Monday, 22 October 2018

Top Attractions In Dutchess County New York State

Dutchess County is an area of upstate New York State, known for its countryside, farm areas, parks, nature and outdoor sports but there is more to Dutchess County than just that. Recently we visited as part of a press trip with Dutchess County Tourism and were impressed with the natural beauty of the area and attractions. Here is my post on top attractions in Dutchess County, New York State. I hope you enjoy!

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

For your aviation geeks, a trip to Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is highly recommended. This non-profit organisation has a living history museum where you can see vintage aeroplanes from the Pioneer, Golden Age and WWI eras of aviation. 

We were lucky to visit on the weekend when they had a great airshow. Firstly there was a model aeroplane show then we were treated to displays by historic aeroplanes such as the 1909 Bleriot, the oldest flying plane in America.  If you want to go up in a Biplane you can do that too, but booking in advance is highly recommended.

Address: 9 Norton Rd, Red Hook, NY 12571 

Taconic Distillery

Taconic Distillery is known for their award-winning handcrafted bourbon and rye whiskies made in small batches using grains grown in New York and natural spring water from their farm. Sold in 12 states and with awards such as Best Bourbon in 2014 by MAXIM magazine you know you are in for a real treat when you taste it.

We indulged in a tasting of their class act bourbons. A tasting costs 15 dollars and included a 115 proof bourbon. Wow is all I have to say, that stuff was strong but flavourful too! A stop off for those that love their hard liquor, as they say in the US. It was very relaxing, sitting in a rocking chair looking out over the countryside and sipping bourbon.

Address: 179 Bowen Rd, Stanfordville, NY 12581 

Staatsburgh State Historic Home

Staatsburg State Historic Home was the elegant country home of Ogden Mills and his wife Ruth Livingston Mills.  This mansion was built during the Gilded Age, an era of the transformation in the economy, technology, government, and social customs of America.

Our tour by Maria Reynolds the curator was incredibly interesting. This was one of 5 houses of the Mills family, their Autumn home, which they visited in the fall every year.  With 75 rooms all lavishly decorated in the French style, the beauty and decor were intricately detailed with no expense spared.  

To a UK visitor, this historic home is perhaps not widely known but I highly recommend a visit. To see and hear about the life 'below stairs' of the maids and butlers too was fascinating.  They even do special Downton Abbey themed tours.

Address: 75 Mills Mansion 1 Rd, Staatsburg, NY 12580 

Millbrook Vineyards and Winery 

Millbrook Winery has been voted “Best Winery” in the Hudson Valley for the last 20 consecutive years, so you know you are getting a great experience when you visit. The winery bottles over 188,000 bottles a year and is over 36 acres in size with beautiful vineyards all around.

We enjoyed a tasting of some of their award-winning wines including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Tocai Friulano and Riesling, followed by a tour of the vineyard and winery by Jake our tour guide and wine expert. 

The tasting and tour cost only 15 dollars which we felt was good value for money and lets you try some lovely wines too. Jake was very informative and spoke about the details of how the grapes are grown, the trellis system for the vines and more.

Address: 26 Wing Rd, Millbrook, NY 12545 

Clinton Vineyards 

Clinton Vineyards is a small boutique winery inspired by the beautiful wineries and vineyards in France. Over the last four decades, they have created a line of Estate-Bottled wines that have earned awards Internationally. 

We met the owner of the vineyard Phyllis Rich Feder, a large than life character with a real passion for her wines. The tasting, in a historic 19th-century Dutch barn, allowed us to try a range of their wines including an amazing sparking Jubilee Champenoise, a not too dry wine in the Champagne style, a medium Seyval Blanc with pear and floral notes and a delicious Cassis blackcurrant wine, perfect for making Kir Royal. 

Tastings start at 12 dollars which is a bargain for what you can try. 

Address: 450 Schultzville Rd, Clinton Corners, NY 12514 

Sprout Creek Farm 

Sprout Creek Farm is a 200-acre working farm that has an education at its heart. This working farm is home to cows, goats, chicken, pigs and more all roaming free. From the farm, they use the milk produced by the cows and goats to make cheese which they sell in their farm shop.

We were shown around by Katie who works with school children, educating them about farming and agriculture.  This educational centre offers day, weekend, and summer programs that help connect young people to the land, the seasons, and the plants and animals. We tried some of the cheese, from goats cheese to soft brie-style cheese to hard cheese and thought everything was delicious. 

Address: 34 Lauer Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 

How to get there

Dutchess County is approximately 2 hours from New York City by car.

If you are driving from New York allow 2-3 hours to get to your first stop, depending on your location in New York City and the traffic. Hiring a car is the easiest way to tour the area as the area is rural and public transport is limited.

Where to stay

The Red Hook Inn

The Red Hook Country Inn is run by Pat and her Egyptian husband and chef Nabil. It is a Bed and Breakfast full of character and personality. 

Our room decorated in an English country style with floral furnishings had an ensuite bathroom with bath and shower, complimentary toiletries, hairdryer and everything else as expected, however, the shining star was a bed big enough and comfortable enough for the best night sleep ever. It reminded me of the song "Grandma's Feather Bed". 

Nabil's likes to make a speciality every day for breakfast and we were treated to an Egyptian dish of baked eggs with vegetables called Shakshuka which was excellent. Situated in the pretty little town of Red Hook, its a great base for a stay exploring the area. 

