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Annual Benefit Has Raised Over $180,000 for Hudson Valley Arts Education

Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty and the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center raised $31,285 during an annual fundraising event this month to support arts education programs benefiting more than 1,000 Hudson Valley public school students in grades K-12. The event has raised over $180,000 since its 2016 launch.

The benefit was held Oct. 9 at Treetops, a 7.5-acre private estate in Sparkill, New York, and drew over 80 attendees. Guests bid on several auction items, including original art and a tour of Edward Hopper’s New York exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Speakers included Farris Wahbeh, the Benjamin and Irma Weiss Director of Research Resources at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Eric Shiner, former senior vice president of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, who served as the event’s auctioneer; and Phil Grabsky, an award-winning British documentary filmmaker and director who debuted an exclusive clip of “Hopper: An American Love Story,” a film that examines Hopper’s art, life and relationships from his early career to his critical and commercial acclaim.

Rothko, Banksy, Alfred Hitchcock and even The Simpsons have been influenced by the unique way Hopper captured American life.


From left to right: Eric Shiner,Richard Ellis, Cynthia Branca, Kathie Bennewitz, Farris Wahbeh and Phil Grabsky

“Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and patrons, we have raised over $180,000 in the last seven years to nurture student engagement with the rts that foster peer interaction and socialization inside and outside of the academic setting,” said Richard Ellis, owner of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty. “This special event supports the development of creative young minds by connecting students with the art and legacy of Edward Hopper through a thriving arts education program.”

Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty currently is listing Treetops for sale at $3.99 million. The circa 1859 Second Empire-style estate near Snedens Landing hosted many Hollywood stars, including Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers, Helen Hayes, Joan Collins, Ginger Rogers and Brooke Shields. In recent years it was the weekend retreat of the late Arlene Dahl, a screen actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and her husband, Marc Rosen, an award-winning perfume bottle designer.

“The benefit was a tremendous success due to the generosity of event sponsor Richard Ellis of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty and the gracious hospitality of Marc Rosen, who hosted this year’s benefit at his beautiful residence, Treetops, a truly and romantic property that transported guests to another era,” said Kathleen Motes Bennewitz, Edward Hopper House & Study Center executive director.

“The energy and optimism found among the event’s attendees translated into significant support for the Edward Hopper House & Study Center as it moves forward to 2023 and grows its art education series and Nighthawks mentorship program,” she said, adding that the annual benefit helps close gaps in arts education through partnerships with public schools, family workshops and its award-winning Nighthawks mentorship program. A portion of the monies raised will fund arts education classroom space, exhibitions and teaching curriculum.

Named after a 1942 painting by Edward Hopper by the same name, the Nighthawks mentorship and arts education program helps high school students develop professional skills, assume leadership roles and facilitate engagement with artwork and historic spaces.

The arts education program initially was funded in 2016 with proceeds from a fundraiser sponsored by Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty that benefited Nyack Public Schools, Nanuet School District, Clarkstown Schools, East Ramapo Schools, South Orangetown Middle School and Sleepy Hollow School District. The program expanded to Orange and Bergen counties in New Jersey this year.

Additional donations toward this initiative can be made by visiting https://www.edwardhopperhouse.org/donate.html.

Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty is a leading luxury real estate broker located in the Hudson Valley village of Nyack, approximately 22 miles from New York City.

By Evy Apostolatos

NYACK, N.Y. (Oct. 18, 2022)


Hudson Valley Spa and Winter Wellness Escapes

Need a little TLC this winter? New York’s Hudson Valley provides the perfect backdrop for a cozy winter wellness getaway, just north of New York City. Visitors can look to wellness centers and spas primed for snow-day pampering, just a stone’s throw from the hustle of the city. Sit back and relax with a massage, facial or aromatherapy, or some zen water views. If you’re craving a winter facial or rejuvenating massage, check out these delightfully indulgent experiences.

colorful yoga mats on wall at Birchwood Center Yoga & Massage, Nyack, New York

Birchwood Center Yoga & Massage, Nyack, New York
Perfect your downward dog and get your “om” on at Birchwood Center, a combined yoga and massage facility in Nyack that offers a full schedule of public, private and semiprivate sessions. Open seven days a week, classes are held in two sunlit studios with views of the Hudson River. Several hatha levels are offered along with vinyasa, restorative and prenatal varieties. 85 South Broadway, Nyack.; 845-358-6409. www.birchwoodcenter.com.

Avellino Esthetics Organic Skin Care massage oil on table in New City, New York

Avellino Esthetics Organic Skin Care, New City, New York

Offering a full line of organic skin care products and treatments, this Rockland County women-only spa housed in a cozy stone cottage in New City offers an array of treatments. Patrons enjoy beauty and full-body skin care services including massage, facials, nonchemical organic peels, LED hair removal, reflexology, sunless tanning, aromatherapy and more. Whether it’s your birthday or you just feel like indulging without the extra calories, Avellino Esthetics offers its signature Birthday Cake Body Polish, an exfoliating treatment made with Dead Sea salt, sugar, cocoa powder, crushed cocoa beans and assortment of oils. The caffeine in the cocoa is designed to stimulate circulation and improve blood flow, while the chocolate scent can help release serotonin, which makes you feel happy. Sixty-minute sessions are priced at $90. Half-hour versions of the body polish also are available. The spa also has a Tranquility Room with an infrared sauna and a shower. 123 Park Ave., New City, 845-634-6352; www.AvellinoEsthetics.com.

Riverview Salon & Day Spa massage with candle and oil in Newburgh, New York

Riverview Salon & Day Spa, Newburgh, New York

This downtown spa on the Newburgh waterfront offers a host of services, from aromatherapy massage and manis and pedis to microdermabrasion treatments for the removal of dull skin. Special packages, starting at $155 for two hours, include The Spa Sampler, Gentleman’s Day and Couples Escape and 6 Front St. www.riverviewsalonandspa.com; 845-569-0700.

Glenmere Hotel & Spa, Chester, New York

Glenmere Hotel & Spa, Chester, New York

For the discerning traveler looking for an extraordinarily luxurious setting, the spectacular hilltop mansion known as Glenmere sits deep in the rolling farmlands of the Lower Hudson Valley on a 150-acre estate overlooking Glenmere Lake in Chester. The circa 1911 Gilded Age retreat of the Goelet family, Glenmere was one of America’s finest country homes, once host to royalty, aristocracy and leading artists. Now, it’s an 18-room luxury boutique hotel and spa noted for European-style elegance, sophistication and personalized service. The Spa at Glenmere Mansion reflects the luxury and opulence of the Gilded Age, with its signature
Carrara marble bath house and Turkish-style hammam cleansing treatments as well as therapies from around the world, including an herbal steam room, dry heat sauna, stimulating Swiss shower and more for guests 18 and over. 634 Pine Hill Road, 845-469-1900; www.glenmeremansion.com.

Wholeness Center waiting area with seating in Valley Cottage, New York

Wholeness Center, Valley Cottage, New York

Founded by Valley Cottage natives Ariana Breganti and Kristin Giacopelli in 2016, the Wholeness Center is designed to rejuvenate and restore their clients’ sense of self. The elegant healing sanctuary bridges the luxury spa experience with state-of-the-art clinical “medi-spa” services including peels and laser skin treatments. The space and services were designed to create ease, inspire relaxation and make guests look and feel their best. 7 New Lake Road. www.wholenesscenter.com; 845-268-7532.

Lucky Elephant Yoga and Wellness women sitting in seated pose in New City, New York

Lucky Elephant Yoga and Wellness, New City, New York

This yoga studio in the heart of New City focuses on mindfulness with yoga, massage, meditation, Ayurveda, AromaTouch technique, craniosacral therapy, essential oils, nutrition and reiki. Thanks to beginner options like chair yoga, Lucky Elephant is great for newcomers who want to ease into the practice. Patrons can attend a group workshop or book an individual session. 132 Park Avenue. www.luckyelephantyogaandwellness.com. 845-538-5826.


