The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend. Interested in more local love? Head here.

summer adventures - Perkins Memorial Drive

We decided to keep our Hudson River loving going this week. We took a trip over the Bear Mountain Bridge to Rockland county and Perkins Memorial Drive. Part of Bear Mountain State Park, the top of Perkins Memorial Drive and the tower that stands there offer completely breathtaking panoramic views.

Exploring the Hudson Valley Perkins Drive at Bear Mountainscenic Hudson Valley Perkins Memorial Drivesummer adventures in the Hudson Valley Perkins Drive

We went on a weekday, which are typically much less busy—especially when the day is as clear and gorgeous as this one! On days like this, you can see straight through to the New York City skyline, which makes just about every person who notices it squeal or gasp or do their manly equivalent.

If you look really closely at the next picture, you can see the outline of skyscrapers just above the green of the mountaintops. Pretty freaking cool, right?

Perkins Drive with NYC skyline

I haven’t been to Perkins Drive in years and have actually never been there with the girls. They were beside themselves with excitement about how cool the place was. If you’ve never been, it’s basically a rocky scenic overlook on the side of the mountain. There are a few paths and a couple of benches to sit and stare at the incredible view.

Another cool feature is Perkins Tower, which offers a 360 degree view that seriously cannot be beat.

Beautiful Hudson Valley the view from Perkins Drivegorgeous views at Perkins Drive in Bear MountainHudson Valley fun Perkins Memorial Tower

Ellie kept calling it Rapunzel’s Tower and broke into song, while her sister carefully counted all of the steps on our way up the tower. As you can imagine, this resulted in arguing as the singing and the counting didn’t mesh particularly well together. Especially when they started getting louder and louder… and louder. 😉

Once at the top, Ellie kept singing and pretending that she was trapped in a tall, tall tower. She stopped every once in a while to peek out at the view. Samantha was much more interested in looking through the telescopes to check everything out more closely. And I totally kicked myself for leaving their binoculars at home. They would have come in handy (and stopped some of the bickering) back on the ground.

exploring Perkins Memorial Towerinside Perkins Memorial Towerexploring at Perkins Memorial Drive

Once we climbed back down the tower, it was snack time. I decided a nice flat rock in a shady spot would be perfect. The girls decided they each wanted to be in charge and they would whine and yell at each other until someone broke. Spoiler alert: the only broken one was me. I ended up picking a spot and telling them to plop their butts down and eat or they were going snackless.

Needless to say, we sat and enjoyed the gorgeous view with a side of whine.

Hudson Valley adventures Perkins Memorial Drive

The moral of this trip? No matter how gorgeous the scenery, adventures are always a crap shoot with kids. We may have fought our way through most of this one, but we still had fun exploring a new place. And that’s way more fun than fighting at home.

Have you gone on any adventures in Westchester or the Hudson Valley recently? I’m always looking for new ideas and would love to hear about some of your favorite spots.

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Written by Jennifer Garry

Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she’s not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.