From the soaring peaks of the Shawangunk Mountains to the glistening waters of the Hudson River, the Hudson Valley is New York’s most spectacular playground. From its historic sites, majestic mansions to its animal sanctuaries and quirky villages along the river, this pristine region offers limitless outdoor recreational opportunities and cultural attractions.
The Upper Hudson Valley encompasses the counties of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam as well as part of southwestern Orange County. Its natural beauty is the envy of the world and attracts vacationers from across the country to experience the region’s endless scenic offerings.
It’s the home of America’s first great art movement, the Hudson River School. And it’s a four-season playground, attracting kayakers, rock climbers, hikers and other outdoor recreation lovers year-round.
During the early 1700s, the Hudson River Valley became a major trade route for Dutch traders and European colonists. In addition to providing a launching pad for their quest to conquer the New World, the Valley also played an important role in the Revolutionary War as a strategic defense line against British efforts to seize Manhattan.
A thriving economy based on manufacturing and trade gave the area a reputation as the “Gateway to the West.” However, with an economic downturn in the years since the 1970s, much of the industry has been replaced by tourism. The area has many abandoned factories and old buildings that are remnants of the once-thriving industry.
The Middle Hudson Valley stretches between the Catskill and Shawangunk mountain ranges. Its historic treasures include some of New York State’s most beautiful estates and magnificent mansions.
It’s also the site of some of the state’s most iconic landmarks and museums. You’ll find the mighty Moynihan Station, the world’s longest pedestrian bridge, as well as state parks with a variety of activities, including military history tours and shopping at galleries in quaint river towns.
There’s no better way to experience the beauty of this area than with a bike ride. Whether you’re looking to zip along the highways or explore the back roads, the region’s wide network of biking trails make for a stress-free adventure.
Rev up your bike tour with a stop at the Motorcyclepedia, a non-profit museum in Newburgh that specializes in vintage street bikes and motorcycles. The museum is open to the public and features several galleries showcasing hundreds of bikes and their memorabilia.
From the Capital District to the Adirondacks, the Hudson Valley has something for everyone. From historical attractions and world-class golf courses to a thriving arts scene and vibrant culture, there are countless things to do in this breathtaking region.
With a vibrant agriculture industry, you’ll never be short on fresh local produce. Whether you want to go for the apples, strawberries, peaches or blueberries, there are plenty of farms in the area that grow all of these fruits and more.
A visit to the Hudson Valley is not complete without a taste of some of these delectable fruit. There are also several apple and strawberry festivals to look forward to in the summer and fall. You can even enjoy a fresh-made pie or tart from some of the region’s best farms.