nearby summer escapes

Long days and warm weather lend themselves to exploring new places and pursuing small adventures. Whether your penchant is art, music, history, the outdoors or simply getting away, these destinations also have seasonal activities that may tempt you back again and again.

Go back in time to the psychedelic sights and sounds of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the Museum at Bethel Woods. See, hear and feel the ’60s on the 37-acre site of the original concert, whose artists helped shape some of today’s cultural and political movements.

Have your picture taken near the famous Woodstock Monument, and stroll the newly-restored one-mile Bindy Bazaar Trails through wooded areas west of the festival site. Special programs and events, and extended museum hours are scheduled for the 50th anniversary weekend, August 15 to 18.

Relive history through four exhibitions. We Are Golden explores positive changes inspired by the festival. We Are Stardust examines the objects and history of the Apollo II lunar landing (July 1969). 3 Days of Peace & Music: The Performers of the Woodstock Festival features vignettes from the 32 groups that performed. And Election ’68: The Whole World is Watching views the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, and other crucial events.

Yasgur’s Farm Café is in the museum and Market Shed’s all-you-can-eat buffet is atop the Woodstock festival field. Locals recommend the pizza (and more) at nearby Benji & Jake’s, delicious Tex-Mex at Barrio Kitchen and selections at The Local Table and Tap.

A former Nabisco box printing factory, Dia:Beacon showcases art from the 1960s to present-day, including the unusual, permanent display by conceptual artist Walter De Maria.

Glass blowing demonstrations at Hudson Beach Glass, a studio, gift shop and gallery within a restored firehouse, are guaranteed to enchant. Or enjoy the outdoors with kayaking and boating at Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, where you might see wildlife in these rehabilitated wetlands and meadows.

As the name suggests, Beacon Arts’ Second Saturdays occur on the second Saturday of every month. You’ll find a daylong street fair of special events, gallery openings and exhibitions, food tastings and music. Then stop by Hudson Valley Brewery for tastings and Denning’s Point Distillery for live music (weekends) and artisanal spirits, distilled from locally-sourced grains. The Beacon Farmers Market is open Sundays, through November, for fresh dairy, baked goods and produce.

Recommended are The Roundhouse’s hearty American fare in a historic setting above a waterfall and rushing creek, Ella’s Bellas with gluten-free baked goodies, and Kitchen Sink Food & Drink with its endless variety of farm-to-table dishes.

Nearby are Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island, once a Scotsman’s fortress, Stonecrop Gardens for horticultural enthusiasts, Motorcyclopedia Museum (Newburgh) with more than 600 bikes dating from 1897 to present and special-focus galleries, and Madam Brett Homestead, a seven-generation, 18th century home.

Kick off summer on June 7 with First Friday celebrations (also July 5 and August 2), including prix fixe menus at participating restaurants, wine tastings at the local wine shop, shopping specials, extended store hours and extra surprises. If your interests tend towards artisanal farm-to-table food and drink, then mark your calendars for the August 10 and 11 Putnam County Wine & Food Fest, taking place in Mayor’s Park, replete with gorgeous Hudson River views.

Wander off Main Street to the West Point Foundry Preserve — a starting point for hiking trails — or walk through the Historic District, then linger the last Sunday evening of each month through September for the Cold Spring Summer Sunset Music Series. Moo Moo’s Creamery, popular for its wide selection of flavors and enormous scoops of homemade ice cream, is perfect for a pre-concert snack.

Locals recommend indie mom-and-pop Split Rock Books with its carefully curated selections, and Poor George’s eclectic mix of vintage and new clothing at affordable prices. Favorite eateries are Hudson Hil’s Café with its brunch and First Friday Fried Chicken dinner, Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill, an upscale boutique Italian restaurant, and Rincon Argentino, a yelp favorite known for its homemade empanadas.

Nearby are Garrison Art Center on historic Garrison Landing; Boscobel House and Gardens Museum in Garrison – with its wondrous sunsets as the backdrop to the June 9 to September 8 Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival; Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary, a natural habitat for the Hudson River Estuary; and The Chapel Restoration, a Greek Revival-style church.

Now through November, this New Windsor sculpture park features Mark Dion: Follies, uniting the artist’s signature folly works into a major survey. Dion investigates intersections between culture and nature, using various visual materials. Visitors will see the artist’s process in creating these indoor and outdoor installations in altered form.

Enjoy a Highlights Tour departing from the Museum Building daily at 1 p.m. or explore its 500 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers, and more than 100 specifically placed sculptures. Storm King’s 2019 season runs through December 8, 2019.

Nearby are The Shops at Jones Farm, one of the few remaining family farms in the Hudson Valley, and The Frederic V. Malek West Point Visitors Center, the first stop for those visiting the U.S. Military Academy.

Latest posts by Janie Rosman