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Need to Get Away?

8 Hudson Valley Destinations Worth Exploring

Need a weekend getaway? Look no further than the Hudson Valley. Here are eight Hudson Valley destinations that are worth exploring. The best part? They’re all within 3 hours of New York City. 

Picture this: you and your s.o. pack your bags and hop in the car on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. After about an hour, you feel your whole body relax. The car windows come down, your shoulders melt away from your ears, and fresh air flows through the car as you cruise down smooth empty roads beneath a canopy of trees. The extra oxygen calms and energizes you (and your spouse). Your mind begins to wander away from deadlines and emails and towards adventure – rushing rivers, secret waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, muddy shoes and moss-covered trails, patches of sunlight filtered through tall trees – you’re ready for a great weekend.

No car? No problem. You can easily access most of these locations by train or bus from NYC. 

1. KINGSTON: HISTORY BUFF HEAVEN

Not far from Woodstock, NY, this historic city was New York’s first capital. 

On Saturday morning, take a boat ride and guided tour to the Rondout Lighthouse. Wander about the Hudson River Maritime Museum on the Kingston-Rondout waterfront. Then head Uptown for some window shopping and stop in for a treat at Deising’s Bakery. For dinner try Lis Bar

On Sunday, ride a trolley at the Trolley Museum of New York. In the afternoon, stop in at the home of Colonial Revival Architect Charles Keefe on Lucas Avenue for a house and gallery tour.

Put that PTO to good use and get yourself a massage at Menla Mountain Retreat in nearby Woodstock. This sacred land is owned by the Dalai Lama and their spa treatments are truly a spiritual experience.

2. SAUGERTIES: WINDING ROADS & PANORAMIC VIEWS

Panoramic Catskill Mountain views along winding country roads are enjoyed by residents with second homes and weekenders. 

Travel back in time to the early 1900s for a glimpse of lighthouse living. The Saugerties Lighthouse attracts day trippers and B&B guests year round to experience riparian life on the Hudson River. 

Stroll by the high school where Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon attended. Take in a movie at the Orpheum Theatre on Main Street. 

Walk through an outdoor museum at Opus 40 and rent a Kayak to launch onto the Esopus Creek from the Saugerties Beach.

3. RHINEBECK: A VIBRANT VILLAGE

Dine and stay at the historic Beekman Arms, which has drawn more than 80 famous visitors in its 250-year history from George Washington to Miley Cyrus. (Or nab a spot at a local Airbnb or B&B to get a real taste of how the locals live.)

On September 7 & 8 enjoy the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest and Dutchess County Fair. Pop into one of the specialty stores on the main street. Enjoy an evening of theater at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. End the day with at Terrapin or bring home a bottle of NY wine and make a meal of local cheese, crackers, and charcuterie for a romantic night in.

4. RED HOOK: ART LOVERS OASIS

Take in an air show at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome on Norton Road in Red Hook. With 60 years of flying, educating and entertaining, visit America’s first flying museum of antique aircraft and replicas. 

Stroll through Poets’ Walk Park and be inspired. 

On West Market Street, visit the Equis Art Gallery representing fine contemporary equine artists. Within a 10-minute drive, you can be at either Rhinebeck or Tivoli.

5. TIVOLI: CITY CULTURE & RURAL QUIET

Tivoli offers beautiful, expansive country views and unique cultural experiences. Tivoli is located just minutes away from Bard College, Red Hook and Rhinebeck. An historic town, you can settle in at Hotel Tivoli on Broadway. Feast at its accompanying farm-to-table restaurant, The Corner, featuring fresh ingredient cocktails designed by Employees Only in New York City. The Kaatsbaan Black-Box Theatre brings culture to the country. With a performance floor the sized of the stage at the Metropolitan Opera, this theatre of 160 seats is designed to provide the audience with an intimate dance experience. The Kaatsbaan International Dance Center has become a haven for international dance companies, choreographers and dance artists in search of an affordable year-round facility to perfect their craft on a professional level.

6. CATSKILL: COOL CULTURE

The Lumberyard Center for Film and Performing Arts is the latest artistic endeavor to hit the Catskills in September. The Lumberyard, with performance seasons running in both New York City and Catskill, is soon to turn downtown Catskill into a cultural destination and capitalize on the growing interest by the film industry in upstate NY. Catskill is close to Hunter Mountain and Windham resort and ski areas. An annual downtown event in its 12th year is Cat’n Around Catskill, when Catskill’s Historic Main Street is lined with artist renditions of felines.

7. PINE PLAINS: ROLLING HILLS & MOUNTAIN VIEWS.

Near the Thompson Pond Preserve, trek up Stissing Mountain to climb the Stissing Fire Tower for a beautiful view of the Hudson River and Hunter Mountain. 

Drive to the crossroads of Routes 82 and 199 to relax at The Inn at Pine Plains before venturing out to explore Litchfield Hills, Connecticut, more of the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires. 

Relax at Lia’s Mountain View for homemade Italian cooking, a local establishment that has been run by the Mirto family for three generations.

8. WARWICK: WINE & WILDLIFE

This beautiful area is close to the I-87 New York State Thruway, Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets and not far from New Jersey. 

Visit the winery with the first distillery in NYS since prohibition at the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. 

Stroll these manicured grounds at the foothills of the Hudson Valley. Get in touch with nature at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge along the Wallkill River.