How you can Explore the
Best of the Hudson Valley: Tips & More

Whether you are a native to New York or the Hudson Valley or someone passing through, it’s important when exploring this region to see the Best of the Hudson Valley.

Hudson Valley Magazine dedicates an entire issue, each year, to their winners of the Best of the Hudson Valley in the following categories:

  • Best Shopping Experience
  • Best Leisure Activities
  • Best Art Galleries
  • and So Much More…

Because there are so many things on these best of the Hudson Valley lists, it can be overwhelming and hard to know ow to start exploring.

And just like this great magazine, I too have taken the time to make a Best of the Hudson Valley list, with a twist.

This article contains an affiliate link or two. I make a small commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure for more info.

The Hudson Valley Region

There is so much to see and do in the Hudson Valley. This region spans over 7,000 square miles, and this lends to having many bests of the best.

In a region so large, it can be hard to know the ins and outs of what the Hudson Valley has to offer. While there is no single way to explore the best of the Hudson Valley, here’s a list of tips and tricks to get the most out of your exploration and outing.

Exploration in the Hudson Valley. Seeing the Best of the Hudson Valley

Ditch the Car and Go on the Metro-North

As unconventional as it may sound to some of you, many people commute to and from and visit the Hudson Valley using the Metro-North train system.

Many places that fall under the umbrella of the best of the Hudson Valley can be accessed via train.

The Metro North Train System has five lines that take you to different areas within the Hudson Valley.
These include:

  • Hudson Line
  • Harlem Line
  • New Haven Line
  • Port Jervis Line
  • Pascack Line
Metro North Hudson Line Train heading North | Hudson Valley Tourism

By taking any one of these rail lines, you can discover and explore the best of the Hudson Valley with little to no stress. You don’t have to worry about getting lost, GPS not working, traffic or difficulties in finding parking.

The Hudson Valley’s Metro North System is a great option for getting to numerous attractions and activities.

Click below to see some items you should have during your Hudson Valley Outings
and you will be guaranteed a successful outing:

  • If you’re going to be out all day exploring, you never REALLY know what the weather will be like. Even if you think you do know, it can start raining at any time, so this small life-saver is an essential item. This is another great buy on Amazon for under $15.

Visit World Class Museums & the Best of the Hudson Valley for Free

You might think it’s expensive to visit Hudson Valley’s Museums, but that’s not the case at all.

Entrance to Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Spring

In fact, museums like Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Spring is always free and requires prior registration and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers offers one free general admission the first weekend every month for patrons who present a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit/debit card.

Celebrating more than 15 years of celebrating museums all around the US, Smithsonian Magazine offered a Free Museum day to participating museums. With prior registration you can visit participating museums & cultural institutions up and down the Hudson Valley.

Enjoy a Free Movie at the Best Hudson Valley Parks

The Hudson Valley offers countless free summer movies. Some of these free popular movies are part of the Movies Under the Walkway in Poughkeepsie, which also features free music before the movie.

A movie screen is set up at Landing Park in Poughkeepsie, NY
Movies under the Walkway over the Hudson

Outdoor movies are one of things that can be categorized as the best of the Hudson Valley. This popular activity strengthens the sense of community and makes wonderful and lasting memories.

Participate in Poughkeepsie’s First Friday & Beacon’s Second Saturday

The First Friday of every month (during the warmer months), Poughkeepsie hosts special community events, featuring music, food vendors with a concentration on the arts.

The Second Saturday every month, Beacon hosts their own community events. Galleries and restaurants are pen and offer special open house events.

iPhone Photo Tips that will make your photos outstanding
First Friday in Poughkeepsie, NY
Poughkeepsie, NY shows off its community through the First Fridays events that happen throughout the year. Dutchess County, NY is lucky to have this wonderful event.
First Friday in Poughkeepsie, NY

But how do you find all the information for all these great things?

I tried seeing the best of the Hudson Valley the ‘Conventional Way’

I did research on my computer by opening up dozens of tabs and trying to make sense of it all. I began making lists and using Google Maps simultaneously in an attempt to plan an outing. 

Jackie from Hudson Valley Explored looking up information on a computer and in tourism books.
Photo taken by:

And that was tiring and frustrating.

I felt scatter-brained, discouraged, unorganized and overwhelmed. And that was before ever leaving the house!

Then, I wouldn’t go out again for weeks because I didn’t want to repeat the process again.

What I found is that with a planning system, I was able to better organize my day. I could quickly locate where I was going and see what was close by.  It took a lot of trial and error, but I finally found a system that worked!

Organization = A better day and lasting memories.

Why Can’t The Information Be Organized In One Location? 

Working on a computer.

I understand why places/organizations have websites. I do.
But they don’t take into consideration the user experience. 

You don’t have to spend hours sifting through website after website and clicking link after link to attempt to find the cost or days/hours of a location.

Never mind, if they have an events page. Some websites still have events posted from 2016 and nothing else.

I like the fact of having everything easily accessible. By clicking a link you are taken to a working page, with all the information there for you. 

I don’t have the time or energy to try and figure things out. Do you?

Here IS what worked for me

I have worked tirelessly every single year, since starting HVE, to build a planning system that would help me more easily find things to see & do the best of the Hudson Valley.

Things that are often frustrating to me are:

  • Seasonal locations that change their open & close dates every year.
  • Special events posted to Facebook but not on the actual website of the location
  • Being unable to find clear hours of operation for a location
Taking notes in a notebook.

But, guess what?

I have taken the time to do all the work and have actually enjoyed creating this planning system.

I know, I’m such a nerd…

And now I’m offering my planning system to you.

I originally had made the planning system to encompass all 10 counties in the Hudson Valley and all price ranges, but then quickly realized that I wasn’t interested in things that were too expensive for me. The old version wasn’t practical.

So now…

The NEW Planning System is actually a Toolkit!

It helps you plan outings that cost $10 or less per person, offers tips for exploring and tips for getting ready for a short car ride or a road trip that may take a few hours.

Now, do you want to spend another weekend at home or take charge of the fun in your life and go out and have fun?

Are you ready???

Be safe.
Reach out to me at anytime: jackie(at)hudsonvalleyexplored(dot)com

Until the Next Adventure…

Signature for Jackie at Hudson Valley Explored

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