Visit the Hamlet of Highland
What a little gem of the Hudson Valley this small town is. You may have driven by it numerous times while traveling on 9W and not realized what you were missing. Less than 5 minutes from the Poughkeepsie bridge and about 15 minutes from Hurds Family Farm. Go to the “beach” during the day and eat and drink your way through town in the evening. Discover the Hamlet of Highland this weekend and support local businesses.
What Kids will Love
Did you know that there is a sandy beach with fresh water swimming at Berean Park. This is an inexpensive way to cool off and play as a family. There is a small concession stand with mostly candy, so you would probably want to bring your own lunch. You could pick up a sandwich from On a Roll Deli or pack your own cooler. Pack your sand toys, picnic blanket, camping chairs and enjoy the sun or shade in this beautiful location. The site also includes pickleball courts, basketball courts, a playground with swings, and nature trails.
If your kids go to Highland Elementary School, then you are well aware of their fantastic playground, although there are some of us that miss the old Project Slide that we built as a community over 20 years ago. This new metal and plastic playground has some unique components. There is a giant seesaw that looks like a boat and is handicap accessible. A rock climbing hill and zipline are sure to engage the thrill seekers in your group. The spring riders are lots of fun big sisters to take little sisters on for a ride.
Experience Local Art Installations
Go on a trolley hunt! In town you will find custom painted trolleys on display thanks to the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society. Thirteen 25 inch artist-inspired and produced little trolleys are on display through mid October. They will be auctioned after that to raise money for the restoration of the Deyo House. Pick up a pamphlet in one of the local businesses or at Hurds Family Farm.
Shop at Cafe Arts. Like the name portrays, this is a small café full of art. The owner is really sweet and passionate about bringing local products into her store to connect you with local artisans. There is an eclectic selection of items that range from home decor to farm to table goodies to clothes and accessories. You are almost guaranteed to find a unique gift or souvenir to take home with you. Every Sunday from 11 to 4 the owner fries up omelets for you to enjoy while listening to live music.
Knaus Gallery & Wine Bar. There are 2 collections permanently on display as will as monthly local artist exhibits. Pottery by Lisa Knaus and Paintings, Etchings, and Drawings by George Knaus can be viewed while having a bite to eat. There are cute outdoor tables and a tasty little menu made with fresh local ingredients.
Where to Eat & Drink
Underground Coffee & Ales has specialty coffees, teas, espresso and wine, and are constantly rotating craft beers that are carefully selected and include many local favorites. There is a yummy breakfast menu and lunch/dinner menu that includes burgers, wraps, and other pub favorites . The owners thoughtfully renovated this historical building in town and took great care into the interior and exterior design. Bring your pup and enjoy outside seating next to a beautiful fountain where quiet music plays. You will feel that you are in some hip part of Brooklyn or Philadelphia rather than a small town in upstate NY.
You have to visit Hudson Ale Works even if you don’t drink. The transformation of the building is quite amazing. There is a beautiful deck outside with comfy seating where you can eat, drink and be merry. Inside you will find custom made features that complement their industrial chic decor. The owners, best friends, started brewing beer in their garage. With lots of positive feedback they launched Hudson Ale Works in 2013. Keeping true to their roots they still brew in small batches with some old favorites and new experiments. A small menu is enough to snack on while you enjoy your beverage. Their craft sodas made with all natural ingredient are DELICIOUS! It is pretty entertaining to see them get mixed, too. Once you try one, it is guaranteed you will want to go back for more. Take your drinks and snacks to the loading dock area which has a huge movie screen and 4 foot high connect 4 game.
The best Chinese food in the area hands down is at Asian Garden. A popular local destination for dine in or take out. Their menu includes made to order Chinese & Japanese cuisine. We highly recommend their Dragon & Pheonix with lo mein. The sushi is pretty tasty too, and you can sit at the bar where kids will enjoy the fish tank. The staff is really friendly, the restaurant is always clean, and there is plenty of space for larger groups.
There are a bunch of other places in town to eat. If you are a pizza contesour you should stop by Three Guys Pizza for a slice. Their pies are unique with crispy crust, light sauce, and finely shredded cheese. Sal’s Place has been around forever. It’s a local dive bar with solid menu who caters events. There is fine italian dining at Vigneto Cafe with all the classic dishes and outdoor covered seating.
Don't Forget Dessert
The cutest little place in town may be Ice Bros Sweet Shop. They offer locally made ice cream and italian ice with plenty of flavors and toppings to choose from. Their decorations inside will make you feel like a kid again with colorful animal paintings and plastic lounge chairs. There is only one table inside and two outside, so you may have to take your refreshing treat on the road. Maybe to the reservoir, playground, or just on a walk around town.
Take Some Meat Home
Elia’s House of Sausage is family run and operated. Owner, Mark, teaches at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and is truly passionate about butchering and curing meats. He created the special recipe for our apple butter hot dogs and makes them for our Big Apple Cafe every fall. You can special order your holiday prime rib or turducken. You might want to just pop in and purchase some aged salami and other delicious charcuterie. Everything is made with fresh local ingredients.
The Highland Hamlet is real close to the Walkway Over the Hudson. You can actually take the rail trail just outside town to the walkway. See our blog for more details about the Walkway Over the Hudson. Use the map below to help you plan your visit. Our farm and all the places mentioned above are on it.
Of course we would like to hear about your adventures. Share your weekend in the Hamlet of Highland with us using your favorite social media. If you are coming to pick apples in the Hudson Valley and spending time in the area this is a town you must see and visit.