Extending 150 miles north of Manhattan and stretching from Westchester to Albany, the Hudson Valley consists of ten counties on both sides of the Hudson River. Designated a National Heritage Area, the valley offers countless things to do from the outdoors to antique shopping to historical sites. Its proximity to New York City makes the gorgeous Hudson Valley an ideal spot for a perfect weekend getaway.
Things To Do In The Hudson Valley
For the history buff, the Hudson Valley has numerous heritage sites -- monuments, forts, battlegrounds, and even Revolutionary War reenactments. If you love architecture, there are mansions, museums, formal gardens, working farms, and historic streets to explore. There are plenty of antique shops in quaint little villages and towns. There are also many opportunities for eating, drinking craft beers and ciders, attending festivals, and catching performances. There are attractions for all ages, families, and interests.
Walk Across The Hudson In Highland Or Poughkeepsie
Did you know that you can walk across the Hudson River? Well, you can. Head to Poughkeepsie for a walk across the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. Opened in 2009, the bridge sits 209 feet above the Hudson and spans 1.3 miles. The views from the bridge are spectacular on either side. Come for the sunset views.
Tour Kykuit, The Rockefeller Estate In Sleepy Hollow
Listed as a historic site on the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the gorgeous Kykuit estate was home to four generations of Rockefellers. Take time to walk the expansive terraced gardens and the breathtakingly beautiful grounds overlooking the Hudson River. You will see wonderful 20th-century sculptures along with the art collection inside the mansion. Take a tour that starts from Philipsburg Manor. Allow two to three hours depending on which tour you select. You’ll need to take a guided tour to see the estate.
See Modern Art Masterpieces At The Union Church Of Pocantico Hills
Where can you see stained glass works of art by the likes of Matisse and Chagall? Pocantico Hills is a hidden gem in the Hudson Valley. Commissioned by the Rockefellers in 1921, this small church in Westchester County features Henri Matisse’s last work, the Rose Window. Additionally, you will find nine stained glass windows by Marc Chagall. Download a free printable map for a self-guided tour.
Meander Outdoors At Storm King Art Center In New Windsor
For the art lover, Storm King Art Center is an amazing outdoor sculpture museum. It has over 500 acres with 90+ large outdoor sculptures and traditional art installations. Some of the pathways are accessible, and there is an accessible tram. Allow at least a day to enjoy the entire park. Wear good walking shoes.
Experience Art Omi In Ghent
Located in mid-Hudson Valley, Art Omi is a smaller-scale outdoor contemporary art installation and gallery. Spanning 300 acres, the park is free and accessible. Allow about an hour to view the outdoor sculptures.
Visit Dia Beacon In Beacon
Situated on the banks of the Hudson, the museum, an offshoot of the Dia Art Foundation, was the site of the former Nabisco box factory. It showcases contemporary art and installations from the 1960s and hosts performances, lectures, and workshops. It’s a frequent day trip from NYC as there is a Metro-North train to Beacon.
Vineyards And Cider Orchards
There are several vineyards and wineries if you are looking for tasting, tours, or an opportunity to learn about winemaking. Robibero Family, Benmarl, Whitecliff, Torne, and Tousey are among the best in the Catskill region of the Hudson Valley. If you prefer hard cider, there is also the popular Angry Orchard Cider Brewery in Walden. Or simply go apple picking in one of the 80 apple orchards in the area. This is a great place to see the fall foliage.
Go Skiing At Hunter Mountain Resort In Hunter
In the winter, head to Hunter Mountain for downhill skiing and snow tubing on the 50+ trails. Or go off-roading in the warmer seasons. In the past, the resort has hosted a TAP Craft Beer annual event featuring over 120 breweries from New York State.
Explore The City Of Kingston
Settled by the Dutch in the mid-1600s, Kingston has a lot to offer history and architecture buffs. Of late, it has reinvented itself as an artistic hub. If you are interested in the Hudson River, stop by the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Kingston also has a large farmers market on Saturdays. Take a walking tour and see where the first meeting of the State of New York senators was held.
