DISCOVER AND EXPLORE THE HUDSON VALLEY
The beautiful Hudson Valley is just the right place to catch a break from reality. It’s made up of 10 counties that run along the Hudson River and extends 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan. New York State’s capitol is Albany, which houses an interesting museum of its history and the Huyck Preserve for nature lovers. Are you looking for serenity, outdoor fun and an astonishing nature surrounding you? Then Hudson Valley truly is the ideal place to visit!
Out of hundreds of little town, hiking paths, and river adventures, you can choose what speaks to you most and believe me when I say: The options are endless! It’s a place suitable for any of your likings, whether it be wine tastings, skiing, exploring nature in its raw form, or taking on more adventurous activities, such as Zip-lining and rock climbing, you will, without a doubt, find your perfect vacation spot in the Hudson Valley!
It’s known for its clean, fresh air, and rivers and mountains, which provide lovely setbacks for sunset watching. The most breathtaking spectacle is the so-called Indian Summer, which you can be witness of in the fall season (despite its name!). It’s the name for the color changing of the leaves, or rather, when it’s already in full bloom, and the alleys that provide such natural beauty are simply stunning, and not to be missed!
Hudson Valley areas:
- Warwick – A small, but entertaining little town with an authentic drive-in movie theater and several highly rated wineries in the area. It also hosts the wonderful apple festival each fall, which is a fun event to attend, and has Charlottes Tearoom in its town center, a charmingly decorated teahouse, which also serves delicious meals and home-baked goods.
- Nyack – Only 20 miles away from NYC, this is an all-time favorite. It often goes under the radar, but nonetheless, it’s a cute little town by the water. It has an array of unique cafes and restaurants, among them the local Strawberry Café, which is always a hit, and is known for its encouragement of art and music.
- Hudson – An absolute must-visit for anyone exploring the Valley. It has a very metropolitan feel to it, and boasts of numerous excellent restaurants (reservations is a must), mom and pop-shops, bars, bookshops, live music, and the impressive Hudson Opera House, an exciting cultural center with a ton of events. And to top it off, Hudson is one of the few towns that are easy to reach by train, and can be walked, without the need of a car.
- High Falls – Perfect for swimming, biking and apple picking, but also known for its outstanding cuisine, which has often been written about in magazines. Explore nearby waterfalls, go hiking, or take a short drive to the Walkway over the Hudson, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world, which is a little longer than one mile to walk across, and offers great views of the Hudson River. If that alone doesn’t sound attractive, hike or bike in the nearby Dutchess Rail Trail.
- Millbrook –A quaint, little town; perfect for wine lovers. There are multiple vineyards in the surrounding area, and the best way to explore all of them is by following the Dutchess County Wine Trail. The center of town is pretty in itself, with cafes, shops and restaurants lining the main street.
- Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow – It can’t be sure whether this town was the inspiration for the Tim Burton-movie, but it definitely could have been! Sleepy Hollow, as expected, is especially popular during Halloween, due to its celebrations and decorations around the area. It also hosts a haunted house, The Philipsburg Manor, if you are keen on getting scared, or, for a more peaceful outing, there’s the Rockefeller State Park Preserve; a park with historic carriage roads to tread upon.
- Rhinebeck – A lovely little town in Dutchess County with plenty of outdoor-activities to partake in: Hiking in the Ferncliff Forest, leading all the way up to the Observation Deck to take in the stunning views of the Hudson Valley, Go sunset-kayaking at Tivoli Bays, or bike riding through River Road.
- Saugerties – Located in Ulster County, this town has a population of about 20.000 people, and is a haven for serenity. Go visit the Falling Water Preserve, the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, and see Opus 40; a small, but very interesting museum with outdoor sculptures. The lighthouse is also a highlight! You can take a tour and even spend the night there, if wished.
Things to do:
- West Point - Experience an awe-inspiring 90 minute campus guided tour, rich in history and tradition. The campus is surrounded by beautiful views of Hudson Valley.
- Winter sports – The Hudson Valley offers a great range of winter sports-destinations, whether it be for skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing. Either way, you will get your work-out in!
- Summer sports - the same applies for the summer, just with a different set of activities: There are running and hiking trails, bike trails, water-parks, mini-golf courses, you can go swimming in any of the designated lakes, or go camping.
- Vegetable and fruit picking – a family friendly and traditional thing to do in Hudson Valley are the various pickings available all year around. In the fall you can go apple or pumpkin picking, the spring offers strawberry pickings, and in the summer you can participate in cherry or peach picking.
- Rooming antique shops – Driving through Hudson Valley offers a glimpse of a quintessential American attraction, the antique shop. Often they are only vaguely seen on the side of the road, marked by little home-made front signs, and sometimes appear to be no more than a ramshackle house.
- Wine tastings – The Hudson Valley is known for its wineries, and home-grown grapes, which gives it its unique and high-quality taste. There are plenty of wineries to choose from; one being the Warwick Valley winery and distillery. They often have live music and an artisanal food menu as well, with things like fresh pizza and huge portions of truffle fries.
- Dining – There’s a huge emphasis on the food culture in Hudson Valley. Restaurants, even the smallest of them all, are proud of their creations and it shows in its richness of flavors and the way they are presented. The Culinary Institute of Hyde Park is one of the best on the East Coast and another specialty of the Hudson Valley is farm-to-table establishments. This is a big part of getting to know this area and should not be underestimated. Let the fine dining begin!
- Horseback-riding – There are many ranches that offer horseback-riding for all ages and levels of training, including beginners, of course. It’s an ideal, family oriented activity with lots of fun for everyone. For the smaller kids there are also pony rides available.
- Golfing – A classic in the Hudson Valley, with plenty of golf courses to choose from in any of the major regions.
- FDR’s Vanderbilt Mansion – Daily tours of this precious site are available at the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site and give you an interesting insight into the living of the former and longest serving President of the United States.
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The Hudson Valley is a wide spread area, with many remote regions, and therefore a car is the best way to get around. Many towns are not easily accessible by public transportation, with the exception of Hudson, which has exceptional train service right into the center of town. There is a Greyhound bus going from NYC to Warwick, and various other popular towns in the Hudson Valley, as well as some connections by Amtrak and the Metro North Rail Road. The more rural areas, as well as many nature parks and waterfall locations, however, can only be reached by car.
Every season in the Hudson Valley is incredible! The high season is the summer time, with loads of other visitors to compete with, and in some areas the fall as well, since Hudson Valley holds a wide array of fall festivities, such as the annual apple festival in Warwick. The spring is a low season, since it’s still too chilly in most areas to be attractive to visitors, and the winter naturally attracts all the ski-lovers around NY. Whichever season you choose, you will not be disappointed.
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