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.
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.
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.
- Fourth of July Celebrations
- The Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival
- And various food festivals
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 packing less layers. You can always run into a coffee shop to warm up.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:
Ok, let’s dive in!
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.
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.
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:
- Dutch Apple Cruises (Albany)
- Hudson River Adventures Pride of the Hudson (Newburgh)
- Hudson River Cruises (Kingston)
- River Rose Cruises (Newburgh)
- Hudson Cruises (Hudson)
- Trinity Cruise Company (Peekskill)
- Bannerman Cruise & Walking Tour (Beacon)
- Empire Cruise Lines (Poughkeepsie)
- Nyack Boat Charter (Nyack)
- Tivoli Sailing Company (Kingston)
- Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (Beacon)
- Hudson Sailing (Kingston)
- I Paddle New York (Saugerties)
- Hudson River Expeditions (Cold Spring)
- Storm King Adventure Tours (Cornwall on Hudson)
- Hudson River Recreation (Croton on Hudson)
- New Paltz Kayaking (New Paltz)
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 –
- Splashdown Beach (Fishkill)
- Bear Mountain Public Pool (Tomkins Cove, NY)
- FDR State Park (Yorktown Heights)
- Pool at Playland Park (Rye)
Amusement/Adventure Parks –
- Legoland Discover Center (Yonkers)
- Rye Playland Amusement Park (Rye)
- The Castle Fun Center (Chester)
- NY Zipline Adventures at Hunter Mountain (Hunter)
Zoos & Nature Parks/Centers –
- Taconic Outdoor Education Center (Cold Spring)
- Trailside Museum at Bear Mountain State Park
- Trevor Zoo (Millbrook)
- Forsyth Nature Center (Kingston)
- Greenburgh Nature Center (Scarsdale)
- Albany Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center (Albany)
Activities for Children –
- Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (Poughkeepsie)
- Westchester Children’s Museum (Rye)
- The Highlands Nature Museum (Cornwall on Hudson)
- Open Barn at Stony Kill Farm (Wappingers Falls)
Day Trips to famous estates & historic homes –
- Vanderbilt Mansion (Hyde Park)
- Lyndhurst Mansion (Tarrytown)
- Philipsburg Manor House (Sleepy Hollow)
- Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site (Yonkers)
- Washington Irving’s Sunnyside (Tarrytown)
- Boscobel House & Gardens (Cold Spring)
- Edward Hopper House Art Center (Nyack)
- Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Hyde Park)
- Home of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site (Hyde Park)
- Locust Grove Estate (Poughkeepsie)
Fairs & Festivals –
- Mac & Cheese Fest
- Taco Fest
- Seafood Festival
- Sangria Festivals
- 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
Essential Packing List for Summer in the Hudson Valley
- 2+ Swimsuits
- Beach cover-up
- Waterproof flip flops
- 3+ tank tops/t-shirts
- A light cardigan for cooler nights
- Sunglasses and/or hat & Sunblock
- Crossbody bag
- 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
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
#2: Late night movies at local Drive-Ins, local parks and Historic Sites
#3: wineries on the Shawangunk Wine Trail in Ulster and Orange Counties.
#4: Buying fresh produce at the local 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.
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…
Until the Next Adventure…
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