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Things to do in Orange County, NY: The Best Places to See

Orange County, NY waterfront from Newburgh

I’m always surprised to know that there are so many things to do in Orange County, NY. Because of the vast amount of natural spaces, I figured it would have less to offer than other counties in the Hudson Valley, especially ones closer to the city.

But, boy am I wrong.

A guide to Orange County, NY

I’m going to tell you a little story…

When we purchased our home in 2013, we were living in Yonkers, NY (Westchester County). We loved the idea of moving to Orange County, NY and looked forward to exploring it all. 

It took us some time, though, to settle into our new surroundings and get a feel for how close and how far things were from our new home. We naively thought that if it was in our county, it would be close by.

Looking back, I wish I had some guidance and someone to tell me about the surrounding areas and things that we could see and do near our new home.

Now, as a more knowledgeable and seasoned Mid-Hudson Valley resident, I am here to show you some great things to do in Orange County, NY.

Storm King Art Center is the premier sculpture park in the North East

HELPFUL INFORMATION REGARDING ORANGE COUNTY, NY:
> Orange County, NY is a large area to cover, so be mindful when making plans. Google Maps is your best friend.

> Several highways run through Orange County, NY and make it easy to get from one area to another. I-84 runs from East to West, as the NY State Thruway, I-87, runs North to South.

> Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets is in Orange County, NY and the New York State Thruway can get crowded in that particular area (Monroe/Woodbury, NY).

Where is Orange County, NY? How far is it from NYC?

Map of Orange County, NY

Orange County, NY sits along the Hudson River and is sandwiched between Rockland County and Ulster County.

It is a large county and a very diverse one. Its landscape varies from farmlands, small towns to cities.

For a full list of towns and cities in Orange County, NY, take a look at my post all about the Hudson Valley Counties.

Some places that you may already know in Orange County include:

> Monroe, NY
> Woodbury, NY (as in Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets)
> Middletown, NY
> Newburgh, NY

shopping bags in hand
Photo courtesy: Ivory Mix

But, did you know that Orange County, NY is the only county that sits along the Hudson River and the Delaware River?

This makes it an ideal location for anyone who loves the outdoors, outdoor sports and beautiful scenery. Additionally, if you love the outdoors, then you need to visit Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park while you’re here.

Bear Mountain Carousel with guests riding it.
Carousel at Bear Mountain State Park

According to orangetourism.org:

“Some of New York State’s biggest attractions are right here in Orange County, including West Point, Storm King Art Center, and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Orange County is just 50 miles from New York City, a place to dine on the Hudson River, visit wineries, raft the Delaware River, hike the Appalachian Trail, and spend the night with a view of our beautiful mountains.”

How can you get to Orange County, NY?

Orange County is home to Stewart International Airport. Many major carriers now fly in and out of Stewart Airport. This makes it a convenient location to travel into and from when visiting the area and many parts of the Hudson Valley.

If you’re already in New York, you can hop on the Metro-North Port Jervis Line and several bus companies to go from one area to another. These methods of transportation can take you right into the heart of Orange County without a hitch.

Metro-North train pulling into the station
Metro-North Train

By car, major highways to and in Orange County include I-84 (East/Westbound) and I-87 (North/Southbound).

The Palisades Parkway also crosses into Orange County. For a more scenic route, you can also travel up US Route 9W and be amazed by the scenery as you drive up and down the mountains.

Don’t forget to find a way of crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge while you’re out exploring. Stop and take amazing photos of the bridge. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed…

Bear Mountain Bridge

Things to do in Orange County, NY

Things to do in Orange County, NY for Art Lovers

Storm King Art Center

If you love art and being outdoors, a visit to Storm King Art Center is a must. It is one of my most favorite places around.

Take a stroll through this open-air art center in New Windsor, NY. Storm King Art Center is home to large-scale sculptures and is an impressive place to visit.

In addition to the works displayed during their season (April – November), they also have special events throughout the year, such as their ‘Winter Weekends’ and their ‘Moonlight Walks’.

Storm King Art Center

Things to do in Orange County, NY for History Lovers

For History Lovers amongst us, make sure you visit the following amazing places:

Washington’s Headquarters

George Washington's Headquarters is located along the Hudson River in Newburgh, NY. It's one of the best things to do when you visit Orange County, NY

Stand where George Washington stood when visiting the Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, NY.

Open year-round for tours of Hasbrouck House, this majestic property overlooking the Hudson River played an important role during the last year of the American Revolutionary War.

New Windsor Cantonment

New Windsor Cantonment in Orange County, NY

Explore the Continental Army’s final military encampment. New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is open seasonally (April – October) for living history and offers activities and events with reenactors in period costumes. The Visitors Center Exhibits are open year-round.

