The Hudson Valley is one of America’s most historic and picturesque landscapes, a National Heritage Area steeped in history, natural beauty and culture. Less than 100 miles from New York City, it’s a perfect destination for weekend getaways or day trips to quaint river towns. Its stunning scenescapes inspired the artists of the Hudson River School and remain a magnet for visitors today. The region’s award-winning wineries, breweries and burgeoning food and farmers market scene add to the appeal of the Valley.
The area’s eponymous river is a major North-South transportation corridor that has shaped the nation from its Dutch settlers, through the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution of 19th century New York. The region’s historic landmarks, eclectic museums and Gilded Age mansions offer a glimpse into the past but there is much more to explore including scenic state parks and year-round cultural events.
A new generation of residents has discovered the charms of the Hudson Valley. With its proximity to New York City, affordable housing prices and a sense of community, it’s no wonder that the area is seeing an influx of young families and commuters looking for a quiet refuge within easy driving distance from busy urban areas. This demand has resulted in rapid residential development. Many long-time residents have formed environmental and preservationist groups in an attempt to curb these changes.
In addition to a burgeoning farm-to-table dining scene, the region is home to world-renowned modern art at Dia:Beacon and the Culinary Institute of America. The region has also been a popular spot for writers and artists for centuries.
While it can be a little bit of a culture shock to leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for the Hudson Valley, there is no shortage of things to do. From the beautiful scenery, historic small towns and local festivals to awe-inspiring contemporary art, great dining and a rich cultural scene, there is something for everyone.
For those seeking a little adventure, the area offers hiking, kayaking and white water rafting. The sweeping views from the World’s Longest Bridge and year-round outdoor activities can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. There are numerous historic sites to visit from the historic mansions of the Vanderbuilt and Rockefeller estates to the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and gothic Lyndhurst Castle.
For those who like to get a taste of the local flavor, there are plenty of options for tasting hard cider. From light to fruity to amber, there are a variety of choices at the likes of Angry Orchard Cider in Walden and Left Bank Ciders in Catskill. You can even savor a craft beer in the region’s numerous breweries. Regardless of what you choose to do, the best way to experience the Hudson Valley is to simply follow the locals. It’s the only way to truly find out what makes this region special. This is a place where the people are friendly and where you will be treated with courtesy and respect.