The Hudson Valley
Recently, National Geographic Traveler Magazine selected the region of the Hudson Valley as one of the top 20 destinations in the world. Given its lush landscape bursting forth in a resurgent century of preservation, the praise seems aptly penned. Warehouses, once barren halls of rust and decay, now boom with the fiery sounds of indie rock bands, and buzz with artisanal shopkeepers. As much as the delights of modern economic growth and progressive change have lifted the region into the international stratosphere, there is something ethereal and eternally beautiful about the valley as well.
For the New England philosophers, for the Hudson River School artists, for the Dutch settlers, the colonial warriors, and the Paleolithic tribes that laid their stake here first, and for modern residents, something of the sublime, the ancient and perfect, has always drawn people to this place. Travelers and residents alike have reveled in the triumph of the sun unleashing fiery rays from behind the Catskill peaks. The magnificence of its landscapes is what the valley is most famous for, but many charming and historical towns are renown for their high culture, fine dining and world-class shopping.
Here are some recommendations to get you started on your visit:
Warren Street in Hudson NY – A prime shopping hub for Hudson Valley visitors and residents. The mile long Warren Street is lined with stylish shops, top-notch galleries and antique stores as well as cafes and fine dining. Because of its impeccable restoration, it manages to retain the charm of a classic main street.
Basilica Hudson, Hudson NY – A reclaimed 19th century factory converted into an art, performance, production and event space located steps from the Amtrak station on Hudson’s waterfront. Check their website for scheduled events.
Helsinki Hudson, Hudson NY – A restored industrial complex with a Southern-influenced American restaurant and space for indie-rock acts. Check their site for scheduled events.
Cedar Grove, Catskill NY – The home of Thomas Cole, founder of the first American art movement in the 19th Century. Cedar Grove is open for tours, it also houses many Hudson River School paintings and regularly schedules art exhibits.
Hudson River School Art Trail – Hike in the footsteps of Hudson River School artists. See the locations that influenced famous American landscape paintings of the 19th century. Check their site for maps and detailed information.
Scenic Hudson – Over 60 parks, preserves and historic sites along the Hudson River open to the public. The parks are free and open all year round. Check out their site for maps and detailed information.
The above list is a small sample to get you started. The valley is gifted with delights to the senses, feasts for the mind, and promise for the wanderer. Seekers of History may trace the footsteps of a bloodied and barefooted continental army as it raced north to fight the epic battle of Saratoga. Near Fort William Henry, the cries of the slain still seem to cling to the trembling woods. In Kingston, the stolid façade of the old Dutch Church stands as a bulwark against time. Music lovers lose themselves in the soaring melodies of the symphony orchestras at Tanglewood, and Bard Center for the Arts, or take in the waves of harmonic sound emanating from within the futuristic space at EMPAC. Nature lovers stand proud at the promontories of the Catskill mountains, and can still breathe deeply the fresh mountain air. Itinerant dreamers, seekers of destiny, find promise here as they find the careers and lifestyles that have grown sparse in less fortunate areas of the country. The Hudson Valley has become the nexus of a world fascinated by the searing mayhem of the great metropolis to the south, yet pulled by the blue shadows of a sunset in the deep woods–its golden age marches on.