There are so many ways to enjoy the pleasures of summer in the Valley — it all depends on your mood. Looking for something relaxing? Take a stroll through a formal garden or a cruise down the Hudson. Need more excitement? Watch a stock car race, rock out at a summer concert, or hurtle down a 600-foot water slide. The choices are endless. So gas up the car, and get going!
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A colorful array of plants and flowers dot the landscape of Stonecrop Gardens
Sissinghurst. Versailles. Babylon. Alhambra. Dumbarton Oaks. For most, this list is simply a collection of sites and well-known travel stops. But for green thumbs, it represents every gardener’s quintessential dream: the perfect formal garden.
Usually rife with features like terraces, hedges, statuary, and geometric landscaping, formal gardens are almost a lost art: These carefully planned (and pruned) horticultural masterpieces require the necessary space, financing, and fine agrarian minds willing to tend to them. Regardless, this Western tradition still flourishes in many parts of the Valley, making for a peaceful summertime excursion away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind.
Take the family (but leave pets at home, please) to either of these famed Valley sanctuaries this summer:
Tucked within the Clarence Fahnestock Park in Cold Spring, Stonecrop Gardens offers 12 acres of cliff rock gardens, woodland and water gardens, an enclosed English-style flower bed, a potting shed, and even a lakeside conservatory — all at an 1,100-foot elevation. Visitors this month delight in the blooming rhododendron and shadblow, wisteria, and magnificent bulb displays throughout the gardens.
Further north in Dutchess County lies Innisfree Garden, a 150-acre Asian-inspired garden consisting of streams, waterfalls, terraces, rocks, native plants, and a 40-acre glacial lake. A bog garden, hydrangea-covered circular grotto, and native wildlife offer picturesque views. Picnics allowed in specified areas.
Want to skip ahead? Click on one of these links to:
Become a Beach Bum! Play a Round of Miniature Golf! Get Creative Outdoors! Go to the Zoo! Go Fruit-picking! See some Al Fresco Art! Get Fast and Furious! Visit a Formal Garden! Take in a Horse Show! Rent a Bike on the Walkway! Take a River Cruise! Go to a Water Park! Go to the Drive-in! Enjoy an Outdoor Concert! Picnic at Vanderbilt Mansion! Ride the Rails! Indulge in Dining Delights!
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