The Best Farms for Pumpkin Picking in Lower Hudson Valley

October is the pumpkin’s time to shine, and what better way to celebrate this colorful fruit than by picking your own at one of the many farms and orchards throughout the Hudson Valley. A stroll through vine-covered fields in the region’s picturesque hillsides in search of the perfect pumpkin makes for a great day trip with friends and loved ones. In addition to pumpkin-picking, many of the farms offer hayrides, corn mazes and other seasonal fruits and vegetables for plucking perfection. Be sure to stop by the orchards’ shops for apple cider doughnuts and fresh-pressed cider.

little girl sitting on pumpkins at Orchards of Concklin in Pomona, New York

Orchards of Concklin
2 South Mountain Road, Pomona, New York

The Orchards of Concklin have been a prominent fixture in Rockland County for over 10 generations. Families come to Orchards of Concklin to pick their own produce and visit the popular on-site bakery. After enjoying a day of apple and pumpkin-picking, families can refuel with hot cider, coffee and other delectable treats. The on-premises bakery offers everything from pies and quiches, cookies and cakes from century-old traditional recipes, delicious apple cider donuts and fresh-pressed cider, local honey, and a wide variety of organic, sugar-free and wheat-free foods. If you don’t have the opportunity to visit the orchards, they will ship apples and baked goods directly to you. The orchards are open daily 8 a.m.to 6 p.m., www.orchardsofconcklin.com.

pumpkin display at Pierson’s Farm

Photo credit: Pierson’s Farm

Pierson’s Farm
1448 Route 211, Middletown, New York

Settled in 1790, Pierson’s Farm is one of the Hudson Valley’s historical landmarks. The 270-acre farm hosts an annual festival in October that’s a great opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the crisp autumn air. Hop on a hayride to the pumpkin patch, snack on some tasty baked goods and wash them down with some hot cider or hot chocolate. When you’re all set with your pumpkin, be sure to explore the four-acre corn maze, three-quarter acre mini maze, petting zoo and play area. The farm also sells pasture-raised pork, lamb and chicken, grass-fed Black Angus beef and free-range eggs. Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival is held from the last weekend in September to the end of October. www.piersonsfarm.com

little boy running through corn stalks at Dr. Davies Farm

Dr. Davies Farm
306 Route 304, Congers, New York

Family-run since 1891, Dr. Davies Farm offers pick-your-own apples on over 35 acres of orchards with 4,000 apple trees; pumpkin-picking, hayrides, farm stand, corn maze and more, all in a beautiful farm setting in Rockland County’s scenic lower Hudson Valley. The Davies Farmhouse was built in 1836, part of a 450-acre farm that ran from Rockland Lake to the Hudson River. Visitors can take in the views on a trailer ride to the pumpkin patch and enjoy fresh cider and apple cider donuts, made fresh daily. The Dr. Davies Corn Maze is the perfect activity for families and backdrop for fall selfies. For more information, visit www.drdaviesfarm.com.

wagon full of gourds at Lawrence Farms Orchards

Photo credit: Lawrence Farms Orchards

Lawrence Farms Orchards
39 Colandrea Road, Newburgh, New York

Lawrence Farms Orchards is managed by three generations of a family that has been running pick-your-own orchards for over 30 years in the Hudson Valley. This scenic, family-owned farm features a hay bale maze, petting zoo, including its “show chickens” and playful goats as well as a “little village” that’s modeled after an old-fashioned New England farm town. Visitors can eat at the concession stand, which has freshly made food for sale. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pick pumpkins from late September through end of October. www.lawrencefarmsorchards.org


