16 Family Friendly Summer Road-trips to Take this Season

Graphic of a family packing up for a road trip

Article by Mia Salas via New York Family

The Hudson Valley is proud to be featured as a location to take a summer road trip in this season. Read our feature in New York Family below.

Looking to take a trip with your family this summer? Getting out of the city may be just the thing you need! If you’re not looking to go too far, try a summer road trip. Skip the hustle and bustle of the airport, and make memories on the road towards your destination.

But before you get in the car or train, let’s create your perfect road trip itinerary. Finding a vacation that all of your kids will enjoy isn’t always the easiest task. That’s why we rounded up our favorite summer road trips this year. Read on to find the best destination for your family this summer!

Swing ride at Dutchess County Fair

Dutchess County Fair

Whether this is your first time visiting this famous fair or the one your family has waited for all year, the Dutchess County Fair is among the world’s best fairs. It is family-friendly, with activities and adventures for all, and it is only a car or train ride away. This year’s 177th fair runs from August 22nd through 27th in Rhinebeck, NY. As the largest agricultural six-day fair in NY, there’s plenty for every member of the family to do– go on rides, eat great food and listen to entertaining music. The fair’s goal is to give visitors an appreciation for agriculture while educating them on where the food we eat comes from, all while having a blast!

Your kids will love meeting farm animals like cows, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits and goats. With over 1,000 individual exhibitors, your family won’t know what to do first. Explore 12 acres of livestock, milking demonstrations and sheep shearing, meet costumed storytellers from the early 1900’s, and shop artisanal goods and handmade crafts and quilts. Younger kids (ages 3-10) can visit a hands-on mock farm in the AgVenture Activity Tent while adults will appreciate the horticultural beauty of dozens of themed garden displays.

Be sure to purchase advance discount tickets to secure your spot at a great deal! Dutchessfair.com.

Family hiking in Greene County wilderness

Great Northern Catskills of Greene County

Whether you’re looking to chill, seek adventure or both, you can find it all in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County, conveniently located about two hours north of New York City and a half hour south of Albany.

There’s something for everyone here! Thrill seekers can spend an afternoon at one of North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline canopy tours – New York Zipline Canopy Tours in Hunter. Outdoor adventures are a given in the Catskills, with 700,000 acres of wilderness and 120 miles of mountain bike trails, there is always something for the entire family.

To cool off after a bike ride, head over to New York’s #1 family waterpark—Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham. Once your family tires out, take a breathtaking scenic skyride to the top of the Hunter or Windham Mountains. On a clear day, the summits offer panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains and beyond.

And if you’re looking to stay a few days, head over to one of the classic Catskill all-inclusive family resorts!

Family in water feature at waterpark

The Kartrite Resort

Want an all-in-one destination that will guarantee endless family adventures this summer? The Kartrite Resort located in the Catskill Mountains is home to NY’s biggest indoor waterpark and much more. Spend an entire day at the 11 waterpark attractions just a 90-minute drive from the city, then check into one of the new and modern resort suites to get some rest. All suites (available as 1, 2 or 3 bedroom) come with 4 passes for the waterpark for the day of check in and check out. Beyond the water fun, enjoy The Kartrite’s 7 eclectic eateries and bars, arts & crafts, archery, goat yoga, pony rides and hiking. Plus, if you want to escape the heat, head indoors to endless fun at Playopolis arcade, laser tag, ropes course, rock climbing, bowling, virtual reality and more. You could even plan your trip around one of the themed weeks: June 15-19: Adventure Week, July 2-8: Independence Week, or August 20-26: Superhero Week. And if you have a special occasion coming up like a summer birthday or bar/bat mitzvah, exciting promotions and packages await!

Child at the helm of a boat

Photo: Peter Saluk


Only 24 miles north of NYC on the banks of the Hudson in beautiful Rockland County, the village of Nyack is perfect for your next family road trip. Nyack offers hundreds of experiences and events that make for great day trips, weekend getaways and longer stays – a treasure trove packed into just over one walkable square mile.

Take a walk on one of the many local hiking trails, bike across the Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge, and take in all of the incredible views of the river. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the boat charters and water sports in the river itself. For a more peaceful itinerary, enjoy the arts by visiting the Edward Hopper House Museum, theaters, music and comedy shows.

You may even want to plan your trip around one or more of Nyack’s many signature events, including street fairs, classic and exotic car nights, the African American Day parade, LGBTQ+ promenade, 4th of July fireworks, outdoor concerts and food tours. Your family will also love the weekly Farmer’s Markets, which feature live music, fresh goods from local farms and artisans, and plenty of kid-friendly activities. Make memories this summer in Nyack!

Playland in Westchester, NY


The name “Play” land should say it all! Not too far from Manhattan, Westchester’s top park for the last 94 years says: “It’s time to play.” There is something for all ages, from the littlest ones to tweens and teens. With famous rides, midway games and new thrills, you’re guaranteed a day filled with fun, laughs, and unforgettable memories.

