Hammocks at Palaia Winery. One of the Hudson Valley Day Trips to plan today.

21+ Hudson Valley Day Trips
Worth Taking Now!

Trees, Mountains, the Hudson River, small towns and bustling cities. Welcome to the Hudson Valley, a mix of old and new, history and art. Because of all these things, it’s very easy to plan Hudson Valley Day Trips several times a year.

There is so much to do in the Hudson Valley, that it seems like the list is endless. With every season, comes new opportunities to do new and exciting things.

If you’re looking to plan your own perfect Hudson Valley day trips, I’m breaking down the top tips and the best things to do to make your Hudson Valley Day Trips successful, special, easy and most of all – Fun.

Ready to plan your own Hudson Valley day trips? Get inspired and start planning!

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How to Plan Perfect Hudson Valley Day Trips

Things to Know Before you take your Hudson Valley Day Trips

  • Depending on the season, the weather in the Hudson Valley is not always predictable. Check the weather beforehand to make sure you are prepared for any changes.
  • Weather is also vastly different depending on the area of the Hudson Valley where you are traveling: Lower Hudson Valley, Mid-Hudson Valley, Upper Hudson Valley. Plan accordingly.
  • For Autumn: The best leaf-peeping times are between October and November. Leaves in the Lower Hudson Valley change over later than the ones in the Upper Hudson Valley.
  • You can access many parts of the Hudson Valley without a car, but it’s best to have a car if you’ll be visiting several locations in one day or in a weekend.
  • The Hudson Valley has many fantastic events going on throughout the year. There are events for art lovers, food lovers, music lovers, etc. Plan your getaway around an event and make it extra-special.
  • Some of the locations listed in this post are open seasonally, typically from April through November. Check each individual website for updated information.

How to get to the Hudson Valley

Coffee, maps, and magazine all about the Hudson Valley
Photo By Jessica Jane Photography

– Taking Hudson Valley Day Trips by Train

Taking the train from New York City (Grand Central Terminal) to the Hudson Valley is quite simple. There are five train lines that will take you to different areas of the Hudson Valley.

The Metro North Train system is fairly reliable. Once you arrive at your stop, there are usually taxi services that can easily take you to your destination.

This makes this the perfect way for New Yorkers to explore the Hudson River Valley without a car.

Some towns are located near the train stations, so all you need are a good pair of shoes and you’re on your way!

The Metro North Lines are:

  • Hudson Line
  • New Haven Line
  • Port Jervis Line
  • Harlem Line
  • Pascack Line

A list of the stops associated with the various Metro-North lines can be found here.

Metro North Hudson Line Train heading North | Hudson Valley Tourism

– Taking Hudson Valley Day Trips by Car

If you’re ready to get in your car and take one of great Hudson Valley Day Trips listed in this article, then make sure you’re prepared.

There are several highways/thruways that take you through the Hudson Valley from North to South or South to North.
These include:

  • The Taconic State Parkway
  • The Henry Hudson Parkway
  • The Bronx River Parkway
  • The Sprain Brook Parkway
  • The New York State Thruway
  • Interstate 684
  • and more….

Knowing where these particular highways/Thruways/Interstates takes you is very important because many do not intersect and will lead you to very different places in the Hudson Valley.

Mapping out your destination, beforehand, is crucial in planning your Hudson Valley day trips. Using Google Maps will be extremely helpful, as not only does it show you how to get to your destination, it also shows you estimated time of travel, alternate routes and offers suggestions for places to eat and other sites to see.

Looking for help planning a Road Trip?
Reference my article all about what to do & Pack for your Next Road trip for a full list of Pre-Road Trip To-Do’s, as well, as a checklist of essentials you should always have before taking your next trip.

Hudson Valley Day Trips For Art Lovers

– Storm King Art Center

Take a stroll through this open-air museum in New Windsor, NY in Orange County NY. Storm King Art Center is home to large-scale sculptures and is an impressive place to visit.