Fun Fall Festivals and Activities in the Hudson Valley

Fall is in the air, and there’s nothing like fall in the scenic Hudson Valley. With the temperatures getting crisper and cooler, it is easy to imagine sweater weather, apple cider, pumpkin picking and pumpkin pie. From its magnificent greenery and stunning fall foliage to the abundance of events and activities, a visit to New York’s Hudson Valley during the autumn months strikes the perfect balance between nature and culture. And fortunately for us, festivals abound just in time to usher in the fall season. Here are some worth a visit:

apples on a tree at Warwick Applefest

Warwick Applefest
Oct. 6
Warwick, New York

Named one of the top 100 events in the country, over 30,000 visitors are expected to attend the Warwick Applefest Oct. 6, traveling from neighboring states to experience the extraordinary variety of this historic town’s apples, culture and entertainment. Toast the region’s signature fruit at this annual get-together by eating, drinking and enjoying over 200 craft vendors. The event features music and entertainment on several stages, a children’s carnival, farmers’ market and apple pie-baking contest. Admission is free. www.warwickapplefest.com

view of Hudson River from Bear Mountain State Park

Bear Mountain State Park
Palisades Parkway, New York

It’s not too early to plan a leaf-peeping trip. The Lower Hudson Valley parks and preserves offer plenty of opportunity for Instagram-worthy shots a stone’s throw from Manhattan. Bear Mountain State Park, a 5,205-acre park located on the west side of the Hudson River in Rockland County, New York, offers biking, hiking, boating, picnicking, carousel, skating rink and more. It also features the Perkins Memorial Tower at its summit, complete with spectacular 360-degree views of the Hudson River, Harriman State Park, the Palisades and, on a good day, the New York City skyline. Perkins Memorial Drive is open through late November, weather permitting, and can be accessed via Seven Lakes Road: turn onto Perkins Memorial Drive and continue to the top for the breathtaking vistas. From Sept. 27-Oct. 20, visitors to Bear Mountain also can celebrate Oktoberfest with German food and beer, traditional entertainment and local artisan craft vendors.

pedestrians at Nyack’s Famous Street Fair

Nyack’s Famous Street Fair
Oct. 13
Nyack, New York

Looking for a great way to spend an autumn day? There is something for everyone at Nyack’s Famous Street Fair, which returns on Oct. 13 to picturesque Main Street, Broadway and Cedar Street in downtown Nyack. Visitors can peruse wares from over 300 vendors offering quality handmade arts and crafts, antiques, retail items, collectibles and home décor. To top it off, delicious festival foods will be available along with fair specials from Nyack’s popular restaurants and outdoor cafes. Musician Ritchie G will perform live, and children will be entertained at the Kid’s Zone, featuring a variety of inflatables. This free event will be held 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., rain or shine. www.pjspromotions.com, 201-666-1340.

Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
Croton-on-Hudson, New York

The wildly popular Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, featuring over 7,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkin lanterns, takes place in the evenings from late September through November against the stunning backdrop of the 18th-century Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. About an hour’s drive from New York City, the annual event is hailed as one of the best Halloween events in the tri-state area, thanks to breathtaking displays such as the Pumpkin Promenade, Pumpkin Zee Bridge, Pumpkin Planetarium star show and show-stopping 25-foot-tall jack-o’-lantern Statue of Liberty. Tickets go on sale Sept. 3. hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze/.

militiamen at Heritage of West Nyack Fall Festival

Heritage of West Nyack Fall Festival
Oct. 20
West Nyack, New York

See how militiamen and women of the American Revolutionary War lived in the 1770s. Visitors can expect a colonial theme with living history demonstrations and crafts like pen-turning and lace-making, plus sheep-shearing, pumpkin-picking and decorating, horse-drawn hayrides, spooky storytelling, music, crafts, minigolf, country dances, a magic show and more. Food will be available for purchase. Free parking at Germonds Park, 131 Germonds Road.


Family Summer Fun in Lower Hudson Valley

Located just 30 miles north of New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley offers a wealth of family attractions and activities easily reached by car, train or boat. Trust us, there is far more than just amazing real estate in the Lower Hudson Valley. With a mix of historic sites, walkable villages, outdoor adventures and homemade culinary treats, there’s always something to do. Whether you hike the Appalachian Trail or stop for destination-worthy homemade ice cream, let’s just say, a visit here will check off many of the boxes for a weekend getaway in the Hudson Valley.

