There are many attractions to visit and enjoy in New York’s Hudson Valley. From history to geography to culture, you’ll find the Hudson Valley a great destination rich in things to do see and do.
Running north to south, the Hudson River flows down the eastern edge of New York state for 315 miles from its beginnings in the Adirondack Mountains, past the state capital at Albany, until it eventually empties into the Upper New York Bay.
In fact, the Hudson River forms the boundary between the states of New York and New Jersey, flowing for 21 miles between the two.
Top 10 Things to Do in the Hudson Valley
Here’s a list of some of the top things to do that we found in the Hudson Valley, ranging from activities, right through places to eat.
Sunnyside, home of Washington Irving
The Sunnyside estate, home of Washington Irving, is situated where else but in the village of Irving. Costumed guides take you through the two-story house, then give you the freedom to explore the grounds on your own.
It’s a great place to relax outdoors, stroll through hiking paths, cross little walking bridges, even read a book! For more info, see my in-depth article.
Staatsburgh State Historic Site
If you like elegant mansions, Staatsburg State Historic Site is the place for you! You’ll also get a view of the Hudson River and the Catskills from the grounds–a real treat during the fall foliage season.
Owned by Ogden Mills and his wife, Ruth Livingston Mills, the estate was donated to the State of New York as a memorial to her parents by Gladys Mills Phipps.
For more about events and bird conservation areas at Staatsburg, see: http://nysparks.com/historic-sites/25/details.aspx
Old Croton Aqueduct Exhibit
We happened upon the Old Croton Aqueduct completely by accident as we were enjoying a scenic drive down Route #9 and pulled off in the village of Ossining.
Built in 1837, the nearly early two centuries old aqueduct was built to carry water for forty-one miles into New York City. Relying on gravity to keep the water flowing, the aqueduct was a engineering feat.
The stone construction at Ossining is actually a weir built to allow overseers to control the flow of water.
You can still walk over the aqueduct–in fact, I got some amazing photos from the top. There’s a whole hiking trail from Ossining to New York. Here’s information, including some of the original plans. http://www.aqueduct.org/
Eveready Diner–Hyde Park
One of the surprises I had on the east coast was the number of what I lovingly call “shiny diners.” Billed as a recollection of the past, they sure aren’t from my past!
Historic Hyde Park’s Eveready Diner was by far the shiniest and most impressive out of all the ones we saw. The interior carried through with the chrome and history, with booths, tables, and a counter with stools. Like the olden days, there was lots of staff, so the service was great.
Open 24 hours and offering a wide range of meals, it’s an eating stop I can also recommend for the food as well as the experience. David had a pot roast meal, while I went for lighter fare with a sandwich and potato salad, but both were delicious and good value for the price. Visit the Diner’s website at: http://www.theevereadydiner.com/
Locust Grove Estate
Locust Grove Estate, in Poughkeepsie, is a 200 acre estate that overlooks the Hudson River.
Once home to the inventor of the Morse code, Samuel F. B. Morse, the home is now part of a foundation created by Annette Innis Young, who spent most of her life on the estate.
The household contains all of the original furnishings of the Young family, who were collectors of a variety of things, many of which are displayed. For more on visiting, see: http://www.lgny.org/
Walkway Over the Hudson
If you want a great walk and a scenic view of the Hudson River, the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie is a must-stop on your tour of the Hudson valley.
The 1.28 mile hike gives you a birds-eye-view of the Hudson River and the city of Poughkeepsie from a 212 foot over the water vantage point. For photos and info on our experience, see: http://guide2travel.ca/2013/11/poughkeepsies-walkway-over-the-hudson-some-of-the-best-2013-fall-foliage/
Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America, or CIA, is a great place to tour or to dine. If you’ve ever wondered how chefs are trained this is your chance to find out.
I enjoyed my tour through the New York campus, where I was able to peek into classrooms of busy students learning everything from cake decorating to cooking with the latest apple harvest crop. Find out how to book a tour of the New York Culinary Institute of America at: http://www.ciachef.edu/ny-campus-tours-and-events/
Since the CIA is a working school, I also sampled one of their dinners. If you miss making a reservation or find your restaurant preference is fully booked, you can still sample some great baking at the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe. http://www.ciarestaurants.com/diningatthecia/
Norrie Point State Park and Environmental Center
Norrie Point State Park is a great way to get on the water and experience the Hudson River, whether you’re fishing or boating. While I only got to dip my fingers in the water, I enjoyed the tranquility and beauty of the area with a nice long walk. For park info see: http://nysparks.com/parks/171/details.aspx
The Norrie Point Environmental Center is the central administration for the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Next to the marina, it has an interesting interpretive center for the public. See: http://www.hrnerr.org/visit-norrie-point
Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is the six-week long Halloween attraction created by the town of Croton-On-Hudson. If you love pumpkins, this is the event for you.
With over 4000 hand-carved pumpkins, the event is a creative masterpiece! You’ll need advance tickets, which sell out early, so plan now to attend. Event info is at: https://www.hudsonvalley.
Horseman’s Hollow is my personal favorite of all the events that Tarrytown and area plan for Halloween. It’s a great night to put aside your years, and let the adrenaline flow, as you walk through a dark maze filled with ghost and ghouls and goblins and witches and zombies and well, just about any night terror you can imagine!
You can read the full story of my experience at: http://guide2travel.ca/2013/10/best-halloween-event-for-grown-ups-where-else-but-in-sleepy-hollow-new-york/
Remember to book early as tickets sell out quickly. https://www.hudsonvalley.org/
Visit the Hudson Valley
When you’re visiting Poughkeepsie, I’d like to recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites, where we stayed. In Tarrytown, we stayed at the Tarrytown DoubleTree, which is conveniently located between all of the Halloween events. http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-tarrytown-TERHIDT/index.html
We’d like to thank Dutchess County Tourism for making our visit to Poughkeepsie, New York, possible.