Check out these gorgeous Dutchess County destinations through the lens of community photographers. Gather inspiration for your next trip, and discover the incredible summer experiences Dutchess has to offer. Want your photo featured? Tag us on Instagram @dutchesstourism and use #mydutchessstory.
If you're looking to experience the Hudson Valley in all its glory, take to the skies. Biplane rides at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome provide breathtaking views of the Hudson River, Catskill and Berkshire Mountains, Vanderbilt Mansion, Mills Mansion, the Esopus Meadows lighthouse and other unforgettable sights. Look at that view! Plus, their weekend airshows are truly captivating, featuring historic early-1900s aircraft and entertaining characters.
Searching for summer strolls? Madam Brett Park is the place to experience the tranquility of nature in Dutchess County with a dash of local history. The first European settler in Beacon, Catheryna Brett, operated a gristmill along Fishkill Creek. The short out-and-back forest trail takes visitors past the creek on a boardwalk (captured beautifully above), which also brushes past the historic 1879 Tioranda Hatworks and plenty of native wildlife.
Speaking of native wildlife, one of the best places in New York state for birding enthusiasts is the Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary. Six miles of woodland trails put visitors in proximity to over 80 species of birds, including the Great Blue Heron, American Woodcock and Ruby Throated Hummingbird (pictured above!)
There are so many places in Dutchess County to spend time by the water! Captured above, the Wappinger Greenway Trail stetches 10.7 miles through Wappingers Falls and Poughkeepsie. The figure-eight loop trail encircles both Wappinger Lake and Wappinger Lake, and leads to destinations like Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park.
What screams "summer" more than ice cream? Dutchess County is full of spots to enjoy the sweet treat (many of which highlight local ingredients like dairy and fruit.) Fortunes Ice Cream rotates their flavors so frequently, it's rare to have the same experience twice! Matcha, apricot, caramel popcorn, coconut hibiscus and even pine tips have graced the seasonal specials menu.
This photo from @spritz122 showcases the elegance and beauty of Beacon's Howland Cultural Center. Architect Richard Morris Hunt designed the then library in 1873. Live performances of music, theater and other art forms keep the space as vibrant on the inside as it appears on the outside. For a calendar of events, click here.
A true treasure of Eastern Dutchess, Wethersfield Estate & Garden stands nestled in 1,000 acres of verdant hills. It's one of the finest classical gardens in the nation, and it houses stunning marble sculptures depicting figures from Greek and Roman mythology—plus 20 miles of wooded hiking trails.
Blueberry picking is a classic part of spending summer vacation in Dutchess County. (Of course, it's also an amazing locale for peaches, strawberries, currants and a host of other warm-weather fruit.) @julietizon found more than a few rip berries on their excursion to Rose Hill Farm in Red Hook.
We had to include a Dutchess County sunset! This shot from @thehudsonvalleycape is a winner, capturing a dazzling display of color in Pine Plains.
Summer hikes yield dramatic overlooks of the Hudson Valley. Did you know you can tackle part of the Appalachian Trail in Dutchess County? Cat Rocks is one of the AT destinations you can conquer when you visit, and it boasts truly mesmerizing views and a moderate challenge for hikers.