DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBE YOU?
- You love the thrill of heights.
- You geek out photographing beautiful vistas and natural landscapes.
- 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.
- All of the above!
If you said 'yes' to any or all of the above, keep reading to find out why the Heights of the Hudson Valley (Bridges & Ridges) itinerary is a day-trip designed for you!
THE LONGEST ELEVATED PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE IN THE WORLD (PLUS ANOTHER HISTORIC NY SUSPENSION BRIDGE!)
Photo of the Walkway Over the Hudson at Dusk
Drive across the majestic Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge (referred to by locals as the Mid-Hudson Bridge) and then stroll across the nearby Walkway Over the Hudson, the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world with views of the Catskill Mountains, Hudson River, and city of Poughkeepsie. Recently opened as a state park, the Walkway Over the Hudson features panels and a call-in guide that explain the unique history of the bridge and its revitalization.
A SECLUDED MOUNTAINTOP RESORT BY A NATURAL GLACIAL LAKE
Photo of the Mohonk Mountain House in the Winter from Sky Top Tower
Next, travel to Mohonk Mountain House, a secluded historic mountain-top resort situated by a natural glacial lake. Explore the Victorian style 7-story castle learning about the history of Smiley family who originally founded it as well as the forming of the natural glacial lake, the nature preserve and local flora and fauna. Grab a snack, pick up a few souvenirs at the shop, stroll the gardens, or enjoy lakeside views from a rocking chair on the porch!
SKYTOP TOWER WITH A VIEW OF 6 US STATES
Photo of Sky Top Tower by Jarek Tuszynski
The 'apex' of this itinerary, on a clear day, will render a view of no less than 6 US States! Choose the 'short' or the 'long' hike to the Sky Top tower which overlooks the town of New Paltz, Mohonk Mountain House, the Catskill Mountains, and the Hudson Valley. If you choose the long path, you will find a delightful pond and gazebo situated on the Shawangunk ridge, which affords particularly scenic photo shoot opportunities.
FARM TO TABLE FOOD AND ONE OF THE HOTTEST BRUNCH SPOTS IN THE HUDSON VALLEY
Photo of Babycakes Cafe in Poughkeepsie
Start the day out at one of the most popular brunch spots in the Hudson Valley and finish your day at a farm-to-table restaurant in New Paltz that features dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Inside and outside seating available in both places!
THE INSIDE SCOOP
Photo of a boutique gourmet chocolate shop in New Paltz just off the Rail Trail
The Appendix is packed with insider's tips, suggestions for additional hiking and biking trails, local hotspots for good eats and treats, and seasonal suggestions like snowshoeing or rock climbing in the 'Gunks (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. It is possible to take public transportation for this itinerary, but it is strongly recommended that a rental car be used.
NOT CONVINCED YET?
I chose to write the Heights of the Hudson Valley (Bridges and Ridges) 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 wilderness of the Hudson Valley is 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?!
Love a great birds-eye view? Purchase the Heights of the Hudson Valley itinerary to experience panoramas you'll never forget. If you have questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
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: Mountains, Falls & a Funky Little Town as well as Day Trip from New York City: The Wine & Whiskey Trail.