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Attending a Conference in Dutchess

Date Published: April 5, 2023

Welcome to Dutchess County!

We're excited to have you in this beautiful part of New York State for your conference. Of course, once you're out of sessions, you'll want to explore the area. The resources on this page will help you get the most of your time here and inspire return trips with family and friends. Consider extending your trip to Dutchess and book additional nights at the region's finest accommodations.



Dutchess County's slice of New York's Hudson Valley is a vibrant region, rich with diverse cultures and a heritage that’s celebrated by the community through its food, art, attractions and events. Explore our history, shaped by the Wappinger tribe who originally inhabited these lands, the Dutch and German settlers who arrived in the 1600s and 1700s and the Gilded Age industrialists who built their opulent country estates here in the 1800s. Hyde Park also served as a home for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.


Vanderbilt Mansion
Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park; Photo by @crocpixels

Getting Around & Exploring

The easiest way to get around Dutchess County's scenic 800 square miles is by car. If you'd like to rent a vehicle during your stay, there are many options—including pickup spots at the Poughkeepsie and Beacon train stations. To get connected with a local rental service, click here. Of course, rideshare services are also widely available. Visitors have their pick of Ubers, Lyfts and local taxis to help them get from point A to B.


Not sure where to start? Luckily, travel experts provide top-tier concierge services. From Beacon, explore the region through a customized tour from Hudson Valley Bucket List. They feature cultural highlights, culinary attractions, historical sites, city walking tours and much more. Hudson Valley Concierge solves any travel issue that may arise and can lead you to some of the most engaging experiences in New York State.

Main Street Beacon
Main Street, Beacon

From bustling main streets and thriving urban centers to quaint villages and bucolic farms, each of the many towns of Dutchess County has a distinct personality.

Browse our Town Pages to get a taste of each experience.

Couple dining at Essies Restaurant in Poughkeepsie
Essie's Resaurant, Poughkeepsie

Eating Here

Hungry for world-renowned cuisine? The Culinary Institute of America is based here in Hyde Park, making a visit to Dutchess County a must for foodies. Dine at one of their student-run restaurants. Savor inspired French fare at The Bocuse, elevated old-world Italian at the Caterina de'Medici or innovative modern dishes at American Bounty. They even have a brewery and bakery on campus! Many chefs at local restaurants are CIA grads, so menus at local eateries pop with creative ideas, Hudson Valley ingredients and industry-leading innovation. In fact, our free CIA Chef Finder mobile passport compiles more than 34 dining destinations around the county helmed by CIA alumni.

Get your pass here.

Brazilian pao de queso sliders at Reserva Wine Bar Beacon
Reserva Wine Bar, Beacon; Photo by HV Food Photography

Diners searching for something specific can choose from a massive variety of styles. Fresh local ingredients fuel farm-to-table menus, while chefs from a diversity of cultures bring Indian, Puerto Rican, Middle Eastern, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Irish, Mexican, Brazilian and other cuisines to the heart of the Hudson Valley. To browse through our eclectic assortment of eateries, click here

TIP: Check hours of operation for each place you plan to visit, and make reservations for guaranteed seating at our most popular dining hotspots.

Explore / Extend Your Trip

Make the most of your time in Dutchess County by taking advantage of all the tools we have to help plan your trip. Use these guides, itineraries and tools to find the most memorable attractions and activities to explore outside of conference sessions.

Curious if your period of stay lines up with any premier events? Visit our Events Calendar.


The Dutchess Tourism Trail Finder

Sign up for our mobile passport program, which features can't-miss experiences catered to specific interests.

  • The Taste Finder unlocks tastings and perks at some of the region's finest craft beverage makers pouring world-class beers, wines, ciders, spirits and meads.
  • The Connection Finder provides discounts at family-friendly activities aimed to please travelers of all ages.
  • The Inspiration Finder a curates arts and cultural experiences, offering unique deals at theaters, art galleries, museums and performance spaces. 
  • The Zen Finder challenges hikers to discover hidden-gem trails and underseen outdoor destinations, connecting travelers with the same majestic landscapes that have moved artists, poets and important political figures throughout history.

For more experience passes (including the CIA Chef Finder mentioned above and a video tutorial on how to use the passes), click here.

Dutchess Tourism Seasonal Landing Page


Spring | Summer | Autumn | Winter

Use our seasonal landing pages to find the right activity for every season. Take expert advice from locals on must-try experiences and events during specific seasons. From dramatic fall foliage colors to dazzling spring bloom, explore every flavor of the region.



Top 10 Free Things to do in Dutchess County 

Dutchess County has many completely FREE activities that are perfect for first-time visitors. Stroll across the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie and take in views of the Hudson River and the surrounding highlands from 212 feet above the water. Explore the grounds of Gilded Age mansions, examine contemporary art in pastoral settings, hike iconic trails and much more. For the full top 10 list of free things to do in Dutchess, click here



Top 10 Destinations Unique to Dutchess

There are many destinations that set Dutchess County apart as a unique travel destination. For instance, the above mentioned Walkway Over the Hudson is the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge. Millbrook's Trevor Zoo is the only AZA-accredited zoo in the country run by a high school—and they have over 180 animals, including adorable red pandas. To help narrow down your Dutchess County bucket list, here are 10 'Distinctly' Dutchess Destinations!

Take the stress out of planning with our themed travel itineraries. From one-day roundups to full weekend schedules, click here for itineraries designed for every kind of vacation.

Brochures and Guides

Take all of our resources on the go with you by downloading our brochures and guides from our digital brochure rack.

Explore the entirety of our site's recommendations through the Things to Do portal. Click here for all things dining, shopping, wellness, recreation, historic sites and more.


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