"I love the early mornings out on my tractor preparing the soil, checking the fields," muses Farmer Pete. "We care about this land, the food it provides, the visitors growing family traditions." That care is evident to anyone who visits Barton Orchards. The farm?lovingly maintained by Farmer Pete, his dad, Bruce, and a staff of experts?produces a wealth of pick-your-own fruits and veggies that range from summery peaches and green tomatoes to fall staples such as pumpkins and Braeburn apples.
But produce is just the tip of the spading fork. Each fall, Barton Orchards beckons visitors to its corn maze, which was voted one of the Top 10 Corn Mazes for Families by Kidventurous. The maze, also featured in the New York Post, winds participants through 5 acres of cornstalk artwork and quizzes as they immerse themselves in the theme of the year. This year's theme is "Mazes in Movies" and will make reference to Harry Potter, The Maze Runner, and Labyrinth. In celebration of the fall season, Barton Orchards also hosts a haunted house and a fun park with a football pitch, slides, and trains.
Although it's the self-proclaimed oldest restaurant and bar in Poughkeepsie, The Derby hasn't had any trouble adapting to the modern age. Live musicians and DJs frequently fill the old-school pub with upbeat tunes, which resound throughout spacious dining rooms that collectively seat up 125 diners. Cooks whip up tasty pub bites, such as brick-oven flatbreads topped with chipotle-barbecue chicken and mac 'n' cheese chock-full of smoked bacon and Maine lobster. The Derby even accommodates gluten-free patrons with their very own menu, which include bacon-wrapped shrimp and breadless french onion soup.
The smile on Yancey's face as she holds her double gold-winning riesling up to the camera is infectious. It perfectly captures the love, dedication, and immense pride she and her husband Michael take in crafting their well-received bottles of wine at Whitecliff Vineyard.
Their artisanal labors of love started more than 30 years ago when Michael decided to transform an empty field into a winery. Following the traditions of his winemaking grandfathers and armed with a master's degree in organic chemistry, he started experimenting with grape growing. Determined to produce wines that would rival European classics, he eventually expanded his vineyard to contain more than 20 varieties of grapes, each with an uncanny resemblance to the American flag.
Today, he and Yancey sell their wines in farmers' markets and stores from Albany to New York City. They also invite visitors to stop by their scenic winery for wine and cheese pairings or events that include art openings.
Decorated with pictures of baseball greats, Dugout Grill's dining room fills with the aroma of scratch-made takes on classic ballpark food. Handcrafted with Black Angus beef, the grill's burgers range from traditional bacon cheeseburgers to a specialty asian fusion burger flavored with a secret marinade. Similar toppings, from homemade chili to bacon and cheese, crown hot dogs split down the middle, grilled, and then sealed back together with magnetized relish. For dessert, Dugout Grill has nine varieties of milk shakes and malts, as well as cups, cones, and sundaes made with your choice of 12 ice-cream flavors.