At the end of the Metro-North’s Hudson line is a juxtaposition of industry city and uber luxury: Poughkeepsie & Hyde Park. Between the booming blue collar city and the high class home to some of the Hudson Valley’s most glorious estates, you’ll find the best view of the Hudson River, a culinary institution, and the most New York brewery in New York.
At the end of the Metro-North’s Hudson line is a juxtaposition of industry city and uber luxury: Poughkeepsie & Hyde Park.
Between the booming blue collar city and the high class home to some of the Hudson Valley’s most glorious estates, you’ll find the best view of the Hudson River, an iconic garden, a culinary institution, and the most New York brewery in New York.
We rounded up the internet’s best options for things to do in Poughkeepsie & Hyde Park and added all the links you need to get out of town for a visit.
We’re highlighting the most weekend trip-worthy ideas accessible via the Metro-North so you can get your friends to stop using that whole “no car” excuse. Subscribe for future updates!
Metro-North Stop: Poughkeepsie
Distance from NYC: ~2 hours
Roundtrip Cost: $37.00
Darkside is the largest independent music store in the Hudson Valley and a notable destination for record hunters across the tri-state area. Their 6,000 square feet of music heaven features slime-green walls; 15,000 records, cds, and movies; and a live stage for local & touring bands.
The Walkway – arguably the most notable attraction in Poughkeepsie – is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. It stands 212 feet tall and spans 1.28 miles across the Hudson. Formerly a railroad bridge that was abandoned after a 1974 fire, the Walkway was eventually restored and made into a state historic park. At its base, you can walk along the waterfront through Upper Landing and Waryas parks.
Vassar College: Roam the campus of the esteemed liberal arts school, and check out their Farm & Ecological Preserve (Google, Instagram) and Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (Google, Instagram).
From Poughkeepsie Station: 10-minute cab
The Chance: The historic venue has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, The Ramones, and Pete Seeger over the years, though nowadays books mostly metal and rock shows.
From Poughkeepsie Station: 18-minute walk
Bardavon Opera House: The oldest continuously operating theater in New York, programming a variety of classical music, comedy, musicals, film, and more.
From Poughkeepsie Station: 18-minute walk
Beatrix Farrand was a respected landscape gardener / badass horticultural expert from the early 1900s, known for her influential garden design and powerful clientele. She is credited for some of the world’s greatest garden landscapes and you can find one such example in Hyde Park, adjacent to FDR’s famed home.
Over 200 acres of historic buildings, landscapes, woodlands, gardens, and remnants of the elite class of 19th century America (a.k.a. the Gilded Age). Roam the vast grounds surrounding the mansion and imagine what it was like to live in a time when the uber-wealthy enjoyed decadent lifestyles that were completely disconnected from the day-to-day suffering of the lower-class. Oh wait…
FDR Presidential Library & Museum: Trace the Roosevelt presidency through artifacts, galleries, and other exhibits, then explore the trails around the estate.
From Poughkeepsie Station: 9-minute cab or take the NPS-operated Roosevelt Ride to the FDR estate
Val-Kill: Home to activist, intellectual, and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and headquarters for the Eleanor Roosevelt Center, a youth leadership and civic engagement organization.
From Poughkeepsie Station: 13-minute cab or take the NPS-operated Roosevelt Ride to the FDR estate
Plan Bee aims to brew a true New York beer, sourcing only from within the state. In their words: “if it isn’t in our community, it doesn’t enter our beer.” From their 25 acre farm, they use their own hops, grains, water, wild yeasts, oak, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Owners Emily & Evan Watson are committed to running a 100% sustainable brewery defined by seasonal beers that reflect the local agriculture.
The shining example of Poughkeepsie’s Middle Main Street revitalization project, the Underwear Factory is an award-winning multi-use space. The renovated factory – originally built in 1874 – now features a first floor dedicated to local food & drink, a second floor of artist studio spaces, and a space for youth arts programming on its top floor. Unfortunately, its weekend hours are limited at the moment, but hopefully that’ll change so we can justify highlighting it on a guide for weekend trips…
Post Road Brew House – Gastropub, Brewery, $
Take a trip to the pop-up restaurant at Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park campus for beers & burgers.
• From Poughkeepsie Station: 7-minute cab
• Also at the CIA: American Bounty, The Bocuse Restaurant, and Apple Pie Bakery Cafe.
Breakfast: Alex’s・Crafted Kup
Lunch: Lola’s Cafe・Noshi’s Coney Island・Twisted Soul・El Azteca
Dinner: Essie’s・The Artist’s Palate・Tavern23・Cosimo’s
Dessert: La Deliziosa・Caffe Aurora
Drinks: Mill House Brewing Company・Blue Collar Brewery・Schatzis Pub
Hyde Park: Hyde Park Brewing・Lady K’s・El Guacamole・Eveready Diner
If you’re making a night or weekend out of it, a car is recommended – unless you don’t mind cabbing around. Most of the nicer places you’ll find are up in Hyde Park, though there are also well-rated, affordable places around Poughkeepsie.
Cottage with River View – Hyde Park・ Sleeps 2・2-night minimum
Cottage overlooking the Hudson with beautiful views and a wraparound deck.
• From Poughkeepsie Station: 15-minute drive (estimated)
Charming Brick House – Hyde Park・ Sleeps 8・2-night minimum
Beautiful rental for a larger group. Close to the Culinary Institute restaurants.
• From Poughkeepsie Station: 15-minute cab (estimated)