A Buddhist Monastery in Quiet Kent
Tucked in the edges of the Hudson Valley in the town of Kent is a surprising retreat from the Western world. The Chuang Yen Monastery, located off Route 301 east of the Taconic State Parkway, is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, just 60 miles away.
On Sundays, the public is welcome to attend early morning meditations and classes, as well as a vegetarian buffet luncheon (at a minimal cost). But any day of the week, one can drive up the driveway and feel transported as they catch a first glimpse of the great hall, which holds the largest indoor Buddha statue in the United States. Visitors are also welcome to wander the grounds, enjoying the serenity of an Asian garden around a tranquil lake. (Look for the painted turtles.)
Yoga and Tai Chi classes are also held at the monastery.Related to:
- Religious Travel
Unlike most of the Hudson River "castles", this one doesn't just have a view of the River, it's IN the river.
Bannerman's Castle, on Pollepel Island in the middle of the Hudson River, was built as both a home and a storehouse for military goods. For many years, people lived in and visited the picturesque landmark. A fire in 1969 destroyed much of what was left of the building, but the structure still stands and is undergoing restoration.
The best views of Bannerman's are from the Hudson, but it can be seen from Route 9D as you travel from Cold Spring toward Beacon, NY. Hard hat walking tours of Bannerman are available by boat or kayak - contact the Bannerman Castle Trust for more info (web site below).Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
SHAWANGUNK WINE TRAIL-NAPA OF THE EAST
New York State is loaded with wineries, we are fortunate in the Hudson Valley to have some of the best wineries in New York State within minutes of eachother. The Shawangunk Wine Trail is a collection of 11 wineries and vineyards. Each winery is different from each other in the types of wine they produce. You will find sweet dessert wines, bone dry wines, sparkling vinifera and fantastic fruit wines. Whether you are a wine expert or a novice such as myself you will not only enjoy the wines, but you'll also love the beautiful scenery each winery has in store. My favorite is the view of the Shawangunk Ridge from Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery. The wineries in the Shawangunk Wine Trail are:
52 Alhusen Road
82 Four Corner Road
176 Hardenburgh Rd.
156 Highland Ave.
Brimestone Hill Vineyard
61 Brimestone Hill
Brotherhood (this is America's oldest winery)
100 Brotherhood Plaza
Glorie Farm Winery
40 Mountain Rd.
714 Albany Post Rd
10 Ann Kaley Lane
Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery
114 Little York Rd
Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery
331 McKinstry Rd
- Road Trip
- Wine Tasting
DUTCHESS COUNTY FAIR
Every year towards the end of August, routes 9 and 9G become backed up with traffic for the Dutchess County Fair. This wonderful county fair just celebrated its 150th anniversary. All I can say is this fair is huge. It houses hundreds of vendors, dozens of rides and just about every kind of fair food you would ever want to eat. There is a separate children's area of the fair for families with really young children, that is children under 48" tall. You can bring shorter children on the bigger rides, but frankly they charge so much for tickets that you aren't going to want to. Bring your wallet for this fair. There is a $12 entrance fee for anyone over 12. This is only an entrance fee. All the rides cost extra. Tickets can be purchases for $1 per ticket or $20 for 24 tickets. Each child's ride costs 2 tickets until 7:00 PM, but the adult rides are 4 or more tickets a piece. The local 4-H chapter is highly represented at this fair. We always visit the animal barns to check out this years blue ribbon winners. The chicken barn is very noisy and the cow barn stinky, but who can resist those brown cow eyes. The Dutchess County Fair is also home to the best milkshakes ever. Be prepared to stand on line to get one of these delicious wonders. They are worth is though, and the price is reasonable, $3 for a 24 ounce shake.
The fair opens at 10 AM daily and closes at 10 PM. Parking is free, but you may have to walk quite a distance from where you park to the nearest gate. There are plenty of bathrooms and ATMS for those who run out of cash.
On the personal side, I do not recommend going on The Ring of Fire right after eating. I did this when I was 12 years old and I threw up all over the place. My friend Evelyn got so scared on this ride that she peed her pants. I still don't know which was more embarassing, I think peeing in the pants, you'll have to let me know what you think.
