A little further north of New York City is the idyllic, cultivated Hudson Valley. The first-class travel destination, where culture and nature go hand in hand in harmony, stretches as far as Albany, the capital of the state of New York, and is traversed by the Hudson River.
To get an idea of how big the region is, you should take a look at the so-called Walkway over the Hudson River. The former railroad bridge runs 64.6 m over the great Hudson River and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding nature. Stop in the middle of the bridge and enjoy the panorama.
The quaint riverside village of Cold Spring, just 50 miles from Manhattan, is the perfect base for a day trip. There are good train connections from New York. The train station is only a few steps away from small boutiques, street restaurants, and art galleries.
Bear Mountain State Park in autumn
A trip to Bear Mountain State Park is recommended. On a clear day, this nature reserve with forests and a large lake offers a breathtaking view over the mountain peaks to Manhattan. The park has over 298 km of hiking trails, including part of the Appalachian Trail, one of the longest hiking trails in the world. In winter you can go cross-country skiing here and in October the park will be transformed into a small Oktoberfest based on the German model. The park is also ideal for families: in addition to the pretty carousel, there is even a small zoo. Those who want to stay overnight can take a room in the romantic, historic inn in the park.
America’s first art movement, the Hudson River School of Painters, with its impressive depictions of the lush landscapes also had its origins here. Restored properties such as Olana or the Thomas Cole National Historic Site give you a vivid impression of the life and work of the artists of the time. And even today, art is very important in this region. With the Storm King Art Center, and Dia: Beacon, two internationally known art museums are located here.
Storm King Art Center
Art and architectural attractions are abundant in the Hudson Valley. In the Storm King Art Center, which extends over 202 hectares of parkland with forests, hills, and fields, over 100 sculptures by world-famous artists such as Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, and Roy Lichtenstein are on display. There is a café and a minibus that you can jump on at any time. For reasons of aesthetics, information and explanatory signs on the works of art were deliberately omitted. So the best thing to do is to get an audio guide in the visitor center.
Check out John D. Rockefeller’s estate known as the Kykuit, which means ‘view’ in Dutch. The 40-room building houses an exquisite, diverse art collection. Stroll through the romantic gardens and enjoy the view of the breathtaking Hudson Valley.
Mohonk Mountain House
You shouldn’t miss the Mohonk Mountain House, a hotel complex from Victorian times. The imposing property sits enthroned on the shores of a clean glacial lake in the midst of unspoiled nature and has been family-owned since 1869. Numerous walking paths on the site lead to small wooden observation pavilions, which invite you to linger and from which there is a wonderful, unobstructed panoramic view of the wide landscape.
An hour’s drive north is the 100-acre Olana State Historic Site from the 19th century, the former home of the famous landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church. It’s no wonder that Church was inspired to paint here. The manor house, designed in an oriental style, is filled with original sketches, studies, and paintings by the artist. The lavish interior decoration dates back to Church’s lifetime. Tickets must be booked in advance.
Check out the exhibits at the New York State Museum in Albany that dates back to 1836. The museum is dedicated to the natural history and geological development of the US state of New York and its diverse culture. Every year over 10 exhibitions on a wide variety of topics are shown there.
The breathtaking landscape and the impressive culture in the Hudson Valley will surprise and enchant you at the same time. Regardless of whether you have a day trip by train or a week-long road trip in mind: the Hudson Valley in the state of New York is definitely worth a visit and fulfills every leisure wish.
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