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Hudson Valley City Guide {Update}

by Grace Bonney

Today’s Hudson Valley City Guide Update comes to us from the original guide writer, designer and stylist Raina Kattelson. When she’s not styling still lifes and interiors, Raina is enjoying life outdoors with her family in the beautiful Hudson Valley area. Today she takes us on another tour of this picturesque New York haven, sharing the best in shopping, dining and lodging. Thank you, Raina, for such a wonderful update! — Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump . . .

The above image features The Catskills (1859), painted by Asher Brown Durand, a member of the Hudson River School.

Hudson Valley guide Photos by Raina Kattelson

The Hudson Valley is an amazing area — so much to do and see and so many creative people. I grew up in the area Woodstock. My dad, photographer Sy Kattelson, quit taking pictures for a while and started an independent movie theater. It was located in an old church, and we lived in a loft-like space in the back. My nights were spent sitting in the theater watching Fellini, Bergman and Truffaut movies. There was a lot of great music around and many artists. After several years in NYC, I moved back to the other side of the river and live in Tivoli, a tiny little village that in many ways reminds me of the Woodstock of long ago.

I didn’t even realize how much there is to do in the Hudson Valley until I started to write this guide. I spent many days visiting the various towns to refresh my memory and to see what was new, but there is still more to discover. The quality of fresh local food and really fine restaurants here is incredible. There are wineries, cheese makers, grass-fed organic meats of all kinds, family-run farms and orchards. Because of its proximity to NYC and the Culinary Institute, the Hudson Valley has a variety of fine dining choices. You could visit any of these towns on their own or make a vacation going on a big loop from Beacon up to Hudson over to Woodstock and ending in New Paltz, stopping at all the other towns in between.


Beacon has a great arts community and a number of gift and antique stores along its Main Street. It is an old industrial town, like many here along the Hudson River. Artists started to move up here in the last 15 years, and some have opened shops and galleries. Pete Seeger lives in the area, and there are lots of fun festivals and music, many with Pete in attendance.

See and Do

Dia Beacon — This is an amazing arts space along the Hudson River. It was built in a former Nabisco box printing factory and has over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space designed to hold Dia’s large-scale pieces. Works by Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Sol LeWitt, and many more important artists of the 60s and 70s.

Howland Arts Center – Art exhibits, art classes and concerts for adults and kids. 477 Main Street

Clearwater Festival — This happens at the end of June every year, and there is music non-stop all weekend, as well as lots of activities for young and old. Not to be missed!

Beacon has several interesting art galleries. Definitely check out Fovea Gallery, Beacon Artist’s Union and Van Brunt Gallery for interesting local art, all along Main Street.


Clay Wood & Cotton — Charming but sophisticated handmade pottery, pillows and fabric.

Hudson Beach Glass — A great source for beautiful handmade glass.

Play – A great toy store for grown-ups and kids. All sorts of fun and quirky gifts.

Dream in Plastic — Cool housewares, toys, tees and stationery.

Echo — A fun mix of women’s clothes and accessories alongside kids’ toys and baby clothes.

Dickenson’s Antiques — Filled to the brim with antiques of all kinds.

The Mill Antiques — Great early American antiques.

B J’s Antiques


The Hop — Craft beer and artisanal food sourced locally.

Chill — Wine and tapas bar.

School of Jellyfish — Chocolate bar and café serving organic, fair trade and local treats. Workshops, events, and design school run by a local architect.

Zora Dora — Gourmet, all-natural fresh fruit popsicles. Do I need to say more?


The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls — This converted factory building overlooking Beacon Falls is home to a 58-room boutique hotel designed by Rockwell Group, three restaurants and a coming-soon spa.

A Few Extras a Little Farther North

Walkway over the Hudson — The converted Poughkeepsie Highland railroad bridge has been converted to a state park and just opened this fall. It is an incredible walk over the Hudson River on the tallest pedestrian bridge in the world!

Innisfree Garden — Originally the home and garden of Walter and Marion Beck. The garden — really more of a landscape of natural stone, sculpted land forms, carefully placed water features and woods surrounding Tyrrell Lake — is designed with an eastern philosophy of creating distinct views or “cup gardens.”

Hudson Valley guide

Stormville Flea Market — Check their schedule online, and if you are lucky enough to be here one of the weekends they are open, get up early and head over. You never know what treasure you will find.


See and Do

The Rail Trail — A 10-mile paved nature trail following a defunct railroad bed. A great place to walk, bike or rollerblade.

