Visit for a Day, Stay for a Lifetime
A Brief Look at Eight Places Worth Exploring
As you drive just an hour north of New York City, you begin to see it. Small clouds seem to touch the tops of painted mountains that appear to be highlighted in blue watercolor. The scenery turns from grey to green in the summer, and then to a hundred shades of gold in the autumn. Instead of smelling exhaust, you smell fresh air with a crisp coolness that both calms and excites you. As this living picture book opens to you, rivers, waterfalls, streams and lakes await as your journey continues.
The Hudson Valley contains cities, towns and villages, suburbs and rural areas, business districts and farmers markets, outdoor activities galore, plus educational opportunities from pre-school to a master’s degree. You can take Amtrak or Metro North to visit many of these unforgettable spots. Here is a brief look at eight Hudson Valley towns that are worth exploring.
Kingston (Ulster County)
Take a train to Rhinecliff Station and take one of the local Taxi’s outside the station, or Uber over the Kingston - Rhinecliff Bridge. Trailways provides a bus service between New York City and the City of Kingston as well. This historic city is not far from Woodstock, NY. New York’s first capital has three historic districts: the Uptown Stockade District, the Midtown Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, and the Downtown Rondout-West Strand Historic District. While window shopping in Uptown Kingston, stop in for a treat at Deising’s Bakery. On the Kingston-Rondout waterfront you can wander about the Hudson River Maritime Museum, take a boat ride and guided tour to the Rondout Lighthouse and ride a trolley at the Trolley Museum of New York. Head to Uptown Kingston for a visit to the Volunteer Fireman’s Museum. Stop in at the home of Colonial Revival Architect Charles Keefe on Lucas Avenue for a house and gallery tour.
Rhinebeck (Dutchess County)
Amtrak will take you here from New York City. 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. Enjoy the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest and Dutchess County Fair. Specialty stores line the main street under shady trees. Find what you are looking for at the Rhinebeck Department Store, an iconic and historic cornerstone of this vibrant village. Watch a classic play performed live on stage at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck.
Saugerties (Ulster County)
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.
Red Hook (Dutchess County)
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.
Tivoli (Dutchess County)
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.
Catskill (Greene County)
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.
Pine Plains (Dutchess County)
Experience the quietness of rolling hills, horse farms and 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.
Warwick (Orange County)
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. Take a museum tour of rare Bibles and Bible-related artifacts at the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sterling Forest.