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Swimming Holes in Upstate New York

Words by Julie Pointer Photographs by Laura Dart Styling by Julie Pointer & Jen Vitale Location The Barn in Tivoli

We visited the wonderful town of Tivoli, New York, and found a local swimming hole along with some other good places to slow down for. 

Nothing refreshes the mind like leaving your normal routine behind and taking an afternoon to revive your sense of wonder at the world. We’ve found that a simple swimming getaway is one of our favorite ways to unwind—even better when it can be done in the small company of close friends. Grab your inner tube, a no-nonsense picnic compiled from what’s in the fridge and set out to find a pond, a pool, a creek, a river. No matter if the water’s icy; jump in and all the worries of the day are sure to be quickly forgotten.

This little treasure of a swimming hole was found in Tivoli, New York, located in the Hudson Valley. If you should find yourself lucky enough to swing through this charming part of upstate New York, here are some ideas of places you can visit surrounding your afternoon adventure, either to stock up for your picnic or to refuel after a full day of splashing around.

Murray’s A quaint coffee shop in the heart of Tivoli. Stop in for a cup of Intelligentsia coffee and a salad enjoyed at an outdoor table in the backyard garden. Expect to run into students and scholarly types from nearby Bard College.

Gigi Market This is a prime location for stocking up on picnic fixings, or even fresh fish for dinner time. You’ll likely be tempted by the fresh-baked donuts, along with the copious amounts of local fare from around the region. If you’re in the area for a bit, make sure you attend one of their Agriturismo dinners.

Mercato An Italian restaurant located just one town over from Tivoli in Red Hook. Situated in an old beautiful house, Mercato has a menu chock-full of traditional Italian favorites.

Tivoli Bays Take a walk to this wildlife management area to see some of the local bird life and to learn about the Hudson River Estuary. Bard College uses Tivoli Bays as a field laboratory for research and education for their students, so don’t be surprised if you see some folks around with binoculars and clipboards.

The Barn in Tivoli  If you need a restful place to stay with your comrades while visiting the area, be sure to check out this cozy renovated barn located just off the main Tivoli thoroughfare. With five acres of forest, pond, meadow and creek to explore, it’s the perfect locale to bunk up with a group of friends and recharge in the wild quiet.

Special thanks to The Barn in TivoliJoinery and Brook Farm General Store.

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  • October 24, 2013
    6:13
    Oh this is so very good and completely after my heart. Thank you.
    Posted by
  • October 11, 2013
    8:43
    Love this!
    Posted by
  • October 7, 2013
    13:08
    I can't wait for it to get cold enough to build a fire and stay indoors all day! musetwentytwo.wordpress.com
    Posted by
  • September 18, 2013
    11:23
    DON'T FORGET THE MOTHA EFFIN' BURRITO STANNNDDDDDDD en route to Red Hook. Also hit up every farm stand you can find especially Migliorelli after the Rhinecliff Bridge.
    Posted by
  • August 29, 2013
    14:47
    This is magical! Definitely going to do this.
    Posted by Natalie Taylor