The Best 10+ Things to do in Rhinebeck NY you will never forget!
Dutchess County NY presents a multitude of possibilities for 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 and show you the best places to visit and the best things to do in this beautiful town.
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 and road trip will inspire and educate. With so many things to do in this gem of the Hudson Valley, how can someone be bored?
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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.
- Where is Rhinebeck NY?
- How far is Rhinebeck NY from NYC?
- How to Save on your Rhinebeck, NY Visit (Especially when you're on a budget)
- Top Things to Do in Rhinebeck NY Today
- Things to do in Rhinebeck NY in Winter and colder months
- Things to do in Rhinebeck NY in Summer and warmer months
- About Rhinebeck NY
- A Visit to Rhinebeck, NY
- Things to do near Rhinebeck NY:
Where is Rhinebeck NY?
Rhinebeck NY is located in Dutchess County, approximately 20+ minutes north of Hyde Park and the Mid-Hudson Bridge and 10 minutes south of Red Hook.
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 (Albany Post Road)
If you’re interested in taking a train from New York City to Rhinebeck, then Amtrack, from Penn Station, is your best bet. The tracks follow the eastern bank of the Hudson River, a scenic route that offers panoramic views of the heart of the Hudson Valley.
The train ride from Penn Station to Rhinebeck takes about an hour and 40 minutes. After you get off the train, it’s just a short drive to Rhinebeck.
Please Note: When you’re searching for trains between New York and Rhinebeck, keep in mind that the Amtrak station is about three miles west of the Town of Rhinebeck in the town of Rhinecliff, NY. Check the schedule carefully. Not all trains, though, stop in Rhinecliff.
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.
Want to do & See more in Dutchess County?
Make sure to reference this article all about things to do in Dutchess County NY to see
the BEST things throughout the county.
How to Save on your Rhinebeck, NY Visit (Especially when you’re on a budget)
- Have your car and yourself/family ready for the day with these essential items found here.
- Check discount websites, such as LocalFlavor.com and Groupon.com may help you find discounts on dining in the area.
- Better opportunities for reservations and less expensive meals may occur during the week and during lunchtime.
Top Things to Do in Rhinebeck NY Today
#1: Dutchess County Fairgrounds
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 greatest things to do in Rhinebeck NY during the warmer months, it’s one of the main reasons people visit this amazing town.
The Dutchess County Fair is a great place to spend the day, enjoying good food, good service and amazing live entertainment. My family and I have had many great summer days and nights there.
In addition to having the honor of hosting the largest agricultural six-day fair in New York State, the fairgrounds also hosts:
- Craft Shows
- Antique Shows
- The Sheep & Wool Festival
- Livestock shows, specializing in local farms and local farmers
- The popular Wine & Food Festival
[RELATED ARTICLE]: Read my article all about a visit to the Dutchess County Fair
#2: Shop at Businesses on Market Street & Montgomery Street
During our visit to Rhinebeck NY, we went for one thing and one thing only: To visit Samuel’s Sweet Shop!
Samuel’s of Rhinebeck NY is owned by actors Paul Rudd, Jeffrey D Morgan & Hilarie Burton.
When Samuel’s was in jeopardy of closing, these wonderful local residents and celebrities 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 and is part of the a slew of unique independent specialty shops that call this wonderful town their home.
Known as one of the best local coffee shops, their coffee is best had paired with a pastry or a rice krispie treat topped with a photo of Paul or Jeffrey!
Other local favorite shops include:
- Oblong Books & Music – located on Montgomery Street, this book lover’s heaven is open to the public daily from 10:30am – 6pm. Offering an extensive collection of books for adults, young adults and children, Oblong is the place to go when you need a book, although I bought a jigsaw puzzle during my first visit.
- 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 or village center 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, classic cars and motorcycles, the museum typically offers air shows on the weekends when open during their season.
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
Boasting a large selection of cuisines, Rhinebeck’s dining scene is a good place to start during your visit. From fine dining to casual dining spots, there are always good times to be had when eating 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.
