Poughkeepsie, New York, is a city on the rise. After decades of industrial decline, Poughkeepsie is experiencing a cultural rebirth. With the advent of new restaurants, museums, and a revamped arts scene, Poughkeepsie is a must-see city that is nestled on the banks of the mighty Hudson River. It is a great destination for visitors of all interests and backgrounds.
Must See in Poughkeepsie
Poughkeepsie has something for everyone. The Bardavon is the premier theater for live performances, author readings, and concerts. Barrett Art Center is just one of the numerous art communities in which local artists are encouraged to showcase their works. Poughkeepsie is also home to the Walkway Over the Hudson, the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Visitors enjoy spectacular Hudson River views while walking on a former railroad bridge.
Where to Stay in Poughkeepsie
The Poughkeepsie Grand, located in the heart of the city, is one of the most elegant hotels in the area. There are also plenty of reasonably-priced hotels and motels throughout Poughkeepsie. Route 9, approximately 10 minutes away from the city center, plays host to a variety of accommodations.
Best and Worst Time to Go to Poughkeepsie
The best time to visit Poughkeepsie is from late September through October. The Walkway is the perfect location to see the changing foliage and the weather is usually very temperate and comfortable. While there is not necessary a worst time to go to Poughkeepsie, the winter months (December to February) are a time when there are fewer outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy, but there are still a wide variety of indoor art galleries and theaters.
Where to Get Lost in Poughkeepsie
Poughkeepsie is home to the prestigious Vassar College. Located away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, Vassar provides visitors acres and acres of beautifully landscaped grounds to explore.
The campus is open to the public and plays host to many art and culture events. Visitors can wander the grounds for hours and discover hidden gems such as Vassar Lake and the Observatory, as well as numerous gardens, nature trails, and even a marshland boardwalk. The college is in a very quiet neighborhood that also has a diverse selection of restaurants.
The Best Deal in Poughkeepsie
The best deal by far is the Walkway Over the Hudson. It is completely free and is open from dawn to dusk every day of the year--weather permitting. Poughkeepsie is also the location for large portions of the Dutchess Rail Trail. Miles of former railroad tracks were converted into well-maintained walking/biking/running paths that are free and open to the public. These trails eventually will lead to the Walkway over the Hudson. There are many access points to the rail trail scattered throughout Poughkeepsie and its surrounding towns.
Transportation in Poughkeepsie
The Dutchess County Loop bus line is an excellent way for visitors to get around Poughkeepsie and its surrounding areas. The schedule is available through the official website. Metro-North is also a great option for visitors wishing to explore more cities along the Hudson River, as well as travel to and from New York City. There are, of course, several rental car locations, including Hertz and Enterprise throughout Poughkeepsie.
Getting in From Stewart Airport
Poughkeepsie is accessible from Stewart Airport, located in Newburgh, New York. From here, travelers can hire a taxi to bring them to their destination. Poughkeepsie is also about an hour and a half away from all major New York City airports, including LaGuardia and JFK. Visitors can easily take Metro-North up to the Poughkeepsie Train Station. The station is approximately a ten minute walk to the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.
Local Tip to Visitors to Poughkeepsie
Poughkeepsie has many wonderful events throughout the year, but the one event that is a must-see is the annual Hot Air Balloon Fest in mid-July. Be warned, however, it will require an early wake-up call. Hot Air Balloons are launched at sunrise at a marina located right next to the Walkway Over the Hudson. Spectators can watch the launch from the Walkway and it is truly a spectacular sight to behold.
Author's bio: Krista Miller, a Hudson Valley local for over 26 years, enjoys the finer things in life: food, friends, and historical museums. She currently volunteers at a local history museum, as well as a local library. She is constantly on the lookout for the next great adventure.