Hudson may be the quintessential weekend escape. Located in Columbia County only two hours from New York City, this once-industrial-now-hip town features a stockpile of beautiful 19th-century architecture as well as a bevy of restaurants, galleries, and shops worth exploring.
Hudson hugs the majestic Hudson River, and the Catskill Mountains hover in the distance, so it’s no surprise that nature lies mere minutes from the charming downtown. Visitors should expect the many perks of city life mingled with an idyllic setting, head-turning views, as well as plenty of peace and quiet.
If you head upstate, don’t skip Hudson. Here’s our guide what to do while there.
Browse the Antique Stories and Art Galleries on Warren Street
Your first stop should be a stroll along Warren, the main drag and a hub for art and design enthusiasts. Here, you’ll stumble upon dozens of antique stores and galleries, with plenty of opportunities for window shopping, imagining your newly decorated home, or maxing out your credit cards. You decide.
Explore the Food and Drink Scene
You won’t go hungry in Hudson. From James Beard Award-winning Fish & Game to the themed cafe Spotty Dog Books & Ale where patrons quaff brews and snack on local cheese while browsing books and gifts, there are countless establishments for formal dining, farm-to-table eats, cocktails, and casual fare.
Grab a Coffee
Motorcycles and coffee may be the perfect combination, and that’s what you’ll find at MOTO Coffee/ Machine, where an espresso and chocolate waffle meet a slick Triumph Bonneville. Meanwhile, at REV Coffee & Tea, kick back with a cup of Joe on one of the cozy couches in this well-appointed cafe. If tea is more your style, head to Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar for a warm cup of rooibos paired with decadent chocolate truffles.
See a performance at Hudson Hall
Set in the heart of downtown Hudson, this performing arts center hosts concerts, exhibitions, readings, and other theatrical presentations. Events range from the Hudson Jazz Festival to The Orchestra Now playing classics by Mozart, Bach, and Mendelssohn.
Spend an afternoon at FASNY Museum of Firefighting
Founded in 1926 with only 2,600 square feet of exhibition space, this impressive interactive museum now occupies nearly 50,000 square feet. View myriad types of fire equipment and more than 90 apparatus pieces spanning from decades ago to the present day.
Pick Up Fresh Produce at Taconic Orchards
Shop for zucchini, corn, eggplant, beans, berries, more than two dozen kinds of apples and other seasonal produce at this farm owned and managed by the Feller Family since 1876. Taconic Orchards also sells honey, ice cream, pies, cider doughnuts, plants, flowers, and souvenirs.
Go to Suarez Family Brewery
Situated about 20 minutes from downtown, this mom-and-pop production brewery crafts Belgian-inspired beers, German-style Pils, lagers, and ales. Owned and operated by Dan Suarez and his wife Taylor, the brewery has become known for its “crispy little beers” – a motto and mission statement – alluding to the drinkable brews that smell good, taste good, and feel good with every sip.
Relax at Oakdale Beach
Hudson doesn’t sit alongside the coast, but it does offer a small public beach. Within walking distance of downtown Hudson, Oakdale Park features a 5-acre spring-fed lake and a sand beach for all to enjoy.
Check Out Henry Hudson Riverfront Park
Walk to the end of town, and you’ll run into this small urban park that offers lovely Catskill and Hudson River views. This waterside retreat is excellent for bird watching, and you can see all the way to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. On Friday and Saturday nights in May through mid-September, ride the ferry from the park to Athens. Tickets cost $15.
Enjoy the Views from Promenade Hill Park
More views abound from this tiny park at the end of Warren Street. After a day wandering around Hudson’s downtown, relax in Promenade Hill Park while reveling in the magnificent Hudson River panoramas.
Visit Olana NY State Historic Site
Once the home of famed painter, designer, and architect Frederic Church, this historic compound consists of a stunning Victorian mansion, adorned with Middle Eastern motifs and art from around the globe. The 250-acre property provides sweeping vistas of the Hudson River and the surrounding hills and valleys. After touring the home, walk the grounds, gorgeous in any season, and experience the most gorgeous perspective of Hudson.
By Tracy Kaler