A few weeks back, I took an overnight trip to Hudson, New York, an upstate destination known for art, culture, food, and drink. The area surrounding the city has long been a favorite for weekend getaways from NYC, but in recent years, Hudson has become a hip town, some say not too different from Brooklyn.
Nature in this pocket of New York state can’t get much prettier, so in a nutshell, you have the cultural and culinary offerings of a cosmopolitan city paired with some of the most alluring scenery you’ll find within a few hours of Manhattan. If you’re looking for an easy overnight jaunt to escape NYC for some rest, relaxation and fantastic food and drink, put Hudson on the top of your list. Here, some things to do while there.
Browse Warren Street
The main drag provides an array of shops for the art-curious. Art galleries, antique shops, and mid-century modern furniture stores mingle with coffee houses and unique spots like the John Doe Record Shop, a trove of obscure LPs organized by genre. You could spend hours in this divey space, browsing and reminiscing. Other shops I recommend: Hawkins for upscale bedding and Overose candles and The Spotty Dog Books & Ale, a quaint outpost stocking over 10,000 new titles while pouring a bunch of local brews and a dozen or so wines by the glass. I LOVED this shop.
My most memorable moment was stumbling upon Elbaz Studio Gallery. The loft-like space showcases the breathtakingly beautiful pictures taken in Israel and New York by photojournalist Jacob El-Baz. I had the pleasure of meeting Jacob and hanging out with him for a bit. Beyond being an incredibly talented photographer, he is quite the character. We engaged in a spontaneous photo session that he directed, while I laughed the entire time. (Thanks to my friend, Michele DeBella for taking the pics.) In all seriousness, Jacob has a way of capturing people and telling a story through photos that we rarely see. His work is on display in Hudson and Upper Galil, Israel.
Eat and drink.
Hudson offers so so many spots to dine and drink and obviously if you’re there for one day only, you won’t hit all the eateries (you’ll have to make another trip). For a casual meal, try grass-fed and Black Angus burgers at Grazin’ Diner, or grab-and-go from Olde Hudson (get the BLT). For dinner, try Ca’Mea Ristorante for Italian, Hudson Food Studio for Asian, and Rive Gauche Bistro for French. Coffee drinkers can get a dose of caffeine at Moto Coffee Machine, Nolita’s or REV Coffee. Tea lovers won’t be left out! Head to Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar for exactly what the name states.
For a grown-up drink at any time of day, pop into Governor’s Tavern. I didn’t have time on this trip, but when I go back to Hudson, I will set an hour or two aside to enjoy this charming pub. I did step inside though, and Governor’s is the kind of bar that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside– yes, for sure my kind of place. 🙂
Taste local booze at Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery.
For farm-distilled spirits, hard cider, beer, wine and vinegar, Harvest Spirits is where to go. You will need a car to get here, it’s about 25 minutes’ drive or so from downtown Hudson, but well worth the drive and time. Taste whiskey, vodka, pear brandy, peach applejack as well as hard cider and beer on tap. The guys here source fruit from farms across the valley for many of their products, and use the tree-to-bottle method for their spirits. The property is also home to Golden Harvest Farms, 200 acres of apple orchards producing 20 varieties of apples. (A terrific choice for apple picking too. You MUST eat a cider donut while there!) The rustic tasting room is the perfect place to relax on a fall day. Note: If you plan on doing more than a few tastes, I recommend taking an Uber to and from Hudson – probably about $25 each way.
Tour Olana State Historic Site (And during fall, leaf peep).
The grounds of Olana are fantastic for catching some fall color but nature enthusiasts will want to visit the site at any time of the year. Built in the 19th century, Olana State Historic Site was the home and studio of Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church and his family. The views from the 250-acre property are nothing short of spectacular, and by far some of the prettiest you’ll see in the Hudson Valley. You can tour the mansion and see Church’s original sketches, studies and paintings and/or walk the grounds of this historic site. Olana is about 10 minutes from downtown Hudson, so a quick ride.
Where to stay in Hudson.
I stayed at a newish boutique hotel called The Wick, a converted candle factory that’s about a 15-minute walk from the heart of downtown. Though renovated, the hotel didn’t lose that cool industrial vibe. A Marriott property, The Wick is one of Tribute Portfolio Hotels’ properties aiming to personalize travel experiences and create a sense of belonging for guests. Here’s the bonus: The Wick is about a 5-minute walk from the train station, and if you have too much to carry, the friendly staff will pick you up and drop you off. 🙂
How to get to Hudson
Hudson, NY is super easy to access, except maybe at rush hour! Amtrak’s Empire Service runs frequently every day and the ride is scenic and lovely. I highly recommend. You can also drive up the Taconic State Parkway or I-87 to Hudson, and without traffic, the trip would take a little over two hours. With traffic, plan for at least 2.5 hours. And when you arrive, you’ll see this….
Thanks to Marriott/Tribute Portfolio Hotels for hosting me on this fun overnight getaway to Hudson, NY. I will visit Hudson again and stay longer next time!