Nestled along the banks of the majestic Hudson River, the CIA takes full advantage of the bounty of its valley home. Food tourism is huge here, with an abundance of farms, vineyards, and restaurants, many owned by our renowned alumni. The region is also rich with history, art, and outdoor adventure. There’s plenty to do, so go ahead...explore!
The region has a great selection of “pick-your-own” farms, whether you’re looking for fresh apples to bake with or that perfect decorative pumpkin for carving. Many have festivals or other special events going on. Some popular local options include Wrights Farm, Minard Farms, Dubois Farms, and Sprout Creek Farm, famous for its cheeses. So grab a large bag, get out there, and start pickin’!
There are dozens of farmers’ markets in the area, including the Hyde Park Farmers Market held June through October right up the road from the campus. Be sure to also check out the bustling Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market during the summer and fall. Plus, there are many more food-related events to savor. Take a sampling of the Valley’s bounty home with you!
Craft and local beers are all the rage around the country, and the Hudson Valley is no different. There are plenty of great places to sample the region’s beers, such as the Hyde Park Brewing Company just to the north and the college’s very own The Brewery at the CIA right on campus. Other great choices include Mill House Brewing Company, Blue Collar Brewery, King’s Court Brewing Company, Zeus Brewing Company, Cousins Ale Works, Hudson Ale Works, Sloop Brewing Company, and New Paltz Brewing Company. Have fun, and remember to always drink responsibly!
We have our very own Wine Country right here in the Hudson Valley; in fact, it’s America’s oldest wine-making and grape-growing region. Choose from more than 25 area wineries that offer tours, tastings, and special events. Some of the best include Adair Vineyards in New Paltz, Benmarl Winery in Millbrook, and Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, the oldest winery in the U.S. You can customize your own wine trail through the Valley!
There are plenty of world-class dining options offering a variety of global flavors throughout the Hudson Valley. Many feature CIA alumni, including Crew Restaurant & Bar (Thomas Kacherski ’01), Lola’s Café and Catering (Edward Kowalski ’98), and The Would Restaurant (Claire Winslow ’85). You can also see current students in action at the CIA’s own outstanding restaurants right on campus—American Bounty Restaurant, The Bocuse Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, and Apple Pie Bakery Café. Read more about them at CIARestaurantGroup.com.
The town of Hyde Park offers several popular tourist destinations steeped in history. Visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum and see the gorgeous grounds, gardens, and trails where FDR lived. Enjoy the charming Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s retreat that’s the only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady. And explore the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site’s pristine property that boasts centuries-old trees and stunning Hudson River and Catskill Mountain views.
The Hudson Valley boasts hundreds of antiques stores, craft shops, and boutiques, along with brand name designer stores and outlets. There are a number of upscale malls and plazas along Route 9, including the Poughkeepsie Plaza six miles south of the CIA, and the Poughkeepsie Galleria and The Shoppes At South Hills, both about 10 miles from the college. Further south (about an hour’s drive but well worth it!), the Woodbury Commons boasts one of the world's largest collections of designer outlets.
Want to see firsthand some of the area’s famous fall foliage or other scenic wonders? Take a walk…or a ride, even! There are some spectacular opportunities to become one with nature. One of the best ways to catch the splendor of our riverside community is the Walkway Over the Hudson, a state park open year-round that spans the Hudson River. At 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles across, it’s the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. You can also stroll or bike along the Dutchess Rail Trail, hike the Catskill or Shawangunk Mountains, visit some of the region’s beautiful state parks, or catch year-round events at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, including the Dutchess Country Fair in August.
The CIA is just five minutes from the Poughkeepsie train station, and then it’s only 90 minutes to New York City! That means you have easy access to the restaurants, museums, theater, music, shopping, major league sports, and amazing street life of the city that never sleeps.
There’s a wide variety of arts and entertainment venues throughout the region. Just five minutes away in Poughkeepsie, you’ll find the Bardavon Opera House, New York State’s oldest continually operating theater, and the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, which presents a regular schedule of popular performers and shows. DIA:Beacon showcases art from the 1960s to today as well as special exhibitions and public programs. And across the river to the south, you’ll find The Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre park where you can stroll amid stunning sculptures from top artists. There’s also a broad selection of movie theaters, including the Hyde Park Drive-in and Roosevelt Cinemas just up the road from the CIA.
Discover everything Hyde Park and the surrounding Hudson Valley region have to offer while you’re visiting. Here are some references to get your started:
Please Note: The Culinary Institute of America does not endorse these websites. They are listed for your convenience.
The CIA purchases a million dollars’ worth of local products every year for our restaurants.
The CIA has $500,000 worth of wine in our cellar culled from all regions of the world.