Exploring Greene County, New York

Greene County Family Travel Destinations

When it comes to family travel, convenience is key. When you have little kids, teenagers, dogs, picnic baskets and Frisbees all jammed into the same car, absolutely anything could happen. Guaranteed there will be a lot of energy to burn off once everyone is released from the car! So the ideal family travel destination has to not only have lots of amenities and proximity to major attractions but also have the great outdoors thrown in the mix.

These family vacation spots– those that truly embrace the outdoor lifestyle, but are situated close to major cities– are a rare find. However, one of the most refreshing and exciting places to visit, which offers all this and more, in Greene County, New York. Greene County is just two hours north of New York City. Close enough to pile everyone and everything in the car and escape quickly, but far enough away that the busy streets and thronged sidewalks of the big city are distant memories.

New York State is a veritable cornucopia of natural beauty and man-made wonders. A trip to Greene County emphasizes this, all while being kind to your wallet and fun for your family. It’s the destination of a lifetime!

Lodging in Greene County

Whether you’re on a budget or on a luxury family vacation, there’s a comfortable bed waiting for you in Greene County! Greene County has many lodging establishments to suit every need– from the friendly motel with a pool for the kids to a family-friendly bed and breakfast that includes a hearty homemade breakfast to keep your family fueled, to the luxury resort complete with spa and golf course (parents’ fuel). One popular choice for families is the all-inclusive resort.

Forget about planning for meals or activities– leave that to the hotel to take care of! At an all-inclusive, your only job is to relax and enjoy time with your family. But whatever kind of hotel you choose to make a home for a few days on your family vacation, hotel owners and proprietors are friendly and hospitable, offering the vacationing family anything they need to make their stay more comfortable.

A family vacation requires a certain amount of understanding from your hotel. When traveling with a family, unpredictable things happen! Whether you lose a toothbrush or need to find a store that sells baby formula in the middle of the night, your Greene County lodging proprietors will help you. The family is always welcome in Greene County. Not just welcome, but catered to! For a list of Greene County attractions, amenities, and lodging options, check out Greene County Tourism.

Family Fun in Greene County

There’s one thing that families love to do on vacation– play! This is your chance to forget about work and the “real world.” A family needs to vacation in a place with lots of diversions and activities to keep them invested fully in their vacation. Luckily, Greene County offers a plethora of such activities!

Activities for All Ages

Toddlers will love exploring animals at Bailiwick Ranch and Discovery Zoo, while teenagers will find themselves at home skateboarding, rock climbing, bungee jumping, and even paintballing, at Windham Mountain. Greene County offers your family quality time together; attend a drive-in movie or go ice skating, and take time out for activities that seem lost in today’s busy world. In Greene County, the idea of family is still treasured; you’re sure to feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Spectacular Sights

For an awesome sight, your whole family is sure to enjoy, visit the Kaaterskill Falls, the highest cascading waterfall in New York State. Your whole family will appreciate the spectacular beauty of the Falls offers marked trails your family can meander through. Pack a picnic lunch from the Farmer’s Market, lay down a blanket, and stop for a moment to enjoy this spectacular setting with your family, it’s times like these your family will treasure.

Festivals and Special Events

Greene County also offers festivals and unique special events throughout the year that will thrill the kids. History, art, the sciences, and a future of exploration will be presented through a series of events, exhibits, performances, and symposiums.

Cat-N-Around Catskill

During the summer months, make sure to catch “Cat-N-Around Catskill,” a very special event in Greene County. Every year a new “litter” of cats arrives to celebrate Henry Hudson’s discovery of the majestic Hudson River. Painted, fiberglass cats line the historic Main Street in the quaint town of Catskill. This year each cat will depict themes from the beautiful Hudson Valley. Don’t forget your cameras and if you want to take one home, an auction will be held in September to purchase these not-so-furry felines.

Bears and Butterflies in Cairo

In Cairo bears and butterflies will be taking over in the summer as “42 big, bold, beautiful bodacious bears” will be coming out of hibernation and taking up residence along Main Street and throughout the hamlets at local restaurants, businesses, and Inns. Cairo’s Cubs have been sponsored by businesses, organizations, and individuals throughout the area and have been decorated by talented artists. Families can participate by collecting clues that will help them answer questions about Henry Hudson, automatically qualifying your family for a chance to win exciting prizes in Greene County.

Historic Sites in Greene County

Tucked away between the spectacular Catskill Mountains and the historic Hudson River, Greene County offers much for the family to do, see and explore. The Hudson River Valley is significant to the early days of our country– this is the home of Rip Van Winkle and Thomas Cole, founder of the famed Hudson River School of Art.

Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Immerse your family in the history of the region with a visit to Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Thomas Cole was deeply inspired by the loveliness and solitude of the Greene County region.

