That Best 10+ Things to do in Rhinebeck NY
you will never forget

Dutchess County NY presents a multitude of possibilities to every type of visitor and Rhinebeck is no exception. Rhinebeck NY is at the heart of this large and diverse county and the best things to do in Rhinebeck NY run the gamut; from seriously fun to amazingly educational.

With so many things to do in Rhinebeck NY, how do you decide what’s best for you? Let me help you with that.

Since visiting Rhinebeck NY with my teenage daughter, I have come to the conclusion that this town should not be missed during a visit to Dutchess County NY.

It may seem that Rhinebeck NY is ‘out of the way’ to some, but after driving along Route 9 through some of the most historic places in the Hudson Valley, one cannot take away the beauty of this small town nestled in the middle of it all.

This type of outing will inspire and educate. With so many things to do in Rhinebeck NY, how can someone be bored?

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Where is Rhinebeck NY?

Before I get into the specifics about things to do in Rhinebeck NY, you’re probably wondering where it is exactly.

Rhinebeck NY is located in Dutchess County, approximately 30 minutes north of Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

Map of Dutchess County NY
Courtesy of Wikipedia

The easiest way to get to Rhinebeck NY is with a car and there are several options:

  • the New York State Thruway
  • the Taconic State Parkway
  • Route 9

How far is Rhinebeck NY from NYC?

Located approximately 110 miles north of New York City and approximately 51 miles south and east of Albany NY through the New York State Thruway (I-87) and over the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge.

This distance from New York City makes the trip between 2 – 3 hours depending on the day/time you’re traveling.

The Ultimate Guide to Dutchess County, NY

Make sure to reference this article all about things to do in Dutchess County NY to see the best things in the county.

About Rhinebeck NY

Of all the towns in Dutchess County, Rhinebeck NY feels a little more touristy.

Due to hosting the Dutchess County Fair during the month of August (cancelled for 2020) and with an abundance of things to do in Rhinebeck NY the immediate area is full of amenities and hotels for those staying in the area.

It’s also the place most likely to attract the type of tourist who might just be going for a long weekend. For many people that might mean it’s an easy destination to travel to. For others, they might be looking to get away from the crowds coming up or down from the cities.

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

Population of Rhinebeck NY

With over 2,500 residents during the 2010 census, Rhinebeck is a popular place for many seeking refuge from the city but wanting to remain close enough that they can get there in a few hours.

Rhinebeck is also home to some popular residents. Most notably:

  • Hilarie Burton – actress
  • Annie Leibovitz – photographer
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan – actor
  • Emma Roberts – actress
  • Paul Rudd – actor

What is Rhinebeck NY Known For?

Known mainly for the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Rhinebeck NY is also home to historic homes and so much more. With over 400 registered historic landmarks in the area, this makes Rhinebeck a town chock-full of history and a place where you can stay busy for a long time.

Also known for Samuel’s Sweet Shop, co-owned by Hilarie Burton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Paul Rudd, this quaint little place receives lots of visitors all year long.

In general, there are many reasons people are attracted to Rhinebeck NY, including arts, history, food and outdoor activities. Honestly, this small town in Dutchess County NY has something for everyone.

For more information about the town itself, visit the official town website:

Things to Do in Rhinebeck NY Today

#1: Dutchess County Fairgrounds

The Dutchess County, NY Fairgrounds hosts wonderful events throughout the year, including the Dutchess County Fair.

Home of the Dutchess County Fair and other special events, these fairgrounds began hosting the annual Dutchess County Fair back in 1919. As one of the best things to do in Rhinebeck NY during the warmer months, it’s one of the main reasons people visit this amazing town.

In addition to having the honor of hosting the largest agricultural six-day fair in New York, the fairgrounds also hosts:

  • Craft Shows
  • Antique Shows
  • The Sheep & Wool Festival
  • Livestock shows
  • The popular Wine & Food Festival

Read my article all about a visit to the Dutchess County Fair

#2: Shop at Businesses on Market Street & Montgomery Street

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

During our visit to Rhinebeck NY, we went for one thing and one thing only: To visit Samuel’s Sweet Shop!

