Summer in New York’s Hudson Valley holds some tried-and-trues, such as taking a stroll on the Walkway Over the Hudson, catching a spectacular fireworks show and finding the perfect ice cream cone. But there are also some unique experiences to add to your Hudson Valley bucket list this summer, such as hot-air balloons, scenic rail tours and sangria festivals. Check out some local favorites:
An Old-Fashioned Independence Day
July 4, 2019, 2-10 p.m.
Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown, New York
Visitors will find themselves traveling back in time when they visit the 250-year old historic Clermont Mansion, one of the best preserved 18th-century Hudson Valley manors. Now a New York State historic site, the mansion was built by the Livingstons, a prominent family of inventors, statesmen and land barons. Clermont goes above and beyond with its July 4 holiday programming. Look forward to a full day of 18th-century crafts, period re-enactments and live music. At night, revelers can enjoy live music, delicious hot food and views of the Saugerties fireworks over the Hudson River. For more information, call 518-537-4240.
Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival
July 12–14, 2019
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, New York
The Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival, now in its 28th year, has evolved into a Hudson Valley tradition drawing thousands of visitors from around the world to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in historic Rhinebeck. The festival will feature 100 hot-air balloon flights scheduled throughout the weekend as well as festival favorites, including the evening Majestic Hot-Air Balloon Illumination Moon Glow, rides in the hot-air balloons, tether rides, vendors, food trucks and family activities. Picnic blankets and chairs are welcome and encouraged. For a full event schedule or to purchase tickets, visit Hudson Valley Balloon Festival at www.dcrcoc.org/balloonfesthv.org.
Hudson Valley Sangria Festival
July 13-14, Aug. 10-11, 2019
Benmarl Winery, Marlboro, New York
There are not many drinks that define summer in the Hudson Valley quite like sangria. Locals and visitors looking to experience the magic that happens when wine is infused with fruit can head to Benmarl Winery in Marlboro for its annual Sangria Festival. Held in July and August, the event packs in plenty of vino-filled fun. Admission includes six tastings as well as bottled white and red sangrias, a souvenir wine glass, vineyard and cellar tours, live music and flamenco dancing lessons throughout the day, not to mention stunning views. Overlooking the historic and bucolic Hudson River Valley, the winery’s 37-acre estate lays claim to being the oldest vineyard in America.
Ride the Rails
July 27-28, 2019
Rail aficionados can enjoy a unique steam locomotive experience thanks to the Catskill Mountain Railroad, which consists of a 38.6-mile track from Kingston to Highmount in Ulster County, New York. This July, steam engine Viscose No. 6 will depart from the Westbrook Lane Station in Kingston Plaza with four trains daily. This locomotive was built by Baldwin in 1924 for the American Viscose Co. of Roanoke, Virginia. In the 1960s it was sold to Gem City Iron & Metal in Pulaski, Virginia. Scott Symans of Dunkirk, New York, purchased the locomotive in 2004 and restored it to operating condition in 2007. Because of its small size, it can be trucked anywhere in the country to operate on any railroad. The Catskill Mountain Railroad also will host its Great Train Robbery, celebrating the classic 1903 silent movie by the same name. Surprises abound on this adventure train that is as fun for younger children as it is for adults. For more information, go to www.catskillmtrailroad.com.
Movies Under the Walkway
Upper Landing Park, Poughkeepsie, New York
The mile-long Walkway Over the Hudson pedestrian bridge spanning the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County to the Town of Lloyd in Ulster County offers epic views 212 feet above the river and great fun below the bridge, too. Catch a show and take in a breathtaking landscape as Walkway Over the Hudson hosts Movies Under the Walkway during the summer months. Five evenings are set aside to screen family-friendly movies, including Mary Poppins Returns; Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse; How to Train Your Dragon 3; Shazam!; and Captain Marvel. The free events take place on a big screen at Upper Landing Park, 83 N. Water St., Poughkeepsie, with the scenic Walkway Over the Hudson bridge as a backdrop. Prior to each movie there will be a preshow beginning at 7 p.m., including food trucks, live music and activities for the whole family. The movies will follow at sundown, weather permitting. Be sure to bring your own chairs and blankets! For more info, visit walkway.org.