hottest brunch spot in town and finish off at a hoppin' brewpub (no pun intended!) with seasonal and year-round beers on tap. The itinerary is also jam-packed with additional food & drink suggestions and even includes a visit to a boutique chocolate store with organic, vegan, and specialty hand-crafted chocolates...right on the Rail Trail!
A BIT OF HISTORY!
Photo of Historic Huguenot Street
The 'funky' little town of New Paltz was founded in the late 1600's by the French Huguenots and still retains some of the original buildings right along the lazy Walkill River. After an afternoon in the mountains, learn about local history and lore on the Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz.
THE INSIDE SCOOP
The Appendix in Mountains, Falls & a Funky Little Town includes suggestions for additional hiking and biking trails, local hotspots for good eats & treats, annual cultural events & festivals, and seasonal suggestions like snowshoeing or rock climbing in the 'Gunks (known as the best climbing on the East Coast!). The best time to visit the Hudson Valley is April - November, but those who come December-March can also enjoy this itinerary in winter with the right cold-weather gear.
NOT QUITE CONVINCED?
I chose to write the Mountains, Falls & a Funky Little Town itinerary because The Hudson Valley and New Paltz was my home for nearly three years. Natives of the area know that the Hudson Valley is one of New York State's best kept secrets! Most people fly into JFK or LaGuardia and spend all their time beneath the skyscrapers of Manhattan without realizing that magnificent outdoor scenes and vibrant towns lie just north of "the City" (a New Yorkers shorthand for "New York City"). A haven for artists, foodies, and nature-lovers, the small towns that are sprinkled across the wilderness of the Hudson Valley are undeniably enriched and infused by the talent and energy that flows up from the weekenders and former residents of New York City. In essence, visitors and residents of the Hudson Valley get the best of both the city and country! Where else on the East Coast can you hike for miles in the wilderness, dine at a Zagat-rated restaurant with world-class chefs, and see a theater production in the same day?!
Getting from NYC to Poughkeepsie and New Paltz is easy by public transportation or rental car. However, for this particular itinerary, a rental car is recommended. If you have questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Create a lifetime memory in New York State with the Mountains, Falls & a Funky Little Town one-day itinerary!
To create a three-day visit in the same area, check out my other two day-trip itineraries entitled Day Trip from New York City: Heights of the Hudson Valley (Bridges and Ridges) as well as Day Trip from New York City: The Wine & Whiskey Trail.
Thank you for considering the Day Trips from New York City itineraries. Enjoy!