Summer Fun!

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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stonecrop gardensA colorful array of plants and flowers dot the landscape of Stonecrop Gardens

Formal 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.

beach ball Stonecrop Gardens
81 Stonecrop Ln., Cold Spring. 845-265-2000 or

beach ball Innisfree Garden
362 Tyrrel Rd., Millbrook. 845-677-8000 or

Want to skip ahead? Click on one of these links to:

ball Become a Beach Bum! beach ball Play a Round of Miniature Golf! beach ball Get Creative Outdoors! beach ball Go to the Zoo! beach ball Go Fruit-picking! beach ball See some Al Fresco Art! beach ball Get Fast and Furious! beach ball Visit a Formal Garden! beach ball Take in a Horse Show! beach ball Rent a Bike on the Walkway! beach ball Take a River Cruise! beach ball Go to a Water Park! beach ball Go to the Drive-in! beach ball Enjoy an Outdoor Concert! beach ball Picnic at Vanderbilt Mansion! beach ball Ride the Rails! beach ball Indulge in Dining Delights!

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