Off Campus Attractions: Food


Gourmets are in luck– the Hudson Valley Region has plenty in the way of delicious dining opportunities.

Culinary Institute of America

Photo: The Academy House

One of the CIA’s 4 campuses is in Hyde Park. It has 5 student-staffed restaurants to choose from– just make sure to make reservations in advance!

Farmers’ Markets

There are many farmers markets in the area, including a Monday/Thursday market on the Alumnae Hose lawn and the City of Poughkeepsie market at Pulaski Park & the Walkway over the Hudson on Fridays at 3 pm.

Dutchess and Ulster County Wine Trails

Explore the local area, meet wine makers, and put your wine savvy to the test on a regional wine trail.


notes off campus attractions

Off Campus Attractions


The Hudson Valley offers a host of pleasurable pursuits, whether you
are an outdoors enthusiast, a wine connoisseur, a food lover, or a parent with kids.



If you are looking to enjoy the outdoors, there is great hiking in the

Shawangunks, the Hudson Highlands, or the Catskills, with many trail descriptions available from the NY-NJ Trail Conference (


The area rail trails offer beautiful biking, walking, and jogging paths (, and and the Walkway Over the Hudson, one of New York’s favorite state parks, is located right here in Poughkeepsie (


Garden enthusiasts should check out Innisfree Gardens — also great for picnics ( — or Stonecrop (




Art lovers will enjoy the Dia Center for the Arts in Beacon ( and the Storm King Art Center outdoor sculpture park (


Summer theater and music are abundant, including the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (, Bard College’s Summerscape (, the Maverick Concerts (, and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater (on Vassar’s campus:


Throughout the
year, there are arts events at Bethel Woods (the original Woodstock, Beacon’s Howland Chamber Music Circle (, Poughkeepsie’ Bardavon and the Ulster Performing Arts Center (



Families will like Poughkeepsie’s Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (, the Hudson Valley’s numerous “pick-your-own” operations (, and the area’s parks and playgrounds, including Bowdoin Park in nearby Wappingers Falls.



History buffs will be interested in the magnificent Hudson River mansions, from those of the Roosevelts and Vanderbilts in Hyde Park ( 2011.pdf) to Wilderstein ( and Olana ( There are also various Revolutionary-era and pre-Revolutionary sites around West Point and Newburgh, New Paltz’s Huguenot Street Historic District (, and Kingston’s Stockade or Rondout Historic Districts (



Gourmets will want to check out the Culinary Institute of America’s fine restaurants (, the many local farmers’ markets (including the Monday/Thursday market on the Alumnae House lawn and the City of Poughkeepsie market at Pulaski Park & the Walkway over the Hudson on Friday afternoons beginning at 3 PM), and the Dutchess and Ulster County wine trails (



Of course, New York City is readily accessible via a beautiful 90-minute Metro North train ride (

Off Campus Attractions: Historical

From magnificent Hudson River mansions to Revolutionary and Pre-Revolutionary historical sites near West Point and Newburgh, the area immediately surrounding Vassar has a great deal to offer American history buffs.

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Panoramio: MaxFarrar

Springwood was President Roosevelt’s elegant estate and lifelong home, situated along the Hudson River. The National Archives runs Roosevelt’s Presidential Library and museum on the grounds. Round out your trip with a visit to Top Cottage, the pleasant little escape FDR built to get away from “the mob” at Springwood.

Vanderbilt Mansion

Flickr: klong35

Up the road from FDR’s home is the Vanderbilt Mansion, a palatial 54-room National Historic Landmark. The estate has a sweeping view of the Hudson River and the distant Catskills. The National Park Service publishes this guide to the mansion and grounds, so read up in advance and impress your friends with your knowledge of gilded age architectural conventions.



Another prime river-front estate is Wilderstein. With an asymmetrical facade and terra cotta tiles,  Wilderstein typifies American Queen Anne style architecture. It was built in 1852 for businessman Thomas Holy Suckley.


Off Campus Attractions: Families


If you’re looking for somewhere local to spend an afternoon with your kids, here are some of the family-friendliest spots in the region.

Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum 

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (MHCM) offers engaging, interactive exhibits from a StarLab Planetarium to a rock climbing wall.  The museum also accepts birthday party reservations and hosts summer camps.

Hudson Valley Parent Magazine: Beyond the Produce Aisle

Weed Orchards in Marlboro, NY

As far as pick-your-own produce goes, there’s more than apple picking available in the Hudson Valley region. This guide to pick-your-own farms includes places to pick nectarines, peaches, pears, berries, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants…


Off Campus Attractions: Arts

The Vassar campus is within reach of a rich variety of galleries, art centers, and theater festivals.

Visual Art

Dia: Beacon 

Housed in a converted industrial-era Nabisco printing plant, this contemporary art gallery’s collection spans the 1960s to the present. On Saturdays at 1 pm, tours are offered free with admission. On select Community Free Days, admission is free of charge for residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties. Click here for information on hours and admission.


Storm King Art Center

Flickr: Melodie Mesiano

This 500-acre outdoor sculpture gallery features over 100 works by artists including Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, and David Smith. Click here for information on hours and admission.

Note: Storm King is closed to the public until April 2012.


Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Flickr: Comedy of Errors, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival  provide a “fresh look” at Shakespearean plays in an open-air setting.


Maverick Concerts

This summer chamber music festival, set in a woodsy concert hall outside Woodstock, NY, has been recurring since 1916 and is New York’s oldest continuous summer music festival.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Facebook: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

This performing arts center, the original Woodstock location, presents concerts year-round.

Also look for year-round programs for seasons at Beacon’s Howland Chamber Music Circle, and the Poughkeepsie Bardavon.

Off Campus Attractions: Outdoors

For those looking to spend time outdoors, hiking and biking trails abound in the Hudson Valley region. Here are some places to start your plans for a scenic afternoon walk or hike.

Walkway Over the Hudson

Flickr: WalkwayOverTheHudson

This abandoned railroad bridge-turned-pedestrian park stretches 1.28 miles over the Hudson River.

The NY-NJ Trail Conference

The Shawangunks, the Hudson Highlands, and the Catskills offer great hiking opportunities– you can use this custom search engine to find your perfect trail in the area New York-New Jersey area. You can narrow searches by difficulty, accessibility, fees, and features.

Dutchess County Rail Trails

Dutchess County Rail Trail

Dutchess County has two rail trails for walking, jogging, rollerblading and biking: the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in the eastern part of the county and Dutchess Rail Trail through the center of the county.