George Washington considered Highland Falls to be of strategic importance, and it certainly took a beating during the American Revolution as revolutionary troops fought and died for it. This is where Washington reluctantly signed Benedict Arnold’s command of West Point, and while there is no doubt that the academy itself is well worth visiting, Choice Hotels in Highland Falls, NY will put you close to many other area attractions as well. Whether you want to be inspired by art, step back into history, relax at a film or on a cruise, there is something wonderful to see and do here. These activities include:
Choose between a one-hour and two-hour tour at West Point and enjoy the beauty and history of this famous military academy. The tour takes you around the Academy on a bus (it is an active military base, so wandering about is not permitted), but it does stop at the chapel, the “old chapel,” the cemetery and a scenic lookout over the Hudson River valley. The tour guide will tell you about the daily life and training of the cadets at West Point as well as the history of the Academy. You may go by Buffalo Soldiers’ Field, honoring African-American infantry regiments. The tour could be a little long for little ones, but adults will find it satisfying.
The scene of a significant Revolutionary War battle in 1777 for control of the Hudson River, Fort Montgomery is now a park and museum honoring the American patriots who were outnumbered and yet fought until the British marched them out at bayonet point. You will tour the remains of the 14-acre fortification, strategically perched on a cliff high above the river. The museum features original artifacts, weapons, large-scale models of the fort and the attack along with dioramas showing people involved in the battle. Kids are welcome and it is an easy way to introduce the American Revolution to them.
For an art venue with a difference, visit Storm King Art Center, one of the world’s leading sculpture parks. More than 100 carefully sited statues are spread out over a beautiful landscape of fields, hills and woods that you can explore on foot or by tram; bicycle rentals are also available (and encouraged, so that the tram can be used by persons with disabilities and families with young children). The statues range from extremely modern to extremely classical and were created expressly for the park by noted contemporary artists. You may bring a picnic (and eat in designated areas) or stop by the café for a light meal. There are events constantly going on, many of them aimed specifically at children, and include workshops, moonlit walks, yoga and more.
Ready for an evening out? Then choose the Paramount Hudson Valley, a restored and revived venue in nearby Peekskill. It was designed specifically for Paramount in 1930 and opened as a 1500-seat movie “palace” that Paramount operated until 1973. The city later acquired it and now offers diverse entertainment in this beautiful venue, now restored to its 1930 splendor. The eclectic music offerings include groups as diverse as the Charlie Daniels Band, the Harlem Teens Choir and Maria Muldaur. Ballet, Broadway and opera round out the live offerings. If any of the concert headliners do not appeal to you, the Paramount shows old and newer movies as well.
Stay in Peekskill to see the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, where long-term installations—both indoor and outdoor—will vie for your attention with more transitory exhibits. It is not a large museum, but a rich one and a great introduction to contemporary art for your children. The Center is intensely involved in the community, offering residencies that emphasize public dialogue, displays of contemporary art throughout the city and strong ongoing educational programs.
Round out your trip with a three-hour boat tour up the Hudson with the Trinity Cruise Company. This is a fantastic trip for adults and children alike (the crew will offer the latter coloring books and other activities to keep them occupied), with views of some of the best scenery in New York. The boats leave from Peekskill and turn around at West Point, so they cover the whole of the area you have recently been exploring.
This region, once considered to be of key strategic importance when the country was struggling for its freedom, now is undergoing revitalization—a blending of the past with the present and plans stretching into the future. Choice Hotels in Highland Falls, New York will put you right in the middle of the Hudson River Valley’s many attractions, and whether you are interested in history, art or outdoor activities, you are sure to find the perfect vacation right here.
New Windsor, NY, US, 12550
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