This fair isn't in Poughkeepsie, but about 10 miles north on route 9.Related to:
- Family Travel
PepsiCo Sculpture Gardens
Located at Pepsi's world headquarters is a wonderful collection of sculptures in a beautiful garden setting. It's an easy self guided stroll around the grounds to see (not touch) all of the works, which include such artists as Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, and Alberto Giacometti, to name a few. Admission is free, the grounds are open from Dawn to Dusk.
If you get hungry, inside the main building is a cafeteria that serves pizzahut and KFC, amognst other fare.
Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NYRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
Rent a boat on Greenwood Lake
A wonderful way to spend a summer day! There are a couple of places to rent boats on Greenwood Lake. We choose a little place on the western side of the lake and rented the boat for about 3 hours, but we could have rented it for the entire day. Where you rent the boat, New York or New Jersey , dictates where you can drive the boat. You are not allowed to go over state lines. (for insurance purposes, i believe)Related to:
- Water Sports
- Sailing and Boating
The Renaissance Faire
The Ren Faire in Tuxedo Park, NY is a wonderful way to spend a summer day. The are many shows, such as the Joust and Human Chess, not to mention the Bellydancers and Giant Mud fight. A favorite of mine is the "Birds of Prey" show. Falcons, Eagles and Peregrine falcons swooping over your head during a demonstration of their skills and talk explaining the importance of conservation efforts.
At the numerous shops,you can buy anything from little live "dragons", to costumes and jewlery and a lot of handmade crafts made of glass or pottery. Even Faerie wings!
And the Food, interesting stuff, like a giant turkey leg, or "meat on a stick" or flavored ices on fruit halves or even just a beer!
And don't forget the little street filled with all kinds of games. Archery, Axe throwing, the "Amazing Maze" and my favorite "Sheep Chucking"
There are even paddleboats, though I'm not exactly sure how they fit in to the whole "Renaissance" theme...
Tons of people dress up in the traditional garb of the time, but there are also people who come in their bermuda shorts and fanny packs, quite a mix!
The Wizard in the photograph doesn't even work at the fair I am told. he just comes every day all dressed up, doesn't say a word, but poses for many pictures!
Saturdays, Sundays & Labor Day Monday
August 7 through September 26, 2004
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
In the fall the same location is the setting of THE FOREST OF FEAR, a haunted house attraction.Related to:
- Theme Park Trips
Hiking the Adirondacks
It is hard to find a path not-oft-beaten in the state of New York, but the farther from the city you go, the better your options become. There are many solitary opportunities to be discovered in the Adirondack Mountains. Just be safe and stick to the guidelines of common sense, especially when you're out tramping solo in the wilderness. New York State also has various rules and guidelines as far as overnight campgrounds, marked trails and zoned areas. Try to familiarize yourself with these important legalities. Above all, enjoy the nature that New York has to offer.
This actually IS the local "beaten path." The Appalachian Trail runs through Garrison from Fahnestock Park on the east and then over the Bear Mountain Bridge on the west. Hikers may visit Graymoor monastery for a meal and quiet reflection, not far south on Route 9 from the trail (which actually runs through Graymoor property before hitting 9).Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Towns of the Hudson Valley
There are a variety of towns spread throughout the Hudson valley north of New York City. This area is made up of historic landmarks and awesome scenery. From sleepy countryside villages to historic estates, the countless towns of the Hudson River Valley are rich in differing periods of American history. A great place to hang out and relax.
I'm currently working on a page dealing with the Catskills and Hudson River Valley... please standby...Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Auto Museum in Saratoga Spa State Park
Saratoga Springs is known not only for it's Horseracing Tracks, but for the healing mineral Springs found in the area. The native Americans used these springs for years and years to heal the sick, and shared their knowledge with the Europeans when a friend became ill. Quickly the area became THE place to go, and not only were people coming to bathe in the springs, but the water was beeing bottled and sold at an alarming rate. Eventually the water tables dropped dangerously low, so the state shut down most of the plants, and the area became Saratoga Spa State Park.
