Pretty much everyone in the world knows about New York City and all it has to offer. I remember traveling around Europe during my semester abroad and asking all foreigners I met if they had visited the United States. Most who had had visited New York, and if they hadn’t visited yet, New York was about the only US city they even knew about. So worldwide, there’s a big appreciation and awareness of our country’s Big Apple. But what about the areas outside of NYC?
I admit, I’d never bothered to even consider visiting upstate New York until my east coast trip this past October. After spending several days in Manhattan and remembering the hustling chaos of the city, I was actually pretty relieved to hop into a car and head out into the surrounding woodlands. We drove about 3 hours outside of Manhattan to Poughkeepsie where we stayed for a couple of nights and visited the surrounding areas. Besides the rather charming town of Poughkeepsie, the other notable part of this area is the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park. A private college for training culinary professionals, the CIA was established in 1946 and has its primary campus in Hyde Park. The school has turned out a number of notable alumni including Anthony Bourdain, Michael Mina, Andrew Zimmern, Roy Yamaguchi, and many more.
The visit to the CIA included several meals at the campus’ student-run restaurants, as well as a student-led tour of the campus. Interestingly, these campus tours are offered daily and aren’t for prospective students (I was definitely the youngest of the tour), but rather older folks enthralled by the fame of the CIA’s name.
Check out some photos of lovely upstate New York, an area I definitely want to return to and enjoy on a future trip.