The Movie House — Good selection of independent and blockbuster movies that are reasonably priced and also art shows.


Aperture Books — Browse through a selection of many of the fine photography books they publish.

Gilmor Glass — Beautiful hand-blown glass. They also offer glass-blowing classes.

Johnson’s Antiques — Fifteen thousand square feet of antiques.

Hunter Bee — Stop in and check out the selection of amazing, stylish and quirky antiques, vintage designer clothing and gifts. One of my fave antique stores.

Mary Magdeline’s Boutique — High-end affordable women’s clothing and shoes.

Oblong Books — Fabulous independent bookstore. This is the main store; the newer store is in Rhinebeck. Look for readings from both local and well-known authors.

Kamilla’s Floral Boutique — Stunning flowers and plants

Saperstein’s — An old-fashioned local department store. You never know what you will find here.


After you have worked up an appetite walking the Rail Trail, stop in to Harney’s Tea for lunch and to sample their many delicious teas. You can also shop in the store full of tea-related objects and taste and purchase the entire line of Harney’s Tea.

Nine Restaurant — I haven’t eaten there yet, but I have heard it is delicious and can’t wait to try it.

Irving Farm Coffee House — Good local coffee by the cup or beans to take home.


See and Do

Check out the Dutchess County Fairgrounds schedule. The Dutchess County Fair is in August, and it’s a really wonderful county fair, with lots of animals on the 4-H hill as well as rides and crafts. The Sheep and Wool Festival is in October, and there are antique shows several times a year. This year Country Living Magazine is holding their Country Fair in June for the first time.

Rhinebeck has some beautiful old homes, so be sure to take a walk along the back streets and dream about living in one of the great houses you will see.

Ferncliff Forest — Previously part of the Astor estate, this old-growth forest is a great, easy place to take a nature walk.

Wilderstein Historic Site — Queen Anne-style country house with a Calvert Vaux-designed landscape. Once home to the Suckley family, relatives of Franklin Roosevelt. If you saw the recent movie Hyde Park on Hudson, this was Daisy’s home in her later years. Tour the house and walking trails. Also look at the calendar for various events, such as special Christmas tours and high tea.

Upstate Films — Since 1972 they have shown the best independent films in the area. They frequently have Q&A sessions with the filmmakers — definitely worth catching if you can. If you are here during the Woodstock Film Festival in the fall, they also show films as part of that. 6415 Montgomery Street


Calico — If I were offered one last dessert before I died, it would be from Calico! Leslie makes the most delicious pastries imaginable, and if you can’t decide which cake, have no fear — she makes little mini cakes of all her favorites. Leslie made our wedding cake, and the best part of planning the wedding was the weeks of trying all the various cakes. Okay, we dragged it out a bit! Delicious brunch, lunch and dinners in a charming atmosphere, as well.

Terrapin Restaurant and Bistro — Go for an elegant, mouthwatering meal at the restaurant, or visit the bistro side for more casual but still yummy food in a converted church.

Gigi’s Trattoria — Really good Italian food, and be sure to pick up the cook book.

Village Pizza — Stop in for a cone of Janes Ice cream. Made locally, it’s some of the best ice cream there is. Killer Chocolate is my fave!

Samuels — Coffee, tea, chocolate and old-fashioned candy.

Oliver Kita Chocolates — YUMM!


Cesar and Lili — Well-chosen collection of women’s clothing and shoes.

Paper Trail — Allow some time here because Maureen and Serine have great taste, and there is always something to buy — from jewelry and pillows to cards. I never fail to leave there without something new and exciting that I did not know I needed!

Hammertown Barn — With two additional locations in Great Barrington, Mass., and Pine Plains, NY, they are a great resource for interesting country furniture and housewares along with jewelry and kids’ toys.

Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy — Nice selection of kitchen supplies, Mud Australia, iitala and more. Cookbook events here, as well.

Spruce Design and Decor — Recently moved from High Falls, this is a great source of American and European mid-century furniture, art, lighting and home accessories.

AL Stickles — An old-fashioned local five and dime. Feels like a wonderful step back in time and a place to find all sorts of fun things plus a small but good selection of yarn and knitting patterns.

No Sugar — Sophisticated women’s and kids’ clothing and accessories and a small but well-edited collection of shoes.


Beekman Arms — “The Beek” has the distinction of being the oldest continually operating inn in America. Good place to stay in the area.


