Advice about things to do/see/eat in Poughkeepsie

So, BrassyFella got picked to spend about a month from the middle of July to about the middle of August working in Poughkeepsie and I’m going with him. During the week, I’ll be kinda hanging around doing my own thing. On the weekends, we’ll be doing vacationy stuff together. We enjoy museums, whether they are big, small, or quirky. We enjoy going around looking at architecture stuff. One weekend, we’ll definitely be taking the train into NYC (on our last trip, he didn’t get to get his fill of the Brooklyn Bridge).

As for food, we are kinda cheap (or like value, is a nicer way to put it). We enjoy Indian, Thai and just regular American fare as well. Interested in regional specialties. If you live or work around there and have some suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

We’re not really the club types, but we do enjoy live music.

Thanks in advance!

Go home.

Nah, I’m kidding, but I grew up around there and it was pretty meh. I’m sure people can give you good, current recommendations, but there are a ton of stores, restaurants, and two malls on Route 9. Also where exactly will you be staying in Po-town? Towards the city or the suburbs? Wappingers Falls and Fishkill are both close and have some good restaurants too. WIll you have a car?

Get reservations at the CIA. I see from the link they’re closed in July but if you’ll be there into August it’s worth planning a visit or 2!

Visit the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park.

Whatever you do, don’t pick your feet.

Walkway across the Hudson, New Paltz, Gunks - Rock Climbing (sort of a GPS direction of travel)

Ooh! Good ideas and thanks everyone.

And Aanamika, I’m pretty easy. I grew up and still live in a suburb of Houston. :rolleyes: I can find things to do that perhaps people not from around here might like.

Although, no lie, sometimes? It’s work.
I don’t know about the car yet—his company would be paying for it.

I’m the kind of person that goes “OMG! Totally different convenience stores! Oh oh! That accent is so like in a movie!” I’m happy sitting somewhere with a snack and pretending to read and listening to the convoes around me.
I haven’t traveled much, but more than a lot of people that I know. I find the small differences interesting.

Thank you all so much! Any other input, I would love!

Do not eat anything in Poughkeepsie! If you get thirsty, buy bottled water. Make sure to open the bottle yourself.

If you like seafood there’s a real nice restaurant in New Paltz, Gadoleto’s. It’s actually a seafood store but they have a restaurant attached.

P-town is kind of becoming a bedroom community for the mid-Hudson region. What goes on, goes on elsewhere.

15 miles to the west, near New Paltz, is the Mohonk Mountain House. It’s a hotel but also has a bar and restaurant, in a beautiful setting. Be sure to go at the height of the fall colors.

20 miles to the north is the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, with flying examples of WWI aircraft.

25 miles south is the Army’s West Point Military Academy.

And 8 miles to the north I already mentioned the FDR Presidential Library but here’s the link.

I’ve been to all of these and recommend them all.

Also, I’ve found the City-Data forums to be helpful for local info like what you ask for. Scroll to the bottom on that page, and I think that’s where you’d want to post this same question.

HTH, and good luck!
(I have no connection to that forum other than being a satisfied customer with the info I got there for a recent trip to OH, WV and western PA)

The Vassar campus is beautiful, it’s a neat place just to hang around, or bring a book and read in the Shakespeare Garden. They also have a very cute art museum on campus.

In the larger area (I would guess about 35 minutes away), one restaurant I really like is They are not particularly cheap, but they also have a little market where you can get local products, the dairy (hello, ice cream) is especially good.

In my opinion, you could say this about the entire region. A problem I had when I was living there (which I did for several years) is that almost all of the local communities has no sense of themselves. Everything was geared towards New York City. There was an unspoken feeling that “We don’t need that. We’ve got it in the City.” or “Why bother doing that? The City does it so much better.” It was an area that gave itself an inferiority complex.

That was one reason I liked living in New Paltz - it was one of the exceptions to this feeling. Granted, their sense of self was dedicated to keeping 1969 alive but at least it was something for them to hang on to.

Very true. There is a distinct difference where I live - Albany - and the MidHudson region, even though it is only about a 1 hr 40 minute drive. We read different papers, watch different TV, do different stuff. They often (not always) think of us as bumblefucks and hicks because we don’t follow NYC.

Personally I can’t stand it. NYC is certainly not the end-all be-all of things, and while nice to visit, I don’t want to do everything just like them!

Also very true about New Paltz (my first college). :smiley:

I’m glad somebody said it!

I had to spend a year there one summer. No car.

Within Poughkeepsie itself: I’ll second, or third, or fourth, the following:

*the Walkway Over the Hudson–easily accessible, great view, nice way to spend an hour or so (depending on how fast you walk)
*the Vassar College campus–very pretty, some great buildings, check out the Old Observatory with the statue of Maria Mitchell and the maze of stone staircases in the front section of the library, also Sunset Pond (they call it a lake but it really isn’t)
*the CIA, if you’re into fancy cooking–the best part is being served by the extremely enthusiastic students who (sometimes) created the dish

Also: the Hudson River, in general; though the city waterfront is only partly parkland, and the green space is divided into disconnected sections, and the most impressive feature (a place called Kaal Rock) is really not a nice place to visit, it’s a fine place to spend some time. The Marist College campus, though overshadowed in many ways by Vassar, is right on the river, with very nice views and a lovely little park that runs between the train tracks and the river itself. A terrific place to stretch out and read. Check out the main boathouse if you get down there.

