Caldwell House Bed & Breakfast
Fun on the Water: Kayaking in the Hudson Valley 30 Jul 2015, 9:28 pm
Can we paint a picture for you? Imagine a day where the sun is high but not too hot and you are standing before a body of water that is calm and inviting. The beauty of the Hudson Valley is all around and you can hear the chirping of birds and the quietness of nature inviting you in. Your kayak slips into the water with ease and with one stroke of your paddle you are on your way for serene, relaxing adventure. What do you say—are you ready to go kayaking in the Hudson Valley?
As local inn owners we may be a tad biased on the beauty of the Hudson Valley compared to other places around the country but there truly is a never-ending list of beautiful outdoor spaces and places to enjoy during the summer. Being out on the water brings a whole new viewpoint and there are several places to kayak in areas not far from the inn.
We would first like to highlight Storm King Adventure Tours in Cornwall-on-Hudson. They have some fantastic tours on the Hudson and their guides are friendly and knowledgeable about the area. Their three hour Bannerman’s Castle Tour is particularly fun but you will also enjoy the Moodna Marsh, Hidden Cove, Plum Point, and Sunset Tours. If you love gazing at the night skies you need to check out their new Constellation Tour! They also offer private lessons that include all of the equipment you will need.
Next, a quick half-hour drive to Cold Spring, NY will bring you to Constitution Marsh where you can drop your kayak in from the boat lunch across from the train station. A short paddle downriver and a pass under the railroad bridge will take you to the marsh—this is a nice, easy place for a beginner. Two other places great for a low-key easy paddle are the Great Vly in Greene County and Chodikee Lake just east of New Paltz. These are beautiful wetlands areas with lots of wildlife viewing opportunities.
If you are up for a bit more of a challenge, we suggest checking out Wappinger Creek in Dutchess County about 30 minutes from our inn. It has a few obstacles to navigate and water can be a bit uncertain so prepare to get wet. You can start at Cady Park in Pleasant Valley and paddle for about seven miles, ending at Greenvale Park.
These are just a few places to try—owners John and Dena can help you create a whole day trip complete with the best shopping and restaurants to try. They love helping guests make lasting memories in the Hudson Valley—don’t let summer slip away without making the ultimate bed and breakfast getaway!
Historical Tour at Kykuit: The Rockefeller Estate, NY 21 Jul 2015, 8:57 am
One of the reasons we love the Hudson Valley is the rich history that you can see almost anywhere you travel. Our own beautifully restored Colonial inn was built when Thomas Jefferson was president. We love to share the history of the Caldwell family and our inn so make sure to ask the next time we are in the parlor together! Back to the reason for this blog—we want to share with you a fantastic historical place to visit the next time you are in town with us. It is the beautiful Kykuit Rockefeller Estate in Sleepy Hollow, NY.
Doesn’t Sleepy Hollow just sound like a place you want to check out? Kykuit is a distinguished landmark in the Hudson Valley. It’s name means “lookout” and this piece of paradise is perched on a high point overlooking the Hudson River with an incredible view of the New York City skyline. Four generations of the Rockefeller family called this place home and it is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
For 100 years this beautiful site has been meticulously maintained and the architecture, gardens, and scenery are just breathtaking. The best part about going here is that you can take a behind the scenes tour of the estate! You will get to explore the six story stone house, the expansive gardens full of 20th century sculptures, underground art galleries, and the Coach Barn that is full of collectible automobiles and horse drawn carriages. Through it all you will learn the fascinating history of the Rockefeller family. Visit the website for tour dates, admission pricing and other information about your visit.
Sleepy Hollow is under an hour away from our bed and breakfast and we can tell you the best shopping and dining spots along the way to make your day out complete. Your private suite will be waiting for your return and then of course, you still have more to look forward to as you will be served a gourmet breakfast prepared by owner Dena Finneran the next morning! We’ve got our own piece of paradise here in the Hudson Valley so come for a summer getaway before the season is over.
