With its eponymous natural waterway offering convenient north-south transport, the Hudson Valley has been central to New York’s story since its earliest days. Today it’s a teeming collection of historic landmarks, eclectic museums, and Gilded Age mansions. It’s also a premier wine region with award-winning wineries, breweries, and a burgeoning foodie scene. Its landscape inspired artists whose works created the Hudson River School of Painting, and it remains an essential part of New York State’s culture.
The area’s history is reflected in every town from Rockland to Ulster and Dutchess. Two of the nation’s presidents were born here, Martin Van Buren in Kinderhook and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Chappaqua. Other famous names have shaped the local scene, including writers Henry James and Irving Berlin, architects John D. Rockefeller and William McKim, and industrialists such as Samuel Slater and Frederick Loeb. Today it’s home to a vibrant arts community, world-class universities, and the oldest wine-producing region in the country.
Visitors to the region are drawn by its historic sites, museums, and architecture. They’re enthralled by the sweeping vistas of its many parks and scenic trails, and they’re fascinated by its rich natural and cultural heritage.
The Hudson Valley has been a leader in preserving and protecting the region’s rich resources. Its institutions — often working together — are committed to the preservation and interpretation of historic sites, buildings, and cultural artifacts in accordance with the highest professional standards. Their educational material is carefully researched and presented with meticulous attention to accuracy in the context of key humanities themes. They offer visitor-centric programs to meet diverse interests and learning styles.
Hudson Valley’s diverse attractions and thriving communities have much to share with visitors from across the region and around the world. Its renowned restaurants and cafes are known for their emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients, and they’re helping popularize a national culinary sensation: farm-to-table. Its liberal culture means that buying local and organic is taken seriously here – sometimes too seriously, as your friends may give you a look of disgust and a healthy twenty minute lecture if they discover GMOs in your fridge.
The beauty of the Hudson Valley’s landscape has captivated artists for thousands of years, and it continues to inspire those who visit. Whether you’re a painter seeking a new perspective at Dia Beacon, an art lover at Storm King, or an architecture buff at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, the Hudson Valley has something to offer for everyone.
If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the opportunity to tour Van Cortlandt Manor and Olana, the sprawling estate of landscape artist Frederic Church. And be sure to take a hike at Mohonk Preserve or hop in a kayak to row from Cold Spring to the ruins of Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island. These out-of-the-way spots will show you that there’s more to the Hudson Valley than your average tour.