Sail boats on Hudson River

Sail Through Art History, Various locations

For a unique experience, embark on a Hudson River voyage aboard historic sailboats to benefit Nyack-based Rockland Center for the Arts and the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center. Join fellow artists and friends for a three-hour sunset sail on wide-decked authentic working historic sailboats, the Clearwater and the Pioneer. Each cruise will feature a different expert speaking on topics such as Hudson River School paintings, the bridges, Edward Hopper’s love for boats and the ecology of the Hudson River. Participate in raising the sails and learn from the crew what it is like to live onboard. The Hudson River Clearwater Sloop, a majestic 106-foot long vessel christened in 1969, will leave from Piermont for two sails Aug. 23 and 24 by the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The Pioneer, a restored 1885 iron-sided schooner owned by South Street Seaport Museum, will leave from Haverstraw for two sails on Sept. 15 to Croton Bay north of Hook Mountain. Bring your own art supplies, sketch books and cameras and make your own art on board. Anyone ages 14 and older can participate. Tickets are $70 (for Hopper House or RoCA members) and $85 for nonmembers and can be purchased at www.edwardhopperhouse.org/sail.html or by calling Edward Hopper Museum at 845-358-0774.

Hikers at Tallman Mountain State Park, Sparkill, New York

Tallman Mountain State Park, Sparkill, New York

New York’s state parks offer countless opportunities to explore the Hudson Valley’s natural environment, escape the everyday grind and experience exciting new adventures. Tallman Mountain State Park, a 687-acre state park in Rockland County, New York, located adjacent to the Hudson River in the Town of Orangetown just south of historic Piermont, offers a running track, tennis courts, playfield, cross country skiing, a walking trail, hiking and picnic areas. parks.ny.gov/parks/119/details.aspx.

View of Hudson River from high in Hook Mountain State Park, Upper Nyack, New York

Hook Mountain State Park, Upper Nyack, New York

Nyack’s proximity to the Hudson River makes it an ideal recreational destination for sailing, kayaking and fishing, while nearby Hook Mountain draws cyclists and hikers throughout the year with over 675 undeveloped acres for hiking, biking and picnicking. Located behind Rockland Lake State Park, the park system can be accessed from the end of North Broadway in Upper Nyack. Open dawn to dusk. 845-268-3020; www.nynjtc.org/park/hook-mountain-state-park.

Bellvale Farms Creamery, Warwick, New York

Bellvale Farms Creamery, Warwick, New York

Few traditions are as timeless as indulging in a tasty ice cream treat on a hot summer day. Though ice cream stands, shops and chains are plentiful throughout lower Hudson Valley, there are a few standouts that use handmade or locally sourced ice cream for their traditional favorites. Bellvale Farms Creamery, established in 1819, churns out fresh ice cream thanks to the dairy farm’s cows, offering a dozen or so flavors daily, each incredibly rich and heavenly. Located on 450 acres atop Mount Peter only 50 miles from New York City, the shop is a “must stop” even for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. The lines can get quite long on extra-hot days, but patrons don’t mind taking in the stunning valley views while they wait. 845-988-1818; www.bellvalefarms.com.

Entrance to Stony Point Battlefield and Lighthouse, Stony Point, New York

Stony Point Battlefield and Lighthouse, Stony Point, New York

Rockland County was once home to members of the Delaware and Lenape nations and a key position for General George Washington’s Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site, where Gen. Anthony Wayne defeated the British in a surprise attack on July 16, 1779, is the location of one of the last battles of the American Revolutionary War in the northeastern colonies and a National Historic Landmark. With a lighthouse (the oldest in New York state) and on-site museum, visitors can learn about the history of the battlefield and lighthouse through exhibits and interactive reenactments, demonstrations and family activities on weekends through Oct. 845-786-2521; parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/8/details.aspx

