The Getaway
What to Do on Your Hudson Valley Weekend Getaway

The Hudson Valley, just outside New York City, offers a serene escape into a world where nature's beauty meets rich history and culinary excellence. This region, sprawling from Westchester County up to Albany, is a tapestry of picturesque landscapes, historic towns, and a vibrant food scene that draws visitors from all corners. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie in search of your next great meal, the Hudson Valley promises a weekend getaway filled with discovery and relaxation. From the majestic Catskill Mountains to the tranquil waters of the Hudson River, every turn reveals something new and exciting to explore. So, pack your bags and prepare for a journey through the heart of New York State, where adventure and tranquility coexist in perfect harmony.

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01 Explore historic Kingston

Kingston, NY, USA September 18 Rondout Lighthouse, near Kingston, New York, assists boats in navigating the waters of the Hudson River James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Kingston, with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings, isn't just a gateway to the Hudson Valley; it's a destination in its own right. The city's vibrant Rondout District, lined with galleries, shops, and eateries, offers a glimpse into the area's rich maritime history. Don't miss the chance to visit the Hudson River Maritime Museum, where the river's storied past comes to life. Kingston's blend of historical architecture and modern culture makes it an ideal starting point for any Hudson Valley adventure.

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02 Visit the Walkway Over the Hudson

An Autumn view of Cantilever bridge in Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

Spanning the Hudson River, the Walkway Over the Hudson isn't just a bridge; it's a floating park offering unparalleled views of the valley. As the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge, it connects Poughkeepsie to Highland, making for a memorable walk or bike ride high above the river's sparkling waters. This unique structure provides a perfect vantage point for photographers and nature lovers alike, offering breathtaking vistas in every season.

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03 Discover local art in Beacon

Beacon's transformation from a small riverside town to a thriving arts community is nothing short of remarkable. At the heart of this cultural renaissance is Dia: Beacon, a contemporary art museum housed in a former Nabisco box printing factory. The town's galleries and studios further cement its reputation as a haven for artists and art enthusiasts alike. Beacon's bustling Main Street, with its array of shops and cafes, complements the artistic atmosphere, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking inspiration.

04 Taste the Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley's culinary scene is as diverse as its landscape. Farm-to-table restaurants dot the region, showcasing the best of local produce, meats, and cheeses. Don't miss the chance to visit a local winery or brewery, where the valley's agricultural bounty is transformed into award-winning beverages. Culinary tours and cooking classes are also available for those looking to dive deeper into the region's food culture, offering a hands-on experience with local flavors.

05 Hike the Catskill Mountains

Aerial view of fall foliage along the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York along Five State Lookout.

The Catskill Mountains aren't just a backdrop to the Hudson Valley; they're a playground for adventurers. Trails range from easy walks to challenging hikes, leading to breathtaking vistas, cascading waterfalls, and serene forest glades. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a peaceful stroll, the Catskills have something for everyone. The region's diverse ecosystem also makes it a prime spot for birdwatching and wildlife photography, adding another layer of allure to its trails.

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06 Relax at a luxury spa

For those seeking relaxation, the Hudson Valley's spas offer a sanctuary of peace and rejuvenation. Indulge in treatments that blend modern wellness with natural beauty, all set against the tranquil backdrop of the valley. It's the perfect way to unwind after a day of exploration. Many spas are located within historic properties, providing a luxurious experience that connects you with the region's heritage while pampering your body and soul.

07 Go apple picking in autumn

Autumn in the Hudson Valley isn't complete without a visit to an apple orchard. The crisp air and colorful foliage provide the perfect setting for picking apples straight from the tree. Many orchards also offer hayrides, corn mazes, and freshly baked goods, making for a quintessential fall experience. This family-friendly activity not only allows you to enjoy the outdoors but also supports local agriculture, making it a win-win for everyone.

08 Kayak on the Hudson River

Seeing the Hudson Valley from the water offers a new perspective on its beauty. Kayaking on the Hudson River allows you to glide past historic lighthouses, under towering bridges, and alongside verdant riverbanks. Rental shops along the river make it easy to set off on your aquatic adventure. Whether you're an experienced kayaker or trying it for the first time, the river's calm waters are suitable for all skill levels, ensuring a peaceful day on the water.

09 Stay in a historic inn

The Hudson Valley is home to numerous historic inns and bed & breakfasts, each with its own charm. These accommodations offer a cozy, intimate experience, often in beautifully restored buildings that reflect the area's history. It's a unique way to immerse yourself in the valley's past. Many inns also feature gourmet restaurants and offer packages that include local tours and experiences, enhancing your stay with a taste of Hudson Valley hospitality.

10 Attend a local festival

The Hudson Valley's calendar is packed with festivals celebrating everything from music and art to food and history. These events offer a taste of local culture and community spirit, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy live entertainment, artisanal crafts, and delicious local cuisine. Attending a festival is a great way to meet locals and experience the valley's vibrant community life, making your visit even more memorable.

11 Visit the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt Mansions

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, is one of America's premier examples of the country palaces built by wealthy industrialists during the Gilded Age. Sandra Foyt / Shutterstock.com

The grand estates of the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt families aren't just opulent homes; they're windows into the Hudson Valley's Gilded Age past. Touring these mansions offers insights into the lives of two of America's most influential families, set against the backdrop of stunningly landscaped grounds. These historic sites also host special events and exhibitions, providing a deeper understanding of the region's history and its role in shaping American society.

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12 Explore the charming town of Rhinebeck

East Market Street in Rhinebeck, New York, as seen on May 2, 2021. Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Rhinebeck's quaint streets are lined with boutiques, antique shops, and cozy cafes, making it a delightful place to while away an afternoon. The town's blend of historic charm and modern sensibility makes it a must-visit for anyone exploring the Hudson Valley. Rhinebeck is also known for its lively arts scene, with theaters and galleries that host a variety of shows and exhibitions throughout the year.

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13 Take a scenic train ride

A scenic train ride through the Hudson Valley offers a chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. Trains wind along the river's edge, passing through small towns and over historic bridges, providing a unique vantage point on the valley's scenic beauty. This leisurely journey is perfect for those looking to experience the Hudson Valley's landscapes without the need for hiking or driving, making it accessible to visitors of all ages.

14 Enjoy riverside dining

Dining along the Hudson River means enjoying not just delicious food but also stunning views. Restaurants with riverside patios offer the perfect setting for a meal to remember, whether you're enjoying a casual lunch or a romantic dinner. The gentle flow of the river and the scenic backdrop create an ambiance that's hard to beat, making every meal a special occasion.

15 Visit a local farm

The Hudson Valley's farms are at the heart of the region's culinary renaissance. Visiting a farm offers a chance to learn about the valley's agricultural heritage, with tours, tastings, and hands-on experiences that connect you to the land and its bounty. From picking your own fruits and vegetables to participating in farm-to-table dinners, these visits offer a unique insight into the importance of sustainable farming and local food systems.

The Hudson Valley offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from the serene beauty of its natural landscapes to the vibrant culture of its towns and cities. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or culinary delights, this region promises a weekend getaway that's as diverse as it is memorable. So why wait? The Hudson Valley is ready to welcome you to its charming towns, scenic trails, and cozy inns, ensuring your getaway is nothing short of extraordinary.

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