A Scenic Road Trip From New York City to Dutchess Country

I love big cities yet I also see the immense need to take a break from city life and escape. New York City is one place that has an enormous amount of cool day and weekend trips. My friend Jessie Festa, who lives in NYC and writes two awesome blogs, Epicure & Culture and Jessie on a Journey, shares a fun day trip to Duchess County in this guest post below. I hope you enjoy! 


Homemade ice cream on a tree-lined dock. A sky slowly transitioning from bright blue to a dreamy swathe of pinks and purples, streaks of bright yellow and holiday fireworks illuminating the skyline across the Hudson River. Beautiful church steeples soaring toward the sky, as a family of ducks swims by without hurry.

We certainly weren’t in NYC anymore.

In fact, my boyfriend Andy and I were exploring the many things to do in Dutchess County and its lovely Hudson Valley, known for its gorgeous scenery, outdoor adventure and hyper-local culinary culture.

My guide for this weekend road trip from NYC wasn’t a human, but Navdy.


Let me explain.

Navdy In Action

So you know how Chromecast pairs to your TV to put your phone on the big screen in front of you? Navdy does that for driving, hands-free. I loved being able to simply enter the name of a place into my phone or say it out loud to have it beamed right in front of me.

Beyond just navigation, Navdy will even project phone calls, messages, app notifications, music, and even emails (if I want it to) right in front of me, so I can stay connected while driving, keep my eyes on the road, and never have to touch my phone.

things to do in dutchess county on a Navdy road trip

Using Navdy as our guide around Dutchess County

If you’ve never used a Head-Up Display (HUD) for a road trip before, I suggest you try it. As someone who is not exactly tech-savvy — I still don’t know how to back-up my phone — I was intimidated by the big box full of accessories at first. The cool thing though is the Navdy app breaks down installation into short videos, so we were ready to go in about 20 minutes.

Instead of staring at your phone while driving (dangerous!) the HUD sits in front of you; rather than blocking your line of vision, the device blends with it so you’re actually seeing the map on the road.

At your fingertips is a button you attach to your steering wheel. Press once, tell Navdy where you want to go and what you’re craving (ice cream, please!), and the directions appear. I also loved being able to respond to texts and notifications with glances and hand gestures, without taking my eyes off the road. Like when it started raining and we needed to alter our kayaking reservation.

It’s like Tinder for driving (only you swipe right to ignore a call and left to answer).

And of course, no road trip would be complete without music; which I was able to control through Navdy.

We made a pretty sweet Spotify road trip playlist, too. Click here to swipe it.


The Hilton Garden Inn Poughkeepsie/Fishkill. For this trip we planned to spend most of our time outdoors, so wanted something simple, clean and comfortable. A budget-friendly hotel with a heated indoor pool and hot tub? Yes please! The staff was super friendly too. If you enjoy working out they have an on-site gym, and also offer complimentary access to the local Allsport gym.

Starting rate: $139/night, including parking and Wi-Fi.

things to do in Dutchess County, stay at the Hilton Garden Inn

My room at the Hilton Garden Inn Poughkeepsie/Fishkill

There are also a number of bed & breakfasts and a ton of Airbnbs, including some fun-looking airstream trailer and RV rentals! Click here to get up to $35 off your first Airbnb!

Road Tripping Around The Hudson Valley

There’s so much to do and see in this beautiful region! And while inclement weather killed a few of our plans, mainly a hot air balloon ride with Blue Sky Balloons and a kayaking trip with Mountain Tops Outfitters, we still had a blast.

In fact, in just two days we covered a lot of ground.