Newburgh New York
Top 5 Things to Do

While in Newburgh New York, why not spend your time in the most fun way possible? Use the following list of my personal favorite things and get the most out of your visit.


1. Visit George Washington's Headquarters, America's 1st National Historic Site


Newburgh has been called the "birthplace of the republic" because of what went down at the Hasbrouck House. 

Washington's Headquarters at the Hasbrouck House in Newburgh NY

George Washington used the house as a military headquarters from 1782 to 1783 at the close of the Revolutionary War.

The general made several momentous decisions that shaped a new nation from this farm overlooking the Hudson.

At this point, it had been a long, hard war for Washington and the continental army. In fact, he had to quell a military uprising against him for lack of pay. Things were not looking good. He needed to win and win decisively to end the war.

Long story short, from the Hasbrouck Heaquarters he marched his men down to Virginia.

Once there, Washington's army aligned with French forces and defeated the British at the Battle of Yorktown, sealing American victory in the war.

The Hasbrouck House in Newburgh New York is also where Washington

  • Wrote the circular letters - a document that later served as the main inspiration for the U.S. Constitution... 
  • First awarded the badge of Merit, now known as the Purple Heart
  • It's also where the Newburgh Conspiracy played out (see above about the military uprising)... 

A brief tour (25 minutes) and visit to the museum reveals all this history and so much more that I won't go into here. Suffice it to say, it's really cool, especially when you touch the same walls and walk the same floors as George Washington once did.

Buy your tickets in the museum and then wait for the next tour to start. Tours typically start every hour or so. Remember to bring cash (it's only $4). They do not accept credit cards and don't have an ATM.


Estimated time: 1-2 hours

Hours of Operation: April to October 31st: Wednesday - Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday 1pm - 5pm. November to March: Thursday - Saturday, 10am-3pm.

Address: 84 Liberty St. Newburgh, NY 12551

Phone: (845) 562-1195


See more photos from George Washington's Headquarters






2. Stroll Two Historic Streets 


After your tour of Washington's Headquarters, I suggest taking a walk in Newburgh New York along Montgomery Street and Grand Street

(<-- Click to enlarge map)

Rows of eclectic, ornate victorian, and overall bad-ass homes line these streets. 

One of the main highlights is Calvert Vaux's Warren House at 196 Montgomery Street (pictured center, below.)

The whimsical looking ginger-bread house is Gothic revival and represents, perhaps the best out of all of Vaux's designs, the ideals inspired by Alexander Jackson Downing. 

A.J. Downing, a Newburgh NY resident, was an influential and famous landscape and architect designer in his day. He wrote a popular trade journal and believed that a home should be something that lifts up it's occupants, and holds them to a high moral standard. 

Downing, Vaux, and eventually Frederick Law Olmsted, went on to create a very prestigious architecture firm in Newburgh, which later designed NYC's Central Park and Prospect Park. 

After admiring the house and it's views, you'll pass Thomas Edison's 1st power plant.

Edison lived on Montgomery St. for a time, and as a result, Newburgh New York, became America's first electrified city.

Swing a right on 2nd street and another right on Grand Street, heading back in the direction you came from. You'll then see the...



The Dutch Reformed Church in Newburgh NY

The Dutch Reformed Church on Grand Street, designed by Alexander Jackson Davis (not to be confused with A.J. Downing) in 1835.

This Greek style 'temple' is now a national historic landmark and was listed as one of the "100 Most Endangered Sites" in the world by World Monuments Fund.I

Fortunately, it was spared from demolition during Newburgh's disastrous urban renewal phase in the 1960s.

But it hasn't been in use for many, many years.

The sides are cracked and patches of plaster have worn away exposing the original brickwork. Yet, the church remains dignified, despite it's decay. It wouldn't seem out of place alongside the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.

The columns were restored in 2006, but much work still needs to be done if this will ever become an actively used building again. So for now, just enjoy it as it is, and for what it was.


See more of photos from this Historic Neighborhood


Estimated time: 1 hour




3. Grab Lunch with a Gorgeous View on the Waterfront and Take a Hudson River Cruise... 


One of the great attractions in Newburgh New York is the waterfront. Up and down the views are simply spectacular. The paved promenade connects a handful of top-notch restaurants and shops, boardwalk style.

Newburgh NY's Waterfront

Access parking to the water front via Water Street and 2nd Street.

Park anywhere and take a walk.

Here you have lots of choices that span all budgets. For lunch you can go fancy and eat at a place like Torches on the Hudson, with it's giant aquarium.

Or, on the other end, you can kick back at the fun happy-hour-type joint, Gully's - A bar/restaurant that's really a boat. Read more about Newburgh Restaurants on the water...

