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Holiday Gift Guide: Dutchess Tourism Staff Picks

Date Published: November 18, 2021

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and Dutchess County is the perfect destination for unique gifts, artisanal food, specialty products and memorable experiences. Our staff is sharing their favorite places to purchase the perfect presents.

I love shopping for gifts for family and friends (and for me!) at our many museum shops. For instance, at Locust Grove Estate, I like to shop for locally handcrafted goods, art and unique items with ties to the estate and the Hudson Valley. Staatsburgh State Historic Site is another great shop where I can get my fix of their Staatsburgh blend of Harney & Son’s Fine Tea, linens and anything with a Victorian flair. The fun part of museum shopping is you never know what treasure you’ll find!

– Melaine Rottkamp, President & CEO

One of my favorite places to get holiday gifts is Millbrook Vineyards and Winery. Each year I work with the creative team there to design custom holiday wine labels to give as gifts to friends, family and teachers. Everyone is always so happy to receive their custom bottle of Millbrook wine. 

– Janine Metzger, VP of Finance & Human Resources

A good book is never hard to find at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck. I especially appreciate the staffs’ detailed reviews of the latest reads. They will also order anything you’re looking for and made special efforts with curbside pickup during last year’s lockdown. 

– Dawn Hopper, Director of Tour & Travel

I love gifting Horseshoe Brand Hot Sauce to my friends and family to help spice up their meals! From their milder peach hot sauce to their XXXTRA hot sauce, there’s a sauce for every heat tolerance level. My personal favorite is their Maple Cayenne collaboration with Crown Maple, it’s good on everything – even just a cracker!

– Colleen Dorney, Director of Outreach & Operations


Give the gift of memories! As someone with kids, I love the idea of gifting an experience instead of toys. A future trip to Trevor Zoo, Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (reopening in 2022!), a movie at Four Brothers Drive-In, or Treetop Adventures at Barton Orchards are all great options! If you’re looking for a present for an entire family, stop by Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. and pick up a gift basket of gourmet hot cocoa mix and marshmallows. Paired with matching family pajamas and you’ve got the recipe for holiday traditions.

– Kristina Mukherjee, Director of Marketing & Communications

I love keeping a good wellness routine, whether it be a sweaty fitness class or relaxing spa treatment. The holidays are the perfect time of year to give the gift of self-care and spread the importance of carving out time for your body and your mind during this busy season. My favorite way to do this is purchasing gift cards to some of my favorite spots like The Studio @ Beacon, Hudson Valley Healing Center and Firefly Yoga. This year I’m adding Mirbeau Inn & Spa to my list (and just may need to tag along)!

– Kacie Vassari, Digital Media Manager

My favorite spot for holiday shopping in Dutchess County is Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie. Whether it’s a vinyl of a new released album or a fun dish towel or mug, Darkside is my one stop shop for gifts during the holiday season. 

– Valerie Ubriaco, Office Administrator

My favorite place to purchase gifts in Dutchess is Elizabeth Boutique in Poughkeepsie! The team at EB does such a great job every holiday season of curating gift items ranging from all styles, ages, and prices. From trendy outwear accessories to novelty books and beyond you'll find something for everyone on your list! They also have EB Home, a fun home decor section their boutique, which always has great hostess gifts. 

– Mary Romero, Communications Coordinator 

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