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Celebrate Your Grad in Dutchess

Date Published: May 6, 2024

Graduation weekend is fast approaching here in Dutchess County, as Marist, Vassar and Bard prepare to send the class of 2024 on to bigger and better things. Graduation calls for celebration, and if you're looking for ways to commemorate this milestone, we’ve got you covered.

(For a compreshensive "First-Timers' Guide to Dutchess County," click here.)

The Perfect Gifts for Your Grad

Check out The New Deal Gift Shop at the FDR Library & Museum in Hyde Park. Here you’ll discover posters and mugs with inspirational quotes from Franklin D. Roosevelt and as well as Eleanor Roosevelt; not to mention endless books on their life experiences, which are enough to provide inspiration for any student getting ready to navigate adulthood.

Any craft beverage fans in the family? Gift them free tastings, merch and more at over a dozen Dutchess County hotspots including breweries, cideries, wineries, distilleries and meaderies with the Taste Finder mobile passport. Click here for the pass to fill your glass! Several of which are located on breathtaking farms and at the centers of our coolest cities. Poughkeepsie itself is home to several makers on the trail, including Slate Point Meadery, Plan Bee Farm Brewery and Zeus Brewing Company. For the full list of destinations on the Taste Finder craft beverage passport, click here. 

Add some sophistication to your graduate’s life with a timeless piece of artwork from Hudson Beach Glass in Beacon. This beautiful gallery sells stunning handmade drinkware, serving pieces, and even glass business card holders or docking stations. Affectionately known as “EB”, Elizabeth Boutique in Poughkeepsie was designed with the Hudson Valley woman in mind.  You’ll find stylish pieces of clothing, jewelry and accessories in Arlington,a neighborhood just a short stroll away from the Vassar College campus.

Of course, no graduation gift package would be complete without sweets! Use our FREE Confection Finder passport to find vegan desserts, design-your-own donuts, cow-to-cone ice cream and the most beautiful bonbons you'll ever see. To get this sweet tooth trail, click here

Prettiest Places to Dine Outdoors

May is a gorgeous time to eat al fresco at some of the region's top restaurants. (Commencement weekends can be extremely busy for popular hotspots, to guarantee seating contact each establishment in advance for a reservation.) Plus, if you're looking to find which of the county's cafes, luncheries and fine dining spots are helmed by graduates of The Culinary Institute of America, get our FREE CIA Chef Finder mobile passport

Top 10 Activities for Every Generation of the Family 

Visiting with a multi-generational family? We have plenty of experiences for groups of all ages. Fascinating historic sites, bucolic farms and breathtaking brunch spots overlooking the Hudson River are on the table. Plunge into the lives of the Roosevelts at the FDR Presidential Library & Museum, watch WWI biplanes soar over Red Hook, stroll across a Chinese and Japanese-inspired landscape at Innisfree Garden and more! For our top 10 activities for every generation to do together, click here. 

Dog-Friendly Adventures in Dutchess 

If you're traveling with your pup, you may be looking for experiences for every member of the family to enjoy. Here’s a few of our dog-friendly hiking trails, historic sites, breweries and more in the Hudson Valley!

Stroll Across the Walkway Over the Hudson

The bridge now known as the Walkway Over the Hudson opened in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge – at the time of its opening it was the longest bridge in the world. In 1974, a fire that was likely started by a spark from a train’s brakes destroyed the tracks. In 2009 the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park re-opened as the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world and it’s the perfect spot to view the majestic Hudson River. Want another vantage point? Take the 21-story, ADA-compliant, glass elevator from the Poughkeepsie waterfront up to the bridge. Plus, a wheelchair-accessible electric tram means everyone can experience this world-class view!

Events to Bookmark

We're highlighting a few of the best events around during commencement weekends, in case you have some time to explore more of the area.

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