Hudson River School Art Trail

A visit to his home, and, most of all, a tour along the Hudson River School Art Trail, and you will be inspired by what you learn. Feast your eyes on vistas that inspired early American landscape painters, and take some paper and watercolors in case your kids want to try their hand at creating an original landscape.

Fall Foliage

The fall months are particularly enchanting with the changing of the leaves, a rainbow of deep, rich colors. This is a great opportunity for your children to learn about the changing of the seasons and its effect on our environment. Parents will enjoy the peace and breathtaking views; kids will like trudging up the trail and spotting the natural critters that poke their heads out while crunching leaves under their feet. Discover more about this spectacular trail and historic site at Greene County Tourism the official authority on Greene County New York. Greene County offers enough early American historical locations to keep your family occupied for over a week.

Athens Village Walking Tour

The Athens Village Walking Tour is a great way for your family to learn about buildings and a community on the National and State Historic Register. This historic waterfront village, with over 300 buildings, will literally take you back a step in time spanning American architecture from all stages of our nation’s growth.

Bronck Museum

Among many other wonderful sites to visit, one that stands out is the Bronck Museum, a collection of Dutch Colonial dwellings and 19th-century barns. You’ll see relics from these 18th and 19th-century dwellings and even horse-drawn carriages in the 13-sided barn. All parents wish that their children would learn from their vacation; kids, however, have a different idea!

Hands-on Learning

Greene County offers a hands-on approach to learning about our Nation’s rich history, your kids will be entertained and learn despite themselves!

Winter Activities in Greene County

Greene County has more than historical sites and awe-inspiring views to offer. In the winter months, it becomes an affordable playground for snow bunnies. That’s right, affordable!

Winter activities have often been a family’s vacation of choice: little ones can build snowmen and learn their “pizza” and “french fries” on the bunny hills, while older teenagers can rocket down a slope on their skis or snowboards.

However, parents know how expensive these winter vacations can get. Well, your answer lies in Greene County! Greene County is a wintertime haven, with world-class ski resorts that won’t break the bank while keeping your family entertained, you’re guaranteed to wear your kids out by the end of the day (really, isn’t that our goal?).

Spring and Summer in Greene County

Not visiting in the winter? In the warmer months, those same mountains become a spectacular hiking and biking destination. Greene County residents know how rich their natural landscape is; their acute attention to preservation and family fun make the Catskill Mountains a wonderful and varied place to explore and visit, any time of the year.

You can find all the information you need to learn about this year-round wonderland at the Greene County Tourism website. Hunter Mountain offers a fun Skyride your kids will love as well as numerous summer festivals and outdoor activities. Relatively inexpensive, this Mountain offers a good day or two of fun for the whole family.

Water Activities in Greene County

At the other end of Greene County lies the Hudson River, which offers outdoor activities to rival the Catskill’s. The Hudson is a historically important river in both significance and practicality; these were the waters and ports that once brought in supplies and passengers. Now it’s a boater’s paradise.

Rent a kayak, canoe or rowboat and the whole family will enjoy cruising through the wide river and the breathtaking mountain streams that come from it. In the summer, if the sun beats down a little too hot, jump in the water to cool off.

Waterpark enthusiasts will love Zoom Flume’s 10,000 gallon-a-minute “rapids” offering twists and turns for adventure seekers. If your family loves adventures, this waterpark is well worth a full-day visit, but pack the sunscreen, it can sneak up on you with all the splashing around.

Camping in Greene County

Whether in the river or the mountains, there is abundant camping in Greene County. If you choose not to stay in a traditional lodging establishment, it’s possible to plan your whole vacation around different campgrounds, enjoying a different setting in each one. Stay one night in a forest preserve and the next beside a pristine lake.

At many Greene County campgrounds, you will find swimming pools, fishing ponds, firework displays, and even little markets. Guaranteed to offer fun for everyone! Here you’ll find fishing ponds and pools, and even a weekly fireworks display.

There’s nothing quite like sleeping out under the stars, and after the noise and lights of the city, you’ll be astounded at how many stars come out at night in Greene County. Add a crackling fire and s’mores and you have a perfect family vacation. And you’ll find that nothing bonds a family quite like “roughing it” together!

Spas in Greene County

Any mom knows that no family vacation is complete without a little time away from the kids. That’s why Greene County’s world-class spas are a popular choice for adult travelers. Facials, massages, and state-of-the-art techniques all guarantee to relax and rejuvenate you before you head back to work, school, and the constant juggle.

Friar Tuck European Spa and Salon

One of the most renowned spas in Greene County is the Friar Tuck European Spa and Salon. Moms can escape the noise and chaos, daughters can spend some alone time without the guys over a manicure, or couples can rekindle a romance with a couple’s massage. Spas are not traditionally a family activity, but they should be! Who needs peace and relaxation more than someone on a family vacation? Greene County spas offer a quiet respite, a place to rest up before heading back out!

For the ultimate family vacation, consider Greene County New York, a majestic outdoor wonderland the whole family is sure to return to time and time again.

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