Best Restaurants In The Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley offers plenty of culinary experiences at every price point. Farm-to-table restaurants, cuisine from around the world, and anything else you might desire can be found in the Hudson Valley.
The Culinary Institute Of America (CIA) In Hyde Park
While primarily an institution specializing in culinary, baking, and pastry arts education, CIA has several restaurants and a bakery on site. Eating at CIA is always a culinary adventure and a chance to experience the next generation of top chefs. Make a reservation well in advance if you want to dine at CIA.
Hudson Valley Dessert Company In Saugerties
This local bakery known for its home-baked Italian pastries, especially their classic biscotti, is not to be missed. Grab a muffin or some pies to go. Open for breakfast, lunch, and, of course, dessert anytime.
Hudson’s Ribs And Fish In Fishkill
The warm popover served with strawberry butter is fantastic. This is a reliable family-friendly restaurant offering a big menu (limited choices for vegetarians). Great service. Dinner only.
Harvest On Hudson In Hastings-On-Hudson
Located in the Lower Hudson Valley, Harvest has good food and incredible views overlooking the Hudson River. It’s an upscale Italian restaurant and well-known to locals. The outdoor patio area is great for cocktails at sunset.
Moo Moo’s Creamery In Cold Spring
Ice cream fanatics, head to Moo Moo’s after an exhausting hike to nearby Breakneck Ridge or a long day of poking around antique shops.
The Thayer In West Point
Enjoy a champagne brunch at The Thayer overlooking the Hudson. With incredible views from the hilltop at Upper West Point, the Thayer Hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where To Shop In The Hudson Valley
There are interesting boutique shops in every town in the Hudson Valley.
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets In Central Valley
If shopping designer labels is your thing, set aside a day to shop at Woodbury Common. With 250+ outlets, Woodbury is popular with both locals and tourists. Every major designer has a store at Woodbury.
Cold Spring Antiques Center (The Vault) In Cold Spring
If you are interested in antiques, Cold Spring is one of the best places to go in the Hudson Valley. Featuring 30+ vendors, this is a wonderful place to browse or poke around for vintage treasures.
Every county in the Hudson Valley has a farmers market, generally on the weekend.
Best Places To Stay In The Hudson Valley
There are many places to stay in the Hudson Valley, from less-expensive hotels to boutique bed and breakfasts. In the lower Hudson Valley, you find many larger hotels in the Tarrytown area.
The Maker Hotel In Hudson
The recently opened Maker Hotel has only 11 rooms. The work of local artisan craftsmen is featured in each room. If you are splurging, you’ll enjoy the elegance and service.
Wm. Farmer And Sons In Hudson
Wm. Farmer and Sons is a converted historic 19th-century building with a restaurant, bar, and guesthouse. The farm-to-table restaurant offers seasonal produce from the local region and the hotel has beautifully appointed guest rooms. Good for a splurge. Some rooms even come with 24-hour butler service.
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort In Highland
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort is an all-inclusive all-season family-style resort with indoor and outdoor activities. You can go horseback riding, rock climbing, and swimming in lakes and pools. In fact, for families, it could be a weekend destination unto itself.
As noted above, the Hudson Valley spans a large area. You’ll save yourself a lot of driving by deciding which area of the Hudson Valley you want to visit before booking your hotel or bed and breakfast.
By car, the southern part of the Hudson Valley is about a one hour drive from New York City. The northern areas can be two-plus hours.
Many towns in the Hudson Valley can be done as a day trip from NYC and are easily accessible via Metro-North train from Grand Central Station or via bus lines from Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Metro-North offers a discounted package to tour Kykuit and several other estates and destinations in the Catskills.
The Hudson Valley is a great place to see the fall foliage. It can be visited any time of year.