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Poughkeepsie, New York

Known as the Queen City of the Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie is nestled on the east bank of the Hudson River halfway between New York City and Albany, the state capital. Founded in 1687, Poughkeepsie is the county seat of Dutchess County and home to a number of historical sites.

Located just 75 miles north of midtown Manhattan, Poughkeepsie is home to over 42,000 people and serves as a regional center of the arts, entertainment, higher education, health care, transportation, business and government. A town rich in culture and steeped in history, the inspired ideas and works of Alexander Hamilton, Matthew Vassar, Franklin D. Roosevelt and many others are alive in the spirit of Poughkeepsie situated on the scenic Hudson River.

Settled in the late 1600s by the Dutch, Poughkeepsie was first organized as a town in 1788. It was in this year that the U.S. Constitution was officially ratified there by the state of New York, as Poughkeepsie was serving at that time as the temporary state capital. In 1799, the city of Poughkeepsie was taken off the town of the same name and organized separately as a village, later to become incorporated (in 1854) as a city.

The city's name is derived from the phonetic translation of an Algonquian Indian term variously interpreted as meaning "waterfall," "pleasant harbor," or "campsite by small water." In addition to Marist College, the Town of Poughkeepsie is home to Vassar College and Dutchess Community College.

Arts and Culture in the Poughkeepsie Area
In the early to mid-20th century, famous families such as the Astors, Rogers, and Vanderbilts built seasonal retreats in the Poughkeepsie area, many of which today are open to the public as historic sites. Located in Poughkeepsie are the Locust Grove, former home of inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, and Clinton House, named for George Clinton, New York's first governor. The Bardavon 1869 Opera House is another historical attraction, and is the oldest continually running entertainment venue in New York State. Nearby Hyde Park is home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, and the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Cultural sites located in Poughkeepsie

  • Walkway Over the Hudson
  • Locust Grove (former home of inventor Samuel F. B. Morse)
  • Clinton House (named for George Clinton, New York's first governor)
  • Bardavon Opera House: Home of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic
  • Glebe House: A 1767 house restored to represent a late 18th-century home
  • Maple Grove: Built in 1850 by banker Charles Al Macy
  • Poughkeepsie Post Office: A National Historic Landmark
  • Frances Lehman Loeb Art Museum: Located at Vassar College
  • Springside National Historic Site
  • Mill Street Loft 
  • Barrett Art Center

Nearby cultural sites

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum (Hyde Park)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Hyde Park)
  • The Vanderbilt Mansion
  • Bannerman Castle: A Scottish-style castle on the Hudson River (Fishkill)
  • Clermont State Historic Site
  • Hyde Park Railroad Station
  • Mount Gulian Historic Site (Beacon)
  • Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum
  • Sports Museum of Dutchess County (Wappingers Falls)
  • The Howland Cultural Center (Beacon)

Distance to Major Cities (Miles)

  • New York, NY - 75
  • Albany, NY - 80
  • Buffalo, NY - 360
  • Syracuse, NY- 220
  • Hartford, CT - 100
  • Boston, MA - 200