I'm pretty sure my wife and I stumbled upon the greatest bar in the entire Hudson Valley on Friday.

I should start with a qualifier: there is no such thing as the perfect bar, but depending on your circumstance, a bar can be exactly perfect for you at a specific moment in time... and boy did we find one this weekend.

View of Wright's Farm and Gardiner Brewing Company from Route 208 in Gardiner, NY
My wife and I quite accidentally discovered our favorite bar in the Hudson Valley this weekend (Google)

Camping at Wright's Farm in Gardiner, NY

It's not everyday that you find a hidden treasure just minutes from your house, but nothing about last weekend was ordinary anyways. The first gem my wife and I discovered was the camping options at Wright's Farm in Gardiner, NY.

Photo of a sunset with parachuting skydivers in Gardiner, NY
Sunset on Friday night at Wright's Farm in Gardiner, NY. Can you spot the parachuting skydivers? (TSM Poughkeepsie)

Staycation Camping in the Hudson Valley, NY

Both my wife and I love to camp, but with our busy schedule, a weekend trip to the Adirondacks or even the Catskills seemed a bit too ambitious. Luckily, Wright's offers campsites smack-dab in the middle of their beautiful apple and cherry orchards, and it was only a 15 minute drive from our home in Newburgh, NY. But that was just the beginning.

A miniature goldendoodle sitting on a dirt road
Wright's Farm in Gardiner, NY offers camping options in their orchard, and is dog-friendly (TSM Poughkeepsie)

Discovering Gardiner Brewing Company in Gardiner, NY

Intimidated by the blazing afternoon sun, my wife and I (and our dog Arthur, above) took a walk around the property when we discovered our new favorite place: Gardiner Brewing Company (GBC). Located on the farm property in a historic barn (below), the atmosphere alone was enough to make us fall in love.

Gardiner Brewing Company is open on Saturday, Sunday, and sometimes Friday, and this Friday, we hit the jackpot. "Gartucky Karaoke" on the outdoor stage was some of the most fun we had since moving back to the Hudson Valley, with performers aged 7 to 77 all giving it their best. We thought the vibes (and drinks and excellent nachos) couldn't be beat, but Saturday was a whole different story.

Rain wasn't supposed to hit Gardiner until 10pm on Saturday, but then again the Hudson Valley never was reliable when it came to weather forecasts. When the clouds opened up in the middle of the afternoon, we had two choices: sit miserably in our tiny tent, or go back to our new favorite bar.

The rain had chased everyone indoors, and the atmosphere inside GBC had some of the most friendly and welcoming energy either of us had ever experienced. The live band (shoutout to the Bush Brothers) was fantastic, and the amount of well-behaved dogs (including a majestic 210-pound mastiff that joined its owner on the dancefloor) was heavenly. We drank beer and cider and played board games on a giant banquet table while the weather raged outside.

Read: The Surprising Reason Why New Yorkers Should Bury Their Underwear

While the music, beer, and food was all top-notch at GBC, the main attraction was the people. On both nights, the crowds included babies bouncing on knees, teenagers ordering Shirley Temples, grandparents letting loose, and everyone in between. The bartenders and waitstaff were friendly, the dogs were amazing, and if you enter GBC from the top floor of the barn (taking the narrow winding staircase), you feel like you're a character in Lord of the Rings, descending into the town tavern that doubles as a community center.

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I could go on and on about the feelings GBC elicited in both my wife and me, but to truly experience its magic, you need to go for yourself. I'd share more pictures, but I was too busy enjoying myself and leaning over to my wife asking, how have we not found this place sooner?! It's the best bar in the Hudson Valley... for us.

Breweries with the Best Eats

The Hudson Valley has a great reputation for creating some of the most delicious and creative beers in New York State. But something else to note is the quality of the food that you can enjoy at some of the Hudson Valley's finest breweries. Check out 6 of our favorite brewery eats throughout the Hudson Valley!

Gallery Credit: Arianne Rogers

9 Of the Oldest Breweries in Upstate New York

Craft breweries have been popping up all over the Upstate New York region. Each tries to carve out a little "beer niche" for their fans and communities enjoy. Some are big and some are small. One thing is for sure...they are popular and getting more so every day. One brewery, located in Cooperstown, is now competing with the Baseball Hall of Fame for tourists coming to this Otsego County destination.

Here are the nine oldest breweries in Upstate New York. As you can see, they are 25 or more years old, with two of them still around since the 1800s!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio