Travel Guide to the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley stretches 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan. It has been designated a National Heritage Area and is steeped in history. The valley is the oldest wine-producing region in the United States and inspired the Hudson River School of painters. Lonely Planet calls the Hudson Valley a’real city break’ with leafy drives, wineries, and farm-to-table food. National Geographic Traveler has named the Hudson Valley one of the world’s top 20 must-see destinations.
From New York City, you can take the NY State Thruway north to the Hudson Valley. The New Jersey line is also in the region. You can also take the Berkshire Connector and catch Amtrak’s Empire Service and Maple Leaf trains. The Ethan Allen Express and the Rockland Boulders play baseball in the area. The Hudson Valley is part of Downstate New York, and the cities of New York and Albany are within driving distance.
You can tour the historic Olana House, a Moorish-style farmhouse on the Hudson River. The home was once the home of Thomas Cole’s star pupil, Frederic Church. You can taste some of the best local wine and cider at the Scenic Sips tour, which takes you to several local wineries and cideries. While you’re in the area, you can also dine at Wm. Farmer and Sons, a popular restaurant that serves traditional and ethnic cuisine. You can also stay at Rivertown Lodge, a 27-room hotel that was once a movie theater.
The Hudson Valley was once the wild west of the new world. The valley was teeming with miscreants, military men, wealthy settlers, and rivalries between British Loyalists and the American revolutionaries. Dutch settlers and Hessian Jagers inhabited the region. The Hudson Valley was even the setting for the popular book Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The story was based on real events that occurred in the area.
There are a variety of ways to get around the Hudson Valley. You can take a train from one of the towns along the Hudson River to the nearest New York City or Albany. The Metro North website will provide you with all the necessary information about train schedules. Just be sure to plan ahead and pack plenty of water. You’ll have a great time in the Hudson Valley. You’ll be amazed at how close you’ll be to the water and how the wind feels in your face.
The region has several excellent swimming spots. If you are visiting with family, make sure to visit the Anthony’s Nose Mountain Park, which is on the eastern edge of the Hudson River. According to legend, Anthony’s Nose Mountain Park is named for a Dutch pre-Revolutionary War sea captain who served as a trumpet on Henry Hudson’s ship. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the Hudson River and the Bear Mountain Bridge, which was the first vehicular bridge built in America.
As technology improved, railroads also began to move through the Hudson Valley. The Mohawk and Hudson Railroad opened in 1831 between Albany and Schenectady, bypassing one of the slowest sections of the Erie Canal. The Troy and Greenbush Railroad followed in 1845 and connected Troy to Greenbush. Later, the Hudson River Railroad was completed and connected the Hudson Valley with New York City. The new railroads made the Hudson Valley an excellent location for transportation.