Opus 40 Sculpture Park and Museum – Saugerties, NY 19 Jul 2015, 6:39 pm
While the Hudson Valley is overflowing with incredible art centers, theaters, and museums, which we share about often on our blog, we love highlighting the hidden gems that many may not know about. The Opus 40 Sculpture Park and Museumin Saugerties, NY is one of those gems that we highly encourage you to visit if you are passing through or looking for a fun road trip for a day during your stay with us.
From our bed and breakfast, Opus 40 is about an hour away – but a scenic, relaxing trip that will give you a new look at highlights of the Hudson Valley on your way. People that have visited this unique park have used the words beautiful, inspiring, and enchanting to describe their experience. The spectacular visual display here will have you mesmerized and truly inspired as you experience the work of art that the artist has created.
The history of this sculpture park revolves around one man named Harvey Fite. He was one of the founders of the Bard College Fine Arts Department and the purchase of an abandoned quarry for $250 was the beginning of a work of art that took him 37 years to complete. Opus 40 is a 6-½ bluestone sculpture that was created entirely by Fite’s two hands. He used a technique from the Mayans to create a landscape masterpiece of indigenous bluestone. You can walk all over swirling terraces surrounded by fountains, pools, and lush trees. It is simply breathtaking and awe inspiring as you explore one man’s life work.
Owners John and Dena would be happy to pack a picnic lunch for your afternoon or share a favorite restaurant to try on your way. Don’t let summer pass you by without making a special getaway – book online today or contact us for further information.
Sky-High Fun at New York Zipline Canopy Tours 12 Jul 2015, 1:28 pm
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s YOU! Are you looking for some summer fun, have an adventurous side, and would like to go soaring through the sky with the beautiful Hudson Valley all around you? If your answers are all yes then it is time you paid a visit to New York Zipline Canopy Tours at Hunter Mountain, NY.
This great adventure is a little over an hour away from our inn but well worth the scenic drive for a day full of fun. We can even help you pack a picnic lunch for the road or tell you of the best hotspots to grab a bite on your way. When you get there you will be able to choose from tours that go from “mild” to “wild.” This is truly a family-friendly place where everyone, no matter where they fall on the daredevil scale, will find something to enjoy. The Mid-Mountain Tour brings 6 ziplines, 4 rope bridges, 9 tree platforms and a run rappel. It lasts approximately 3 hours and is great for the beginner.
The Skyrider Zipline Tour is the longest, fastest, and highest zipline tour in North America and 2nd largest in the world! Get ready for some high-flying action with this one. After a chair lift ride, you’ll get to experience five side by side racing ziplines that could get you going up to 50 mph! This one is also around 3 hours long and definitely not for the faint of heart.
One of the other popular tours is their Night Zip Tour. For three hours you will be going through bridges, ziplines, and a 65-foot rappel all under the cloak of darkness. It takes stargazing to a whole new level. Visit their website for pricing, hours, and other amenities to be found. Grab your friends, book a private room at our bed and breakfast, and you have a weekend getaway you won’t forget!
Scenic Views on Walkway Over the Hudson, NY 3 Jul 2015, 10:01 am
Are you one to stop and smell the roses? We understand how fast time flies—life gets busy with work, responsibilities and all that comes our way every day. We run a successful inn and put our all into making each and every guest have the best stay possible so we understand being busy! It is important though to take the time to stop and slow down and in our area of the Hudson Valley, one of the best places to do this is the Walkway Over the Hudson.
The Walkway over the Hudson is an impressive bridge that spans the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie and Highland. It was built in 1889 and started out with the purpose of being a double track railroad bridge. There is a lot of history surrounding this bridge—one fact is that it was an important avenue for war freight traffic during World War II and U.S army soldiers had to guard it 24 hours a day. After being damaged by fire in 1974 it was taken out of service but it wasn’t long before it made it onto the National Register of Historic Places. After a lot of funding and creative visions from a non-profit group who knew this would be an incredible attraction for locals and tourists, the bridge was fully restored and reconstructed. It opened to the public in 2009 and is the longest footbridge in the world! It is 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long and is open year round. There is now an East Pavilion, a Mobile Web Tour, and an elevator that connects the Walkway to Upper Landing Park and the Poughkeepsie Waterfront. This allows you directly be in the center of the walkway.
