Less than 100 miles from New York City, hudson valley is well-known for its string of charming small towns, majestic nature and national historic landmarks. It is also home to the Culinary Institute of America, the Rockefeller and Vanderbuilt estates, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, and the gothic Lyndhurst Castle.
Whether it’s shopping at the region’s many local artisan-driven shops or eating in restaurants that put a fresh twist on farm-to-table cooking, Hudson Valley residents take their food seriously. Combined with the liberal culture of the area, this means that friends and family who visit are likely to receive a healthy dose of “buy local” lectures — and a good-natured one at that.
The quaint small towns of the region offer plenty of places to get your retail fix, but you’ll also find a growing number of museums, art galleries and other cultural institutions. There is also a good amount of outdoor recreation: boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking and swimming are popular in the warmer months; downhill and cross-country skiing, skating, snow tubing and ice climbing are the activities of choice during winter.
History buffs can see the original Huguenot Street in New Paltz, a National Historic Landmark District featuring seven stone houses and a reconstructed 1717 French church. They can also tour the furnished Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston, which served as the state’s first capitol. And in the nearby town of Poughkeepsie, the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary and Manitou Point Preserve offer educational opportunities to learn about local species and efforts to protect natural resources.
The Hudson River valley was once the backbone of New York’s commerce and industry. It was where ships sailed to and from Europe and from other ports on the West Coast. The region became a magnet for artists and writers, who created great works of literature and painting that influenced the world.
As shipping became less volatile, the economy of Hudson shifted to its beautiful landscape and culture. The region’s sublime scenery — the Palisades, Hudson Highlands and Catskills — became renowned worldwide. As a result, tourists streamed into the region by train, car and bus.
There is a wide range of lodging in the Hudson Valley, from budget hotels and family-friendly motels to luxury resorts and spas. Some of the most popular include the Doubletree by Hilton in Rhinebeck, the Inn at Pocono Manor in Lake Ariel and the Omni Mount Washington Resort and Spa in New Hampshire. Amtrak provides intercity and commuter rail service between Albany and New York City, while the Yonkers Metro-North station serves Amtrak and Metro-North commuter trains. NY Waterway operates a ferry between Haverstraw and Ossining in Rockland County, and the Hudson Valley Transit provides commuter bus service in Rockland and Westchester Counties. NY State Route 23 is a major road that connects the valley to the rest of New York State and beyond.