3 Weekend Getaways In The Hudson Valley
As much as us New Yorkers love NYC, we also love to escape the grind on occasion. The fall is my favorite time of year to spend a Saturday or Sunday exploring all the beautiful spots the Hudson Valley has to offer. In no particular order, here’s 3 of my favorites, all completely accessible via public transportation.
For the Hikers + Shoppers: Cold Spring
Cold Spring was my first trip out of NYC, with the goal to enjoy a nice long fall hike, and to eat somewhere delicious afterwards…topped off by locally made ice cream, of course!
The most popular trail people flock to in Cold Spring is Breakneck Ridge. According to Hudson Valley Compass this trek is 3.7 miles overall (full loop), with a very steep scramble in the beginning, but incredible views of the Hudson Valley waiting at the top (that make it all worth it!) Just be aware the the difficulty rating is 10 out of 10, so if that kind of weekend workout is not your jam, consider instead a more leisurely way to enjoy the great outdoors: Manitoga, the home, studio, and woodland garden of design legend Russel Wright. After the 90-minute tour of the property ($20), you’re free to roam the trails. What’s so fascinating about the outdoor spaces here are that Russel completely designed them–from the tree and boulder placement to the mossy forest floor carpeting.
Next up, shopping! The Cold Spring General Store is a cute throwback to the time of general stores, and houses a little bit of everything. The main curation of the shop are handmade items from the U.S. that have a good story behind them. Another place to check out is Cold Spring Apothecary. Go for the perfect Instagram picture, but leave with a little bag filled with lovely beauty products. If you’re having a #treatyoself day, book a facial. I mean, how often are you really in Cold Spring?
After this long day of excursions, I bet you are feeling a bit hungry. The Hudson Hil’s, a Best of the Hudson Valley award winner, is a feel good spot known for using fresh local ingredients in their menu. Based on the line out the door when we were, it’s safe to say it’s probably the most popular restaurant in town, with both tourists and locals alike. Even if it’s a huge wait, you can always go into the “market” (on the left side of the restaurant) and take a sandwich or coffee to go.
Getting there: 1.5 hours on MetroNorth
For the Art Lovers + Foodies: Beacon
Beacon, or the new Brooklyn, definitely wins the award for being the hippest city along the Hudson. There is plenty to see and do but let’s start with the obvious: Dia:Beacon, located right on the Hudson River, which inhabits beautiful works of art from all over. In fact, each gallery here is designed specifically for the artists work of art.
After you’ve had your fill of art, stroll around Main Street and take in the home, apparel, and antique shops. The Hudson Valley Maker and Artisan Collective, is residence to several local artists and makers of different mediums, who showcase their love for re-purposed items turned home goods and decor (you know, like banjos turned light fixtures!)
If you’re feeling athletic during your day trip jaunt, take a challenging hike up to the top of Mt. Beacon, a 2 hour round-trip hike, that will be worth your while. What once was a Incline Railway and resort is now one of the most picturesque spots in the Hudson Valley. But don’t stop there! The Fire Tower at Mt Beacon is where the views are at. Imagine: a 360 view the Catskills and New York City all in once place. Mission complete.
Food in Beacon is aplenty. In the mood for burgers? Hit up Poppy’s which was just voted the Best Burger in the Hudson Valley. If you’re looking for a local favorite with great outdoor seating and a good bottled beer selection, Homespun Foods is the perfect choice for either lunch or takeout dinner. Finally, if you’re celebrating something special or just in the mood for something a little fancier, check out Roundhouse. Not only is it picturesque, but the food is very good, with a menu that changes seasonally. Don’t forget to make a reservation!
Getting there: 1.5 hours via MetroNorth
For The Brew + Book Lovers: Peekskill
With a brewery right off the MetroNorth, many NYC daytrippers to the area may end up parked right there at the Peekskill Brewery all day long. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with that (the beers are cold, the food is warm, and that waterfront view, though!), we definitely encourage you to go into town, too.
We suggest starting your day grabbing a coffee at Peekskill Coffee House, and using that cup of joe to jolt you through the town’s thrift stores, antique shops and boutiques (bonus, all of which are considerably cheaper than NYC, so load up on Christmas gifts!) And you absolutely can’t leave without checking out what we deem as the best shop in town, a small new and used bookstore called Bruised Apple, a small new-and-used bookstore has little clippings and signs at every turn (seriously the stuff of bibliophile’s dreams!) The store is made up of a series of little rooms to explore, has a great collection of local interest books, and a room full of vinyl, CD’s and even cassette tapes.
And of course after all that beer and book consumption, you’ll need a nice hearty dinner to let it all settle into, and we suggest you head to Birdsall House, a beautifully restored 1940’s bar serving up craft beer and farm-to-table fare. Their beer list is constantly rotating, and they host fun events like industry and movie night.
Getting there: 1 hour via MetroNorth