If you’re looking for a beautiful and historic region to explore in New York, look no further than Hudson Valley. This region, which encompasses the area along the Hudson River from New York City to Albany, is known for its scenic beauty, rich history, and diverse cultural offerings. Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or an outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Hudson Valley. Here are the top 17 things to do in this incredible region, plus a bonus tip on where to stay for the ultimate experience.
Enjoy the Scenic Beauty
Hudson Valley is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy it. One of the best ways is to visit Mohonk Preserve, which offers over 8,000 acres of scenic beauty and hiking trails. Take a stroll or a challenging hike, and soak in the stunning views. For a different kind of scenery, head to the Shawangunk Wine Trail, where you can take a scenic drive through rolling hills and vineyards.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
For a truly unique and unforgettable experience, take a hot air balloon ride over the Hudson Valley. Get a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscape as you float over the rolling hills and scenic vistas. This is an experience you’ll never forget.
Visit Historical and Cultural Attractions
Hudson Valley is home to a wealth of historic sites and cultural attractions. For example, you can visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum to learn about one of the most influential presidents in American history.
Explore Art and Culture
Hudson Valley is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Check out Dia:Beacon, a contemporary art museum that showcases some of the most cutting-edge art in the world. Attend a concert at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, which has been entertaining audiences since the 19th century. For a truly unique outdoor experience, explore the Storm King Art Center, an outdoor sculpture park that features over 100 sculptures by some of the most celebrated artists in the world.
Food and Drink
Hudson Valley is home to a thriving food and drink scene, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and craft beverages. One of the must-visit destinations is the Culinary Institute of America, where you can enjoy a gourmet meal in a stunning setting. For beer lovers, check out the Hudson Valley Brewery, which offers a wide range of locally sourced craft beer. And for a unique experience, visit the historic Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, where you can meet rescued farm animals and learn about sustainable agriculture.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll love Hudson Valley. Take a kayak tour of the Hudson River to experience the stunning scenery up close. Go horseback riding through the Catskill Mountains for a unique perspective on the landscape. And visit the Dutchess County Fairgrounds for a variety of outdoor events throughout the year, including the Dutchess County Fair.
Visit the Storm King Art Center
The Storm King Art Center is an open-air museum located in the Hudson Valley that showcases large-scale sculptures and installations from some of the most prominent artists in the world. The 500-acre landscape is also perfect for a leisurely walk or a picnic.
Take a Food Tour
The Hudson Valley is renowned for its farm-to-table cuisine and a food tour is a perfect way to sample the region’s culinary delights. Take a walking tour of Poughkeepsie, explore the Hudson Valley Food Hall, or enjoy a farm-to-table dinner at a local restaurant.
Tour the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
Located in Hyde Park, the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is a must-see attraction for history buffs. The mansion, which was once home to the Vanderbilt family, features lavish interiors, manicured gardens, and stunning views of the Hudson River.
Go Wine Tasting
The Hudson Valley is home to a growing number of wineries and vineyards, many of which offer tours and tastings. Take a scenic drive through the valley and sample some of the region’s best wines.
Visit the Walkway Over the Hudson
The Walkway Over the Hudson is a pedestrian bridge that spans the Hudson River, connecting Poughkeepsie to Highland. The bridge offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding landscape and is a popular spot for walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Explore Historic Rhinebeck
Rhinebeck is a charming town in the Hudson Valley that is home to historic architecture, unique shops, and delicious restaurants. Visit the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn, America’s oldest continuously operating hotel, and explore the town’s many galleries and boutiques.
Go Kayaking or Canoeing
Explore the Hudson River by kayak or canoe and take in the stunning scenery from the water. There are many outfitters in the region that offer rentals and guided tours.
Visit the Olana State Historic Site
Olana is a historic estate located in Hudson, NY, that was once the home of the artist Frederic Edwin Church. The estate features stunning views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains, as well as a Persian-inspired house and a landscaped park.
Take a Hike
The Hudson Valley is home to many beautiful hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes. Some popular options include the Mohonk Preserve, Bear Mountain State Park, and the Catskill Mountains.
Attend a Festival or Event
The Hudson Valley is home to many festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and art to food and culture. Some popular events include the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest, the Dutchess County Fair, and the Clearwater Festival.
Booking Vacation Rentals in Hudson Valley
For those traveling in groups, vacation rentals are the best way to go. They offer plenty of room for everyone to spread out, private pools and hot tubs, and outdoor space to enjoy the beautiful Hudson Valley weather. If you’re looking for your best options, AvantStay has stellar vacation rentals in Hudson Valley, with properties that range from cozy cottages to spacious estates like Shakespeare on the Hudson.
In conclusion, the Hudson Valley is a beautiful region that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, art, outdoor activities, or just relaxing in the countryside, you’re sure to find plenty to do in this stunning part of New York State.