Rhinebeck New York, Where Dutch History Meets Natural Beauty


I hadn’t been to Rhinebeck New York since I was a child. From the Adirondacks, I’d drive south with my grandparents from time-to-time to visit my godmother and her husband who had a fairly remote cottage on the outskirts of Rhinebeck, so remote that I recall the sounds of birds being more prevalent than the sounds of cars. We went everywhere in their jeep or by foot and there wasn’t a trip we took that didn’t involve a hike in the woods.

I’d find myself getting lost in those woods and disappearing for hours at a time, saddened by the sound of a whistle or bell calling me back for a meal. Today, Rhinebeck combines its authentic upstate New York character with a Dutch historical past, all of which shows in the downtown restaurants, shops, art galleries and antique shops.

While Rhinebeck is located in Dutchess County and nestled in the Northern Hudson Valley, it’s more about nature and land than it is a small town.  That said, downtown has plenty of great restaurants, cafes and ice cream stores. Suggestions for foodies include Market Street (where we ate on our first night), Terrapin Restaurant, Gaby’s Cafe, The Rhinecliff and Shelter Wine Bar & Restaurant.

There is a massive antique barn where you can wander around for hours on two floors, the town is heavy into Arts and huge supporters of local artists who have a diverse range of talents.

Sophistication exudes from the main drag, as evidenced by many unique specialty shops — contemporary & classic, European & domestic men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry & lingerie, spa & beauty services, holistic practitioners, home furnishings, books, stationery, gifts, kitchen gadgets, hiking & equestrian gear. It also offers exhibitions, dance performances and independent film for arts enthusiasts visitors.

Then there’s the scenic and serenity value! Regardless of where you are in the surrounding area, it’s not hard to find majestic views of the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson River, and more.

What’s most magical about Rhinebeck however isn’t its sophisticated, charming, cultural-rich, artsy downtown — it truly is the natural beauty surrounding it. We discovered a delightful red barn on a rural road we took from the Old Stone Farm where we were staying for a couple nights (we highly recommend it – be sure to read our review), to Rhinebeck’s Main Street. At the end of this road loaded with natural beauty and of course, this lovely little barn, is the main road that will lead you to the center of town.

Outside Rhinebeck, there are plenty of beautiful hikes you can take in the warmer months. Since we were there in the Fall, it was a perfect time to get out into the woods and so, we opted for the Fern Cliff Forest hike, which has a trail head to the left a couple of miles or so out of town.

Fern Cliff Forest Hike

The tower is part of the hike and it’s definitely worth the climb.

The view from the tower.

Getting there from New York City. Head north until you can pick up Route 9 – see map below.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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