Sleep in a Lighthouse and More Hudson Valley Family Resorts and Hotels
The Hudson Valley is an easy weekend getaway for those in the New York City vicinity, especially from Westchester—and it boasts a variety of unique, family-friendly resorts and hotels, from an all-inclusive dude ranch to a lighthouse to a working farm.
Family Resorts and Hotels in Ulster County
Don't miss the Opus 40 sculpture park in Saugerties. Photo by Shira Kronzon
Diamond Mills Hotel — Saugerties
This 30-room boutique hotel in the heart of cozy Saugerties offers Insta-worthy views of Esopus Creek from each room’s private balcony. Built on the site of a former paper mill, it keeps the integrity of its industrial past while offering a high level of service. There’s a restaurant onsite—with a kids’ menu—and the town itself provides families with a Main Street shopping experience, including a must-visit candy store, Krause’s Chocolates. Also: Don’t skip a stop at Opus 40, a sculpture park just outside of town.
Minnewaska Lodge – Gardiner
Minnewaska Lodge benefits from a stunning location at the base of the Shawangunk Mountains. With thousands of acres of state preserve, scenic vistas and peace are plentiful. The 26 rooms are decorated in a folksy style that brings elements of the natural world indoors. If your family enjoys hiking, you’ll find trails at your doorstep, as well as rock climbing and lots more outdoor activities. Breakfast is also included in your stay.
The majestic Mohonk Mountain House caters to families. Photo courtesy of the resort
Mohonk Mountain House – New Paltz
This Victorian-style castle is an old-world resort with charming accommodations and stunning grounds. A full lineup of activities, including archery, boating on the lake, and tennis, attracts legions of families, many of whom are return guests. All meals plus a dainty afternoon tea are included in your rate. There’s entertainment and for when you’re in need of some true relaxation, a spa. If you are on a tight budget, this may not be for you—except as a worthy splurge. Keep your eyes out for periodic deals where kids can stay and eat free. If you don't want to drive, take a bus from Port Authority to New Paltz, where, with a 24-hour notice, the resort will pick you up.
Pine Ridge Dude Ranch – Kerhonkson
This revamped all-inclusive resort—it reopened in 2018 under new management—features tons of activities for families, including a rock wall, swimming, a petting zoo, sports and of course, horseback riding. There’s also a slew of camp-style activities, like scavenger hunts and campfires. For larger families, there are rooms that sleep up to seven, with great-for-kids bunk beds in some of the rooms. All meals are included, and be sure to check out the calendar for what’s happening, as well as for deals (like kid-friendly discounts in the fall).
The Rocking Horse Ranch offers endless all-season family activities from kayaking to an indoor water park. Photo courtesy of the ranch.
Rocking Horse Ranch – Highland
This resort is a dude ranch that doesn’t sit on its high horse. Rates are all-inclusive, so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay. Meals, activities, and entertainment don’t cost an extra dime. The ranch offers supervised programs for kids of all ages. Infants and toddlers are well cared for at The Little Tykes Nursery, with its 3-to-1 staff-child ratio. Older children have their own supervised programs and will have a ball riding ponies and splashing in the weatherproof indoor water park. This is not the place to come if you’re seeking tranquility—but if you’re looking for rambunctious, good, clean fun and a non-pretentious environment less than two hours from Manhattan, definitely check it out.
Saugerties Lighthouse — Saugerties
If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box experience, spend the night at a bona fide lighthouse any Thursday-Sunday. Saugerties Lighthouse is situated on a remote shoal, which you get to by walking a flat half-mile trail. The lighthouse rents two bedrooms, each with a double bed, but larger families renting both rooms can request cots. There is one bathroom shared by both rooms. A home-cooked breakfast is also included in the rate. There is no air conditioning (but there are fans) and there’s heat in the winter.
Family Resorts and Hotels in Dutchess County
Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn — Rhinebeck
These sister properties are located in the charming village of Rhinebeck. It’s a great walking village, loaded with shops and galleries. The food scene is thriving, with scores of family options, including the kid-favorite Gigi Skizza (flatbread pizza) served at Gigi’s Trattoria. With a total of 73 rooms between the two, The Beekman Arms claims to be America’s oldest operating inn, and the rooms are scattered in several historic buildings. The Delamater Inn, on the other hand, offers rooms as well as seven spacious guest cottages clustered around a courtyard. Several of these cottages are kid-friendly. While antiques and fireplaces won't work for every family, this atmospheric inn will certainly please many. Sunday brunch at the Tavern at the Beekman Arms is a whopping winner that will fill you up for the rest of the day.
Roosevelt Inn – Hyde Park
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to stay in the Hudson Valley. The Roosevelt Inn is a family-owned motel that harkens back to a simpler time. The 25 rooms are clean and comfortable. Choose between a deluxe room or a less expensive “rustic” room. A robust continental breakfast is served at the on-premises coffee shop, which is included in the rate. Sit at one of the old-fashioned stools at the counter for a diner-esque experience. The helpful owners take pride in their property and are an excellent resource for all things local. The motel is just a mile from the FDR Home and Library and within easy walking distance of the palatial Vanderbilt Estate.
Family Resorts and Hotels in Columbia County
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Experience life on a working farm with an overnight at Kinderhook Farm. Photo by Dora Somosi via Instagram
Kinderhook Farm — Valatie
Looking for a more rustic feel? Guests here have the opportunity to stay on a working farm. Time spent at Kinderhook Farm is a wonderful way to connect children with their food sources. Families stay in a cottage that sleeps up to four adults and two kids. There’s a fully equipped kitchen, two sleeping areas and a large bathroom—and no television or wifi. The farm offers a crib, stroller, and a high chair. Help with farm chores such as collecting eggs and gardening or just watch the sheep and cows graze. Miles of rambling trails, croquet, volleyball, and badminton are icing on Mother Nature’s cake.
Rivertown Lodge — Hudson
Hudson is a riverfront town that attracts urbanites in droves and the feel is 100-percent hipster. Anchoring the revitalization are farm-to-table eateries, independently owned shops, art galleries and the chic 27-room Rivertown Lodge. If a design-forward hotel with public spaces and guest rooms that retain a vintage feel doesn’t exactly scream toddler-friendly, well, that's correct. While it doesn't cater to kids, it does welcome them. There are a limited number of cribs and simple camp cots with cushions, so reserve when you book or bring the pack-n-play. Ride Amtrak to Hudson and make this a car-free getaway.
Originally published in 2016 and updated since.
Places featured in this article:
Rocking Horse Ranch
Mohonk Mountain House
Diamond Mills Hotel
Kinderhook Farm 1958 County Road 21, Valatie
Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn
Pine Ridge Dude Ranch