You can take a guided tour if you would like to learn more about the history of the bridge and surrounding area and there are several events throughout the year including the Walkway Marathon, Movie Nights, and 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. If you are free this coming weekend, this is one place to see fireworks like you have never seen before!
The Walkway is close to our bed and breakfast making it a great place for our guests to get out and see the true beauty of the Hudson Valley. It is absolutely breathtaking in the fall so you may want to think about your fall getaway now. If you have further questions or would like to book a room for a summer getaway you can do both directly through our website.
Family Fun and Excitement at 2015 Ulster County Fair, NY 27 Jun 2015, 6:52 pm
Delicious food, exhilarating rides, amazing entertainment, family friendly activities, and a whole host of fun! What is it we are describing? The Ulster County Fair of course! If you happen to be near New Paltz, NY or staying with us during July 28 – August 2, 2015 then you need to swing over and enjoy the fun.
This wonderful county fair has deep roots as its history began back in 1869. A few men held a small agricultural fair with some horse racing and it was such a success it just kept on going, getting bigger and better every year. It has stood the test of time and remained a community standard despite floods, drought, disease, heat, famine, and war.
Daily entertainment includes Dr. Rock’s Dinosaur Adventures, Robinson’s Racing Pigs, Circus Incredible with the Wallenda family, Garden Tractor Pull, Truck Pull, and Horse Show. Two crowd favorites are sure to be the Wednesday evening Fireworks Show and the Masters of the Chainsaw Carving Competition—this 45-minute show will give you a behind the scenes look at how these creative artists sculpt their wooden masterpieces.
Parking is free at the fair and all entertainment is free with your admission ticket. The headlining acts this year include Thunder Ridge, The Swon Brothers, John Michael Montgomery, Caroline Kole, Keith Anderson, and the popular and energetic Willis Clan. It is going to be a week to remember, so plan your trip now!
Our bed and breakfast is just under 40 minutes away making us the perfect choice for your home away from home during your time in the Hudson Valley—close to the action but far enough away to enjoy some true peace and relaxation. Reserve online and contact us for further booking information.
Climb New Heights at Mohonk Preserve, NY 18 Jun 2015, 10:02 pm
Who would have known there is a whole language for the world of rock climbing? Do you know what flash, redpoint, beta, rack, gaston, and Egyptian mean? If you do then this blog is speaking your language! We love helping our guests get the most out of their trip to our beautiful area and the Mohonk Preserve is a stunning natural place that we often encourage guests to check out.
The Mohonk Preserve is actually the largest natural preserve in New York State and is located on the Shawangunk Ridge. There are trails for all kinds of activities including hiking, running, cycling, and horseback riding. The fact that around 50,000 people come every year to rock climb is proof that the 1,000 climbing routes are worth your time. There are routes from the beginner who doesn’t even know what a karabiner is to the professional who wants to soar to new heights. You can find all the information you need at the visitor’s center, located ½ mile west of Rte. 299. It costs $17 a day for climbers and the preserve is open from sunrise to sunset. Most of the climbing areas can be accessed from the West Trapps Trailhead.
The reason this area is so popular is the full easy access to so many climbing routes, variety of climbs, beautiful scenery all around, and the efforts gone in to making this area safe for climbers. The preserve has replaced countless dangerous anchors with safe, fixed ones and there is a highly trained vertical rescue team on hand should anyone fall into danger. We encourage you to read the area’s climbing policies before heading out and be sure to you are well prepared for the day ahead.
Then when your day of climbing is done, you can grab a bite to eat at Loughran’s Irish Pub, which is right next door to our inn, before retreating into your luxurious, comfortable room. That sounds like a day well spent in the Hudson Valley!
Farm to Fork Feast – Salisbury Mills, NY 12 Jun 2015, 8:42 pm
There are many things in life that are best when we wait for the perfect timing. Think about a soufflé coming out of the oven at just the right time, a wedding picture snapped at the perfect time during a sunset or capturing the exact moment a child takes a first step. We know about perfect timing—especially when it comes to when the produce in the Hudson Valley area is at its best. The season is truly at perfection by late June and to celebrate summer and the amazing local ingredients we have access to, we are having a Farm-to-Fork Country Feast and you do not want to miss it!