Saratoga Spa State Park is unlike any other State Park I've been to. it's quite small, with many buildings, including the Gideon Putnum Spa resort, the Auto Museum, a grand looking resturant, and a few bathhouses. There are of course hiking and walking trails as well.
The old bottling plant in Saratoga Spa State park has been turned into the Saratoga Automobile Museum. When we went they were holding a Shelby show, we just had to stop in. The museum is two floors with the exhibition on the first and the permanent collection on the second. It's not a huge museum, there are about 50 cars in all. But well worth stopping by at $7 per adult.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
- National/State Park
Mountain Lakes Park
Right up the hill from my old house in South Salem, NY is a beautiful woodland area known as Mountain Lakes Park.
In the summer, campers stay overnight at the lodges, usually as an organized group, but individual tent camping is also available. It gets quite noisy with NYC campers around the major holidays, though.
The park has two good-sized lakes for swimming and boating - but the real draw is the hiking trails. In the autumn, the hardwoods are breathtaking, and the views from Mt. Bailey are outstanding - just follow the first dirt road on your right after you go past the entrance for an easy hike up.
Admission is charged in the high season. Entrance is from Hawley Road, North Salem.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
This Hudson Valley institution was the dream of Cole Palen, and is being carried on during the summer by devoted airplane enthusiasts. WWI-era aircraft take to the skies in weekend airshows that are just like those you see in the movies. The planes perform stunts - such as dropping a roll of toilet tissue and cutting the paper with the wings - and even engage in a mock dogfight.
Besides the airshow, there are several hangars of antique airplanes and aircraft memorabilia, which are also open weekdays seasonally. Biplane rides are also available for $40 per person (we skipped doing this).Related to:
- Family Travel
Lake Champlain Chocolates - Burlington, VT
One of our mornings in Burlington was spent at the Lake Champlain Chocolate Company. It is on the south side of the city and quite easy to locate with a map or if nearby you can smell the aroma!
We heard about their history and saw them making chocolates for the Christmas season. Their specialties include Event Chocolates and Seasonal Chocolates. We did not walk through any part of the plant that was making or molding the candies. I must agree that if you purchase Lake Champlain Chocolates you will be getting fresh chocolate candy.
The best part about the "tour" was the plate of chcolate samples we were offered - and it is very good!
They also had a place to browse and purchase their candies. They also offered seconds for reduced prices.
Tours are offered Monday through Friday on the hour 10 AM to 2 PM.
I would recommend this as a stop in Burlington.Related to:
- Road Trip
Liberty State Park
After all the years of visiting New York City, we’ve never been to Liberty State Park. Until this holiday in May; we decided to do something new. For example Liberty State Park. I don’t know why we waited so long to visit Liberty Park. Wow, what a view! From here you can see the skyline of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
Liberty State Park is a state park in Jersey City. The park opened in 1976. The historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal was built in 1889. From 1892 through 1954, the CRRNJ Terminal was with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island an important factor of the immigration of thousands of people into the United States. After a long emotional way through the Statue of Liberty and processed at Ellis Island, the immigrants purchased tickets and boarded trains at the Terminal. The train brought these immigrants to their new world; The USA.
The park has picnic tables (with magnificent views), pool, a public boat launch, playgrounds, fishing spots, several monuments (for example ‘Liberation Monument’), Liberty Walk promenade, tennis courts, Millennium Park, and much more. The Liberty Walk promenade is 1.3 mile long. We walked over the promenade along the Hudson River, with the amazing skyline at the background.
Liberty State Park is also the only location in New Jersey with a Ferry service to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Instead of going to Battery Park and taking the ferry there, you can also take the ferry from Liberty State Park. So you can enjoy it all; Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Liberty State Park.
We spent some time here. My eyes didn't get enough of the view of the skyline. You just have to look every minute. It's worth a visit!
We did take the subway to Penn Station, from there you can take PATH subway to either Pavonia/Newport or Hoboken. A shuttle will bring you to the park.
From there, take the Light Rail to Liberty State Park.
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