Friday, June 21, 2013

Top Five on Friday: Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 9:00 AM

One of two lean-tos located near Mount Tremper's summit.
  • Chris Cring
  • One of two lean-tos located near Mount Tremper's summit.

For anyone who has ever wished there were more than 24 hours in a day, your time has come: the Summer Solstice. Today marks the day when the sun's rays are perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer. In everyday terms, that means this morning in New York the sun rose around 5:20am and it won't set until 8:30pm. With 15 hours of sunshine, there's no excuse not to soak in every minute of it. Here are our top five picks for making the most of the year's longest day.

1. Newburgh Illuminated Festival
Throughout its history, Newburgh was quite literally a light in the dark—it was among the first cities to receive electricity when Edison established its power plant in 1884. Now, the people of Newburgh will shine a spotlight on their thriving arts and culture scene with a three-day festival that kicks off today. The first of these events is Art in Bloom, a display of floral arrangements inspired by famous works of art, which is housed in the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. Ann Street Gallery is exhibiting the works of artists who utilize photographic and holographic techniques to manipulate light. Enjoy other events such as the Light Bulb Project, where local artists paint and decorate light-bulb shaped plywood for public display; a flower show hosted by the Community Garden Club of Marlborough-on-the-Hudson; and a choir and symphonic performance at Mount Saint Mary College to finish the evening.

2. Camping
The longest day of the year means there's plenty of time to wake up, drive to a local trailhead, hike throughout the day, and set up camp before the sun goes down, and the Hudson Valley offers a lot of options for doing this. Fahnestock State Park has no shortage of activities to fill all of your daylight hours. With opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking, hiking, and camping, you will get a full experience of everything the park has to offer. Start off the day lounging on the sandy beach of Canopus Lake, or hop into a row boat that you can rent on site. After a long day of fun, head to the campgrounds, formed along the park's natural ridges. On the other side of the Hudson Valley, Mount Tremper offers a unique campground feature: lean-tos. These small shelters were built on the mountain in the 1930s for backpackers to sleep in. Another must-see on this excursion is the fire tower, about six miles up the mountain—the breathtaking views of the Catskills are worth the hike.

3. Al Fresco Dining
Somehow great food tastes even better when you're eating it outside. To venture a guess, it might be those fresh summer breezes and bask-worthy rays of sun that make it worthwhile. Luckily, the Hudson Valley offers quality al fresco dining with views of the region's natural beauty. If you're coming from the Newburgh Illuminated Festival, cross the bridge to Beacon's Roundhouse in Beacon Falls, where you can appreciate the view of Fishkill Creek's waterfall while you choose items from their exclusive outdoor menu. For a list of more al fresco dining opportunities, take a look at our top five picks from last month.

4. Twilight in the Garden Party
As the sky starts to change to shades of purple and pink, head to the Pink House—home of Kinderhook Farm owners Renee Lacone and Steve Clearman—for a garden party. Surrounded by plants, flowers, ponds, and barns, guests can enjoy a signature cocktail from New York City mixologist Rosen Shrestha while eating food provided by the Spencertown Academy Art Center's catering staff. Alternatively, click here to find tips for throwing your own garden party.

5. Firefly Gazing
As night falls, these flashing little guys come out to play. The open fields of the Hudson Valley offer great views of the magical light show. Pack a late-night picnic dinner, and sit out on a blanket in the field at the opening of Springtown Road off Main Street in New Paltz, backdropped by the Shawangunk Ridge. They'll catch your eye, but can you catch them? If you can't manage to get a hold of one, just sit back and enjoy. The flickers of light you see, however, aren't just for aesthetics. Lightning bugs actually use their luminescent abilities to communicate with each other. Male fireflies will flash a specific pattern to attract females who, if interested, will reply with their own sequence of flashes. Even insects have summer flings.

  • Pin It
  • StumbleUpon
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Speaking of...


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • New Paltz Guitarist's Book is a Visual Feast

    Scott Helland of Frenchy and the Punk has published a compendium of his drawings.
    • Feb 12, 2016
  • Scouting for Everyone

    In 2006, some former members of the Boy Scouts formed an independent scouting association, one that teaches traditional scouting, as it was practiced prior to the 1960s, and follows the original guidelines laid down by scouting’s founder, Robert Baden-Powell.
    • Sep 7, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America @ Family Partnership Center

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America

Fri., April 28, 6-9 p.m. — A screening of presented by the LCBTQ Community for Racial Justice and...

View all of today's events

Latest in Daily Dose

  • Homespun Music Hits 50-Year Mark
  • Homespun Music Hits 50-Year Mark

    Happy Traum and Jane Traum's Woodstock music instructional label began in 1967.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • MOVE Music Festival Returns to Capital District
  • MOVE Music Festival Returns to Capital District

    The 2017 lineup features 25 acts and takes place in Albany, Troy, and Cohoes.
    • Apr 25, 2017
  • World Class Women’s Cycling
  • World Class Women’s Cycling

    The Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix (WWCGP) is celebrating its fifth year as the only women’s single day, out-and-back road race course in the United States. It’s a great day for families to support athletes, inspire young ones, and enjoy community.
    • Apr 24, 2017
  • More »

More by Marie Solis

People who saved…

Top Commenters

Current Issue

April 1-30, 2017