There are so many incredible destinations here in Dutchess that set us apart and are truly unique to our destination. Sometimes it’s hard to choose where to include on your itinerary, as there are just so many wonderful experiences to be had here, but we decided to help you narrow it down. Check out these ten 'Distinctly' Dutchess Destinations!
1. Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and FDR Presidential Library and Museum
Did you know that FDR is the only US president to be elected to four terms? Visitors can tour FDR’s childhood home where he hosted Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth and King George VI prior to WWI. His Presidential Library and Museum is America’s first and only one to be used by a sitting president. The museum’s interactive and immersive exhibits cover every aspect of the FDR administration, the Roosevelts’ personal history and his struggle with polio.
2. Walkway Over the Hudson
At 1.28 miles across, and 212 feet high, the Walkway Over the Hudson is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. With access from either side of the river, this New York State Historic Park gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the Hudson River and nearby mountains.
3. Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Eleanor Roosevelt was known as the ‘First Lady of the World’. Not only did she serve as First Lady, but she also advocated for women’s and civil rights. Eleanor was the chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights which drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Visit her own personal oasis at the Val-Kill Cottage just up the road from the FDR sites.
4. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
There’s no better way to see the Hudson Valley than taking to the skies and riding in a bi-plane. Weekend visitors can enjoy air shows featuring the oldest flying plane in America, the 1909 Bleriot. The living history museum also gives visitors the chance to get up close and personal with vintage airplanes from the Pioneer, Golden Age and WWI eras of aviation.
5. Trevor Zoo at Millbrook School
A truly unique spot is Trevor Zoo. It is America’s only AZA-accredited zoo located at and ran by a high school. Students from Millbrook School care for more than 180 exotic and indigenous animals including ten endangered species. Meeting the students and animals in this intimate zoo setting is a memorable experience for anyone who visits.
6. Dia Beacon
Dia Art Foundation's collection is housed in a naturally lit, 300,000 square-foot facility, including art from the 1960s to the present. It is one of the largest exhibition spaces in the country for modern and contemporary art. Enjoy large-scale installations from renowned artists such as Richard Serra, Dan Flavin and Agnes Martin.
7. The Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America—the world's premier culinary college—is made up of five campuses, with Hyde Park being the largest and primary of the group. It is the only campus located on the east coast and welcomes visitors to enjoy student-led tours, culinary classes, as well as dining in one of their amazing restaurants.
8. Orvis Sandanona
Sure, there are plenty of shooting grounds around the US, but did you know that Orvis Sandanona in Millbrook is the oldest permitted shotgun club in the country? The pristine grounds and fully-catered lodge offer a top-notch location for corporate outings, an individual sporting experience, private instruction or even a bachelor or bachelorette party!
9. The Fisher Center for Performing Arts at Bard College
This eye-catching structure sits upon the gorgeous campus at Bard College and is home to their performing arts program. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the 110,000 square-foot center contains two theaters, four rehearsal studios for dance, theater and music, and professional support facilities. The Fisher Center offers a number of different performances year-round and has been called the ‘best small concert hall in the United States' by The New Yorker.
10. Appalachian Trail
Although it may just be a small section, we are proud to be a county where people can experience a slice of the Appalachian Trail. In fact, more than 30 miles of the trail pass through southeastern Dutchess, including 4,000 acres of protected parkland. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation including hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.