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.
Although some of these locations are open to the public, please follow these guidelines:
Please be safe.
Practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands thoroughly and follow all mandates and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and NY State and local Governments.
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!
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
Taking Hudson Valley Day Trips by Train
Taking the train from NYC 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
The Ultimate Road Trip Guide
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.
Popular Hudson Valley Day Trips
Hudson Valley Day Trips For Art Lovers
*OPEN with pre-purchased reservations. Open on weekends throughout the Winter.
Take a stroll through this open-air museum in New Windsor, 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 their season (April – November), they also have special events throughout the year, such as their winter weekends. It is no wonder why Storm King Art Center is one of the most popular Hudson Valley Day Trips from New York City,
Read my article all about my visit to Storm King Art Center
*Currently CLOSED for the Season. They will re-open in April 2021
This impressive sculpture created by Harvey Fite is located in Saugerties, 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.
Read my article about my visit to Opus 40
*Currently CLOSED to the public. Will reopen Feb. 6th, 2021
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 influencer in the Hudson Valley when it comes to art.
Typically open year-round, they welcome all visitors to enjoy their permanent and temporary exhibits.
*Currently OPEN to the public with advance reservation ONLY.
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.
The permanent exhibitions and visiting artwork will mesmerize and inspire you. Open year-round, this museum is conveniently located near the Beacon Train Station.
Read my article about my visit to DIA:Beacon
*Currently OPEN to the public
Katonah, NY is a easy trip either by car or train. Located in Westchester County, Katonah is a small down easily accessed through the Harlem Line of the Metro North.
Katonah Museum of Art houses amazing works of art in its 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 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.
Hudson Valley Guide
Reference this Complete Hudson Valley Guide before heading out or making plans to visit anywhere in the Hudson Valley. In addition to listing towns in each county, there are links to guides for each county.
Hudson Valley Day Trips For Nature Lovers
*Currently OPEN to visitors on the select days (Fri, Sat, Sun) with pre-purchased reservation
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.
Read my article about my visit to Untermyer Gardens
*Currently CLOSED for the season. The gardens re-open April 1st, 2021.
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.
*Currently OPEN to the Public
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 a popular place for walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. They also host popular events throughout the year.
Read my article about my visit to The Walkway Over the Hudson
*Currently OPEN to the public
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.
*Currently OPEN to the public
Known as the “outdoor museum”, the West Point Foundry 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.
Hudson Valley Day Trips For History Lovers
*The Museum is on a PAUSE beginning December 1st, 2020 due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the area.
The West Point Visitors Center is open with limited capacity (50 visitors at one time)
Tours are suspended at this time.
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, 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.
The Visitors Center Exhibits include a full-scale cadet barracks room, a cadet uniform room, cadet daily life, academic fields of endeavor and the admissions process.
Read my article about my visit to West Point Museum & Visitors Center
*Currently offering a limited amount of tickets to the gardens & grounds.
Advance ticket purchase is required.
Currently OPEN to the public on weekends.
Visit a majestic historic home 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.
*Currently CLOSED for the season.
Tours begin in the Spring 2021. Advance ticket purchase is required.
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.
Read my article about my visit to Bannerman Castle
*Tours are SUSPENDED at this time.
Take a Self-Guided tour is available using their Free Walking App.
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.
Open year-round for self-guided tours.
*Grounds OPEN and Buildings are OPEN by reservation ONLY
Winter Hours (November – Mid April) Fri & Sat: 11am – 3pm
Remainder of year (Mid April – Late Oct) Wed – Sat: 11 am – 5 pm & Sunday 1pm 5pm
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.
Read my article about my visit to Washington Headquarters State Historic Site
Hudson Valley Day Trips for Wine Lovers
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.
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 (Outdoor seating only)
> Benmarl Winery, Marlboro, NY (Outdoor seating only)
> Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville, NY (Pick-up only)
> Palaia Winery & Meadery, Highland Mills, NY (Open for outdoor drinking & dining)
> Robibero Winery, New Paltz, NY (Outdoor lawn is open for wine-by-the-bottle purchase and drinking)
Essential Gear Recommended When Taking Hudson Valley Day Trips:
Clicks the links below to see the items I use when going on my day trips.
- Washable Face Masks – If you want to enjoy an outing in the Hudson Valley, make sure to stay safe with the washable face masks. These are the ones that I personally use and can breathe well from.
- Comfortable women’s walking shoes – My favorite walking shoes are by Skechers, because they are soft and the memory foam feels great on my feet.
- Power Bank – While out walking all day and taking photos, I use this power bank to make sure that I will not run out of battery on my phone.
- Microfiber cleaning cloths – These are essential to leans glasses, sunglasses, phone screen and, especially, your phone lens before taking photos.
- Travel money belt – If you’re not in the mood to carry a purse, bag or backpack, this travel money belt is the best alternative. I use it for my outings and also when I go shopping. It’s discreet and comfortable to wear.
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
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Where to Next??
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Until the Next Adventure…
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