Hudson River Valley: More Than a Wedding Destination
As Chelsea Clinton’s wedding guests descend (reportedly) on Rhinebeck, New York, today, the small Hudson River Valley town is banking on a big tourism boost. But the valley is more than a wedding destination and more than a quick getaway from New York City: it’s a truly stunning part of the country, as pretty as New England and as friendly as the Midwest.
As the area’s biggest fan, I thought I’d round up my favorite places and ways to spend a day upstate:
Visit (or check into) one of the 430+ Rhinebeck sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places; see an air show at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome; and hit the local wine trails. Visit in September for the fabulous Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest.
Check out the collections that have Manhattanites flocking to the Dia Art Foundation, and then head to Main St. for shopping and atmospheric coffee shops. An alternate trip would be to climb Mt. Beacon (but still follow your hike with the shopping and coffee shops).
Either take an exhilarating hike up Breakneck Ridge or stroll downtown’s Cold Spring Historic District; it’s lined with beautiful 19th-century houses that once housed workers from the West Point Foundry. A stop at the railroad-side ice cream shop is paramount.
It may be an artsy college town, but New Paltz has one of the Hudson Valley’s biggest splurge opportunities in the Victorian Mohonk Mountain House. Besides spa-going, one favorite local activity is biking the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.
These are just a few trip ideas; I would love to hear yours!
Photo courtesy of Canon in 2D on Flickr via Creative Commons
My name: Michelle Doucette
How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at IgoUgo.com.
Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.
Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.
Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.