If you’re interested in exploring the Catskills region of New York, my Rhinebeck travel guide is a great place to start. See where I stayed, what I ate and everything I got up to in my autumn adventures.
Hello there! While the festive season is literally just around the corner, I simply won’t let myself start decking the halls until I finish sharing about my wonderful autumn adventures in New York.
Rhinebeck Travel Guide
It was one year ago that my sister booked a trip for my mom and me to join her at Rhinebeck’s famous Wool and Sheep festival. My sister is a very talented knitter and while neither myself nor my mom (although she tries) are knitters ourselves, she knew we would absolutely love the area and encouraged us to come.
While I didn’t know quite what to expect, I knew I was in for some beautiful scenery and a lot of charm! And upon pulling into town, I was not disappointed. Driving to our hotel, I felt like I was literally driving right into a Hallmark film. And, as a shameless fan of Hallmark’s cheesy classics, this was A-okay in my book.
Since I enjoyed this trip and exploring a new area of New York so much, I thought I’d put together a little Rhinbeck Travel Guide of sorts to walk you through the whole experience. Over our three-night stay, each of us had such a fabulous time that we’re already planning a return trip next year.
Where We Stayed
To kick off this lil’ Rhinebeck Travel Guide, I obviously have to gush for a minute about the beautiful hotel we called home for three nights. Located in the heart of downtown Rhinebeck is the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn – a historic hotel that dates back to 1766. That’s right. The inn is technically ten years older than the United States itself, a fact that is kind of mind boggling when you think about it.
Stepping into the lobby to check in, you can immediately sense the history of the building. The ceiling heights are lower than the standard of today, there’s gorgeous wooden floors and a fireplace in every room. After a day’s drive, our arrival at the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn couldn’t have felt more welcoming.
Dining at the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn
The Beekman Arms Inn truly does it all. In addition to their cozy and charming accommodations for housing, they also have a fine restaurant and complimentary breakfast.
Coming off a day of driving and touring the Roosevelt estate, it felt like a luxury to enjoy a relaxing dinner right at the hotel for our first meal in Rhinebeck. And so we trotted down to to the restaurant where we enjoyed a beautiful meal alongside a painting of George Washington and one of the hotel’s many fireplaces. (I’m not joking when I say there’s one in every room.)
Since I follow a vegan/plant-based diet, I was a little nervous that their classic American menu wouldn’t have much to offer for me – but I was able to find a quinoa salad and roasted harvest vegetables for my meal. On the side, of course, I had to have a cocktail and I went all out ordering a Manhattan. What could possibly be more relaxing than some bourbon over a candlelit dinner?
In the mornings, I definitely took advantage of the complimentary breakfast that was available. With piping hot coffee, fresh fruit and toasted English muffins to be had…I couldn’t possibly say no. Could you?
Dinner at Terrapin
My Rhinbeck travel guide continues with discussion on the fabulous meal we had a Terrapin! Situated right near our hotel, it was just about a five minute walk to dinner and after exploring the Vanderbilt Estate we were famished.
My sister took it upon herself to scout out all the best places for us to eat and assured me that the menu would absolutely have something to fit my plant-based diet. Right she was! The farm-to-table restaurant was very accommodating with several entrees for me to choose from. In fact, the menu has a whole coded system that points out which entrees are meat and dairy free – as well as wheat free for those with an intolerance to gluten.
It was definitely a tough decision, but being a carb lover at heart…I went for the Campanelle Puttanesca. With a nice kick to it, the pasta was filled with flavor from red pepper flakes, Moroccan cured olives and capers.
Rhinebeck Travel Guide I The Sights
Of course I have to share a little bit of the scenery from around the town of Rhinebeck, New York itself. During our stay at the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn, we were conveniently within walking distance to just about everything and I so enjoyed looking around all the shops and neighborhoods.
Every nook of Rhinebeck truly did uphold that gold “Straight out of a Hallmark” movie standard. From cobblestone sidewalks, to a classic movie theater, historic homes, boutiques and even an old general store. Foodies, you will especially enjoy all of the restaurants to choose from in the downtown area. We couldn’t possibly visit them all on this trip, meaning we have plenty more spots to try in the future.
In the Area
I wouldn’t be doing a good job in writing a Rhinebeck Travel Guide if I didn’t mention some of the fantastic nearby experiences you can enjoy.
On our trip, we hit three key “landmarks” of sorts:
- The Roosevelt Estate and Presidential Museum
- New York Culinary Institute of America
- The Vanderbilt Estate
Each are about a 15 to 20 minute drive from Rhinebeck and well worth your time. If you’re a history buff, or one in the making like me, you’ll particularly enjoy spending time at the Roosevelt Estate. There you’ll be able to see FDR’s family home up close and personal as well as walk through his presidential museum.
If you’re a foodie, you’re going to love visiting the New York Culinary Institute. We had such a fabulous lunch there and it truly felt like visiting the Hogwarts of cooking.
To see the most breath-taking views of the Hudson River Valley, I also highly recommend stopping at the Vanderbilt Estate. As a Gilded Age home, I found the decor a bit OTT and not nearly as charming as at the Roosevelt’s home…but without question, the views were remarkable!
Good news: both the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt estates are national parks. This means, admission to the grounds is actually free to the public. To tour inside the houses, you’ll simply need to pay a reasonable donation of $10 to support the parks.
Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival
When my sister and all of her knitting friends told my mom and me that the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival was an EVENT…they were not joking. In fact, I dubbed the festival the “Woodstock of Knitting” because I’ve honestly never seen anything quite like it.
The festival is held at the Rhinebeck fair grounds and vendors from far and wide travel to display their knitwear, yarn and patterns. Fear not, though, for if you’re not a knitter there is still MUCH to see (and buy). From savory sweets, to handbags, chocolate, maple syrup, lotions, jewelry and more…there truly was something for everyone.
The festival grounds also had a charming antique museum featuring artifacts from Rhinebeck’s history. There was even a blacksmith on hand giving a demonstration on how to make a cowbell. How cool is that?
The “Main” Falafel Event
Before the festival, I kept hearing about this illusive falafel people stood in line for hours to try. Yes, you read that correctly. People going mad for a falafel. I honestly figured everyone was kind of pulling my leg about it because while yes, a falafel is tasty – it’s not exactly something I’ve ever seen people going absolutely gaga about.
Turns out, though, in Rhinebeck…people do truly go MAD for a Falafel. The line for Aba’s Falafel stretched as far as the eye good see when we attended the festival on Saturday and no matter how long we tried to wait it out, it never got any shorter. Obviously my interest was peeked and so when we returned on Sunday morning for another loop around the vendors, I finally got my Falafel…for breakfast. And by golly, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten! It was served fresh in a warm pita with all the fixings you could ask for…and was absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious.
I know, I know. This Rhinebeck travel guide post is a bit of a long one — and this is even with me strongly holding myself on the pictures. (Trust me, I took LOTS!)
What can I say, though? It was a wonderful trip. In addition to totally lucking out with the weather, we were able to see and do so much over our four-day stay and I’m already looking forward to another visit. If you’re looking to enjoy a trip to New York that ventures outside the Big Apple, I definitely recommend checking out the Rhinebeck and Hyde Park region. I promise you’ll love it!
Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to share this Rhinebeck Travel Guide with someone in need of a little New York adventure.
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