Rhinecliff is a tiny hamlet that’s a five-minute drive from Rhinebeck. A great place to sit and watch the boats go up the Hudson River. Drive to the Amtrak station and walk over the overpass to sit in a little park.

Rhinecliff Hotel — A great restaurant with a veranda for those summer sunsets over the Hudson River. Better yet, stay the night in one of the newly refurbished hotel rooms.

China Rose — For another good dining choice in Rhinecliff, try China Rose across from the Rhinecliff Hotel.


See and Do

Poets Walk — A lovely place to take a walk along the mowed paths of this 120 acres of fields and forest. Outstanding views of the Catskills. About halfway, stop in the twig gazebo to just take it all in.

Bard College — Walk along the campus and observe the historic architecture, as well as buildings by some of the most well-known names in architecture today. Stop into the Hessel Art Museum. Walk down to Blithewood Mansion and enjoy the outstanding garden overlooking the Hudson. Stay and see some of the best theater, music and dance at the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center. If you are here in the summer, be sure to check out what’s going on during Summerscape. For interesting, offbeat fare, go to the Spiegeltent for avant-garde cabaret and dancing late into the evening. While there, see the “Parliament of Realty,” the beautifully designed outdoor installation by Olafur Eliasson.


Me Oh My Cafe and Pie Shop — The perfect comfort food – pie, more pie and yet more pie – the delicious pot pie’s keep bringing me back here along with coconut cream, pecan, chocolate mousse, strawberry-rhubarb—pie’s the star, not to be missed.

Montgomery Place Orchards — Stop here spring through Thanksgiving for locally grown produce and locally made fresh pasta, and if you are here in the spring and summer when Bubby’s Burritos is open, look for the cute little trailer in front of Hardeman’s farm stand (Bubby and her family spend the winter in Mexico). Be sure to get a fab vegetarian burrito.

Taste Budds — Sandwiches and soups, but save room for the yummy desserts that Dan Budd makes. Hmmm . . . should it be a truffle bud, one of the many mini pastries, or one of Amber’s too pretty (but yummy) to eat cookies?

Red Hook Diner — Classic stainless steel diner

Mercato — I don’t think I can begin to describe how wonderful I (and everyone else here) think Francesco’s cooking is. Be sure to get a reservation so you don’t miss this! Mmmm . . . chicken liver bruschetta (I know you don’t like liver, but try these!), risotto and seared lamb with broccoli rabe are some of my favorites. Reservations recommended.

Another Fork in the Road — A bit of a drive past Rock City, but for great breakfast and lunch it’s well worth it. Plus you get to see the giant fork in the road. Seriously — not to be missed. 1215 Route 199, Milan

Max’s Memphis BBQ — Really good BBQ in a fun setting.


Tivoli Mercantile — You have seen her husband Arno’s colored chalkboard paint on Design*Sponge; now you can pick your favorite color in person while also browsing Jill’s great collection of antique finds and cool independent designers. Some local jewelry and clothing.

Red Hook has several antique stores. My favorite is East Market Street Antiques. Sandra has a way of looking at the ordinary, everyday objects around us and making you see them in a whole new way.

Hoffman Barn Sale — An old barn filled to the brim with treasures.


See and Do

Tivoli Bays — A nature preserve with several different ecosystems, including meadows, forests, tidal marshes and excellent views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. A great easy hike, and also a place to put in your kayak or canoe. Also check out the Tivoli Bays visitor center in the historic Watts De Peyster Fireman’s Hall in Tivoli

Street Painting Day in October is really cool. The main street is closed off for the day, and all ages and talents come to draw on the street.

Yard Sale Day in July is another fun town-wide event. Lots of people set out their goodies for sale. Arrive early and grab a map — you never know what you will find.

Kaatsbaan International Dance Center — Dance rehearsal space for some of the top troupes dancing today. Features three studios, including a 160-seat theater with a stage the size of the Metropolitan Opera stage. Check the schedule, as you can often see performances before they debut. There are also dance classes.

Tivoli Artists Co-op — Rotating shows of local artists

Clermont State Historic Site and House Museum — The Livingston House and gardens. Guided tours of the lovely house and also a great place to picnic and stroll with views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. Various festivals from spring to fall — plant sale; colonial, sheep and wool festival; sledding parties; kids’ activities; bird walks and much more.


Village Books — Good used bookstore run by a retired Bard professor. An extensive selection of radicalia.

Fab Yarn — Good selection of interesting yarn and patterns.

Beadzo — Buy some fabulous beads to take home or spend some time making jewelry with the lovely women who work here. Also watch for really creative beading and felting classes.