Samuel’s Sweet Shop is owned by actors Paul Rudd, Jeffrey D Morgan & Hilarie Burton.

When Samuel’s was in jeopardy of closing, these wonderful locals stepped in and saved this Rhinebeck institution. Loaded with new candy, vintage candy, candy from all over the world and delicious chocolates, this is one of the best things to do in Rhinebeck NY year-round.

Known for it’s amazing coffee, it’s best had paired with a pastry or a rice krispie treat topped with a photo of Paul or Jeffrey!

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

Other local favorites shops include:

  • Oblong Books & Music – located on Montgomery Street, this book lover’s heaven is open to the public on select days and offer curbside pick-up on the days they are not physically open (Tues & Wed). Offering an extensive collection of books for adults, young adults and children, Oblong is the place to go when you need a book.
  • A.L. Stickle – located on East Market Street, A.L. Stickle is what good old-fashioned variety stores are made of. A landmark of Rhinbeck NY since 1946, this is a true “5 and Dime” shop. Their tagline says it all: “Shop in 2020 like it’s the 1960’s”.
  • Winter Sun and Summer Moon – Located on East Market Street, Winter Sun & Summer Moon showcases clothing, gifts, jewelry, handcrafts & personal care from around the world and also sourced locally. It’s a quaint little shop that offers a nice variety of eclectic and beautiful products.

The downtown area of Rhinebeck is on the National Register of Historic Places. Since being added to the list in 1979, this area of Rhinebeck has attracted people who are interested in seeing the collection of preserved buildings.

#3: Visit the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

America’s first flying museum of antique aircraft, the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a popular destination for many. With an array of vintage aircraft, antique cars and motorcycles, the museum typically offer air shows on the weekends (cancelled for 2020).

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

They also offer biplane rides on a first come – first serve basis on weekends and by reservation. Open seasonally, this is one of the best things to do in Rhinebeck NY during the warmer months.

#4: Eat at one of the many Rhinebeck NY Restaurants

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

Boasting a large selection of cuisines, Rhinebeck NY is a great choice for dining. This is one of the most delicious things to do in Rhinebeck NY.

Here are some popular Rhinebeck NY restaurants:

  • The Amsterdam – Located on Mill Street, this great restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. The Amsterdam is both a wonderful restaurant and market. This unique combination makes it a popular restaurant in Rhinebeck.
  • Terrapin – Located in an almost 200 year old church, Terrapin is not only in a unique setting, it also serves as a grand example of farm-to-table dining in the Hudson Valley. Their Bistro is set for casual dining while the restaurant offers a fine dining experience anyone can enjoy.
  • Gigi Hudson Valley – Serving the best of the Mediterranean and the Hudson Valley, Gigi’s outdoor patio is a perfect place to spend an afternoon while enjoying a divine meal. Open for lunch & dinner everyday except Monday, this is a local favorite.
  • Market St. – Known for it’s wood burning brick oven serving Neapolitan-style pizza, Market St. is a favorite amongst locals and visitors. Their menu showcases contemporary Italian cuisine serving the freshest and finest ingredients.
  • Foster Coach House Tavern – This landmark of Rhinbeck NY has been around since 1890. With so much history in one place, it’s no wonder it is a favorite of local and visitors alike. Serving up American cuisine, this is the perfect place to create lasting memories.
Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

#5: Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market

If you love farmers markets as much as I do, a visit to the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market is a must. Taking place every Sunday from May through December, the market takes place rain or shine and is a beloved event that locals and visitors both enjoy. This is one of the best seasonal things to do in Rhinebeck NY.

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#6: Support Rhinebeck’s Upstate Films from home

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

Starting August 25th, indoor screening will be limited to vaccinated patrons.

Furthermore, masks will be required for all patrons and staff in the lobby. They can be removed only while seated in our auditoriums. Children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated may attend, accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult; they must also wear a mask.

Purchase a ticket for a movie online or at their box office.

#7: Visit Wilderstein Historic Site

With spectacular views of the Hudson River, Wilderstein is open for outdoor and indoor tours by reservation online (August through October). Face coverings required on all tours and everywhere inside the mansion, even if vaccinated.