Freshly popped popcorn at Warwick Drive-In

Warwick Drive-In, Warwick, New York

For a one-of-a kind experience, catch a flick at one of the region’s family-favorite outdoor entertainment spots: the Warwick Drive-In. Established in 1950, the theater continues to show top films to movie-loving Hudson Valley patrons. This open-air theater has three screens, each of which show double features seven days a week in the summer. The snack bar offers burgers, fries, nachos and mozzarella sticks as well as candy, popcorn (of course!) and ice cream. Pets are welcome, though be sure to keep them on their leash when outside. Credit cards are accepted for tickets: $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and ages 4-11; and kids under four are free. For movie times and more info, call 845-986-4440 or visit www.warwickdrivein.com.

Young girl on a horse at Juckas Stables, Pine Bush, New York

Juckas Stables, Pine Bush, New York

Discover the fun and tranquility of horseback riding with friends and family while taking in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley countryside on a trail system spanning 117 acres of breathtaking farmland, forests and lakes. Established in 1965, Juckas Stables specializes in trail rides for all ages and abilities. The family-owned and operated business also hosts summer camps and a kids’ overnight camping trip. Look out for the snapping turtles sunning themselves on the rocks and other Hudson Valley wildlife. Visitors can also check out barnyard animals, a fun diversion for the younger set. For more information, call 845-361-1429 or visit www.juckasstables.com.


Summer Fun in the Lower Hudson Valley

Summertime is a season that’s meant to be savored, and there’s no better place to do so than in the picturesque Hudson Valley. While there are some tried-and-trues, such strolling the region’s winding riverside roads, visiting charming farmers markets and annual festivals or finding the perfect ice cream cone, there are also some unique experiences to add to your Hudson Valley bucket list this summer. Check out some of our favorites:

People walking at Nyack’s Famous Street Fair

Nyack’s Famous Street Fair
July 14, 2019, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Nyack, New York

There is something for everyone at Nyack’s Famous Street Fair, which returns on July 14 to picturesque Main Street, Broadway and Cedar Street in downtown Nyack. A proud venue for over 300 vendors from several states, the fair offers quality handmade arts and crafts, antiques, retail items, collectibles and home décor. To top it off, delicious festival foods will be available along with Fair Specials from Nyack’s popular restaurants and outdoor cafes. Musician Ritchie G will perform live, and children will be entertained at the Kid’s Zone, featuring a variety of inflatables. This free event will be held rain or shine. For information about the street fair, go to www.pjspromotions.com or call 201-666-1340.

Instrumentalists at Jazz in the Garden at the Edward Hopper House

Photo credit: Robyn Silverstein

Jazz in the Garden at the Edward Hopper House
Thursday evenings, July – August 2019
82 North Broadway, Nyack, New York

Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and groove to some great music as Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center presents Jazz in the Garden every Thursday from July 11 to Aug, 15, at 7:30-9:30 p.m. The lineup includes Scott Reeves, Mayra Caseles & Cocomamas, Don Falzone Quartet, Adam Kolker & Scott Wendholt Quartet, Judi Silvano & the Zephyr Band and a celebration of Dick Voigt. A $5 entrance donation will support preservation of the House & Garden, which focuses on the life and work of iconic 20th century American artist Edward Hopper. Refreshments are available for purchase prior to the concert and during intermission. If it rains, the event will be held at Grace Church, 130 First Ave, Nyack. The center also offers its Hop Into Art ongoing family art workshops on weekends. For more information, visit www.edwardhopperhouse.org.

Dancers at Bastille Day in Piermont

Bastille Day in Piermont
July 13, 2019
Piermont, New York

The charming village of Piermont will host its annual Bastille Day celebration, July 13, promising guests a fun-filled day of French culture, costumes and even a reenactment of the storming of the Bastille, which kicked off the French Revolution on July 14, 879 leading to the country’s independence. The celebration will feature French history as well as history of the town presented by Piermont’s Historical Society. French flags will flap along Piermont Avenue where restaurants and shops will have outdoor seating and offer traditional French, Irish and American cuisine. Artists and vendors will line the street selling French-themed items and live music will play throughout the day. Attendees are encouraged to wear period clothing and to not lose their heads — there will be a guillotine on display, albeit with a wooden blade. Vive le 14 de juillet! Long live the 14th of July!”

