By Devon Butler
For those who live in New York City, or really any city, being able to escape the incessant honking, rat-filled subways and mountains of garbage is a welcome treat. I’d heard so much about Hudson, always presented as a mecca for farm-to-table fare and hip furniture stores. Hudson was a cool (and easy) escape – though coming from NYC it’s worth noting that things close early here. Stores aren’t open past 5 and restaurants stop serving by 9pm. Keep that in mind or you might end up at the gas station A&W for dinner.
With no car, getting to (and around) Hudson couldn’t be easier! Wait…actually you will have to go to Penn station. So that’s probably the worst part of your trip. Penn station is a nightmare for multiple reasons but keep in mind the track your train is on won’t be announced until 5 minutes before it leaves and you’ll have to do a mad dash to the track. Best to arrive early and get in line (if there is one) or at least memorize which tracks are in which direction. Amtrak cars are actually very comfortable and clean with plenty of room for luggage. Sit on the left side for beautiful Hudson River views on your 2 hour journey.
We planned this last minute and Hudson, being as popular as it is, was fully booked. We looked to Airbnb and found a reasonably cute and well-priced apartment off Warren street but when we arrived we were blown away. A darling two-story townhouse with two queen bedrooms, a huge kitchen with everything you need, a back covered patio equipped with neighborhood cats and meticulously curated plants, flowers and art. It was breathtaking and I highly recommend staying here.
I originally wanted to stay at the Rivertown Lodge which is an uber-stylish hotel in a converted movie theatre, so I couldn’t resist wandering through the aesthetically pleasing common areas and hope to stay there next time.
If Hudson is famous for anything it’s food. The Hudson valley is filled with organic farms, sustainable culture and local-only ingredients. This makes picking a restaurant a very stressful endeavor. For breakfast grab pastries and coffee at Cafe Le Perch. Grab lunch at Grazin‘ diner or Mexican Radio for something different.
My biggest regret in Hudson was not being able to eat more! For dinner, we opted for W.M Farmer & Sons and were blown away by the food, amazing cocktails and easy, elegant vibe.
The town’s only ice cream parlor, Licks is a buzzy spot but worth waiting in line for. Take your ice cream and head to the square to people watch beside a dainty fountain and feel a thousand miles away from city life.
Stroll Warren street, the main stretch of the town. You could spend days looking in the charming vintage stores, homegoods heaven, perfumeries and the other quirky shops. My favorite was Hawkins because when you walk in you immediately enter a Pinterest dream.
Walk to the end of Warren street to find the Promenade Hill Park which overlooks the river and has a fantastic view. Hop on the ferry for a sightseeing adventure or to explore Athens. If you have a car, head to Kinderhook farms for a relaxing country escape and get reacquainted with nature. My Iowa boyfriend couldn’t help but roll his eyes as I frolicked through farmlands taking a million pictures of chickens and sheep.
Olana historic site is an absolute must. Even if you don’t tour the castle-like residence atop the mountain, the views from this vista are absolutely incredible.
Have you ever been to Hudson? What are some of your favorite places?