Gomez Mill House

Discover the oldest surviving Jewish dwelling in North America and the oldest home in Orange County. The Gomez Mill House, located in Newburgh (on the Orange County/Ulster County border) is open seasonally (April – October).

This museum and unique historic home educates visitors about the Gomez Mill family by hosting tours and special events.

The entrance to the Mill Gomez House in the Spring. This historic home is located in Orange County, Hudson Valley

These are just a few of the wonderful historical places in the county. The list goes on and on.

Things to do in Orange County, NY – Museums

Museum Village

Voted the ‘Top Family-Friendly Place to Go’ by Hudson Valley Parent Magazine, this open-air museum, in Monroe, NY, educates its visitors about the work and life of our ancestors.

Museum Village has a variety of exhibit buildings that offer hands-on activities for everyone who visits. Open seasonally (April – December), in addition to the exhibits presently there, the museum offers many special events.

West Point Museum

The front of the West Point Museum

Spend an afternoon at the West Point Museum and the Frederic V Malek West Point Visitors Center. West Point Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets historically significant artifacts pertaining to the United States Military Academy, United States Army and the Profession of Arms.

The Visitors Center Exhibits include a full-scale cadet barracks room, a cadet uniform room, cadet daily life, academic fields of endeavor and the admissions process.

Things to do in Orange County, NY – Festivals

NY Renaissance Faire

The New York Renaissance Faire is the premier event of the year in the Hudson Valley, New York

You have to experience the New York Renaissance Faire in order to believe it! This premier event happens only once a year, on the weekends, from August through the beginning of October.

They have themes that change every weekend and the faire grounds have 20 stages and over 100 shops, as well as, food vendors and an area for their jousting competition.

Orange County Fair

County fair pic boy with balloon

Taking place in Middletown, NY, this yearly festival is what everyone waits for. It’s fun for the entire family and mixes classic rides, delicious food and so much more.

As New York’s oldest fair, the Orange County Fair has been visited by many generations of New Yorkers.

Newburgh Illuminated Festival

Dancer at the Newburgh Illuminated Festival Dancing on stage

The festival showcases the Best of Newburgh and the Hudson Valley. This yearly festival takes place every June and it is still going strong. 

There is such a wonderful sense of community at the Newburgh Illuminated Festival. It’s always so nice to see so many people come out and celebrate the arts, both young and old.

Farmers Markets in Orange County, NY

Hepworth farms hudson valley farmers market

During the Summer, some of the best Farmers Markets also take place in Orange County. If you’re struggling to find some near you, you can always look at this comprehensive list of Hudson Valley Farmers’ Markets.

More Things to do in Orange County, NY

If you’re looking for wineries, breweries and cideries, then you’ve come to the right place.

Orange County is home to the famous Angry Orchard Cider House, Newburgh Brewing Company, and Brotherhood Winery.

SOME TIPS TO MAKE YOUR TRIP TO ORANGE COUNTY, NY AMAZING:
> Many places listed here are open seasonally. Check each individual location for the days/times they are open to the public.

> Many places charge an entrance, admission and/or tour fee. Check each individual location for more detailed information regarding prices.

Sharing is Caring!
When visiting local attractions, be sure to tell them that you found them on Hudson Valley Exposed


Looking for Local deals?
Check out Groupon.com. I always find great deals there.


Explore my Hudson Valley Map

My interactive map features all of the attractions, parks, museums and businesses I’ve personally visited and written about to date. 
The blog posts written about each location are linked within the corresponding pin. 

Be sure to zoom in and/or out in order to see all the locations.

Map Key for the Hudson Valley Exploring Map

Interested in learning about other counties in
the Hudson Valley, NY?
Read more below:

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT WESTCHESTER COUNTY

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ROCKLAND COUNTY

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT PUTNAM COUNTY

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT DUTCHESS COUNTY

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ULSTER COUNTY

Until the Next Adventure…

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Discover all the great things to do in Orange County, NY. Things to do in the Hudson Valley, NY. Hudson Valley Weekend Getaways | Travel Hudson Valley | New York State
About Author

Jackie is the HV blogger behind Hudson Valley Exposed, featuring the hottest things to do, places to see and weekend getaways. Get information from a local who is seeing it all! She lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region with her hubby, kids, and doggies.

2 Comments

  • Nina | Lemons and Luggage
    July 9, 2018 at 5:28 PM

    Wow, there are so many places in the US I haven’t even heard of! Looks really lovely and interesting!

    Reply
    • Jackie
      July 9, 2018 at 6:12 PM

      Hi Nina! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, there is a lot to do here. The entire Hudson Valley is chockfull of fun and interesting activities.

      Reply

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