For those students who finish studying in Florence and move to Poughkeepsie it can sometimes feel as though your travel ended.  This isn’t true!  The Hudson valley has a very such and vibrant past.  Here are some suggestions from former students as to the best things to check out in the area.

Apple Picking – Every fall there are tons of local farms that you can go apple or peach picking at.  Its a wonderful saturday activity which doesn’t have to break the bank and provides you with a delicious treat (apples)!

Rhinebeck – This is a cute town with an adorable movie theater, beer & cheese shop, and a fantastic restaurant called Terrapin which is built into a converted church.  This town can be a bit on the pricey side but is definitely worth the trip.

Hyde Park-
Looking for a fun place to sit and do homework – check out the Vanderbilt mansion.  This is a public park which you can hang out on – not only is its gorgeous and right on the Hudson but picnicking is encouraged
 Drive in – pack a load of friends into a car on a Tuesday for the special price.  We always bring a pizza or Chinese food so we can dinner and a movie.  Movies + food + friends = the three best things in the world
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, NY is worth a visit.  Roosevelt defined Hydepark and brought that city a huge portion of its history.  Bored rainy day and want a side trip?  This is it.
Although there is nothing which can compare to Gelato – Rita’s Italian Ice is right down Route 9 and a classic favorite – Stewarts (head down route 9 toward Hydepark) which has THE BEST fresh icecream.  Grab a pint of their special flavor and share with a friend.  Instant successful night.

 Poets Walk –  looking for a gentle walk with epic profile picture worthy views?  Look no further than the Poets Walk.  This place is awesome to walk around for some scenic outdoor times

 Chuang Yen Monastery– Close by in Carmel is a Buddhist Monastery which boasts zen gardens and great architecture. This is a great place to walk around to feel a bit more zen but also has a very positive message in it even if you aren’t Buddhist
For nice weather – try a hike around New Paltz up the Mohonk Mountain.  Although you need reservations the Mountain house serves breakfast lunch and dinner if you wanted to go by.  This place is pretty pricey but for a coffee or hot chocolate. There are tons of trails up around Mohonk which you can hike and even rock climb if you are into that.
Check out!  I follow Westchester county and often see Groupons for Wine tastings in the area, Big Bear Ziplines, Hyde Park, NY, horse back riding, kayaking in the summer and other local activities.
Visit Beacon!
Beacon has a plethora of local artisans which have taken up residence in this amazing town.  Main street is covered in art galleries and local businesses which often have free exhibits or parties which you can attend.
Dia:Beacon 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508  – cool art gallery in Beacon
Bank Square – THE BEST coffee shop.  They have an outdoor patio, free wifi and awesome staff.  Basically this coffee shop is the cool older brother that Starbucks wishes it could be.  Directly across from them is a taco shop – visit both on repeat.
There is glass blowing studio which does presentations a lot and has a lot of unique pieces on display.  Its a fun show to watch, although the glass is pretty expensive
There is a magical popsicle shop.  Its only open for certain hours but they are all hand made and often from fruit from the Hudson valley.  I stalk beacon all the time and have only been able to get a Popsicle twice.
Marist often offers to see Sleepy Hollow, go on one!  Its a great tour and gets you to a point of NY that takes a long time to drive to. They typically host the Sleepy hollow trip around Halloween. Even if you decide to go on your own its a neat town to wander around and talk about scary stories.  Its like going to Salem MA.

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