A haven for art and food lovers outside New York City.

By Travel + Leisure
July 26, 2012
Courtesy of Dutchess County Tourism

Dutchess County, mid-Valley and east of the Hudson, was once a Dutch stronghold. The area is now home to many former New York City residents (and weekenders) who bring their refined taste in art, wine, and food to the bountiful countryside.

Beekman Arms Inn

The quirky property in Rhinebeck has been hosting guests since 1766 (yes, George Washington slept here), and though modernized, it retains its original plank floors and oak beams.

Mercato, Red Hook

Mercato is an Italian gem, the dining room’s creamy walls full of everyday cheer. Francesco Buitoni, red bandanna–clad descendant of the famed Italian pasta family, makes sweet, almost milky meat ragùs that are to die for, while his house-made spinach pappardelle is the king of green-colored pastas. Diners jam the homey restaurant for chef Francesco Buitoni’s homemade pappardelle and a chance to spy what Mario Batali (Buitoni’s former boss) just ordered.

Upstate Films

Save room for house-made cookies at this indie movie house.

Alison Wines & Vineyards

In a peeling red dairy barn from the 1800s, the tasting room pours Merlots and fruit wines, two regional specialties turning the Hudson Valley into New York’s newest wine region.

Dia: Beacon

No New York institution displays monumental modern art better than Dia: Beacon. The former Nabisco factory shows notable works like Richard Serra’s 1997 Torqued Ellipses. 300,000 square feet is filled with contemporary mixed-media installations, monumental sculpture, and brainy, envelope-pushing experiments.