The Port of Poughkeepsie is a short ride on the commuter rail to New York City. Located on the beautiful banks of the Hudson River, downtown is home to a group of 1870s storefronts called Main Mall Row which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Port of Poughkeepsie is home to 22 parks that offer relaxation and a pleasant break from city life.
The Port of Poughkeepsie has a humid continental climate with humid hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures in the Port of Poughkeepsie range from an average high of almost 29°C (84°F) in July to an average low of -9°C (15°F) in January. Precipitation peaks at almost 20 centimeters (4.7 inches) in July and is lowest in February (6.4 centimeters or 2.5 inches). Snow falls in the Port of Poughkeepsie from November through March and peaks in January at about 28 centimeters (11 inches).
Vassar College was founded in 1861 in the Port of Poughkeepsie, and it is famous for its history of pioneering in education and its beautiful campus that is maintained as an arboretum. The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center on the campus houses a rich collection of ancient and medieval art and for art and objects from Asia, Europe, and America. Free to the public, the Art Center is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10am until 5pm. On Sunday, it is open from 1pm until 5pm.
Locust Grove is the former estate of Samuel F.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph. This popular Port of Poughkeepsie attraction is a 200-acre property with an 1851 Italianate villa designed by architect Alexander Jackson Davis. The estate contains beautiful landscaped grounds and historic gardens with miles of roads made for carriages. Within the villa is a museum with collections of arts and antiques throughout the 25-room mansion. The Locust Grove Visitor Center is open daily from April through late December from 10am until 5pm. From January to April, it is open Monday through Friday. Tours of the mansion are conducted daily from early May until the end of November and on weekends in April and December. There are five tours per day, and admissions are $10 for adults and $6 for children from six to 18. Group tours are available by appointment. The gardens and grounds of the Port of Poughkeepsie's Locust Grove are open throughout the year from 8am until dusk.
The Walkway over the Hudson is a bridge connecting the Port of Poughkeepsie to Highland. The 1888 bridge began its life as a railroad bridge. In 1974, the bridge caught fire, and the cost to tear it down made making a pedestrian park a more practical idea. Open every day from 7am until 7pm, the Walkway is handicap-accessible, and dogs are allowed to join people on the bridge. At two kilometers (1.3 miles) long and 64.6 meters (212 feet) tall, the Walkway over the Hudson in the Port of Poughkeepsie is the world's largest pedestrian park. Visitors to this Port of Poughkeepsie attraction will find picnic tables and restrooms at both bridge approaches and three scenic overlooks with benches along the bridge. There are concession stands at each end. In addition to audio-visual programs (the Talkway over the Walkway), Port of Poughkeepsie visitors enjoy biking, jogging, skating, dog walking, bird watching, and train-spotting from the walkway.
The Port of Poughkeepsie is homeport to Empire Cruise Lines' Mystere, a passenger boat offering a variety cruises on the beautiful Hudson River. The Port of Poughkeepsie dock is near the Metro North train station and the Walkway over the Hudson. It is also near the opulent Vanderbilt Mansion and the FDR Home and Library in Hyde Park. Passengers choosing a lunch or dinner cruise will enjoy delicious menus created by outstanding chefs and served by white-gloved staff.