What to do Poughkeepsie

Both city and town have a number of public parks offering a skate park as well as public swimming pools and tennis and basketball courts.

In the city, the 900-seat Bardavon Opera House, the oldest continuously operating theater in New York State and among the oldest in the nation, has over the years showcased performers like Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, the Barrymores, Gracie Burns and George Allen, Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra.

At the Culinary Institute of America in nearby Hyde Park, people can visit classes or dine at one of five restaurants staffed by students.

And in addition to Vassar, the town is home to Marist College and Dutchess Community College. All three institutions offer a variety of cultural events.

For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking trails abound, including 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail that pass through southeastern Dutchess County and 8.5 miles of hiking trails at the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park. For walkers in search of tamer territory, the city of Poughkeepsie offers a walking guide to its many historical and architectural sites.