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The Best of Putnam County

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jun 7, 2016

Dotted with charming towns and villages that nestle along the Hudson River to the west and beautiful lakes to the east, Putnam County is a breezy getaway any time of year.

Part of the 10 counties that comprise the Hudson Valley, Putnam County is a reminder that there's plenty to explore in New York state beyond the Big Apple.

EDGE offers our top travel picks for any time of year:


SUMMER

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this year also marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard's birth (and death). This season includes productions of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Our Town," "Macbeth," "As You Like It," "Measure for Measure," and the family-friendly "So Please You," which features the HVSF conservatory company.

Since its inception, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has reached more than 500,000 patrons who flock to the gorgeous grounds at Boscobel House and Gardens to sit among the stars and enjoy outdoor theater. Getting there couldn't be easier. A scenic ride on Metro-North's Hudson Line arrives in Cold Spring (be sure to allow time to explore this charming town), then either catch a taxi or enjoy the Cold Spring-Beacon Trolley service for Saturday performances. (June 4 - August 29)


Daniel Nimham Pow Wow
Chief of the Wappinger Indians, Daniel Nimham was one of the most influential Native Americans living in the Hudson Valley during the mid 18th century. The culture and traditions of the Hudson Valley's indigenous people are celebrated each summer at the Nimham Pow Wow, where attendees can experience Native American dancing, Native foods, local crafts, and more. (August 20-21)

Village of Brewster Film Festival
Celebrating its fifth year, the VOB Film Festival showcases both established as well as up-and-coming filmmakers. Mark your calendar for September 1-4, hop on the Metro-North for easy access if you're headed from New York City, and enjoy some spectacular venues, such as Chapel Restoration, a historical, non-denominational church that will host the opening night celebration of short films.


FALL

Discovering Cold Spring
Fall is an ideal time to head to Cold Spring, where you'll discover a central village with well-preserved 19th century buildings, many of which have been converted into quaint, locally run shops and restaurants. The gorgeous fall foliage provides a picture-perfect backdrop for the following:

BURKELMAN - Husbands Kevin Burke and David Kimelman moved to Cold Spring after 15 years in New York City and have curated a spectacular collection of home goods for every area of your home, from bar to bath!

Moo Moo's Creamery - 16 flavors of homemade ice cream offer the perfect sweet treat after a day of strolling through town.

The Garrison - Spend the night at this four-room country inn with views of the Hudson River and surrounding property while you indulge in dinner at the on-site fine dining restaurant, Valley, then snuggle into a king-size bed for the night.


WINTER

'Sparkle!' at Boscobel House and Gardens
With a history dating back to the first settlers of New Amsterdam (now Manhattan), Boscobel was completed in 1808 and remains a stellar example of Federal style architecture. It has survived several dramatic rescues over the years (including being sold to a demolition contractor in 1955 for the whopping price of $35!) and today is one of Putnam County's most treasured estates.

Experience Sparkle! at Boscobel on Fridays and Saturdays in December and enjoy a variety of programming including live music, ice carving, candlelit walks, and luminous displays.

Fahnestock Winter Park
Centrally located in Putnam County, Fahnestock Winter Park is only an hour outside of Manhattan but offers more than 11 miles of groomed and mapped trails for cross country skiers and snowshoers.


SPRING

As winter's freeze starts to thaw, a cozy visit to Putnam County reveals some indoor activities worth exploring.

Manitoga - Fans of mid century design will go bonkers at this house, studio and 75-acre woodland garden of designer Russel Wright. Guided house and studio tours offer insights into this prolific designer's work. Filled with product and furniture designs, the site also features temporary exhibits, like Wright's spun aluminum designs on display through July 30. Allow time for a self-guided hike of the grounds to enjoy the first breath of spring.

Putnam County is also home to several notable art galleries, featuring nationally recognized artists' works in a variety of mediums. Be sure to visit:

Front Street Gallery - currently featuring Tanya Kukucka and Kathy Ferguson, winners of the fourth annual juried group show.

Gallery 66 NY - With a focus on Hudson Valley artists, this new gallery also hosts live events.

Garrison Art Center - The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center include three exhibition spaces that offer the versatility to showcase large installations as well as experimental works. The Riverside Live Art Auction is held each spring.


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Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Senior Editor of Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


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