Hudson Valley Summer Activities: 20+ Things to do & What to Pack

Let me start this post by saying that I was TERRIBLE at packing a carry-on and WORSE at packing a weekend bag. That is why I made this Hudson Valley summer activities travel packing list – in order to make the task much easier.

Traveling in the summer and packing light can be easy for some people. But I make it less easy by packing many ‘extras’.

When I began taking Weekend trips to different areas of the Hudson Valley, I never really thought about how much more stuff I would need. And then my bag would fill up with JUST the essentials.

After reading this post, I’m confident you’ll be more prepared to pack for your trip without forgetting any essentials, so you can enjoy every minute of the Hudson Valley without stress.

COVID-19 NOTICE:

Although some of these Hudson Valley Summer Activities are open to the public, please follow these guidelines:
Please be safe.
Practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands thoroughly and follow all mandates and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and NY State and local Governments.

Sunflowers during summer in the Hudson Valley

BONUS:
My Summer in the Hudson Valley Travel Packing List will surely be helpful the next time
you plan to pack in winter.

The Hudson Valley Summer Activities Travel Packing List

Before you begin packing

#1: Check the weather

First things first – check out the how the weather will be before you even consider packing.

I have made the mistake several times of packing without checking the weather and regretted not being prepared (rain in Disney, unusually cold in New Orleans, etc).

I know the Hudson Valley is not a huge location, but the weather can differ from one county to another. Ten counties is a lot of space when you consider that it can be much hotter in Lower Hudson Valley and in the cities versus Upper Hudson Valley and in the country/mountains.

#2: Make a list of Activities you will be doing

Make sure you are prepared with any essential gear that you will need for some popular Hudson Valley Summer Activities & Events.

These include:

  • Fourth of July Celebrations
  • The Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival
  • And various food festivals
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Swimming

Read my blog post highlighting fun Hudson Valley Summer Events.

#3: Examine where you’ll be staying the majority of the time

Check and see if you’ll be spending the majority of your time in the city or in the county.

Why is this important? If you’re visiting the city, then you can get away with less things. You can always run into a coffee shop to cool off and stock up on water at a local mart. If you’re visiting the country, you will be out in the elements for longer periods of time without an indoor break.

But if you’re in the planning stages of your trip, make sure to check out some Summer in the Hudson Valley posts that will help you choose what to do during your adventure:

POPULAR HUDSON VALLEY FARMERS MARKETS

HUDSON VALLEY SUMMER EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED

A COMPLETE LIST OF FAVORITE HUDSON VALLEY ICE CREAM SHOPS

Ok, let’s dive in!

Newburgh waterfront and the River Rose during Summer in the Hudson Valley

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP TO/IN THE HUDSON VALLEY:
> Temperature and weather are different depending on where in the Hudson Valley you will be staying or exploring. So plan accordingly.

> Be prepared for rain, even if there is no rain predicted for the day.

> Evenings can be much colder than day time temperatures, so it’s always good to have an extra layer or two with you/in the car.

> Although you may have a location in mind, always double check hours of operation. Summertime events, fairs, festivals in the Hudson Valley may interfere with your initial plans.

How to Use This Post when packing for Hudson Valley Summer Activities

I’ve broken down all of the basic Hudson Valley packing essentials so you can prep for your visit without being worried about missing a thing. However, I’d recommend downloading my printable Summer in the Hudson Valley Packing List below so that you can check things off the list as you’re packing for your adventure.

In the downloadable checklist, I’ve also included an essentials section that applies to any trip.

In the rest of this post, I’ve included information on the weather in the Hudson Valley, what to expect during the summer in the Hudson Valley, and some of the must-haves for any adventure.

Download image for summer in the Hudson Valley packing list

Weather – Summer in the Hudson Valley

Summer weather in the Hudson Valley (June – September) can consistently range from 80 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region and the Catskills are warm and humid throughout the summer and evenings can be muggy.

Many parts of the Lower Hudson Valley often experience warmer summers with spikes in temperatures that may go above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because the Hudson Valley Region runs approximately 150 miles north, the weather can be significantly different in Westchester County than in Albany County. And because much of the Hudson Valley is mountainous, that also adds to the changes in climate due to the high elevation.

