Hudson Valley/Berkshires loop advice please!

Old Aug 29th, 2010, 10:03 PM
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Hudson Valley/Berkshires loop advice please!

We arrive at LaGuardia on a Monday and I realized that Storm King and some other destinations in Hudson Valley area are closed Mon and/or Tuesday. I'm looking for advice on how to do a reverse loop -- head up to Berkshires first and then back down to NYC toward the end of the week? Probably a 5 day trip. Where would you head first? Interests are short hikes, arts, museums, farmers markets & local food.
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 04:31 AM
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When are you going? Farmers markets and many local arts programs are seasonal (summer). Distances are not that great, so you don't burn a lot of time doing a zig zag or loop regardless of which route you take. I'd block this in 3 regions, with a hotel or B&B in each.

1. Berkshires
2. Mid hudson (Rhinebeck/Hyde Park/Poughkeepsie)
3. Lower hudson - Storm King, Kykuit Mansio

Monday - head to Berkshires & use Adams, Williams, or another town as a base

Tue - Berkshires. Art museum in Williams, Normal Rockwell museum in ??, Some hiking, etc.

I'm not really familiar with the towns/sights in the Berkshires, so I'll let others chime in.

Wed - head back to Hudson valley, meander though town of Hudson on your way to Rhinebeck. Stay in Rhinebeck (Beekman arms, or some B&B). Visit Vanderbilt Mansion and FDR library. There are some nice walking/hiking paths through the FDR property. A better place for a short hike is the Mills Mansion property in Staasburg, (1/2 way between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park).

Thu. Explore some more. Visit the 2nd of the 2 mansions (V & FDR) if you wish.

Some other local sights in Mid Hudson area.
Rhinebeck performing arts center - a small theater in an old barn. http://www.centerforperformingarts.org/

Millbrook winery.

Poughkeepsie - walkway over the Hudson. You can the 1/2mi back and forth, or make a 3mi loop that takes you over the adjacent suspension/car bridge. http://walkway.org/

Culinary Institute of America for lunch or dinner. Reservations required for dinner. http://www.ciachef.org/

Thu/Fri. Head further south to Storm King, Tarrytown, Kykuit.

Gotta run now. Good luck.
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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You will have a car?

Take the Taconic State Parkway north to NY 23, and 23 east through S Egremont to Great Barrington, home of many excellent restaurants. Follow US 7 north to Stockbridge, home of the Red Lion Inn. Route 7 will take you to the village of Lenox, home of the famous Tanglewood Music Festival, and many lovely old homes. US 7 continues through industrial Pittsfield ultimately to Williamstown, home of Williams College and the Clark Museum, one of the best smaller art museums in the US, known for outstanding paintings and sculptures, heavy in Impressionists.

This part of the country is filled with summer houses and "cottages" (mansions) of the late 19th century rich and famous: Melville, Daniel Chester French, Edith Wharton, etc. Hancock Shaker Village is west of Pittsfield on US 20 and is more than worth a visit if you have any interest in the Shakers at all and perhaps even if you don't. Just across the NY line on US 20 is another Shaker town, New Lebanon, now a boarding school. Continuing west, you will soon cross NY 22, which will lead you back south to NY 23 near the Taconic Parkway. Continue west on 23 to Hudson, famous for antiques and the gateway to the rest of the Hudson Valley.

It is hard to say what will be open in the way of restaurants and farmers' markets when you visit because you don't say when that will be. But there are tons of them, most of the restaurants having a strong localvore slant. There is a fabulous Mexican restaurant in Great Barrington (Xoca?) with the usual texmex on the outside of the menu and real Mexican cuisine well inside, at dinner.

There are hikes all over the area, from sections of the Appalachian Trail to Bash Bish Falls. Ditto historic houses and gardens, from the Art Deco era back to the 1750's.
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Other towns to use as a base in the Berkshires are Sheffield or Lee (we have stayed there in the past) or Stockbridge or Great Barrington. When we used Sheffield as a base, we visited Norman Rockwell museum, Hancock Shaker Village & Edith Wharton's home, the Mount. We have also seen a play in Pittsfield (Barrington Stage Company, I think). Personally, I like the Sheffield/Gr. Barrington/Lee/Lenox area better than Williamstown or Pittsfield, but if you stay in Williamstown or Pittsfield, you are closer to the Clark Art Museum & MassMOCA(Museum of Contemporary Art).
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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Thanks all -- this is really helpful. We'll arrive the last Monday in September.
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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By that time many farmers markets have quit, and the apple orchards are in full swing.

There are lots of orchards around, most with cider & donuts, pick your own apples, a few with corn mazes, etc. If you're interested let us know.
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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Thanks--my husband loves things like corn mazes (and oddities, magic, old movie theatres). We Californians are spoiled with year-round farmers markets and forget that the rest of the country has actual weather!
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Old Aug 30th, 2010, 07:29 PM
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Re: Berkshires

We very much enjoyed our visit to Naumkeag in Stockbridge. We visit historic houses all the time, and we found Naumkeag very unique!
http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to.../naumkeag.html

Not sure if you like modern art, but if you do, consider visiting Frelinghuysen House in Lenox. We wanted to do it on our recent trip to Tanglewood, but we didn't have enough time:
http://www.frelinghuysen.org/

One of the things I told DH I would LOVE, is to stay overnight at the Guest House at Field Farm in Williamstown. http://www.thetrustees.org/field-far...ield-farm.html
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Old Aug 31st, 2010, 04:05 AM
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We went to the Frelinghuysen house last week, and it is terrific, realy terrific: this is the art deco house I was referring to in my post above.

I have visited the Field Farm and like your wife would love to stay over.

What a contrast with Naumkeag!
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Old Aug 31st, 2010, 08:26 AM
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For short hikes, there's Bartholomew's Cobble in Sheffield, not far from Great Barrington. http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to...ws-cobble.html

There are numerous short trails, one of them lead to the summit and you can get a great view (north) of the Berkshire Mountains.
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Old Aug 31st, 2010, 11:48 AM
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On Route 7 thru great Barrington, you can hike up Monument Mountain. I also like the drive through Pittsfield State Forest. Lots of trails to hike there too. Could also drive up Mt Greylock in Lanesboro.
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