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Holiday Gift Guide: Dutchess Tourism Staff Picks

Date Published: November 11, 2022

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and Dutchess County is the perfect destination for unique gifts, artisanal food, specialty products and memorable experiences. Our staff is sharing their favorite places to purchase the perfect presents.

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I love shopping for gifts for family and friends (and for me!) at our many museum shops. I always find inspiration at The New Deal Store at The Henry A. Wallace Visitors Center operated by the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. In addition to their incredible assortment of books, art, clothing and novelty items, it’s where my favorite pin came from – a replica of one owned by Eleanor Roosevelt. At Locust Grove Estate, I like to shop for locally handcrafted items, art and unique items with ties to the estate and the Hudson Valley. Staatsburgh State Historic Site is another great shop where I can get my fix of their Staatsburgh blend of Harney & Son’s Fine Tea, linens and anything with a Victorian flair. The fun part of museum shopping is you never know what treasure you’ll find!

– Melaine Rottkamp, President & CEO

Splashdown Beach
SplashDown Beach; Photo by @djnimbus

For the holidays I love gifting fun experiences for children of all ages.  I love to see the joy when SplashDown Beach Water Park season passes are opened and the excitement of receiving a gift certificate to Spins Bowl, especially for some laser tag. 

– Janine Metzger, VP of Finance & Human Resources

A good book is never hard to find at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck. I especially appreciate the staffs’ detailed reviews of the latest reads. They will also order anything you’re looking for. 

– Dawn Hopper, Senior Director of Tour & Travel

I love gifting Horseshoe Brand Hot Sauce to my friends and family to help spice up their meals! From their milder peach hot sauce to their XXXTRA hot sauce, there’s a sauce for every heat tolerance level. My personal favorite is their Maple Cayenne collaboration with Crown Maple, it’s good on everything – even just a cracker!

– Colleen Dorney, Director of Outreach & Operations


Give the gift of memories! As someone with kids, I love the idea of gifting an experience instead of toys. A future trip to Trevor Zoo, a Hudson Valley Renegades baseball game, Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum (open year-round!), a movie at Four Brothers Drive-In, or Treetop Adventures at Barton Orchards are all great options! If you’re looking for a present for an entire family, stop by Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. and pick up a gift basket of gourmet hot cocoa mix and marshmallows. Paired with matching family pajamas and you’ve got the recipe for holiday traditions.

– Kristina Mukherjee, Director of Marketing & Communications

Darkside Records
My favorite spot for holiday shopping in Dutchess County is Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie. Whether it’s a vinyl of a new released album or a fun dish towel or mug, Darkside is my one stop shop for gifts during the holiday season. 

– Valerie Ubriaco, Consumer Services and Tourism Programs Manager

Slate Point Meadery
Slate Point Meadery; Photo by Hudson Valley Food Photography

I take immense pride in showcasing products from local artisans in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Dutchess County's craft beverage portfolio is incredible, and a 90-day Taste Finder pass makes a perfect gift for any beer fan, wine aficionado or someone looking to expand their palate. This mobile passport unlocks perks—including tastings, flights, pints and merch—at 13 destinations. With vintners, brewers, distillers and cidermakers contributing to local terroir, there's no better place to taste spirits than on the property it was made. Plus, Slate Point Meadery is an amazing spot to try mead for the first time!

– Raphael Beretta, Digital Media Manager

Shopping for a family can require a person to visit many locations; as a hudsband and a father of two, I appreciate a one-stop shop. Eastdale Village in Poughkeepsie is an incredible place to spend an afternoon. Looking to gift your family sweets? Amanda's Macaron Shoppe and Sweetbakes Cafe has something to sweeten anyone's day. Ye Olde Gift Shoppe features an assortment of beeswax and soy candles, plus a range of wellness items and homegoods. Freddy B is an awesome spot to shop women's clothing and accessories, while Daffodils Gift Shoppe is your go-to for jewelry and bright, fun presents.

– Rich Gregory, Communications Specialist

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