I'm going to tell you a little story... When we purchased our home in 2013, we were living in Yonkers. We loved the idea of moving to Orange County, NY and looked forward to it all. It took us some time to settle into our new surroundings and get a feel for how close and how far things were from our new home.
Looking back, I wish I had had some guidance and someone to tell me about the surrounding areas and things that we could see and do near our new home. Now, as a more knowledgeable Mid-Hudson Valley resident, I am here to show you some great things in Orange County, NY.
Where is Orange County, NY?
Orange County, NY sits along the Hudson River and is sandwiched between Rockland County and Ulster County. It is a large County and diverse. Its landscapes varies from farmlands, small towns to small cities. Some places that you may already know in Orange County include: Monroe, Woodbury (as in Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets), Middletown and Newburgh.
But, did you know that Orange County, NY is the only county that sits along the Hudson River and the Delaware River? This makes it an ideal location for anyone who loves the outdoors and beautiful scenery. Additionally, if you love the outdoors, then you need to visit Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park while you're here.
According to orangetourism.org:
"Some of New York State’s biggest attractions are right here in Orange County, including West Point, Storm King Art Center, and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Orange County is just 50 miles from New York City, a place to dine on the Hudson River, visit wineries, raft the Delaware River, hike the Appalachian Trail, and spend the night with a view of our beautiful mountains."
How do you get to Orange County, NY?
Orange County is home to Stewart International airport. Many major carriers now fly in and out of Stewart Airport. This makes it a convenient location to travel into and from.
If you're already in New York, you can hop on the Metro-North Port Jervis Line and several bus companies. These transportation methods can take you right into the heart of Orange County without a hitch.
By car, major highways to and in Orange County include I-84 (East/Westbound) and I-87 (North/Southbound). The Palisades Parkway also crosses into Orange County. For a more scenic route, you can also travel up US Route 9W and be amazed by the scenery and you drive up and down the mountains.
Don't forget to find a way of crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge while you're out exploring. Stop and take amazing photos of the bridge. Trust me, you won't be disappointed...
Highlights of Things to do in Orange County, NY
To be honest, I am always surprised by all the things to see and do in Orange County. The thought of not seeing it all makes me a little anxious. Deep breaths...
- If you love art and being outdoors, a visit to Storm King Art Center is a must. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you will know that I wrote, not one, but two blog posts about Storm King Art Center. It is one of my most favorite places around.
- For the History Lovers amongst us, make sure you visit Washington's Headquarters and New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site. Also on your list should be Fort Montgomery Historic Site, Goshen Historic Walk and Knox's Headquarters State Historic Site. These are just a few of the wonderful historical places in the county. The list goes on and on. Don't forget to check out the County Tourism site for more places and information.
- If you enjoy museums, then Orange County is full of some of the best. These include Museum Village, Motorcyclepedia and National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Also, don't forget Orange County Farmers Museum, West Point Museum and Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.
- Annual Festivals and Events are not in short supply in Orange County. A few notable ones are the NY Renaissance Faire, Orange County Fair, Sugar Loaf Fall Festival, and the Warwick Apple Festival. These festivals and events attract thousands of people to the area. During the Summer, some of the best Farmers Markets also take place in Orange County. If you're struggling to find some near you, you can always look at this comprehensive list of Hudson Valley Farmers' Markets.
- If you're looking for wineries, breweries and cideries, then you've come to the right place. Orange County is home to the famous Angry Orchard Cider House, Newburgh Brewing Company, and Brotherhood Winery.
Where to find things to do in Orange County
In addition to the Events Calendar on this blog, the Events Calendar at the Orange County Tourism website is full of events taking place within the County. It is one of the most comprehensive County Events Calendar I've personally seen.
If you plan to spend an Autumn day or weekend in Orange County, NY, make sure to download my List of Hudson Valley Orchards and check out some of the best places in the county to pick apples.
A Few Things to Know before visiting Orange County, NY:
- Orange County is perfect for everyone
- Many places listed here are open seasonally. Check each individual location for the days/times they are open to the public.
- Many places charge an entrance, admission and/or tour fee. Check each individual location for more detailed information regarding prices.