Explore the Hudson Valley’s Natural Beauty and Cultural Treasures
The Hudson Valley is one of America’s most beautiful and culturally vibrant regions. It is a natural habitat that has inspired writers, painters and musicians for centuries. Its dramatic landscape stretches 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan to Albany, the New York State capital and the center of its historic and cultural heritage.
National Geographic Traveler named the region a Best of the World destination, citing its magnificent scenery, historic mansions, cultural treasures and unique attractions. It’s home to one of the nation’s most celebrated wineries, and a food scene that is thriving with great restaurants and farmer’s markets.
From farm-to-table fare at country inns and the Culinary Institute of America, to award-winning wineries and craft breweries, to artisan cheese makers, you’ll find it all here! With a new focus on sustainability and healthy eating, the Valley is an exciting place to get your fix of fresh local produce and hand-crafted foods.
Explore the region’s history through museums and historic sites, from the New York State Museum to the jaw-dropping capitol building of Albany. Learn about the region’s earliest Native American people, visit historic settlements and see how early Dutch settlers made their mark on New York’s economy.
Discover the region’s rich heritage and natural beauty through the many parks, forests, wetlands, waterways, large forest and open space. These natural resources are integral to the region’s economy and quality of life, and are important for residents and visitors alike.
The Hudson River, the largest river in the United States, winds its way through the valley’s landscape. The river provides a focal point for the area’s outdoor activities, including kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, swimming and boating. The area also boasts some of the state’s most spectacular views, and is a major contributor to the Appalachian Trail.
During the last ice age, a large glacier pushed south into the valley from Long Island. At the end of that time, a large lake called Lake Iroquois drained down the Hudson River, creating the Rome Sand Plains and filling the Hudson with sand deposits.
Today, the sand deposits and other remnants of that lake help make up part of the Hudson Valley. The area has a strong agricultural heritage and is home to several leading nonprofit farms, including the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and the main laboratory building of IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights.
Artistic minds thrive in the area as well, with internationally known spaces like Storm King Art Center and Dia:Beacon. Here, large-scale sculptures loom larger than life, and artists from all ages and styles come to be inspired.
A burgeoning, diverse arts scene is a huge draw for the area, as are its renowned music and theatre scenes. The Hudson Valley is an important hub of classical music, and it is also home to many festivals and events throughout the year.
The region is well-served by NY Waterway, which operates the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry and the Newburgh-Beacon ferry, as well as intercity and commuter bus transit services. These transportation options make it easy to explore the Hudson Valley from anywhere in the region.