sightseeing around academy

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by beck013, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. beck013

    beck013 Member

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    we will be visiting our USAFA C2C cadet (on exchange at USMA) October 8 & 9th
    Being unfamiliar with the area, is there anything of interest to see around the academy without going into NYC? we will have a car
    also, any suggestions for accomdations? is there a hotel on the academy grounds?

    thanks
     
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    You can take a tour of West Point on one of the tour buses operated by West Point Tours. You can order tickets over the phone in advance or purchase them inside the Visitors' Center in Highland Falls. I have taken the 2-hour tour twice and I learned something new both times. You visit the Cadet Chapel, cemetery, Trophy Point and other points of interest. I have found the guides to be knowledgeable. West Point in the fall is not to be missed! http://www.westpointtours.com/

    The Thayer Hotel is inside Thayer Gate but I have not stayed there. I prefer to stay up in Fishkill.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  3. majmattmason

    majmattmason Member

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    The Thayer Hotel is on Post. www.thethayerhotel.com It certainly is the most convenient being that you're inside the gate, but there are other hotels in the area as well if Thayer is booked up.

    For fun, you might drive over to Newburgh to see Paul Sr. at Orange County Choppers http://www.orangecountychoppers.com/. Or go visit Bear Mountain State Park. If you have time, go North and visit the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck. http://www.oldrhinebeck.org. On your way, stop off at Hyde Park, NY, see FDR's home http://www.nps.gov/hofr/ and grab a meal at the CIA, Culinary Institute of America http://www.ciachef.edu/. Those are a few ideas. Others will chime in here.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    You can hop across the river and go to Cold Spring, which is a charming little river town with lots of upscale but affordable eateries, or go south to Tarrytown and see the home of Washington Irving and the area where the Headless Horseman was set.
     
  5. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    The Thayer is just inside the gates and is convenient but expensive and not really up to standard in my opinion. [For A-Day weekend, we booked and paid $325/room in January,and at that they tried to give us an air mattress on the floor.] Just outside the gates next to the Visitors' Center is the Five Star Inn, a hotel for military families with extremely reasonable rates. [they also have a facility on the post that I have not seen]. Your cadet can stop by and put your name in to allow you to make reservations using his/her ID. http://www.westpointmwr.com/ACTIVITY/5STAR/INDEX.HTM
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    About a mile from the gate is a Holiday Inn Express. A few miles further, in Central Valley, is a Hampton (plenty of restaurants, outlet shopping..). Ditto MajMattMason on OCC! We love going there! Bear Mountain is spectacular in October! I had never seen a "yellow wood" up until that point...great, easy hiking.
     
  7. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    On our last trip back, we flew out of Newark. After droppng off our cadet on Sunday, we went to Ellis Island and Liberty Island - a fascinating afternoon, and far more easily accessible from the New Jersey side, quite close to Newark Airport, than from Manhattan - no line at all.
     
  8. majmattmason

    majmattmason Member

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    I've stayed at that Holiday Inn Express in Ft. Montgomery several times, it's a good location. Speaking of hiking, the AT runs close by if that is of interest.

    And I would have to agree about the Thayer being sub-par for what they're charging. They know they have the best location, so they charge for it. Not a bad hotel, but for the price you would expect more. But it's really tough to beat being able to walk out the door and not have to fight with the traffic during peak times. Most folks wind up staying all over the place. We've even stayed at the Courtyard in Fishkill when everything was booked up closer to West Point, it wasn't bad either.
     
  9. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    We have stayed at the Homewood Suites near the Stewart Airport twice now. Very clean, very quiet and very reasonable rates. It's about a 15-20 minute drive down to West Point, but very scenic. This is a Hilton chain so you can use points and get a reservation easily.

    When we visited, I really enjoyed the walking tour at West Point. But I'll bet your AF cadet can give you a great tour!

    The Purple Heart museum is a great place to visit. It's in between West Point and Homewood Suites.

    Enjoy your visit!
     
  10. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    While I admit I've never been to a Graduation at West Point, I have been to "R" Day, "A" Day and a few overnights there, and I didn't see the Gate as a huge issue. Yes, a few times I had 5 or 6 cars in front of me and even on "R" Day there were about 50 in the morning at Stoney Lonesome, but I was through it in about 15 minutes. I guess early is the key, I know last weekend my Father had a huge wait for the Game but, he didn't show up till after the Parade started and from what I understand, it was a big first game.
     
  11. majmattmason

    majmattmason Member

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    Before 9/11, it was nothing. Our son was at USMAPS at FT Monmouth when the attacks occurred. From then on, every installation was nuts to enter. That following year it sometimes took forever to snake through the barricades they had set up in Buffalo Soldier lot. From then on it was iffy depending on if there was a game or other big event. Truthfully, it's been a couple of years since we've been up to West Point, but I think you're right, if there's an event, arriving early is key.
     
  12. sterling

    sterling Member

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    we often stay in the Fishkill residence Inn ...it is not flashy but more of a home without the hotel feel. From there you can head up the Hudson to Hyde Park with the Vanderbilt manson (smaller one of the family) and FDR Library/ Muesum. Culinary Institute is on the way if you are so inclined.
     
  13. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    We reserved and prepaid $2000 per room at the Thayer already for graduation 2014 (talk about a hope and a prayer!) and it took a few phone calls to get a confirmation letter. Nice hotel, recent ownership change, working on it (for example, in mid August for A-Day - 1) room wireless internet was promised not yet working; good, extremely apologetic staff; 2) room reservation system didn't reflect number of beds in the confirmation letter I I had asked for 2, arrived and got 1 +air mattress at $325/night)
    Main advantage was no worry about security lines. For the times we entered and exited, it was 10 minutes max, butI had heard of worse. We are keeping our reservations for grad week, but think there are probably better values.
     
  14. Momof2cadets

    Momof2cadets Founding Member

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    If you go to Hyde Park, the Hyde Park Brewery is across the street from the Historic Site. Great micro-brews and good food at a reasonable price.
     
  15. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    For Grad Week, I recommend renting a house in Highland Falls. Many folks let their houses out for rent that week and go out of town. My folks paid $1200 (almost 7 years ago now) for a grad week house. Great value and you save a ton by ordering in or cooking there versus restaurants all the time. Just a thought. Not applicable for a short visit, though.

    If you don't mind a short drive (30 mins) there's the Sheraton Crossroads in Mahwah, NJ. One of my favorite hotels period. Easy jaunt up I-287/I-87 to Central Valley, where you pick up US 6 to WP.
     

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