Planning a Peak Foliage Trip to Dutchess County, NY

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Foliage.org: What are the projected dates for Dutchess County’s peak foliage season? 

Mid October, about 10/9-18.

The northern part of Dutchess County, above Poughkeepsie, will be at mid peak over this Columbus Day weekend. The southern part is changing but is not yet mid peak. We expect 35-45 percent color change in Dutchess County, where green leaves are giving way to somewhat muted shades of yellow and burnt orange leaves, with splashes of very bright reds and dark purple leaves to be seen. Leaves are average-to-bright brilliance this year.

Are there towns within Dutchess County that are known for their autumn foliage displays?

Rhinebeck, Red Hook, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Millerton, and Amenia

Rhinebeck, NY is a prime target for autumn leaf peeping. Located near the northwest corner of Dutchess County, it is home to descendants of the Livingston, Astor and Montgomery families, and the legendary Beekman Arms, America’s oldest continuously operating inn, from 1766. Rhinebeck boasts 35 miles of meadowland, streams and wooded hills with lovely mountain vistas across the Hudson River. From village Victorians to farms and pre-Revolutionary War homes, there are many quaint bed and breakfasts and a wide variety of  fine culinary destinations. Rhinebeck was selected as one of the Top 10 Fall Foliage Spots in the nation by MSN.com.

What roads and highways in Dutchess County are popular scenic routes for fall tourists?

Rte. 9 north of Poughkeepsie, Rte. 9G, Rte. 22, Rte. 199 and Rte. 44

Please describe any NY fall festivals or other public events that place in Dutchess County during foliage season. 

Interesting events include the Stormville Airport Antique Show & Flea Market Saturday and Sunday in October; Millbrook Vineyards’ Harvest Party; Gallery Talks at Dia: Beacon; and Bannerman Castle Cruises in Beacon. Dutchess County also spotlights a variety of pick-your-own produce at local farms throughout the county.

The Dutchess County Fairgrounds on Rt. 9 in Rhinebeck (www.dutchessfair.com) hosts fairs and festivals all fall, including the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair in October and the NYS Sheep & Wool Family Festival in October.

For additional information log on to the Dutchess County Tourism’s website at www.DutchessTourism.com  or phone 800/445-3131.

See www.dutchesstourism.com,where we have an online calendar so you can search by town, month or type of activity; or see attached calendars.

Are there historic sites in Dutchess County that are also known for their fall foliage displays?

Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, but all five of our “great estates”, mansion/museums you can visit are on Route 9 and overlook the Hudson River, so they are all scenic. The others are Locust Grove Estate, FD Roosevelt Home, Staatsburgh State Historic Site and Wilderstein in Rhinebeck. Looking across the river you can see the Catskill Mountains changing color.

During the fall season visitors may enjoy such scenic estates as Statesburgh State Historic Site; The FD Roosevelt Home, Presidential Library & Museum (a National Historic Site), Vanderbilt National Historic Site, Mount Gulian Historic Site, Millbrook Vineyards and the new Walkway Over the Hudson (www.Walkway.org ) the world’s longest pedestrian bridge at a mile and a quarter long, and 212 feet above the Hudson River. It has just opened to the public as our newest New York State Park on Saturday. It is open free of charge.

What are favorite tourist attractions of autumn travelers in NY?

Locust Grove Estate, FD Roosevelt Home, Vanderbilt Mansion, Staatsburgh State Historic Site and Wilderstein. Also The Culinary Institute of America, Vassar College and Bard College. What are some of the less well known but much loved attractions? Less known – Wing’s Castle in Millbrook, Mount Gulian, a Revolutionary War Site in Beacon and they also haveHenry Hudson visiting them this weekend – see calendar.

Are there towns that are favorite destinations for history, literature, or architecture buffs, or antique collectors?

Antiquing in Rhinebeck, Millbrook, Millerton, Red Hook, Hyde Park and Beacon.

What are favorite fall destinations or activities of families traveling with children in Dutchess County? 

Mid Hudson Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie and/or look for Family Fun listings in the calendar Also several pumpkin & harvest festivals at our farms, especially at Barton Orchards in Poughquag.

Please name a few helpful resources for discovering Dutchess County inns, B&B’s, and boutique hotels?

Our website www.dutchesstourism.com has an online availability system to see which propertied have vacancies. You can search for our lodging by town.

 Anything else you would like to add to help visitors thinking about traveling to Dutchess County for the fall foliage season?

We also have three major Halloween attractions: Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion, Escape from Skull Island and Frankenstein’s Fortress. See our homepage for a story about them at www.dutchesstourism.com

Foliage.org thanks Nancy Lutz of Dutchess County Tourism for this insightful information on NY autumn foliage travel.

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