New York State has it all: stunning scenery, imposing buildings and monuments, and plenty of exciting activities happening at every time of day or night. But did you know that New York is also ideal if you’re planning holidays for disabled travellers? With its wheelchair-friendly entryways and level grounds, this extremely accessible region allows and encourages disabled travellers to make the very most of their East Coast getaway.
One of my all-time favourite spots in the New York area is the Hudson Valley, which takes wheelchair accessibility to a whole new level. Over the past decades, I have planned numerous holidays for disabled groups and individuals, and have scoped out many activities that suit my clients’ needs. The following three attractions have become some of my all-time favourites. Let’s take a look:
Henry Hudson Bridge
When in New York, there’s one thing that every good tourist must see: the illustrious Hudson River. Along with looking across its glistening waters, it’s possible to traverse the river via the Henry Hudson Bridge. This remarkable steel construction connects Poughkeepsie and Highland on the east and west banks of the river, respectively. Today, it’s world-famous for being the longest footbridge on the planet, and for its gorgeous outlook over water and city.
The bridge’s walkway – which is effortlessly navigable by wheelchair – is only a few blocks away from Poughkeepsie’s Metro/Amtrak station. To make your excursion as pleasant as possible, I’ve found that it’s best to use the red cap service. This free service provides you with a bridge plate to get on and off the train with ease. Of course, my colleagues and I will handle these organisational aspects of your trip when we assemble your itinerary. If you’d rather avoid using public transport, let us know, so we can organise a (adapted) cab to pick you up at your hotel and drop you off right near the bridge.
Slightly north of the city, you’ll stumble across an impressive Colonial mansion, known as Philipsburg Manor. Famous for its National Historic Landmarks, including Sleepy Hollow’s Philipsburg Manor House, the Old Dutch Church, and Yonkers’ Philipse Manor Hall, you’ll be able to take a fun-filled journey through history in the area’s house museums.
Personally, I am very fond of the village of Sleepy Hollow, which, of course, is a must-see for fans of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Most likely you won’t be seeing Washington Irving’s headless horseman during your visit – but regardless of whether you’re relieved or disappointed by this, there’s still plenty that will tickle your fancy in and around Phillipsburg Manor.
Fortunately, the manor’s visitor centre is accessible by wheelchair, and most of the vicinity’s notoriously historic areas provide ramps for effortless access. But although most of the area’s highlights accommodate disabled travellers, it’s worth noting that the second floor of Philipsburg Manor House can only be reached by ascending a narrow staircase. Furthermore, there are several nearby buildings that require visitors to mount a few steps.
Beacon’s DIA Art Foundation
Interested in contemporary art? Then worry not – fortunately, Duchess County’s city of Beacon has a world-renowned museum, which features artworks from the 1960s to the present day. Be prepared to marvel at celebrated art by Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, and even Andy Warhol in the museum’s permanent exhibition. New artists are also showcased in the gallery’s temporary displays, which will allow you to discover the stars of tomorrow and witness their rise to fame.
From New York City, it’s very easy to get to the DIA Art Foundation. If you take the Metro North and get off at Metro North’s wheelchair-friendly subway station, you can reach the nearby museum by wheelchair. Once you’re inside the building, you’ll find that it is very accommodating to disabled visitors, making for a stress-free and entirely enjoyable experience.
Hudson Valley is an ideal spot for versatile holidays. Disabled groups and individuals in search of sun, nature, and a healthy dose of culture will never experience a dull moment, and are in great hands in the area’s incredibly accessible facilities. If you’re ready to go on a getaway to New York, my team and I are here to plan your trip for you. We’re committed to making your holiday as stress-free and enjoyable as possible, so get in touch with us today!