This trip was hosted by the Travel Hudson Valley
Unfortunately, the torrential rains which plagued our morning continued, causing some roads to close and detours to be made. We were scheduled to visit the Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre outdoor sculpture museum, but the weather had other ideas. Storm King is definitely on our list of places to visit on our next trip. Guests can rent bicycles or walk the property to view the 100 different sculptures and art installations. It’s a great location to expose children to art, as you don’t need to worry about silent museum corridors. Storm King is proud to be a member of the Blue Star Museum Network, which offers free admission to active duty military and their families. You can learn more about Storm King Art Center in the PBS profile video below:
Our first stop in Orange County was the United States Military Academy at West Point, home of the United States Army. Thankfully, we outran the nasty weather and made it just in time for the last guided tour of the day. Military ID’s are not required to access West Point via the tour group, but you will need a valid photo ID to present at two checkpoints on the tour. The West Point Museum and Gift Shop are located outside of the base gates. The Thayer Hotel is located on-base, but is open to the general public. It’s an impressive, historic hotel, offering gorgeous views of the West Point Campus, just don’t expect to find a room during Army football weekends.
At first glance, the theme of West Point seems to be “Go Army, Beat Navy”, but once you begin to hear the stories and history of the school from the guide, you’ll learn that West Point is an institution rich in history, honor, and tradition. You may not think you’ll get much from a tour of what you may consider just a college campus, but West Point is so much more and definitely worth a visit when you’re in Hudson Valley.
Once our tour was finished, we continued on to our next stop, the Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, NY. Brotherhood, established in 1839, is touted as America’s oldest winery. Brotherhood is not a full vineyard. Instead, they source grapes from several New York State vineyards (as well as their own) to create several varietals and blends. We were given a full tour of the wine cellars and had the opportunity to taste several of their wines. (we may or may not have purchased two cases of different varieties to bring home)
The winery is also home to a gorgeous banquet facility (seriously, I’m contemplating getting married again just to have a wedding there) and they host several special events throughout the year. If you’re in the area, I highly suggest you check out their Halloween Ball later this month, or make a trip for another one of their special events. I’ll have more about Brotherhood Winery in an upcoming post, including a review of the wines we brought home.
Our dinner stop in Orange County was at Delancey’s Restaurant, situated right on the Goshen Harness Race Track. Our meal at Delancey’s was phenomenal from appetizer to desert. The restaurant is casual, and the dining room a bit noisy, but this means I’d bring my children along (always a bonus) and the quality of the food more than compensates for the noise. Delancy’s also offers a bar area with plenty of seating and TV’s, perfect to catch a game and a bite to eat. It was easy to see why it was so busy on a Friday night. The food and service would be well worth a wait.
After dinner, we headed to our hotel room at the Goshen Comfort Inn and Suites. The Comfort Inn graciously set us up in their exective suite, complete with kitchen, fireplace, seperate living room area, king-size bed, and large two-person tub. At first glance, the room seemed like a bit much, but we quickly realized how perfect the suite would be if we were traveling with our children. The hotel was extremely clean and the staff was helpful and welcoming. A free breakfast is served in the lobby each morning. It’s a typical hotel continental breakfast, but certainly works when you’re in a hurry or need something to hold the kids over for an hour or so.
Our last stop in Hudson Valley led us to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY. The museum is free for the public and open seven days a week (closed Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day). If you’re a fan of horses or racing, this museum will be right up your alley. An interactive children’s area is located on the second floor and a 3-D simulator ride is also available (it was not operating during our visit). Be sure to walk out to the rear of the museum to the track, chances are you’ll see several horses out for practice.
Our stay in Orange County was filled with wonderful food, wine, and history. We only scratched the surface of what Orange County, and Hudson Valley, had to offer. We’re looking forward to many return visits to Orange, Dutchess, and Albany counties, as well as the rest of the Hudson Valley area. There are many fall festivals and outdoor activities to check out this season, and plenty of Winter fun to be had as well.
If you’re in the New England or Pennsylvania/New Jersey area, I highly recommend a road trip through New York’s Hudson Valley. You’ll discover a world you never knew existed before, and find yourself returning again and again.
Stay tuned as I bring you more highlights from our visit!