Pine Bush NY: Hudson Valley UFO Capital

On March 12, 2018, USA Today reported that a recently declassified 2015 video documented a UFO encounter in Pine Bush NY by navy pilots aboard a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet. This was not an isolated incident.

From 1981 to 1987 there were over 25,000 reports of a boomerang-shaped unidentified flying object in and near Pine Bush in Orange County, New York. There were so many reported sightings that the quiet hamlet became known as the “UFO Capital of the East Coast.”

A man dressed in a safari hunter costume carries a box labelled Live Animal that has a one-eyed extraterrestrial popping out. Next to him, two women dressed as aliens pose with him as a tourist captures the image on an iPhone.

This title well befits its location betwixt the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley–a land with a long history of myths, myths, legends, and reputed paranormal activity–this is the region that produced Rip Van Winkle and the Headless Horseman, after all.

The area also happens to be famous for its apple wines and Angry Orchard hard ciders. Happy coincidence? You decide.

Things to Do Near Pine Bush NY

GO: Pine Bush UFO Fair Pine Bush, New York. Deemed the biggest UFO festival on the East Coast, this annual event appeals to both serious believers and those who believe in serious fun. A Speakers Tent and pop-up museum bring in experts in all things paranormal, while the alien parade and fair assure lots of wacky photo opps.

Live music, a food fair, and all-day activities round out the schedule of events.

Tip – For more paranormal attractions in the region, check out the Haunted History Trail of New York State.

Stone steps lead to Christopher Jacobs vineyard.

TASTE: Christopher Jacobs Winery. Sip your way through a wine-tasting flight outdoors overlooking the vineyard–Appleoosa, an award-winning dry apple wine, is particularly good. Late August-early September, stop in for U-pick table grapes.

Pack a picnic for Friday Night Summer Nights: Christopher Jacobs provides the wine and live music, Mother Nature the mountain sunsets. 

Find more vineyards on the Hudson Valley Wine Map, including the must-see MAVEN-approved oldest winery in America, Brotherhood Winery–read all about it in our Hudson River Valley travel guide.

Angry Orchard Tasting Room

TOUR/TASTE: Angry Orchard. Learn about the making of cider or just go for the free samples, it’s a win-win either way.

On summer weekends you’ll find live music, food trucks–we saw pizza and cider donuts made from scratch–and perhaps a wicked Cornhole match.

Exterior view of Angry Orchard Tree House

Opt for the self-guided barrel room tour but, if available, don’t miss the Tree House Tour. This includes a visit to the Tree House Tasting Room seen on Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters, plus it comes with even more free samples.

Horses in the barn at Juckas Stables.

RIDE: Juckas Stables. Over 50 years at the same 150-acre farm location, ride English or Western style on well-trained horses along woodland trails.

BIKE: Highland Lakes State Park. New York’s Catskills, Shawangunks, and Hudson Highlands offer some of the best mountain biking terrains in America. Pack your own gear, rentals and services are limited or nonexistent.

Rich Cruet, owner of The Bicycle Doctor, shows us how it's done on a Highland Lakes State Park trail.
Rich Cruet, the owner of The Bicycle Doctor, shows us how it’s done on a Highland Lakes State Park trail.

(See Hudson Valley Mountain Bike for local info and if you’re in the market for a mountain bike, do check out The Bicycle Doctor  in nearby Middletown, NY.)

GO: Pine Bush Farmers Market. Find the freshest fruits and vegetables as well as “Locally Grown Arts and Entertainment.” Late May through mid-October on Saturdays.

Joey Vento and his Haunted Barn Movie Museum collection.
Joey Vento and his Haunted Barn Movie Museum collection.

SEE: Haunted Barn Movie Museum. Begun as a labor of love inspired by his father’s one-time appearance on a horror movie, Joey Vento has been collecting creepy movie memorabilia for over 50 years. He shares these with the public at scheduled events, including festival appearances and scary movie screenings.

Where to Eat in (and near) Pine Bush NY

Front exterior view of Cup and Saucer Diner in Pine Bush NY.

EAT: Cup & Saucer Diner. Because where there are UFOs, there must be flying saucers. This retro diner dishes up a mean Western Omelette or Colossal Burger for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

SNACK: Thorndale Dairy Bar. Folks rave about homemade ice cream and honey-dipped fried chicken, but the retro snack stand also offers “dogs with all the fixings” and a varied selection of fries.

Where to Stay in (and near) Pine Bush NY

Bathrobes and amenities in rustic bathroom with copper sink at Hudson Valley Rose Bed and Breakfast in Middletown NY.

STAY: Hudson Valley Rose Bed & Breakfast. Once the country home of some of America’s most influential tastemakers, including designer Laura Ashely and makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, today it’s one of the most romantic B&Bs near New York City. A MAVEN FAVORITE – you can read all about it HERE.

Front exterior view of Pine Bush House, a Victorian manor in Pine Bush NY.
Look closely and you may spot an alien or two or three at the Pine Bush House B&B.

STAY: Pine Bush House B&B.  A full summary of manifestations on includes a male entity of a piano-playing musician, a female entity of a nanny, and entities of children who like to move remotes and cellphones.

Yet Airbnb and TripAdvisor reviews give it glowing reviews, mentioning only the steam showers and wine chillers. Go figure. NOTE: Currently closed.

Nearby Hudson Valley Getaways:


  • Sandra Foyt

    Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, road trip junkie, and award-winning travel photographer. A veteran of many cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the Fossil Freeway, the Extraterrestrial Highway, and even “The Loneliest Road in America.” Sandra is based in Upstate New York, with family homes in California and the Caribbean. Her work is influenced by tropical colors and warm relationships. And she believes that the best travel photography connects us across time, place, and culture.

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