Fireworks and crowd at West Point Band and Fireworks Display

West Point Band and Fireworks Display
July 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m. (Rain date July 7)
Trophy Point Amphitheater, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York

There’s no better way to celebrate America’s independence than with the U.S. Army’s oldest band. The West Point Band presents its annual Independence Day Celebration, a 90-minute patriotic program capped off by a spectacular fireworks salute over the Hudson River, as part of its 2019 Music Under the Stars summer concert series. Grab a blanket, bring a picnic and enjoy world-class music at West Point’s majestic Trophy Point Amphitheater overlooking the waters that George Washington called “the key to the continent.” Audiences are welcome to visit the beautiful and historic grounds of the United States Military Academy and enjoy scenic Hudson River views. Best of all, the concerts are free and open to everyone. In the event of inclement weather, the performance will move to July 7 at 7:30 p.m. For concert information, cancellations and updates, call 845-938-2617 or visit www.westpointband.com.

Swing at Orange County Fair

Orange County Fair
July 18-28, 2019
Middletown, New York

For over 100 years, the Orange County Fair has entertained families in the Hudson Valley and beyond. The 179th annual Orange County Fair, July 18-28, will feature amusement rides, concerts, games, petting zoo, animal shows, vendors, Friday night fireworks, favorite fair food, antique fire truck display and amazing acts, such as Animal Planet’s Gator Boys Road Show and Knights of Valor Extreme Jousting Show, all included with admission The fairgrounds are also home to the Orange County Fair Speedway, the oldest continuously operating dirt track in the United States, where stock car races, demolition derbies and monster truck shows are held during the summer months. Fair admission is $10 for adults, $7 for ages 65 and older, $7 for ages 7-12 and free for ages 6 and younger. For more information, visit www.orangecountyfair.com or call 845-343-4826.


Hudson River Valley Summer Activities and Events

With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, it’s time to get outside and enjoy some fun in the sun. Just a short hop from Manhattan, New York’s Lower Hudson Valley, and its river towns are complete with vibrant dining, entertainment, and shopping, but their proximity to the Hudson River also makes the region an ideal recreational destination for boating, kayaking, fishing, cycling, and hiking. Year-long events and activities, from farmers markets to food festivals, add to the area’s charm. Whether you choose to go paddle boating on the river or biking through sculpture parks, the scenic Hudson Valley is loaded with activities all season long. Kick-off Memorial Day weekend with some of our favorite picks:

Deck of boat and sunset

Charter a Boat

Love being on the water but don’t own a boat? Explore the Hudson Valley with Nyack Boat Charter, launched last June, offering public and private tours and charters between Nyack and Croton to anyone who wants to see the river towns and experience the Hudson River from a whole new perspective. Located at the Nyack Municipal Marina, it is one of the few waterfront options in the Lower Hudson Valley where the public can try sailing or head out on a sunset cruise without owning a boat. Groups of two, four or six can go out for two-hour charters, The $85 per-person cost gets you on the Hudson River on a sailboat with a captain and crew, Thursdays through Sundays. Guests can get a closer look at the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, Hook Mountain and the natural beauty of the valley. The charters, which run from early May until mid-October, range from one hour to all day long and include local craft beer and Hudson Valley wines. 845-535-1675; nyackboatcharter.com.


