100 Ways to Spend Your Summer Days — And Nights!
We've put together the ultimate summer fun guide.
Hudson River Expeditions
Explore the Hudson from Cold Spring or Peekskill with Hudson River Expeditions’ kayak, canoe, and paddleboard trips. Try their Paddle Pump tour, combining kayaking with an exercise session on a riverside beach; or opt for a yoga/kayak tour led by an experienced yoga teacher.
Storm King Adventure Tours, Cornwall-on-Hudson
Take a full-moon kayak tour or a newbie’s kayak class.
Hudson Valley Guides offers kayak tours – including moonlight paddles – in the Bashakill Wetlands.
Mountain Valley Guides
Mountain Valley Guides features three kayak launch sites: Cornwall, Hastings, and Newburgh. A cool idea for a hot day: head out from Newburgh on their Paddles & Pints tour. After a guided trip on the river, everybody heads to shore and can wet their whistles during a craft-beer tasting at a local brewery.
Tivoli Sailing Company
Tivoli Sailing Company operates between the Kingston and Rhinecliff areas.
For sailboat fans, Hudson Sailing in Kingston offers charters on Cirrus, a 28-foot trimaran. Occasionally, they'll even anchor in a protected cove for a cookout.
Dutch Apple Cruises
Dutch Apple Cruises in Albany, with narrated sightseeing trips aboard the Dutch Apple II, reminiscent of the now-historic Hudson River Dayliners.
River Rose Cruises
River Rose Cruises, an authentic Mississippi paddle wheeler, departs from Newburgh.
The Trinity Cruise Company
The Trinity Cruise Company heads north from Peekskill to the West Point area.
Hudson River Cruises
Hudson River Cruises’ dock in Kingston is the site for boarding The Rip Van Winkle. She sails past the Rondout Lighthouse and out into the Hudson.
Hudson River Adventures
Hudson River Adventures in Newburgh offers sightseeing cruises aboard The Pride of the Hudson, gliding past landmarks in the Hudson Highlands.
Classic Harbor Line
Classic Harbor Line offers yacht cruises from Chelsea Piers to Bear Mountain, and locals can cruise from Poughkeepsie to the city.
Hudson Cruises takes passengers from Hudson’s riverfront park.
Go Orienteering or Treasure Hunting
Hudson Valley Orienteering
Take a break from your smartphone and enjoy a summer day with the sport of orienteering. You’ll use "old-fashioned" paper maps and compasses to follow a pre-arranged course that often winds through woods or meadows. Hudson valley Orienteering schedules events in the region.
The Empire State Metal Detector Association
If you’ve got a hankering for treasure hunting, metal detector fans schedule group hunts with the gizmos at beaches, parks, and other spots; they hold contests, too. Who knows, you may find coins, jewelry, and other neat stuff. The Empire State Metal Detector Association meets in Latham, near Albany, and boasts about 150 members.
Glamp it Up
Short for “glamorous camping,” it mixes traditional camping with soothing creature comforts. The website www.glampinghub.com is a handy go-to guide. Here’s a sample of glamping sites in the Valley:
Blue Hills Farm
A variation on B&Bs, Blue Hills Farm in Sullivan County offers a “tent and breakfast” stay-over. Snooze amidst nature in a 16-by-20-foot tented space with a queen-sized bed.
Willowemoc Wild Forest Yurt
Livingston Manor in Sullivan County is home to the Willowemoc Wild Forest Yurt. The yurt – a big, sturdy tent – has a wood floor, solar lighting, and rustic furniture. If you choose the Safari Tent, you’ll swear you’re having an Out Of Africa moment in the Catskills.
Make a Splash
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort’s Big Splash Indoor Waterpark features a 250-foot flume ride. Outdoors, the adult pool boasts a 125-foot giant water slide; the tamer but fun kiddy pool contains a 40-foot slide and spray fountains.
Zoom Flume Water Park
This sounds scary/fun: the Zoom Flume Water Park’s Black Vortex ride plummets you down to the pool in a tunnel of total darkness. Other attractions at the Greene County park include a new Typhoon Twister water slide.
SplashDown Beach in Fishkill recenty opened a new attraction, the Arctic Mammoth: Riders hop aboard a five-person raft for a ride that’s nearly six stories tall. Or try more than a dozen other water features, and check out the low-key play areas for the kiddies.
Try Summer "Skiing"
Get Nostalgic at a Drive-In
Four Brothers Drive-In
Adjacent to the Four Brothers Restaurant in Amenia, and run by the same owners, the Four Brothers Drive-In launched in 2014. A “boutique theater,” it has parking for 125 cars and presents first-run double features. They also screen classic movies on Throwback Thursdays, and even provide charging for electric cars.
The Greenville Drive-In Outdoor Cinema
The Greenville Drive-In Outdoor Cinema focuses on classic retro films, plus new indie movies. It has space for 225 cars. There’s a “snack shack” serving locally sourced foods, and a new beer garden, too.
