High season in the Hudson Valley is a special kind of wonderful, from the glories of your own backyard to the wild beauty all around us. Make it even better with these summertime picks.
Get Your Outdoors On
Spin your golf game
From Mohonk to Warwick, Yorktown Heights to Saugerties, disc golf has taken hold up here. Fun hazards aside (thick trees, deep cliffs), it's a great way to hone your skills and get goaloriented. Equip yourself with a regulation discs made by Innova at Cabin Fever Outfitters in Rhinebeck, $9.99-$18.99. Cabinfeveroutfitters.com
Fly the retro toy skies
Fill the summer skies with the toys of an old-fashioned childhood. Remember those balsa-wood airplanes? Complete with the red rubber band that makes the propeller go, you'll find them at Catskill Mountain Country Store in Tannersville and Windham. Or go for that young aboriginal vibe with a wooden boomerang. Both flying things are handcrafted in the USA. Airplanes, two to a pack, $5.99; Boomerangs, $9.99-$21.99. Catskillmtncountrystore.com
Get in the water
Explore the beauty of the Hudson Valley and get some major exercise by getting in a kayak. Mountain Tops Outfitters in Beacon will put together everything you need—and they'll match whatever price you find. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, approx. $875; Bending Branches Sunrise fiberglass shaft paddles are made for those over six feet tall, and those under; $99; Harmony Adult FlexFit vest, $89.99. Mountaintopsoutfitters.com
Put their mettle to the pedal
There's nothing more summer-timey than kids pedaling around furiously on their new bicycles. Berkshire Bike and Board in Great Barrington and Pittsfield and durable steeds to get your tykes started. Liv Blossom girl's bike for ages three to six, or Scott Voltage bike JR 16 for ages three to six, both $249.99. Berkshirebikeandboard.com
Blaze a fast trail
Whether a beginner or a seasoned, foot-sure expert, there's nothing like going for a run through the natural beauty of the woods. Your reward for the effort is a stunning dose of scenery and loads of fresh air. Log the miles in cushy Hoka One Ones or more streamlined La Sportivas; Rock and Snow in New Paltz has tons of choices. For men or women: Hoka One One Stinson, $160; or La Sportiva Bushido, $125. Rockandsnow.com
Set up camp
If you haven't taken the family camping, you're in for a treat: There are countless campgrounds, from primitive to amenity packed. Kenco Outfitters in Kingston has everything you need, including family tents so easy to set up that a toddler could do it—at least theoretically. Six-person North Face Kaiju tent, $399; four-person Eureka Sunrise 4 tent, $199.99.
Lawn party all the time
Tote that quiche, float that duck
Tote your essentials in style with these weatherproof, waterproof, bad-mood-proof bags from Bop to Tottom in Kingston. Plastic perforated and woven pool totes in all sorts of fun, candy colors, $43-$45. And while you're at it, toss a gigantic rubber duck into the pool for a goofy conversation starter. Giant duck, $19. Boptotottom.com
Nothing like a good cocktail that's made en plein air. Shop Little House in Woodstock has a whole slew of accoutrements for hot-weather mixology. Vintage glasses, set of two, $12; Toyo-Sasaki glass pitcher, $28; Woodland Wonder acrylic tray by IMM Living; $58; stainless steel drink stirrer / muddler, $13.50; Summer Cocktails book, $22.95. Shoplittlehouse.com
Spread out and eat green
Forget about those environmentally hostile picnic products that make us think twice about dining al fresco—Winter Sun & Summer Moon in Rhinebeck has a whole slew of bio-happy, eco-friendly picnic pieces that are BPA free, microwave and dishwasher safe, and goodlooking, too. Bento box, $22; Eau Good water bottle, $22; large lunch bowl, $26; lunch box, $26; all by black + blum. Wintersunsummermoon.com
The sweet sound of lawn games
In summer, when the back lawn becomes the parlor, the houseguests inevitably arrive. Entertain the visiting droves with charming, handsome amusements from Valley Variety in Hudson: traditional, handcrafted Henley horseshoes, $225; handmade backgammon set, $160; or a nautical flag domino set, $100. Then go take a much-deserved nap. Valleyvariety.com
Look good, feel good
Let's not overdo the rugged look. You can be breezily chic covering up that bathing suit in sweet cotton tunics for women, or smart linen shirts for men, from Willow and Brown in Livingston Manor. The shop stocks refreshingly well-curated styles. Rock Flower Paper women's cotton tunics in prints or pintucks, S-L, $38-$46; men's cotton linen shirts in solids and plaids, M-XXL, $82.