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Newburgh's Hudson River waterfront is the city's most obvious visitors' draw, a pleasant promenade that strings together a series of some half-dozen restaurants and bars, joined by boating diversions, the indie Downing Film Center, and a new mile-long waterfront trail on the grounds of the long-abandoned, seven-acre Con Iron site. Billy Joe's Ribworks offers casual BBQ, an outdoor deck, and regular live music, while two-year-old surf-and-turf eatery Blu Pointe affords a more upscale option. From May through October, tour boats ply the Hudson from here: try the modern Pride of the Hudson, or River Rose Cruises, an authentic Mississippi paddle-wheeler; there's the year-round, commuter-minded Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, too.
Motorcycle enthusiasts shouldn't miss the massive Motorcyclepedia Museum for its showcase of close to 600 rare and vintage motorcycles, or the Orange County Choppers headquarters (from Discovery's American Chopper series), which is open for tours. Refuel on New American fare at the atmospheric North Plank Road Tavern, in operation almost continuously since 1801; or, on the newer side, Graft Cidery, launched in November and is opening a "cider garden" for tastings in May.
Just a few miles down the river, but worlds away by virtually every other measure apart from distance, the serene town of Cornwall draws visitors to its close-knit, family-friendly, well-heeled community with nature reserves, farm-fresh fare, fun festivals (like RiverFest on June 3 and the Cornwall Fall Festival on September 24), and quaint commercial strips, but really reels in art lovers far and wide for its biggest attraction: the seasonal Storm King Art Center (reopening April 5), ranked among the world's top sculpture parks. The center's 500 sprawling acres—in Mountainville, a hamlet of Cornwall—put forth stunning natural backdrops for the more than 100 outdoor contemporary sculptures on display, from the likes of Noguchi, Calder, and Di Suvero.
The family-focused Hudson Highlands Nature Museum touts two locations: the 177-acre Outdoor Discovery Center, with hiking trails, a "nature play" area, and year-round nature programs (including an Earth Day celebration on April 22), as well as Cornwall-on-Hudson's Wildlife Education Center, featuring displays of small animals native to the region.
Landlubbers can find trails in Cornwall's 3,870-acre Black Rock Forest Consortium, or in Cornwall-on-Hudson's 1,900-acre Storm King State Park, while the Hudson River waterfront beckons for seasonal guided kayaking outings from Cornwall-on-Hudson between May and October; try Storm King Adventure Tours or Mountain Valley Guides.
Fuel up on farm-fresh fare at the welcoming, 103-year-old, family-run Jones Farm with its standout bakery, cafe, and farmstand (don't miss the mouthwatering goat cheese, sourced just up the road, from Edgwick Farm); well-curated gift ship sourcing local artisans; petting zoo, and art gallery.
Top restaurants include Brothers Barbecue for meats smoked fresh daily (and live music on weekends) and CIA chef Scott Strauss-helmed newcomer Storm King Tavern Restaurant, on the historic Storm King Golf Club grounds. Cornwall-on-Hudson's main stretch, Hudson Street, proposes the original 2 Alices Coffee Lounge and Painter's Tavern, which features an eclectic menu, more than 100 beers, and local artwork.
Cornwall's Main Street
Main Street offers retail therapy from longstanding anchors like Cornwall Yarn Shop, which sells a selection of New York State yarns, alongside newcomers like the year-old Hideaways for antiques, cards, and gifts, and the November-debuted Gypsy Birds, selling handmade soaps, candles, incense, and more. Metaphysical, herbalist, and tarot reading shop Brid's Closet is currently sharing their storefront with the locally made, country-craft style handicrafts of Creative Gifts & More, and the Elizabeth Collection, which sells 100-percent handmade goods, with an emphasis on leatherwork.
The the town is making a push to showcase Cornwall's history on Main, too, via the 2016 restoration of the historic 1760 Sands Ring Homestead and plans for a Cornwall Historical Museum to open on the grounds of the town hall park next year.