Hudson River Valley, New York State: Small Towns With a Huge Range of Things To Do

5:52 pm  |  29.10.2021

There is no trace of the industrial past in the Hudson Valley today. The region, which stretches between Westchester and Albany on the banks of the river of the same name, is characterized by charming small towns and combines majestic nature with colorful shopping opportunities and a productive art and cultural scene.


From internationally renowned contemporary art to advanced methods of farming and grocery procurement, the Hudson River Valley is anything but dusty – despite the numerous antique shops. In addition to quaint boutiques, fantastic art and excellent specialties from regional cuisine, overwhelming natural landscapes, and endless outdoor activities await you. Here we introduce you to some of the most rewarding destinations in the magical Hudson River Valley, New York.

Beacon

Beacon, New York

After the decline of local industry, the small town reinvented itself as an artist hub and is now home to some of the most impressive examples of modern art in the world. On the first day, you should visit the Storm King Art Center, located just across the river, whose larger-than-life outdoor sculptures blend idyllically into the extensive natural landscape. As a program for the second day, we recommend the exhibitions in Dia: Beacon, followed by a panoramic walk-in Mount Beacon Park. The “farm-to-table” specialties in the Kitchen Sink Food & Drink are just as creative and innovative as the exhibits in the museums.

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Restaurants:

  • The Town Crier Cafe on Beacon’s lively Main Street delights its visitors with jazz, tempting desserts, and classic dishes from American cuisine.
  • In the Kitchen Sink Food & Drink, the “farm-to-table” concept is implemented true to the letter. Versatile modern dishes are on the menu.
  • The Hudson Valley Brewery serves locally brewed beer. Snacks from changing pop-up bars and food trucks provide catering.
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Activities:

  • The unique Storm King Art Center presents an art experience that is second to none on its 2 km² open-air areas.
  • The Dia: Beacon is located in a former printing factory and presents a permanent collection of modern works of art from the 1960s and 1970s as well as regularly changing special exhibitions.
  • The numerous shops and galleries on Main Street also contribute to the cultural renaissance of Beacon.

Woodstock

In world-famous Woodstock, New York, there is still a touch of flower power in the air.

Strictly speaking, Woodstock is not the home of the legendary music festival of the same name from the summer of 1969. (That took place about 100 km away in Bethel, New York.) Nevertheless, Woodstock exerts a downright magical attraction on artists, music lovers, and Zen seekers of all Shades off. The diverse shops, art galleries, and music stages will easily keep you busy for a whole day and are also ideal for people-watching and/or making new friends. On the second day, you can expect further cultural offers, historical sights, and a cultivated gastronomic scene in nearby Kingston.

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Restaurants:

  • Kingston’s historic district is at its most atmospheric at Boitson’s.
  • Do you fancy craft cocktails and dishes from modern Polish cuisine? Then off to the Lis Bar!
  • In the Bread Alone Bakery, you can get delicious bread or you can also enjoy an organic brunch.

Activities:

  • The boutiques on Tinker Street stock batik, crystals, and other Woodstock souvenirs.
  • A hike on Overlook Mountain promises physical activity with a panoramic view.
  • The live music performances at the Bearsville Theater create a hippy atmosphere.
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Hudson


As the last stage destination for your tour through New York State, you should make a note of the ultra-cool little Hudson – and bring along plenty of appetites as well as time.

In the first half of the 20th century, Hudson had a rather dubious reputation. At that time, over 50 bars were crowded here at times. Today the small town only makes a name for itself with its fabulous restaurants, quaint shops, and numerous antique shops.

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Restaurants:

  • Tucked away at the back of an antique shop, the back bar offers Malaysian cuisine, outdoor seating, and flair in abundance.
  • Don’t be fooled by the ambiance of the 1950s: As far as animal welfare is concerned, Grazin ’is modern through and through. The menu includes ethically sound burgers and other “farm-to-table” dishes.
  • The cool Moto Coffee Machine is half a café, half a motorcycle workshop.

Activities:

  • The Olana estate is ideal for an excursion. The landscape painter Frederic Church, a well-known representative of the Hudson River School, lived here for a long time and immortalized his adopted home in numerous works.
  • The multidisciplinary arts and culture center Basilica Hudson resides in a spectacular, solar-powered factory from the 1880s. Regular shows are on the calendar of events.
  • Antique hunters should stop by the Antique Warehouse or Hudson Mercantile.

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