We live in Connecticut, the Hudson River Valley is an easy drive and makes an ideal destination for a late summer getaway for a week or a weekend. You just go out Interstate 84 and then take Route 9 North once you get to Fishkill. Within minutes, you are in the heart of the Hudson River Valley.
We began our weekend on Friday by having lunch at the Culinary Institute of America. This is something that you have to plan well in advance, actually, months is not a bad idea. Dining here is very popular and if you don't plan ahead you may not get the restaurant of your choice. Before you decide which one you want to dine at, be sure to check the dress code, yes, some of the restaurants have a dress code.
It was August when we were there and we wanted to be able to wear casual clothes so we chose to dine at American Bounty Restaurant. It was one of the highlights of the weekend and I highly recommend that if you are going to be in Hyde Park you plan to dine here.
The Hudson River Valley offers many places to visit. We had to limit ourselves to just a few since we didn't have that much time. Several historic mansions are perfect for a visit. We chose the Vanderbilt Mansion and the Italianate Gardens. The Mansion has a beautiful location on the Hudson River and it is quite interesting to see how the other half lived. It was very hot inside the mansion however so I would recommend a visit in the fall when heat isn't such an issue. The gardens in August were gorgeous.
On Sunday we also visited the Samuel Morse home which was quite interesting as well. Several important homes in the area that we didn't get to include Springwood, FDR's home, and Eleanor Roosevelt's home Val-Kil. We opted to go to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome since one of our friends is more of airplane enthusiasts than a historic homes person. The aerodrome is a great place for the whole family. Not only are there a lot of airplanes on the ground but your ticket gets you a seat at the air show.
If you enjoy shopping, downtown Rhinebeck is lots of fun, there are plenty of small shops to poke around in. On the way home, we also stopped at the Millbrook Vineyard and took a tour through their operation. You get to sample some of their very fine wines as well as learning about the production and bottling of wine.
On this particular trip, the "Inn" I chose was not at all what we were expecting. I would not recommend it however, we have stayed at the Hyatt House in Fishkill and it is a step above most hotels and we just loved the old fashioned charm of the Roosevelt Inn in Hyde Park.
The Hudson River Valley has a lot to offer any visitor in just about any season. Located just an hour north of New York City it is a little piece of heaven that several famous people obviously recognized.