Museums: the Clinton House and the Glebe House are small historic houses in edgy parts of town (you won’t get killed, but they do look a little out of place)–you wouldn’t spend lots of time in them, but they can be interesting. Old mansions–the Young-Morse (as in Samuel) Estate, a place called Springside, others further north along the river, if you’re into that sort of thing. The Vassar art gallery. It’s not the most museum-rich area in the country, but it does have a few things. The area has a long historical heritage–the city was incorporated over 300 years ago–and the past is evident in the architecture etc., though not much survives from THAT long ago :slight_smile:

Foodwise, Poughkeepsie is an excellent place for Greek diners–they have 'em elsewhere in parts of the Northeast, but not so much in other regions. Lots of chrome, lots of neon, menus that go on for pages, quick service, open 24 hours (you see some very interesting people at the Palace Diner, in particular, at 2 in the morning), food that’s better than you might expect. There’s no single local specialty, which is too bad, except shad/shad roe, which appears pretty much only in April/May; anything called “Hudson Valley ___” (such as salad, sandwich, etc.) is apt to contain apples, which are an important crop in the area, and possibly cheese (dairy farming used to be big). Up and down Main Street and just off it there are a lot of little ethnic places, Jamaican, Ecuadorian, Vietnamese, little hole-in-the-wall delis and cafes, and of course Mexican; language may be a barrier, but the food can be awfully good. (The City of Pok is ethnically pretty diverse. The rest of the region, with few exceptions, is not.)

A little further afield: folks have mentioned Mohonk Mtn House, and FDR’s home and library, and the Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Also New Paltz if you’re into towns that are still in the seventies (though they come by it honestly), and West Point, though it’s much harder to get a look around than it used to be. I’ll throw in the Vanderbilt estate, also in Hyde Park, as well. In general, Poughkeepsie is a terrific place if you like the outdoors: lots of parks and hiking trails, most of them very well kept up (the Appalachian trail runs through the county, about a 20-min drive from Poughkeepsie), a few rail trails, the river for kayaking etc., rock climbing at Mohonk (the Preserve, which is separate from the Mountain House). No, it’s not the Canadian Rockies, and there’s no beach anywhere, but there’s a lot to do outside regardless.

I don’t know anything about clubs, but theater is quite strong in the area: Powerhouse is a pro company that takes up residence at Vassar each summer; Boscobel, south of Pok in Garrison/Cold Spring, does mainly Shakespeare; Marist has a professional rep company doing things this summer. They aren’t necessarily cheap, so I haven’t seen most of them.

You should absolutely have a car, if at all possible. Public transportation in the area sucks. (Okay, there are places that are worse, but it’s not good.) There are lots of little tiny cab companies in the City of Poughkeepsie, but they can be pricy and not always reliable.

I’ve lived in Poughkeepsie for…many years now. Tourism is actually a much larger industry in these parts than some previous commenters might lead you to believe–not in Poughkeepsie directly, though that is certainly on the upswing, but in Dutchess County generally and in the region as a whole. A lot of that is daytripping and long-weekending, and a lot of that is folks from NYC, NJ, Philadelphia looking for something to do fairly close to home; it doesn’t tend to be the two-week-vacation kind of thing that people might take at Cape Cod, or DC, or Hawaii, or some other more standard tourist destination. But if you’re the sort who’s able to enjoy new surroundings just for the sake of new surroundings, which it sounds like you are, and if you’re willing to explore a bit beyond the confines of the city and town of Poughkeepsie, and it sounds like you are, and especially if you enjoy outdoor sports and very pretty if not necessarily breathtaking scenery, then you will have no trouble occupying yourself for a month.

If I think of other things I’ll try to remember to post–and I may be able to answer more specific qs as well, if you have them. Good luck!

The OP said she’s taking the train down to NYC. This is one of the best ways to see the Hudson as the tracks run right down beside the river.

If you really want to experience sixties flashbacks, go to Woodstock. I use to joke that the people in New Paltz act like it’s still 1969 but the people in Woodstock actually believe it’s still 1969.

But New Paltz has another site worth seeing if you visit the village: Huguenot Street, which is a street full of original houses dating back over three hundred years. The only downside is that it’s not a museum district - the houses are all still private family residences. So you can walk or drive by but not tour any of them.

Right, it’s a great way to see the river. But there’s a difference between seeing the river from a train and sitting or walking by the banks.

See, I have a different take on this. I see Woodstock as a very cynical place where people are mainly interested in Pretending It’s 1969 To Make Lots of Money. NP, I think, is more genuine in its nostalgia for the past. YM obviously Vs.

They are well worth seeing. I think there may be days when some of them are open for visits–worth checking, anyway.