One of the nicest places to stay in Poughkeepsie  is the classy Inn at the Falls (50 Red Oaks Mill Rd., 845/462-5770, www.innatthefalls.com , $145–230 d, with breakfast), which overlooks Wappingers Creek on the outskirts of town. The rooms are handsomely outfitted in contemporary European and country styles.
Downtown you’ll find the attractive, upscale Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center (40 Civic Center Plaza, 845/485-5300, www.pokgrand.com , $110–165 d, with full American breakfast), one of the few hostelries in the immediate area to offer a health club.
For tasty baked goods and sandwiches in the historic district, try the Cafe Aurora (145 Mill St., 845/454-1900).
For terrific views of the Hudson, stop into the Brass Anchor (31 River Point Rd., just north of the bridge, 845/452-3232, $18–30), equipped with outdoor tables in warm weather. On the menu is American Continental fare, with lots of seafood specials and vegetarian dishes. You can also come here just for a drink.
A favorite among locals and out-of-towners alike is the tiny Busy Bee Café (138 South Ave., at Reade Pl., 845/452-6800, $15), a bistro offering contemporary American fare prepared from fresh regional ingredients. For Cajun-Creole fare, try Spanky’s (85 Main St., 845/485-2294, $14), a lively and casual downtown spot. On the menu is everything from gumbos to jambalayas.