This was a relatively short stay in New York on our way up to Maine. We only had a couple afternoons and one full day to visit the area, which definitely wasn't enough. We spent most of the time driving around and visiting some towns in the area and enjoying great food. We will certainly be coming back! We loved all the farms and old houses.
This is probably the first town that's considered "upstate New York" and definitely the biggest in the Hudson River Valley. Just up the road in Hyde Park is the Vanderbilt mansion and birthplace of FDR. There's also a really cool college in the area, Marist, with an absolutely gorgeous campus. The website says the college is now nonsectarian, but judging by the large chapel you really don't get that impression and the Catholic influence is abundant. It's motto is still "to pray and to work."
The Rosendale Trestle is an old train trestle converted into a pedestrian bridge in the town of Rosendale. The view from the top is stunning, and one of the most interesting finds is a cave on the path to the trestle that dumps out freezing cold air. It's hard to see in pictures, but we walked up on a foggy area, which is strange when it's 90 degrees outside. When we got closer we felt a frigid breeze coming from the cave. We've been in plenty of caves before but this one was by far the coolest (pun intended) I've ever experienced.
A little ways north is the town of Kingston. A fishing village and port just off the Hudson, this place has an awesome farmers' market on Saturdays. It also has some really cool museums! Hard to see but in the first photo is the lighthouse for the Hudson river.
On the other side of Poughkeepsie is New Paltz. This is a super cool area with farms, orchards, another liberal arts college, and a lot of restaurants. The activity around town demonstrated just how much of a college town this place is, but it's not the college town that you experience back home in the South where we tailgate with beer and football. Up here, you can enjoy an evening practicing tai chi, take a stab at kenjutsu, and then finish the day off with a crisp cider from one of the local orchards. Riley got to enjoy the cool wooden playground right across from the college as well.
The capital of New York, this is a relatively small town in comparison to New York City. The buildings are impressive and the good food and international influence is abundant. The view from the nearby John Byrd Thatcher State Park is stunning.
We have a LONG day of driving ahead of us on the final leg of the drive to Maine. We're looking forward to temps going from mid-70s at night to mid-70s during the day. The boys and Claire are hoping to see some puffins!