This exclusive event will take place Friday, June 26, 2015 right here at The Caldwell House and begin at 6pm with light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. The main feast, catered by The Fresh Café, will be served from 7-10pm. It will be set up in our new “Great Room” with additional tables outside for those who desire to dine under the stars. Only the freshest of ingredients will be used from Jones Farm in Cornwall, Blooming Hill Farm in Blooming Grove, Gray Family Farm in New Windsor, Lowlands Farm in Warwick, Edgwick Farm in Cornwall, Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, and Palaia Vineyards in Highland Mills. Your dinner will include a five-course tasting menu and two glasses of local wine—Riesling from Brotherhood Winery and/or a wonderful Cabernet Franc from Palaia’s.
To add to the ambiance of this special evening, our dinner will be complimented by some fantastic live music from The Parting Glass Band—a local musical group with Irish roots. The cost for this event is $150 per person. We would love to have you spend the entire weekend with us—enjoy the Farm-to-Fork evening and then spend the rest of your time enjoying all that the Hudson Valley has to offer this time of year. It will be great!
Picking Fresh at Greig Farm – Red Hook, NY 6 Jun 2015, 12:07 pm
What is your favorite go-to summer activity? If we took a poll with all of the guests that come and stay with us, we would get a myriad of answers! One of the best things about the Hudson Valley and why so many come to vacation here (and often stay permanently!) is that there is an abundance of things to do, places to see, and things to try and experience. We could definitely give you a top ten list, which may make it on a future blog, but for now we thought we would reach out to those who may like the simpler things in life and appreciate knowing of a wonderful local farm to go and visit.
Greig Farm is located in Red Hook, NY, which is about an hour away from our bed and breakfast. It is a gorgeous drive and worth the trip if you are looking for a spot to pick some fantastic, fresh summer fruit and vegetables. They have been open to the public for 60 years and have created a reputation for offering products full of flavor. They are open every day for strawberry picking—rain or shine. They do not use systemic chemicals and when their seasons arrive, they offer plums, cherries, apricots, peaches, and nectarines as well. For those who live nearby or will be frequenting the farm often, you can take advantage of their Fresh Fruit Membership and have all of their produce picked and ready for you to pick up every Friday. Before you leave the farm don’t forget to pay a visit to the pygmy goats and koi fishpond.
This is just a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon—pack a picnic lunch and just enjoy some great local produce and the beauty of the Hudson Valley surrounding you. We love using fresh, local produce anytime we can and owner Dena has some amazing breakfast recipes that use delicious summer fruit so if you will be with us this summer season, you are in for a treat!
History in Flight at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, NY 31 May 2015, 8:26 pm
Marcus Garvey was a political leader and civil rights activist from Jamaica who once said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” Keeping history alive is crucial, particularly the times when our nations were at war–the generation of men who fought for our freedom is slowly passing on. One special place where history is alive is the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Red Hook, NY. If you are a history or airplane buff, this is one stop you need to make this summer.
The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a delightful museum of antique aviation. As a proud nation, we all have a deep respect those WW1 fighters and the aerodrome literally takes you on a time machine trip back to that time period. Get a unique experience of seeing some extremely rare, and old planes actually flying! It is an experience no aviation enthusiast should pass up. The aerodrome boasts one of the largest collections of early aeroplanes in the world all the while maintaining the charm of a small town attraction.
The museum is open to the public seven days a wee from June to October and the most popular event to attend are their weekend shows. The Saturday show honors the history of flight with several planes taking to the skies and the Sunday show entertains with a WW1 dogfight and other aerial demonstrations. There is a fantastic little museum with several interesting displays, automobiles, motorcycles, and memorabilia from 1900-1939.
If you feel daring and up for some adventure, don’t pass up taking a thrilling air tour in one of their bi-planes. Imagine sweeping over the Hudson River in an open cockpit—it is a bucket list experience that you will not forget!
We are about an hour’s drive from this fun museum and with some great shopping and dining along the way, this would make a perfect day trip during your time with us. With many incredible events going on in the Hudson Valley this summer, make sure to book your stay before we fill up! Book directly online or give us a call for further information.