In addition to the works displayed during the warmer months, they also have special events throughout the year. Recently, they have begun to open during the weekends during the winter.

This makes this a wonderful place to visit all year long and the view of Storm King Mountain is extraordinary.

It is no wonder why Storm King Art Center is one of the most popular Hudson Valley Day Trips from New York City.

Looking up at a sculpture while visiting Storm King Art Center

Read my article all about my visit to Storm King Art Center

Opus 40

This impressive sculpture created by Harvey Fite is located in Saugerties, NY in Ulster County NY, and is made of the blue quarry from this land. The most interesting part is that the sculpture is comprised of ramps and pedestals that you can walk on and the views of the Catskill mountains as the scenery.

You must see Opus 40 to believe it and you can visit this impressive place from May – November.

Opus 40 is one of the best Hudson Valley day trips

Read my article about my visit to Opus 40

– Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art

If you’re looking to spend the day in New Paltz, then a visit to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art should be on your list.

In addition to being located on the campus of SUNY New Paltz, the museum houses over 6,000 pieces of art and is an important influence in the Hudson Valley when it comes to art.

Typically open year-round, they welcome all visitors to enjoy their permanent and temporary exhibits.

While there, check out Main Street and grab a bite to eat and/or visit one of the many great coffee shops. This is a great place to ‘get lost’ and is one of the best quaint town in the Hudson Valley Region.

– DIA:Beacon

Visit a former Nabisco printing plant turned into an art museum. Walk around DIA:Beacon, both inside and out, while admiring award-winning art and installations. Located on the banks of the Hudson River,

The permanent exhibitions and visiting artwork will mesmerize and inspire you. Open year-round, this museum is conveniently located near the Beacon Train Station and is a quick train ride from Poughkeepsie or anywhere else on the Metro North’s Hudson Line.

One of my favorite parts of a visit is visiting the gift shop, full of art books galore. It’s a wonderful place to get lost in your imagination.

Visitors taking photos at DIA:Beacon. This is one of many popular Hudson Valley day trips

Read my article about my visit to DIA:Beacon

– Katonah Museum of Art

Katonah, NY is a easy day trip either by car or train. Located in Westchester County, Katonah is a small town easily accessed through the Harlem Line of the Metro North.

Katonah Museum of Art houses amazing works in its art galleries and also on its grounds. In addition to the exhibition currently on view, the Learning Center is available for small family groups to reserve.

The museum also participates in the ‘Metro-North Getaways Program’. The program offers a round-trip train ticket to the Katonah Station and discounted admission to the museum.

While in Katonah, why not visit the remainder of this small town; from eateries to farms to parks. This the best way to spend a day.

– New York State Museum

One of the best things to do in Albany for free, a visit to this museum should be your next stop on a road trip through the Hudson Valley. Established in 1836, it is the oldest and largest state museum in the United States.

One of the best cultural institutions in New York, the Museum explores and expresses New York State’s significant natural and cultural diversity, past and present.

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.

Hudson Valley Day Trips For Nature Lovers

The natural beauty of the region is astonishing. It’s no wonder why this beautiful scenery was the subject of many landscape painters. You can spend an entire day exploring the area by walking, running, hiking and cross-country skiing during the winter.

– Untermyer Gardens

A visit to Untermyer Park & Gardens is essential for anyone who wants to be amazed and enchanted.

This ‘Walled Garden’, located in Yonkers, NY, is an impressive place to spend an afternoon.

The park & garden overlooking the Hudson River is open year-round and, best of all, it’s free to visit.

The Structures of Untermyer Park make this the most beautiful of Yonkers Parks

Read my article about my visit to Untermyer Gardens

– Stonecrop Gardens

Discover a splendid garden high up in the Hudson Highlands with a visit to Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, NY.

Open from April through the end of October, a visit to this magnificent garden is essentially perfect for any day away from the busyness of life.

– Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park

Walk over the Hudson River on the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. Connecting Highland, NY to Poughkeepsie, NY, this spectacular structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open year-round.

It’s the perfect place for walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. They also host popular events throughout the year. The Walkway is part of the large rail trail system that connects explorers with many Hudson Valley towns and attractions.

The view as you walk across the Hudson

Read my article about my visit to The Walkway Over the Hudson

– Croton Gorge Park & Old Croton Aqueduct State Park

You can fish, picnic, hike and take amazing photos of the Croton Dam and the spillway at Croton Gorge Park, located in Cortlandt, NY.

This popular park consists of over 90 acres and is the beginning of the Old Croton Aqueduct. Cross-country skiing and sledding are popular here during the winter.

Anytime is the best time to visit this wonderful place because with every changing season, the scenery offers something new to see.

– West Point Foundry

Known as the “outdoor museum”, the West Point Foundry in Putnam County NY, highlights the ironworks that manufactured America’s steam engines and pipes for New York City’s water system. There is also an audiovisual tour of the preserve that makes all the difference.

This popular park consists of over 90 acres and is located close to the Cold Spring train station.

Visit one or several Hudson Valley farms and orchards

Many people don’t know this but, many Hudson Valley apple orchards are open during other times of the year and many DO NOT ONLY grow apples.

Several grow other fruits and vegetables and are open during the off-season because they also have farm stores and other amenities.

Hudson Valley Apples on a tree

The Ultimate List of Hudson Valley Farms and what they Grow

– Bear Mountain State Park

With so many things to do at Bear Mountain State Park, it’s hard not to spend a whole afternoon there.

During the colder months, visitors enjoy ice skating, hiking, visiting the Trailside Museums and Zoo, and riding the Merry-Go-Round.

During the warmer months, visitors enjoy the zoo, swimming pool, walking, hiking, ball play and so much more.

Bear Mountain Carousel with guests riding it. This is the best Bear Mountain activity.

Bear Mountain Activities to enjoy any time of the year

Take a Hike

With so many places to hike, one of the most perfect Hudson Valley Day Trips is a hiking trip.
Popular places include:

  • Breakneck Ridge
  • Anthony’s Nose
  • Minnewaska State Park
  • Mohonk Preserve
  • Shawangunk Ridge
Hiking in the Hudson Valley

The Best Hiking Spots in the Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley Day Trips For History Lovers

Historic sites are abundant in the Hudson Valley. These cultural attractions allure many visitors to the area every year. From Sleepy Hollow to Hyde Park and beyond, there are so many places listed as a National Historic Site and are amazing to visit.

West Point Museum & West Point Visitors Center

Take a guided tour of Historic West Point and the United States Military Academy offered by West Point Tours. Choose from a one-hour or two-hour tour and then make your way to the West Point Museum and Frederic V Malek Visitors Center.

Spend an afternoon at West Point Military Academy, the West Point Museum and the Frederic V Malek West Point Visitors Center.

West Point Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets historically significant artifacts pertaining to the United States Military Academy, United States Army and the Profession of Arms. It shows the importance of military history and showcases it with photos, memorabilia and dioramas.

The Visitor Center Exhibits include a full-scale cadet barracks room, a cadet uniform room, cadet daily life, academic fields of endeavor and the admissions process.

Display case at the West Point Visitors Center

Read my article about my visit to West Point Museum & Visitors Center

– Boscobel House & Gardens

Visit one of the most majestic historic homes overlooking the Hudson River in Garrison, NY.

Boscobel House & Gardens is unique because it was saved in pieces and rebuilt in another area of New York as a piece of art.

The grounds are open for self-guided tours from mid-April through December, admission to the gardens, grounds and seasonal exhibition takes place Friday – Monday: 9am – sunset.