After lunch, tour of the Hudson River in style.

Along the waterfront promenade, you'll find two Hudson River cruise ships; the River Rose, a Mississipi style paddle wheeler; and Pride of the Hudson, operated by Hudson River Adventures.

Both will take you out on an unforgettable afternoon. Bannerman's castle, the Hudson Highlands; West Point Military Academy - are all points of interest you'll pass by on your cruise.

Across the river, DIA: Beacon, the monolithic modern art museum, is also a worthwhile trip (if you've got half a day to spare).

The MTA runs a commuter ferry to Beacon NY. Boats leave aproximately every hour for 3 hours in the morning (roughly 6-8am), and for three hours in the evening (6-8pm).  Or just get in your car and head over the bridge.

Beacon has been known as a haven for NYC artists looking for cheap studio space and a good community. Since DIA: Beacon opened up in 2003, the city has been solidified as a a major art destination in the Hudson Valley.  Good restaurants and nice vibe all around.

*Cruises operate from May-October. Call Hudson River Adventures at: (845) 220-2120 or River Rose Cruises at: (845) 562-1067 for info. Both are located on the waterfront near Torches on the Hudson restaurant.

*Reach the ferry to Beacon via Front Street.




4. Visit Orange County Choppers Headquarters and Motorcyclepedia


FDNY 9/11 memorial bike at the Orange County Choppers HQ in Newburgh NY

Newburgh New York is a dream-come-true for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Besides being able to ride to and from the city along scenic Route 9W,  it's also home to the Orange County Choppers headquarters and the Motorcyclepedia museum.

Orange County Choppers is the world-famous brand (due largely to their hit reality show on CMT) that makes stunning chopper motorcycles

Choppers are characterized by long and high handlebars and roaring loud engines.

The OCC headquarters is the huge, wavy glass and steel complex shaped like a 'C' on Route 17k, just past the airport.

Inside, Paul Teutul Sr. and the gang (which includes his sons) shoot parts of the TV show, sell OCC clothing and gear, and display bikes in their showroom gallery.

In addition to some of the show piece bikes on display, and the shopping aisles in the store front, there's a concert stage, an upscale bar/restaurant and a 4 lane bowling alley!

See the rest of my Orange County Choppers pictures here.

Another unique destination for gear heads in Newburgh New York is the Motorcyclepedia Museum, located not far down the road.

You'll feel like a kid in a candy shop.

Even if you're not an aficionado, you'll be able to appreciate this place.

The collection here is something you won't find anywhere else. There's a nearly complete timeline of Indian Motorcycles, one for each year they were produced.

Other exhibits include Chopper City, with outlandish custom bikes from the 1960s-70s; and perhaps most crazy of them all...

The Motordrome Wall of Death... where a guy rides his motorcycle inside a cylinder chamber, going faster and reaching higher with every spin.

Owner, Gerald Doering runs the place with his son, and has a long passionate career revolving around mototrcycles.

This museum in Newburgh New York comes from their personal collections. It's not some kind of corporate stamped out place. This is one family's love of motorcycles shared with the world.


***

Call Orange County Choppers at: (845)-522-5200 for more info. Open: Monday - Saturday 9pm to 9pm; Sunday 10am to 6pm. Address: 14 Crossroads Court Newburgh New York.

Call Motorcyclepedia Museum at: (845) 569-9065 for more info. Open: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am - 5pm. Address:  250 Lake Street, Newburgh New York.


Estimated time: 1-4 hours each.







5. Kayak Moodna Creek and the Hudson River to Bannerman's Castle


Okay, I get into this more on Getting Outdoors in Newburgh New York, but I really want you to try this, so it's in my top 5 things to do as well!

The launch is a few miles south of Newburgh NY off Rt. 9W, at Plum's Point on the Hudson River. The paddle is approximately 4.8 miles.

See a map of the route here.

I learned about this from Shari Aber's "A Kayaker's Guide to the Hudson River Valley."

I suggest you get yourself a copy. Great book.

However, the book doesn't talk about paddling out to Bannerman's Island which is such a landmark!

A chance to get up close is to the crumbling castle is too hard to resist.

In a nutshell: Begin by paddling up Moodna Creek. Once up the creek (stay right at the island), until you reach the bridge at Route 9W.

Just beyond the bridge the water gets very shallow and the current pushes you back quite a bit, making it impassable.

That's where I suggest turning around and heading back out across the Hudson to Bannerman's Castle.

Some advice: check the weather before you go. If you  watch the video, you'll see that I got snagged by a freak thunderstorm!


Estimated time: 3-4 hours.

*See more details, plus HD video of this paddle at the Newburgh: Getting Outdoors page.




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