Dutchess Weekend Getaway

Romantic Weekend Getaway in the Hudson Valley's Dutchess County

If you're looking to slip back in history while dining on contemporary fare by America's rising culinary stars, your appetite for both will be easily satisfied during a weekend in scenic Dutchess County. Stretched along the eastern side of the Hudson River Valley, and home to charming towns such as Rhinebeck, Red Hook, and Millbrook. Rhinebeck alone has 437 National Historic Register sites, and both it and its neighboring hamlets are full of atmospheric old inns and antiques markets, as well as the childhood home of our 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's also home to the Culinary Institute of America, training ground of many of America's best chefs. And these are only a few reasons to dig into the Hudson Valley's offerings.

Things To-Do in Dutchess County on Friday
Late-afternoon wine tasting at the Millbrook Winery, located in a renovated dairy barn at the peak of a vine-covered hill. There, you can sample wines from the vines you passed on the way in.

Rhinebeck's main streets (E. Market Street and Montgomery Street), which are lined with art galleries and shopping boutiques.

Stroll a few doors down on Montgomery Street to dine at Terrapin. Located in the restored circa-1825 First Baptist Church, the restaurant highlights French and Asian influenced modern American cuisine in both a dramatic dining room and the cozier and more casual bistro.

Things To-Do in Dutchess County on Saturday
Enjoy Hyde Park which is about 10 miles South via Rt. 9 and visit the 300-acre Springwood estate, the birthplace and lifelong home of the only four-term U.S. President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Both the president and his wife Eleanor are buried at Springwood and the nearby FDR Presidential Library & Museum offers insight into his years in office.

Culinary Institute of America's award-winning, student-staffed Escoffier restaurants. Here, both à la carte and prix-fixe menus celebrate the culinary specialties of France, with a lighter American touch. Expect such classics as escargot, stuffed smoked salmon, and braised short ribs.

After lunch, take a relaxed stroll around the exquisite formal gardens at the gilded-age Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, as well as through its 1898 Gilded Age stone mansion.

Return to Rhinebeck for the rest of the afternoon antique hunting in Rhinebeck at the Beekman Arms Antique Market and the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair on select weekends May, July, and October.

Relax over pre-dinner drinks at the colonial-era taproom in the Tavern at The Beekman Arms, where you can soak in the ambience of America's oldest continually operating inn (dating from 1766).

Things To-Do in Dutchess County on Sunday
Admire the very same vistas that inspired writer Washington Irving and Hudson River School landscape painters on a morning stroll through Poet's Walk, a 120-acre riverfront parkland dotted with rustic footbridges and gazebos.

Refuel with a brunch at Calico, a cozy red-walled bistro where you can opt for the tempting frittata of the day, or crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce. Or if you're looking for something a little livelier, head over to the The Rhinecliff, where a classic brunch menu is accompanied by live jazz and the dining room and patio have river views.

Finish your weekend with a bird's eye panorama of the Hudson Valley on a ride in a vintage 1929 biplane, departing from the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

By Geoffrey Gonzalez Things to do in Dutchess County for a Weekend Getaway