Bannerman Castle Tour

Take a ferry ride on the Hudson River, from Beacon or Newburgh, and learn all about Bannerman Castle located on Pollepel Island.

They offer several tour options that do not disappoint.

Although you cannot enter Bannerman Castle, there are still plenty of photo opportunities on the tour. Open seasonally, they also host musical performances and outdoor movies during warmer months.

Bannerman Castle as seen from the Hudson River in the Hudson Valley
Bannerman Castle from the tour boat

Read my article about my visit to Bannerman Castle

– Historic Huguenot Street

Here is another reason to visit New Paltz. Stroll down Historic Huguenot Street, lined with original 18th-century homes that are in their original village setting. It is a National Historic Landmark District and is one of the best places to visit while in New Paltz.

Open year-round for self-guided tours. Parking areas are located in several locations around the perimeter of this wonderful area.

– Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh

Stand where George Washington stood when visiting Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, NY.

Open year-round for tours of Hasbrouck House, this majestic property overlooking the Hudson River played an important role during the last year of the Revolutionary War.

Hasbrouck House at the Washington Headquarters State Historic Site is one of the popular Hudson Valley day trips.

Read my article about my visit to Washington Headquarters State Historic Site

Vanderbilt Mansion

The Vanderbilt Estate in Hyde Park is an 19th century Picturesque estate redesigned in an Italian manner when it was bought by the Vanderbilts and a good example of a rich man’s estate.

Besides the mansion, the highlight of a visit to Vanderbilt Mansion is a visit to the gardens. Frederick Vanderbilt bought the estate in 1895 and added the rose garden, pools and statuary and greenhouses. The Italian Gardens are in three parts: the annual garden, the perennial garden, and the rose garden.

Vanderbilt Mansion is one of the majestic Hudson Valley Historic Sites

See all the beauty of the Vanderbilt Mansion

Hudson Valley Day Trips for Wine, Beer, Cider & Spirits Lovers

– Wineries in the Hudson Valley

The Shawangunk Wine Trail is located between Ulster and Orange counties. Most of the 15 members of the wine trail are easily accessible by way of Interstate 87 and Interstate 84.

Sunflowers at Benmarl Winery in Marlboro, NY.

This 80-mile trail is full of award-winning wineries that not only offer tastings but also offer special events during the majority of the year.

It’s easy to plan a Hudson Valley Day Trip visiting these wonderful wineries.

Here is a sample of some of the popular locations:
> Angry Orchards, Walden, NY
> Benmarl Winery, Marlboro, NY
> Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville, NY
> Palaia Winery & Meadery, Highland Mills, NY
> Robibero Winery, New Paltz, NY

Hudson Valley Breweries

If you prefer craft beer, then this Hudson Valley Day Trip will be full of fun! These 45+ Hudson Valley Breweries will be sure to please any palate.

You can drink a beer flight from Hudson Valley Breweries

– Hudson Valley Cideries

If hard cider is more your style, then these 15+ Hudson Valley Cideries are the best places for a Hudson Valley Day Trip.

– Hudson Valley Distilleries

Whiskey, Bourbon, Gin, and Vodka lovers, the Hudson Valley Distillery Scene is amazing! Make sure these Hudson Valley Distilleries are on your list for your next Hudson Valley Day Trip.

Tips for an amazing time during your Hudson valley day trips:

  • Check the weather before leaving for your outing.
  • Check your location’s website for up-to-date-information before leaving on your trip
  • Have a back-up plan, in case something comes up.
  • For additional tips, make sure to reference my guide for exploring the Hudson Valley like a pro

Until the Next Adventure…

Signature for Jackie at Hudson Valley Explored
Looking for a great day trip from New York City? Look no further than the beautiful Hudson Valley! There are so many wonderful places to explore, from serene nature trails to historic sites and vibrant art galleries. Get ready for a day of adventure! Hudson Valley New York is waiting for you. Hudson Valley NY, New York, New York State, Day trips from New York City
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