New York’s Hudson Valley has long inspired artists and writers with its peaceful winding river, forested hills, and sleepy towns. Set just 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Manhattan, the historic valley is a peaceful escape famous for its art, local culinary offerings, and opportunities for outdoor adventure.
Step back in time at the medieval Castle-on-Hudson, a 19th-century luxury hotel sitting atop a scenic Tarrytown hillside, or tour New Rochelle, the city that inspired some of Norman Rockwell’s most memorable illustrations. Canoeing, kayaking, and sailing are popular outdoor activities, and easy access to the Appalachian Trail allows travelers to get their fill of nature.
Most Hudson Valley tours depart from New York City and include round-trip transportation, making for an easy day trip. The region is dotted with wineries and breweries, and culinary excursions allow you to avoid the hassle of driving, explore the countryside, and taste local wines, beers, or ciders. Bike tours are a good option for travelers who want to get some exercise and explore the countryside up-close, while helicopter and hang-gliding tours provide sweeping views over the entire region.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Hudson Valley is a must-see for history buffs, foodies, and nature lovers.
- The valley’s restaurant scene is famous for its talented chefs and abundance of local ingredients. Be sure to grab a bite at a local establishment.
- Most Hudson Valley towns feature bike-friendly streets, while scenic off-road bike trails are often easily accessible.
How to Get There
Hudson Valley is located just north of Manhattan and ecompasses New Paltz, Nyack, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, and Beacon. The Metro North train connects the Big Apple to multiple Hudson Valley cities, while guided tours typically provide round-trip transportation from Manhattan.
When to Get There
Spring and summer weather is typically pleasant in the Hudson Valley, making those seasons ideal for outdoor activities. While temperatures may be crisp in autumn, the region’s spectacular fall foliage is a draw for many travelers.
Wine, Beer, and Spirits in the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley is an East Coast hotbed for wine production, putting out award-winning cabernet francs, chardonnays, and merlots. The region is home to some of America’s oldest vineyards, which were operating before California’s Sonoma and Napa valleys rose to fame. Craft beer breweries, cider orchards, and boutique distilleries also populate the valley.