The Olde Rhinebeck Inn

The Olde Rhinebeck Inn is a historic American farmhouse with the emphasis on quality and luxury. Cindy and Jonna that run the farmhouse couldn't have been more welcoming. The decor was beautiful, with antiques and high-quality furnishings and the photos really don't do the inn any justice. It has an ambiance that oozes class and old-world charm.

Welcoming touches such as homemade biscuits, a fridge full of soft drinks, fresh milk for tea and coffee at any time and a gourmet breakfast of avocado toast, salmon frittata, and the best Bircher muesli ever, meant that our stay was a real treat.  Situated just outside Rhinebeck in a rural location, this beautiful historic inn is an exceptional place to stay when exploring the area. I just wanted to stay longer!

Where to eat

Flatiron, Red Hook

We ate at Flatiron in Red Hook. This steakhouse was buzzing with atmosphere and I had a tremendously tender steak. Serving American bistro fare and supporting local farms they have a full-service bar too. A great place especially if you are big meat eaters although we saw a couple of vegetarian options as well as seafood and fish on the menu. 

Mr W had the ragu and the shaved brussel sprout salad which I tried and which we both thought was fantastic.

Hyde Park Brewing Company

The Hyde Park Brewing Company is a brewpub serving handcrafted beer since 1996. With a menu featuring all natural antibiotic and hormone free beef and pork from local farms, we really enjoyed our meal here. Mr W had the spinach and arugula salad which was huge and satisfying. Sweetness was added with the cranberries and crunch with the walnuts, to make it a healthy but filling meal.

I had the seared tuna which was excellent - a big portion of fresh tuna served with fragrant rice and asparagus. Mr W didn't try the beer as he was driving but it's definitely the place to go to try all the craft beers and lagers in the area.

So this is my guide to the top attractions in Dutchess County New York State. In three days we really couldn't do this area any justice so I would recommend taking your time and slowly savouring the delights of this area of New York State.

Check out this video my husband and I made for our Fly Drive Explore YouTube channel. 


To find out more about the attractions, places to stay and eating and drinking establishments in the area check out the Dutchess Tourism website. They have ideas for what to do for a 5 day, 3 day or 1-day itinerary and you can even build your own guide.  Before we went I didn't know much about the area, but now I am so glad I visited. If you are visiting New York, why not take a trip and discover what Dutchess County has to offer. You won't be disappointed. 

I hope you enjoyed my post, what attractions appeal to you?

*We were guests of Dutchess Tourism


  1. It must have been fun trying some of the bourbon and rye whiskies at the distillery. Did you have a favourite?

    1. We enjoyed the 115 proof rye, it was strong though!

  2. This looks like a lovely area. I think I'd go for the distillery, and the vineyard followed by the farm for the children!! Loving all that tasty looking food as well

  3. Heard lots about the Dutch County and the winery appeals to me, what an incredible visit.

  4. I like the look of the stately home, and the food and drink offering. Though the distillery made me think of the word catatonic :-)

    1. The stately home was incredibly interesting. It needs a whole post just about it to be honest.

  5. Looks like you guys had a fab trip! That stately home certainly does look stately and so grand! Love the look of that Inn too, so homey :)

  6. Wow! These pics are amazing, I love planes and would be right at home at somewhere like that!

  7. I would not have associated New York State with wine making, but it must have been really fun to visit. I've always wanted to go to a vineyard.

    1. The vineyards were lovely to visit, totally different as one is small and boutique and the other a much bigger operation. Nice to try the wines too and the cassis.

  8. I love the sound of these tourist attractions. Would like to visit them one day.

  9. You had me sold at bourbon tasting and wine tasting. What a fantastic little trip!

  10. That state home looks incredible! I've never been to New York, but it's nice to see there's much more to it than the city itself.

  11. Wow, Dutchess County looks like so much fun, a great place to visit. I'd have loved to visit the vineyards.

    1. I think you would have really enjoyed that part Rebecca.

  12. Oh my! What a stunning place to visit with the vineyard as the food photos look amazing too. I love New York and hope to stop by Dutchess County when I am there next.

  13. I have always wanted to visit here after seeing a program about it. It looks brilliant, some great pictures and the food looks great

    1. That's good to know. I didn't know much about this area at all before.

  14. I just love historical houses, I’ve visited a few in the uk and they are always amazing in how they are built and the lavish detail. Staatsburg State Would be the first place I would visit. The golden room decorations look amazing

    1. It was beautiful, my photos don't do it justice, and it didn't cost much to get in either.

  15. I love the idea of the Downton Abbey themed tours! UK or US, learning about the serving staff is fascinating!

  16. That room looks nice and cozy. Out of all those things to do I would like to visit the distillery

  17. Looks like there's loads of fun things to do there!

  18. What a beautiful place! And that bed and breakfast looks so cute, It’s definitely somewhere to add to the bucket list x

  19. I would happily visit any and all of these places! Love the look of the aerodrome - planes look amazing! Great list, thank you.

  20. Dutchess county looks an amazing place to visit. I loved the room where you stayed. And that mansion is gorgeous.

  21. Never heard of it before, but looks like there is lots to do there. The food looks fantastic!

  22. Theres so much to do, it sounds fantastic! That state home looks INCREDIBLE xxx

    1. It was Laura, I definitely recommend going there.


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