If you run hot, plan to visit the Hudson Valley in late spring or early summer when the temperature is more moderate. Autumn in the Hudson Valley is typically a favorite for many visitors because of the abundance of fall foliage.

Esopus lighthouse as seen from the shore during summer in the Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley Summer Activities

There is no shortage of Hudson Valley Summer activities. As someone who lives here full-time, I can assure you that I STILL have not done everything I want to do during the summers here.

Popular summer activities include:

Boating –

Sailing –

Kayacking –

Hiking –

If it’s hiking you’re looking for, then summer in the Hudson Valley is perfect for you. Now that I come to think of it, almost every season in the Hudson Valley offers great hiking.

Because of the abundance of hiking options in the Hudson Valley, there are just way too many to list here.

Pools & Water Parks –

Amusement/Adventure Parks –

Zoos & Nature Parks/Centers –

Activities for Children –

Day Trips to famous estates & historic homes –

Fairs & Festivals – (many cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020)

  • Mac & Cheese Fest
  • Taco Fest
  • Seafood Festival
  • Sangria Festivals
  • RibFest
  • Food & Wine Festivals
  • Food Truck Festivals
  • Cider Festivals
  • Ulster County Fair
  • Dutchess County Fair
  • Newburgh Illuminated Festival
  • First Friday in Poughkeepsie
  • Second Saturday in Beacon
  • NY Renaissance Faire
Father taking picture of son on the Walkway on the Hudson

Essential Packing List for Summer in the Hudson Valley

The Must-Haves

  • Undergarments
  • Pajamas
  • 2+ Swimsuits
  • Beach cover-up
  • Waterproof flip flops
  • 3+ tank tops/t-shirts
  • A light cardigan for cooler nights
  • Sunglasses and/or hat & Sunblock
  • Sandals
  • Crossbody bag
  • Sneakers
  • Socks for sneakers
  • Long pants for cooler nights
  • Insulated water bottle (collapsible preferred)
  • Bug Spray (if hiking and/or spending the majority of the day outdoors)
  • Poncho for rainy days

SHOP HERE FOR THESE ITEMS AND MORE

Extra Necessities for Activities

These items are not essential for Summer in the Hudson Valley, but depending on which activities you plan to partake in during your outings, you’ll want to consider adding some of these.

If you’re hiking through rockier terrain

  • Hiking Boots

If you plan to do water activities

  • Plastic bags for wet bathing suits
  • A Quick dry towel

10 Reasons to love Summer in the Hudson Valley

#1: All the Ice Cream you can ever want

SEE MY FULL LIST OF HUDSON ICE CREAM PLACES

#2: Late night movies at local Drive-Ins, local parks and Historic Sites

HERE’S MY FULL LIST OF HUDSON VALLEY DRIVE-INS

#3: wineries on the Shawangunk Wine Trail in Ulster and Orange Counties.

#4: Buying fresh produce at the local farmers markets

SEE MY FULL LIST OF HUDSON VALLEY FARMERS MARKETS

#5: Strolling, shopping & eating through Hudson Valley River Towns

#6: Exploring the Hudson River on a Boat/Cruise/Sailboat

#7: Hiking and discovering wildlife along the way

#8: Eating at the many restaurants along the Hudson River Banks

#9: Enjoying Outdoor Fairs & Festival throughout the Hudson Valley

#10: Enjoying Outdoor Music at local parks and Historic Sites

TIPS FOR AN AMAZING TIME DURING SUMMER IN THE HUDSON VALLEY
> Check individual destination websites for updated days/hours of operation

> Have a Plan B in case the weather does not cooperate with your original plan.

> Bring and extra set of clothes/shoes on your outings.

> Be prepared for any kind of weather.

Download image for summer in the Hudson Valley packing list

Where to Next?

Now that you have information regarding what you can see & do during summer in the Hudson Valley, let’s see where you should go next…

Map Key for the Hudson Valley Exploring Map

Until the Next Adventure…

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Make this Hudson Valley New York Summer the best one yet! Read all about the best Day trips from New York City and what you can enjoy as a Hudson Valley Family. Things to do in the Hudson Valley | Things to do in New York | Hudson Valley Art | Hudson Valley Events