In Search of a Great Place to Have Brunch in the Hudson Valley?
Reference this Ultimate Guide to the Best Brunch Places in the Hudson Valley. See if your favorite made the list!
#5: Rhinebeck Farmers 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.
#6: Rhinebeck’s Upstate Films
Upstate Films is a not-for-profit arts organization committed to enriching lives through cinema. Their mission is to make international and independent cinema as accessible and affordable as possible with the highest standards of presentation. This is the ideal spot to watch a great independent film.
Purchase a ticket for a movie online or at their box office.
#7: Visit Wilderstein Historic Site
This majestic home is an elaborate Queen Anne-style mansion and have been occupied by three generations of the Suckley family, including the home of Margaret Suckley. It’s one of the great estates of the Hudson Valley and is full of history and antique home furnishings.
The estate was named “Wilderstein” (wild man’s stone) in reference to an Indian petroglyph on the property, a reminder of the cultural heritage that preceded European settlement of the region. The original Italianate country home designed by John Warren Ritch in 1852 was remodeled and enlarged in the late 19th century.
The expansive 40-acre grounds are open to the public to enjoy year-round.
With spectacular views of the Hudson River, Wilderstein is open for outdoor and indoor tours.
Tours run from from May 4 through October 29 and take place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. The tours are approximately 60 minutes long and tickets are $18 (at time of this posting).
#8: Take a hike in Ferncliff Forest or Burger Hill
With impressive views of New York’s scenic Hudson Valley, a climb to the top of the Ferncliff Forest Fire Tower is a must for anyone who is not afraid of heights and is a perfect outing for outdoor enthusiasts. 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. The observation tower is a favorite for many who post pictures on Instagram and other Social Media outlets.
The panoramic views at the top of Burger Hill can’t be beat. Pictured above is me at the top!
If climbing the fire tower at Ferncliff Forest (with majestic views of the Catskill Mountains) 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 or Bed and Breakfast
- 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 Bed & Breakfast that people only dream of.
- Beekman Arms and Delamater 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.
- Whistlewood Farm – Located in Rhinebeck, N.Y., WhistleWood Farm Bed & Breakfast provides a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere with eclectic antique furnishings, fireplaces, comfy sofas and chairs, warm handmade quilts and delicious breakfasts. Guests can take advantage of miles of hiking trails, say “hi” to our friendly horses, our donkey “Tigger” and chickens, and take in breathtaking sunsets and clear starry nights.
#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.
#11: 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 at Brittany Hollow Farm 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.
#12: Visit Clinton Community Library
As I mentioned in my article all about what to do and see during the Halloween season, The Clinton Community Library reportedly has ghosts that haunt the library no matter the hour. Visitors have heard whispering or books falling off of shelves. Their footsteps have been heard walking the library and climbing the stairs.
Things to do in Rhinebeck NY in Winter and colder months
If you’re 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 with outdoor seating, like Bread Alone
- 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
About Rhinebeck NY
Before I get into the specifics about things to do in Rhinebeck NY, you’re probably wondering where it is exactly.
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 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.
Population of Rhinebeck NY
With over 2,500 residents during the 2010 census, Rhinebeck is a popular destination 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 famous residents.
- 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 historical landmarks in the area, this makes Rhinebeck a historic town chock-full of activities 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 and is very popular on social media.
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 and is the perfect place to visit any time of the year, but most notably, during the warmer months.
For more information and the latest news about the town itself, visit the official town of Rhinebeck website: enjoyrhinebeck.com
A Visit to Rhinebeck, NY
MY TIPS & ESSENTIAL GEAR WHEN EXPLORING THE HUDSON VALLEY
- If you’re looking to perfect your photo skills, this extendable selfie stick/tripod combo with remote is what I recommend.
Things to do near Rhinebeck NY:
Looking for more things to do near Rhinebeck? Take a look at the articles below:
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