Tours take place on Saturdays & Sundays at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. The tours are approximately 45 minutes long and tickets are $12 (at time of this posting).

Wilderstein’s sixth biennial outdoor sculpture show, invites us to unsettle how we look. These artworks refocus our attention on the multidimensional ways we experience the location, history, and ecology of Wilderstein. Free and open to the public daily 9am to 4pm through October 31.

This majestic home is an elaborate Queen Anne-style mansion and have been occupied by three generations of the Suckley family. The expansive 40-acre grounds are open to the public to enjoy year-round.

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#8: Take a hike in Ferncliff Forest or Burger Hill

With impressive views of the Hudson River Valley, a climb to the top of the Ferncliff Forest Fire Tower is a must for anyone who is not afraid of heights. The forest is open year-round for walking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and more. This is one of the best outdoor things to do in Rhinebeck NY.

Fire Tower - Things to do in Rhinebeck NY

The panoramic views at the top of Burger Hill can’t be beat. If climbing the fire tower at Ferncliff Forest is not your cup of tea, then a trip to Burger Hill may be a better choice. The views at the summit are outstanding and I’ve heard that Burger Hill is an epic sledding area.

#9: Spend the Night at One of the Historic Inns

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY
  • Olde Rhinebeck Inn – A true Rhinbeck NY institution, one may think that they’d be plenty of stories told of this place. Serving Rhinebeck and the surrounding areas sine 1745 is no easy feat, but the Olde Rhinebeck Inn still stands and as busy as ever. This majestic farmhouse is a Best & Breakfast that people only dream of.
  • Beekman Arms Inn – Within the Rhinebeck Village Historic District sits ‘America’s oldest continuously operated hotel’. This traveler’s Inn was established in the early 1700’s and has been sitting at its present location since 1766. It has hosted many leaders of the American Revolution, including George Washington, Philip Schuyler, Benedict Arnold and Alexander Hamilton.

#10: Visit the Antique Market

Set your sights on some treasure hunting at the Antique Market. This is an enchanting two-story barn, right behind the Beekman Arms. This location houses over 30 dealers and is known as an Antique Emporium and draws hundreds of people in who are looking for something beautiful and, possibly, rare to add to their collection.

Open daily from 11am – 5pm, this is one of the most interesting things to do in Rhinebeck NY.

Antiques - things to do in Rhinebeck ny

#10: Pick your own flowers at Brittany Hollow Farm

This seasonal activity is a must for those just wanting peace and tranquility while picking your own flowers. The wildflowers are abundant and for a fee, you pick a bucket full of your own flowers.

The best part is that you can keep your bucket and return and pick more another day for a reduced rate. This is a unique way to spend the day in Rhinebeck NY.

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY in Winter and colder months?

If your looking for things to do in Rhinebeck during a typical warm weather day, then you will not be disappointed.

Here are some of the best places to visit during this time of the year:

  • Enjoy one of the many wonderful restaurants and/or coffee shops
  • Shop in the historic downtown district
  • Visit and walk on the grounds of Wilderstein
  • Take photos of all the locations in and around Rhinebeck NY
  • Hike the surrounding area
  • Go antique shopping at the Antique Market

Things to do in Rhinebeck NY in Summer and warmer months?

  • Enjoy one of the many wonderful restaurants and/or coffee shops
  • Visit the Dutchess County Fairgrounds
  • Shop in the historic downtown district
  • Visit the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
  • Take an Outdoor tour of Wilderstein
  • Take photos of all the locations in and around Rhinebeck NY
  • Hike the surrounding area
  • Go antique shopping at the Antique Market
  • Visit the Farmers Market

Things to do near Rhinebeck NY:

Tips for Experiencing the Best of Rhinebeck NY:

Until the Next Adventure…

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Jacqueline Ramirez

Jackie is one of the top bloggers in the Hudson Valley. She has been featured (along with some of her photos) in several local and national publications. Read Jackie’s crazy story, “From a Naive NYC Girl to Popular Hudson Valley Blogger & Author“. Feel free to send Jackie a message here.