Fresh air and sunshine. Great-grandma knew it and so do we: they’ll put a spring in your step and help you sleep well at night. And this summer, fresh air and sunshine are most definitely what’s up.
We hope (of course) to see even more places reopen as the season continues. Keep an eye on places like Brooklyn Cider House/Twin Star Orchards, Storm King Art Center, and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, where smart people are working on ways to safely welcome back visitors. We’re looking forward to outdoor dining coming back, better than ever. Do check websites for the latest info before you head out, and—you know the drill—keep your distance and have that mask handy for close encounters. Restrooms and indoor amenities may be minimal or nonexistent. That said, the glorious Hudson Valley outdoors is still here, and that’s cause for rejoicing. Get drawn in out there.
Getting out in the fields and picking your own is a perfect trifecta of exercise, nutrition, and a socially distant hangout. VISITvortex.com, RondoutValleyGrowers.org, and pickyourown.org/NY are three excellent portals to picking the perfect picking spot.
ART AND CRAFT AL FRESCO
OPUS 40 in Saugerties, the stunning earth and stonework sculpture and park created by artist Harvey Fite, opened in mid-May to groups of up to five with advance reservations.
THE PHOENICIA FESTIVAL OF THE VOICE, the folks who’ve been singing their hearts out in the Catskills for a decade, have distilled their event to its very essence for the occasion. They’re staging the world’s first-ever drive-in opera. A live performance of Puccini’s Tosca is set for August 29.
THE WOODSTOCK-NEW PALTZ ART & CRAFTS FAIR at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz is on for Labor Day. So is their Handcrafted Octoberfest in Rhinebeck, scheduled this year for October 3–4.
The FIELD + SUPPLY Modern Makers Craft Fair at Hutton Brickyards in Kingston is currently scheduled for July 17–19 and October 9–11.
TAKE A HIKE (OR THREE)
MOHONK PRESERVE reopened its Visitor Center, West Trapps, East Trapps Connector, Spring Farm, and Upper Duck Pond Trailheads on May 20. That’s 70 miles of carriage trails for your hiking, running, and mountain biking bliss, with the possibility of safely utilizing their legendary climbing routes. This summer features early opening and later closing hours for Preserve members.
MINNEWASKA STATE PARK and SAM’S POINT PRESERVE have been filling up early on pretty days; early birds are rewarded with sky lakes and waterfalls and hardwood. But remember, they’re just two peak spots on a long list of wonderful New York State and DEC parks open for hiking, biking, swimming, and picnicking; you’ll find numerous other possibilities on those state websites to keep you exploring all summer long.
Scenic Hudson’s LONG DOCK PARK in Beacon is open, complete with kayaking and weekend bicycle rentals, wetlands and meadows to stroll, and spots for fishing. It’s a fully accessible, dog-friendly place for a walk or a picnic. SCENIC HUDSON provides a cornucopia of other outdoor options on its website.
Glide through the Catskills on a railbike excursion with RAIL EXPLORERS in Phoenicia. They’ve reorganized their setup and waiting area and retrained their staff with your safety in mind, pointing out that railbiking—which 40,000 people checked out last summer—is an ideal “guided but solitary” tour experience.
WOODSTOCK GOLF CLUB is offering membership specials, and anyone with an out-of-town driver’s license and a lodging receipt is welcome to come play a round.
Lots of our Hudson Valley towns have MUNICIPAL PARKS. Frisbee? Tennis? Catch? Everybody bring your own snacks and sanitizer and be sure to continue social distancing.