If you’re responsible for planning student educational tours, your challenge is to balance learning with fun experiences. It also helps if your itinerary covers more than one subject in the curriculum. For a hands-on history lesson that also includes exposure to arts and culture, without forgetting the fun – consider the Hudson River Valley region. This ten-county region – easily accessible to motorcoaches – offers a concentration of sites and attractions open and welcoming to student groups. Historic sites cover multiple pivotal points throughout America’s past; cultural institutions pay homage to arts both past and present; and outdoor recreation offers thrilling moments perfectly captured in a Gen Z’s Instagram feed. Making it even easier, group-friendly restaurants and accommodations are ample and open year-round.
Just what would a multi-day student tour of the Hudson Valley look like? Here’s one sample.
DAY 1 – Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster Counties
Magazzino Italian Art
A private warehouse art space showcasing post-war and contemporary Italian art.
2700 U.S. Route 9, Cold Spring
Hudson River Expeditions
Kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddleboard rentals, tours, and instruction for the novice to experienced paddler.
14 Market Street, Cold Spring
Whistling Willie’s American Grill
Once the 1849 Diamond Hotel, which served as a veteran’s hospital during the Civil War.
184 Main Street, Cold Spring
Hampton Inn & Suites Poughkeepsie
Amenities include a free hot breakfast, free internet access and an indoor pool.
2361 South Road, Poughkeepsie
Hampton Inn New Paltz
Newly built hotel with an indoor pool, complimentary hot breakfast. One mile to village of New Paltz.
4 S. Putt Corners Road, New Paltz
Day 2 - Dutchess County
Mount Gulian Historic Site
A reconstructed 18th century Dutch manor house on the Hudson River.
145 Sterling Street, Beacon
The Dia Art Foundation's collection of art from the 1960s to the present.
3 Beekman Street, Beacon
Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites
Three National Historic Sites managed together: The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt NHS, Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill, and the Vanderbilt Mansion.
4097 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park
Shadows on the Hudson
New American eats in a sprawling space with standout waterfront views.
176 Rinaldi Boulevard, Poughkeepsie
Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Complimentary full hot breakfast, free wifi, refrigerators and microwaves.
40 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie
Day 3 - Greene, Columbia, Ulster Counties
Olana State Historic Site
The home and studio of eminent Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church; one of the most visited sites in the state
5720 Route 9G, Hudson
Thomas Cole National Historic Site
A nationally recognized historic site that marks the birthplace of American art, where the Hudson River School of landscape painting began
218 Spring St., Catskill
New York Zipline Adventure Tours at Hunter Mountain
Ziplines, rope bridges and climbing tower, plus the 600-ft.-high line -- the fastest and longest in the U.S.
64 Klein Avenue, Hunter
White Stone Café
Family style American fare with something for everyone
2337 Route 66, Ghent
Kaatskill Mountain Club at Hunter Mountain
Spend the day on the slopes or in the pool, dine at Van Winkle's Restaurant, then get a good night's sleep in superior accommodations.
62 Liftside Drive, Hunter
Best Western PLUS Kingston Hotel and Conference Center
Recently renovated with indoor pool. Half mile to Uptown Kingston with a plethora of restaurants and events.
503 Washington Ave., Kingston