Featuring “cinema under the stars,” the Hi-Way Drive-In is located between Catskill and Coxsackie. There’s parking for 600 cars, a snack bar, and if you’re brave (and an insomniac), make a note to attend their annual “Dead Til Dawn” horror movie marathon.
Located in Glenmont in Albany County, the Jericho Drive-in is also home to the popular Twist ice-cream stand. They offer special retro movie nights, and “door” prizes are awarded nightly.
The Neighs Have It
There are many places to go horseback riding and take lessons in the Hudson Valley, but how about a horseback riding staycation? For a chance to watch professionals ride, and see some gorgeous horses, head to the HITS-on-the-Hudson horse show in Saugerties. The series runs for eight weeks in the summer, with $3 million in prize money, including the $1 Million Grand Prix awarded in early September. (845.246.5515; www.hitsshows.com)
Perfect Places for a Picnic
Fly Like an Eagle
Take a Flight
Hop aboard for a glider ride at the Wurtsboro Airport, which offers 15-20 minute intro flights and 35- to 40-minute soaring trips; 845.888.2791; www.wurtsboroairport.com. Located at Randall Airport in Middletown, the Valley Soaring Club offers glider rides to the public on weekends; 845.564.2054; www.valleysoaring.org.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Above the Clouds, Middletown
Balloon NY, Ghent
Blue Sky Balloons, Poughkeepsie
Enchanted Balloon Tours, Inc., Slate Hill
Fantasy Balloon Flights inc., Middletown
Wandering Winds, Randall Airport near Middletown;
Ellenville Flight Park is based beneath a 1,350-foot-high hang-gliding and paragliding takeoff point on the Shawangunk Mountains near Ellenville. 845.647.4917; www.ellenvilleflightpark.com. In Middletown, Hangar3 offers hang gliding and tandem hang gliding with options ranging from intro flights to mile-high trips. 917.270.5669; www.hangar3.net. Let‘s Go Paragliding in Millerton provides tandem flights for students and other folks eager to experience the thrill of the sport; 917.359.6449; www.letsgoparagliding.com
Skydiving enthusiasts can head to SkyDive the Ranch in Gardiner; they provide tandem jumps from an altitude of 13,500 feet, plus lessons. 845.255.4033; www.skydivetheranch.com.
Get Up-close with Critters
Stony Kill Farm
Stony Kill Farm in Wappingers Falls is a working farm with chickens, cows, pigs, and other livestock. Its Environmental Education Center, run by the Stony Kill Foundation, offers weekend barn and greenhouse tours.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls rescues and cares for farm animals. They also educate the public about the realities of raising animals for food, and advocate a vegan lifestyle. Guided tours are held on summer weekends.
The Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park
Many of the critters at The Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park were orphaned, abandoned, or injured and can’t survive in the wild. The facility houses native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, too. You can walk from here to the walkway over the Bear Mountain Bridge, or go on the trail under the bridge to Fort Montgomery.
Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a 123-acre Saugerties refuge for abused, abandoned, and neglected farm animals. It offers educational programs for kids and adults, has a homestead for overnight guests, gives weekend tours, and offers vegan cooking classes.
Trevor Zoo at Millbrook School
The Trevor Zoo at Millbrook School is open to the public and operated by an on-site boarding high school. A variety of domestic and exotic animals are cared for by the students.
See a Professional Baseball Game
Hudson Valley Renegades
Head to Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls to catch the Hudson Valley Renegades, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays. They feature theme nights, barbecues, kids’ play areas, and a variety of concession stands including craft beer stations. And in August, the stadium is home to Hudson Valley magazine’s Burger & Beer Bash.
The Tri-City ValleyCats, an affiliate of the Houston Astros, draws summer crowds to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, a 4,500-seat venue on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College near Albany. The ‘Cats’ ballfield includes a picnic pavilion, concessions, and an inflatables play area for kids.
The Rockland Boulders
The Rockland Boulders is an independent pro baseball team that plays at the Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona. The stadium features picnic areas, snacks, a kids’ playground, and a bar for the adults. Live music kicks in Friday and Saturday nights after the game.
Take a Guided Tour
The Valley boasts tours galore — historic sites, mansions, wine and food trails, art havens, and more. County tourism departments are good starting points for “locally sourced” tour ideas; www.travelhudsonvalley.com. Or try Hudson Valley Bucket List; they create personalized tours where guests can travel by mini-coach, town car — even a limo, if you yearn to splurge. Made-to-order adventures include a chance to explore just about anything you’d like to see in the region. Choose from walkable downtowns to boutique wineries, cider houses, and distilleries to farms and mountains. Based in Beacon, the service was created by Valley native Becky Varone. 845.943.9490; www.hvbucketlist.com
Click here for our annual roundup of the Valley’s greatest summer fairs and festivals.