New York's Hudson Valley
“Scenic” doesn’t begin to describe it. Rising from the tip of Manhattan to the state capital, the Hudson Valley spreads out on both sides of what is deemed one of the most beautiful rivers in the United States. You’ll experience the charm of waterfront villages and the excitement of bustling cities. All tied together by verdant farms that supply the region’s farm-to-table restaurants with sun ripened fruits and vegetables, fragrant cheeses and heady wines. The Hudson Valley was the first wine producing area in the country (the oldest winery is still here), and vintners have been joined by an ever-growing population of distillers, brewers and makers of hard cider with libations that can be sampled on-site.
America’s first art movement started here, the Hudson River School of Painters, with their brilliant depictions of lush landscapes of the valley. See how they lived and how they painted at restored homes like Olana and Cedar Grove. The arts continue to have a huge presence here within Storm King Art Center and Dia:Beacon, two internationally known art spaces.
All that landscape translates into limitless recreational opportunities including part of the 3,200-kilometer-long Appalachian Trail, which was started here. The region is a four-season playground, hosting kayakers, rock climbers, hikers, swimmers, boaters, golfers, paddle boarders and more in the warmer months. Winter brings downhill and cross-country skiers, snow tubers, skaters, snow boarders, snowshoe lovers and hikers who love to see the Hudson Valley covered in white. Don’t miss Walkway over the Hudson with its knockout views of the river and surrounding mountain ranges.
Martha Washington kept house here during the Revolutionary War, entertaining husband George’s troops and military partners. Ramble over forts, battlefields, and into homes owned by Americans who helped found the United States. Small manor houses offer tastes of Colonial cooking and show off their other skills which we would deem as “crafts” today.
Speaking of crafts, there are two major craft villages here: Woodstock and Sugar Loaf. Dedicated to the art of the handmade, shops frequently contain the studios of the owners who gladly tell you about their skilled approach. Inveterate shoppers are dazzled by the range of options, from artisan clothing to discount designer wear. Boutiques abound, as do hundreds of antiques shops for collectors and those who just fancy a piece of vintage Hudson Valley.
Vintage spirits still inhabit historic places here, rising up to meet guests when, well, the spirit moves them. A collection of haunted sites throughout the valley are open throughout the year and even if you don’t meet the resident ghosts, that light touch on your arm or cool breeze at the back of your neck might just be their way of communicating with you.
The Hudson Valley interweaves the exciting modern day with a rich historic background. Travel up the Hudson River, through the Highlands to the vibrant state capital and explore centuries of food, phenomena and fun!