top of page

Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

Our favorite escape from New York City, heading Upstate offers so many options from the Catskills to Hudson Valley. We enjoy it so much, we have gone bi-coastal by expanding to include Wild East Home. Read our post 'Escape New York City' for more weekend trip ideas

The Catskills: Over the past several years, these pine-covered mountains a few hours northwest of New York City have become a regular in magazines touting it as the region's capital of cool. It's easy to see why: quaint storefronts have been transformed into farm-to-table eateries, firehouses have become craft breweries and small-batch distilleries, and beautiful nature. The region is still sparsely populated, meaning that between the mountain hamlets you'll drive through gently rolling farmland or dramatic valleys. Verdant forests, undulating mountains, swiftly moving streams and rivers, hidden waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife have for centuries lured visitors to the Catskills. Henry Hudson felt the pull of these looming, mist-shrouded mountains in 1609, as did the Dutch and English colonists who populated and farmed the fertile land in the small, upland valleys between the stony round-topped peaks. Since 1904, more than 700,000 acres have been incorporated into the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve, with approximately 287,500 acres designated "forever wild." Rising between the Hudson River to the east and the upper Delaware and Susquehanna rivers to the south and west, the Catskills—called Onteora, or “land in the sky,” by the Algonquians and “these fairy mountains” by writer Washington Irving—is among the most visited, written-about, and painted mountain ranges in the country. In the mid-19th century a group of artists led by Thomas Cole and Frederick Church followed trails originally followed by Native Americans into the deep clefts between the mountains and emerged with a series of dramatic paintings that spoke to the popular imagination and drew thousands of New York City urbanites to the mountains. There's still a huge arts community here, and nearly every town has at least one gallery and sometimes a cluster. Visit Catskills tourism

Eat: The Local Table And Tap, The Notch Restaurant & Bar, Dixon Roadside, The Heron , Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery, The Pines, Phoenicia Diner - also stop by the famous candy store Samuel's Sweet Shop co-owned by actors Paul Rudd and Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Hudson Valley: Whether you're making the short and accessible commute from Manhattan or coming from elsewhere, you'll find farm-to-table dining experiences, yoga studios, and wineries alongside parks and outdoor spots that are the perfect places to unplug from the nonstop pace of urban life. The true spirit of the valley lives in the little river towns, scattered gems where clusters of cafés, boutiques, and galleries arrange themselves along storybook main streets. You'll find a treasure chest of antiques shops in Nyack, Cold Spring, and Saugerties. Hudson, where more than 60 vendors jostle for ascendancy over a span of five blocks, is perfect for a lazy afternoon of browsing and people-watching while Kingston (the state's first capital) is home to dozens of restaurants featuring everything from Asian fusion to gastropubs. Beacon is home to the expansive Dia:Beacon museum and lays claim to an edgy contemporary-arts scene. Deeper inland, particularly in the sleepy hamlets nestled near Millbrook and New Paltz, you'll find country roads that wend their way to apple orchards, wine trails, horse paddocks, and farm stands. If you're looking for outdoor adventures, a dozen-plus state parks lie within the Hudson corridor. Craggy peaks, pine-scented forests, cool mountain waterways, and the sapphire ribbon of the river itself serve as superb venues for hiking, climbing, biking, kayaking, fishing, and other outdoor diversions. If you prefer to retreat indoors, you can join a yoga or meditation workshop at one of area's many yoga studios or sign up for a meditation retreat at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck. Visit Hudson Valley Tourism

Eat: Bartlett House, Kitty's Market, Feast & Floret, Breadfolks Bakery, Silvia, Restaurant Kinsley, Lola Pizza, Top Taste, Bia, Brunette, The Amsterdam, Four Brothers Drive-in, Butterfield, Westwind Orchard, The Roundhouse

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page