When it comes to apples, the southeastern part of New York state’s Hudson Valley has no shortage of places to pick your own or find an apple-related festival. This region is a big player in the agriculture biz, so it’s easy to get your fill of pie, tart, crumble, streusel or simply sliced and crunched. And of course, the apples are always freshly pressed for delicious cider.
As a nexus for colonial politics and war, the region played a crucial role in America’s Revolutionary War. From the Sons of Liberty printing broadsides and encouraging boycotts to Benedict Arnold’s attempted betrayal of West Point in the Highlands to the climactic Battle of Saratoga at its northern end, key historic events from our nation’s formative years played out along the Hudson River.
In the modern age, the region continues to interweave the exciting modern day with a rich historic background. World-renowned modern art, progressive practices in agricultural and food sourcing, and fun family activities come together with the spectacular natural landscape of this region, making it a destination for anyone looking to discover something different.
From the historic town of Beacon to the quaint riverside villages and state capital of Albany, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Hudson Valley. The area is home to a number of renowned museums, such as the Hudson River School Art Museum and Fenimore Art Museum, which showcases works by the region’s famous painters, as well as the state capital, which offers a fascinating look back at New York history.
The area’s towns also boast their own distinctly local flavor, with shops and restaurants featuring a decidedly non-chain vibe. The best examples of this can be found in the region’s smaller cities, where main streets are dotted with locally owned boutiques and eateries. Grazin’, for example, is a 1950s-style diner with a modern outlook on animal welfare, while Basilica Hudson features a multi-disciplinary arts center in a solar-powered 1880s factory.
While New York City people often grow up resenting their small-town roots, Hudson Valley residents seem to embrace them. Many choose to live in this part of the state for the sense of community that it fosters, and metropolitan life is only a short drive or train ride away. Whether you’re enjoying a locally grown brunch at The Mill at Rock Hill, a beer-fueled night out at a local brewery or just strolling through the picturesque downtown streets of a sleepy river village, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
For a weekend getaway, choose the all-inclusive Mohonk Preserve for a scenic mountain retreat with luxury accommodations and plenty of hiking, biking and golfing options. Or opt for a more laidback retreat in the bohemian town of New Paltz, with plenty of shopping and dining opportunities, including a swanky wine bar that sits in a converted distillery. Getting around this largely rural region is easier than you might think, as Metro-North trains serve the larger cities of Croton-Harmon, Tarrytown and Poughkeepsie, in addition to the state capital.