America's Best Spring Drives
Courtesy of Dutchess County Tourism
U.S. Route 9, New York
The Route: 57 miles.
The entire route runs more than 300 miles from Delaware up to the U.S.-Canada border, but this 57-mile lower New York stretch has special appeal when the weather warms. Start in Poughkeepsie and head north toward the town of Valatie, pulling over for fresh produce and organic homemade goods at one of the many local farmers’ markets that reopen in late spring. And keep your eyes peeled for Gilded Age estates along the route, such as the Vanderbilt Mansion.
Where to Stop: The historic open-air Hyde Park Farmers’ Market, just off Route 9, opens in early June on the grounds of the ’50s-era Hyde Park Drive-In Theatre. Further north, in Columbia County, stop at Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery for a bottle of dry apple brandy.