If you’re a history aficionado who also enjoys dining on contemporary fare by America’s rising culinary stars, then you absolutely must spend a weekend in scenic Dutchess County and satisfy your appetite for both. This pastoral playground stretches along the eastern side of the Hudson River Valley and is home to charming towns such as Millbrook, Rhinebeck and Red Hook. It is in fact so alluring that it famously played host to the wedding of First Daughter Chelsea Clinton.
437 National Historic Register sites can be found in Rhinebeck alone, while antique markets, atmospheric old inns and even the childhood home of our 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, are to be found both in it and the surrounding hamlets. It’s also the headquarters of the CIA—no, not the Central Intelligence Agency but rather the Culinary Institute of America, the place where many of America’s best chefs have trained. And these are only a few of the reasons why you should see what the Hudson Valley has to offer. Here are some pieces of advice on how to best enjoy an entire weekend.
Even before you arrive, you should wind down at the Millbrook Winery with some late-afternoon wine tasting. The winery is located at the peak of a vine-covered hill, in a renovated dairy barn. Here you can sample wines from the very vines you just passed by.
Just a few doors down on Montgomery Street you can find Terrapin. The restaurant, located in the circa-1825 restored First Baptist Church, highlights chef-owner Josh Kroner’s Asian- and French- influenced modern American cuisine in both the more casual and cozier bistro, and a dramatic dining room. Offerings range from creative appetizers (macadamia nut-crusted calamari) and tasty tapas (gingery pot stickers) to collard greens and large plates like fried chicken or beef short ribs over mashed potatoes.
With an extravagant CIA lunch ahead, it is recommended you keep things casual for breakfast by stopping at Bread Alone. Here you can choose from organic oatmeal, still-hot pastries or farm-fresh omelets.
When going to Hyde Park to visit the 300-acre Springwood estate, the home and birthplace of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the only four-term U.S. President), there is no better way than from the back seat of any of our limos. Springwood is also the place where both the president and his wife Eleanor are buried, and, if you want insight into his years in office, visit the nearby FDR Presidential Library & Museum.
Should you choose to enjoy lunch at the Culinary Institute of America’s award-winning Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici restaurant, your taste buds will be grateful. Don’t forget to make reservations, though. Here you can experience a menu rich in authentic regional Italian cuisine while also enjoying an extraordinary view as the dining room is overlooking both the gardens and the Hudson River. Gnocchi, risotto and beef carpaccio are among the classics that you can expect to find here but, if you would like something more casual, head for Al Forno Trattoria where you will be served wood-oven pizza. Remember to save room for dessert—the affogato and chocolate budino are Italian classics that should not be missed.
After lunch, you can relax by taking a stroll down to the gilded-age Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site and around their beautiful formal gardens, as well as through its 1898 Gilded Age stone mansion.
We recommend you continue your reminiscence into the past by spending the rest of the afternoon antique hunting. The best place to that is at the Beekman Arms Antique Market, a multi-dealer emporium located in a large red barn in Rhinebeck.
At the Beekman Arms Tavern, you can find a colonial-era taproom where you can relax over pre-dinner drinks. Dating from 1766, this establishment is the perfect place to soak in the ambiance of America’s oldest continually operating inn.
What better way to spend a Sunday morning than taking a stroll through Poet’s Walk, a 120-acre riverfront parkland with plenty of rustic footbridges and gazebos. Here you can admire the very same vistas that inspired writer Washington Irving and Hudson River School landscape painters.
Afterward, you can have brunch at Calico, a cozy red-walled bistro where you can enjoy either crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce or the tempting frittata of the day. For those looking for something a little livelier, The Rhinecliff offers a classic brunch menu accompanied by live jazz between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Here you can also admire the landscape as both the patio and the dining room have river views.
A bird’s eye panorama of the Hudson Valley is the best way to finish your weekend. You can do this with the help of a vintage 1929 biplane that departs from the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in select weekends from June through October, making your ride an unforgettable one. For those who would rather keep their feet on solid ground, shopping at the nearby Woodbury Commons premium outlets would be an equally enjoyable option.
Not only the getaway you will choose is important, but also the transportation to said place. So, whether you plan a weekend getaway or a special occasion, remember that nothing is more romantic than a ride in a limousine. Make sure you book your ground transportation so you can focus only on her/him.
Majestic Transportation Services & Limo, Inc. has been for over a decade the luxury car services company CT and NY clients have counted on. If you need prompt and courteous transportation throughout Connecticut and New York, including upstate New York and Hudson Valley, our luxury executive car and limousine service is at your service.
Whether you want a luxury limousine service for your wedding or other special occasion or you need a luxury car service company to take you home safely after an evening out with clients, Majestic Transportation Services is the company you can trust.