In addition to regular live entertainment and shows, this season the brand new Fountain Plaza will bring even more excitement to the park, where families can dance along with synchronized lights and music.

Once your family gets tired of the rides, head to the famous boardwalk -shop for souvenirs, and visit the Westchester Children’s Museum. Grab a bite at one of the many restaurants, like burgers at Jack Burger or yummy tacos at Taco Casa. Cool off at Playland Beach, featuring a new waterfront slide, at the Playland Pool or even hop on a paddle boat. Your kids will be plotting their next visit to Playland!

Kids and farm animals at the Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase

Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase

Don’t miss out on the country festival families love, happening July 29th to 30th at Veteran’s Memorial Park this summer!

Just an easy car drive away, the 4-H fair brings thousands of locals and visitors to enjoy this eclectic mix of traditions where little and big kids will have fun adventures at the Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase.

There are food trucks, treats, country-themed vendors, games, demos, exhibits, magic shows, inflatables and more. Listen to live music, watch the classic car show, and even attend the Duck Derby fundraiser.

Kids will leave with full stomachs, mini artistic masterpieces and many memories to last a lifetime. There’s free parking and admission, so grab your sunscreen and get going!

By car or by train, take a day trip to Putnam County, where there’s always another reason to say “I Love New York.” Be sure to visit iloveny.com for more information about a New York State getaway.

Rockland County boat charter

Rockland County

Rockland County is a hidden New York gem that’s only 30 miles north of New York City. Offering stunning views of the Hudson River as well as access to quaint villages, outdoor activities, a bustling craft food and beverage scene, rich history, and non-stop shopping and entertainment, there’s something for everyone in Rockland County.

Start your day by walking or biking across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. With access and parking points in Nyack and Westchester, you and your family can enjoy six scenic overlook points, public art across the path and historic touchpoints. At 3.6 miles and the longest biking and pedestrian path in the county, the path is also a great way to get in some exercise. For a connection to nature, enjoy access to over 200 miles of trails and parks. Great for hiking, exploring, and swimming as well as boating, kayaking, watersports, and fishing in Nyack, Piermont, Haverstraw, or Stony Point.

Take in a game and enjoy some baseball fare by watching the New York Boulders, a professional minor league baseball team with a stadium right in Rockland. Add some history to your trip by checking out the Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site. This is the location of the last major Revolutionary War battle in the north with a museum, interactive programs, reenactments of battles, cannon musket firing, and more.

This is also the location of the Stony Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. For some indoor fun, visit Palisades Center and enjoy tons of activities and entertainment, such as Space Adventure Glow in the Dark Mini Golf, Palisades Climb Adventure, Autobahn Raceway, 5 Wits Escape Room, the Palisades Climb Adventure Ropes Course, ice skating, movie theater, bowling at Lucky Strike, and tons more.

Make sure to include walking through one of Rockland’s many waterfront villages as a part of your trip as you check out a waterfront restaurant, breweries, boutiques, and Torne Valley Vineyards, Rockland’s only winery. Located in the Ramapo Mountains, this quaint winery offers tastings, live music and Friday night concerts in the summer. Complete your stay with a great night of sleep at one of the area’s sweet bed and breakfasts, hotel, or local inn. Explorerocklandny.com.

Boy eating ice cream by the water

Sweet Summertime in Westchester County

As summer vacation begins, travelers will be ecstatic to find there is so much to see and do in Westchester County. Bordered by the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, Westchester has more than 500 square miles of space, ensuring families can maximize their time and budgets while making memories that are priceless.

Families looking for epic play will find it in abundance at Rye’s very own amusement park, Playland, featuring exciting rides like the iconic Dragon Coaster and 108-year-old Grand Carousel. For more adrenaline, Boundless Adventures in Purchase is where adults and kids can crawl, swing and climb over obstacles at this aerial adventure park. Other fun attractions to consider include a visit to Legoland, Westchester Children’s Museum, and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for incredible outdoor performances and picnics.

Boasting 24,000 acres of parkland spread over more than 25 parks, Westchester is the perfect place for fresh air beyond the city. Visit Lasdon Park with its Dinosaur Garden and Chinese Friendship Pavilion. Croton Point Park offers expansive parkland and outdoor swimming in the summer, and Muscoot Farm’s Sunday Farmer’s Market is always a family favorite.

Eating is one of the wonders of Westchester County with an abundance of dining options. For breakfast, fuel up near the Long Island Sound shore at Stanz Café in Larchmont. Lunch at Walter’s Hot Dogs is another can’t-miss experience, and dinner at River Outpost Brewing will have the perfect something for both kids and adults. For dessert, the Bigfoot Creamery in Ossining offers tasty flavors and unique floats.

When the time comes for rest, Westchester offers a variety of hotels, allowing families to choose accommodations based on budget and proximity to their plans. Parents will find all the tools they need to plan the perfect itinerary by visiting www.visitwestchesterny.com.

For a full list of where to take a family road trip around New York State, view the full article at New York Family.