Sign at Piermont Pier that reads fishing access site

Observe Wildlife 

When it comes to the perks of living in the Hudson Valley, few things delight as much as the views of the Hudson River. That’s probably why the village of Piermont is such a gem. Located in Rockland County, the picturesque town sits right along the riverside. Stroll along the Piermont Pier and promenade, a hotspot for bikers and joggers that runs a full mile along the Hudson River. Fishing and crabbing are allowed during warmer months, while visits to the Piermont Marsh, located on the westside of the pier, are fun year-round for bird-watchers and power-walkers. Be sure to check out the trails at The Tallman Mountain path or the scenic overlooks at the Tallman State Park.  Paradise Boats in Piermont, located in the Hudson River Reserve, also offers kayaks, canoes and rowboats for rent and for sale, as well as guided tours and sailing lessons by appointment. 845-359-0073; paradisecanoeandkayak.com.


Table full of plated burgers and fries at the Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival

Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival

If you’re looking for the ultimate foodie event, Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival kicks off June 4 and continues for five days at various locations across the county. Drawing more than 7,000 visitors from the tristate region, the festival is one of the most anticipated culinary events of the year. With seven events over six days, the annual shindig honors the leading chefs, sommeliers and food purveyors who shape Westchester’s cuisine. Events range from wine tastings and burger fests to junior chef demos and food-truck gatherings, so there’s a little something for everyone. On Saturday, June 8, the wining and dining reaches its peak with the Grand Tasting Village, the festival’s signature event, which brings together more than 50 local restaurants and 200 wine and spirits for a truly unforgettable afternoon. For more info, visit: winefood.westchestermagazine.com.


Stand-Up Paddleboarder on the Hudson River

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

One of the hottest recreational activities in the Hudson Valley is stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, a pastime ideal for the region’s many lakes, ponds, and — of course — the Hudson River. Part paddling, part balancing and part surfing, the sport is considered easy to learn and offers a great core workout with great vistas. The waterways of New York’s Hudson Valley region are lined with a range of scenic offerings, from lush landscapes to historic sites. Adept paddleboard enthusiasts can even practice yoga poses on their floating “yoga mats.” Hudson River Recreation has several locations and offers SUP lessons, rentals and guided water tours. Call 914-682-5135 or visit www.kayakhudson.com. Hudson River Expeditions, www.hudsonriverexpeditions.com, also offers kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboard tours, rentals and instruction ​for the novice to the experienced paddler.


River Rose Cruise ship on the Hudson River

Take a River Cruise

What better way to experience the Hudson Valley than from the river itself — cruising past the stately mansions, riverside communities and picturesque mountains? Come aboard an authentic New Orleans paddlewheeler with Captain John “Duke” Panzella, who has been navigating the Hudson for nearly 20 years, and you will experience the majestic river in a whole new way. Two-hour sightseeing cruises head south from Newburgh and include a narrated tour of historically significant sites such as Bannerman’s Island, the Catskill Water Aqueduct, the village of Cold Spring and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A buffet and dance party are offered on Friday nights, and Sunday’s ride serves brunch. A popular choice is the A Day in Cold Spring cruise, which shuttles guests to the scenic village where they can enjoy the sights for three hours before being ferried back to Newburgh (where all cruises begin and end). 845-562-1067; www.riverrosecruises.com.


Two people rowing on Hudson River

Learn to Row

During the 19th and early 20th centuries when crew was popular on the Hudson River, thousands of spectators lined its banks to watch regattas. The sport has prevailed as one of the oldest traditions in the world and thanks to local rowing clubs is available for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, no experience needed. The Mid-Hudson Rowing Association, founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit rowing club located in Poughkeepsie. Its mission is to promote adult and scholastic rowing. The club’s Learn to Row program operates under a simple concept: learn to row while having fun. Or head to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge for a different rowing scene. Scan the shoreline beyond restaurant row and you might spot a dock and Adirondack pavilion, home of the Newburgh Rowing Club, which has been teaching adults and kids to row for more than two decades. Club members meet year-round in a 6,000-square-foot boathouse. Popular summer camp programs tend to sell out, so be sure to call early. The Mid-Hudson Rowing Association, Poughkeepsie. www.midhudsonrowing.org; 845-452-2970. The Newburgh Rowing Club, Newburgh. www.newburghrowclub.org; 845-541-2313.