Tivoli Baking Company — Absolutely the best croissants outside of France! Not to mention great bread and pastries. Plus the place to meet everyone in Tivoli. Get here early before things sell out.

Osaka — Really good sushi. My daughter’s favorite.

Murray’s — Yummy breakfast, lunch and dinner in a nice setting, with outdoor-garden eating in the warm months.

Panzur — Tapas and wine bar with a great selection of cocktails.



Germantown Variety — A new shop with an old fashioned feel. A bit of everything, including hip stationery and homegoods, FACE Cosmetics, toys, hardware and more.


Otto’s Market — A gourmet grocery store with yummy baked goods, sandwiches and prepared meals.


The Central House — Recently remodeled with six simple but charming rooms.


Antiques, galleries, boutiques and great restaurants all set among hundreds of beautifully restored homes, many of which are listed on the historic register.

Hudson is considered to have some of the most historic homes in NY state. A great place to wander. Be sure to take some detours off of Warren Street to see it all. In the fall, the town has an Arts Walk with artists displaying their work in the various stores.

See and Do

Olana — Painter Frederic Church’s Persian-style house and studio with a picturesque landscape, outstanding views and hikes.

Fireman’s Home and Museum — Great place for little ones, as well as grown-up fireman buffs.

Winter Walk is a great time to visit Hudson. There’s lots of art and holiday and kid activities as well as a parade — all culminating in fireworks. Stores stay open late, and the street is closed to traffic, with a trolley running from one end of town to the other.


Too many antique stores to mention, but a few of my favorites are: Moderne (Scott Neven has a really well-curated collection of mid-century modern), Hudson Super Market (a collection of interesting dealers), Skalar (just plain cool antiques) and Carousel (affordable selection of dealers).

Red Chair — French and Belgian antiques

Spotty Dog — Independent bookstore and café with art supplies.

Hudson City Books — Used books, including lots of art books.

Carrie Haddad Gallery — Two locations, one for paintings and the other for photography. Consistently some of the best work around.

Bernabach — Jewelry and handbags

Culture and Commerce — A shop dedicated to emerging designers from NYC and the local area. Furniture, lighting, art and jewelry.

Lili & Loo — Two floors of elegant jewelry, furniture and housewares.

Chris Lehrecke — Furniture design star’s local shop. Normally his work is only available to the trade at Pucci International. Also features Gabriella Kiss’ stunning jewelry, as well as jewelry and decorative objects by Ted Muehling.

Ornamentum — Exquisite selection of jewelry

Shana Lee — You have probably seen her jewelry in the pages of Domino, Marie Claire and Lucky.

De Marchin — Local and European men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing.

Hedstom and Judd — Swedish-influenced pottery, decorative accessories, botanical prints and books.


Swoon — Local, sustainable and fresh sophisticated food, beautifully presented in a great flower-filled space. Good bar, as well.

Le Gamin — French café with a hip French atmosphere featuring a smattering of antiques in the back and great crepes

Baba Louie’s — Hands down our favorite pizza. Super thin crust baked in a brick oven and topped with many gourmet goodies including figs, apricots, fennel and huge delicious salads to round out the meal.

Mexican Radio — A northern outpost of the lower east side Mexican restaurant

Ca’ Mea — Good northern Italian food

Red Dot — Good reasonable bistro food

Swallow — Coffee and tea with art


The Inn at Hudson — Historic 1903 Dutch/Jacobean home converted into a beautiful antique-filled inn.

Union Street Guest House — Greek Revival-style inn. Simple, elegant rooms.

Hudson Valley guide Woodstock

See and Do

In July be sure to visit The Library Fair, a tradition that goes back as far as I can remember. It supports a great cause!

Woodstock Film Festival — Five days of independent film, including narratives, documentaries and shorts. Late Sept./early October. Panel discussions with filmmakers and concerts. A jam-packed five days. Films shown in Woodstock and Rhinebeck. Get tickets early because they sell out!

Levon Helm Midnight Ramble — Sadly Levon (from The Band) lost a long battle to cancer last year. Despite that, the concerts live on at his recording studio in a beautiful barn. Levon’s daughter, Amy Helm (an amazing singer in her own right), along with many well-known musicians can be found playing there. There are many surprise guests, as well. Check the website to see when they are playing and book early, as they sell out. A rare chance to be in a really intimate environment with some of the most talented musicians.

Santa on the Green — Santa has been arriving on Xmas Eve in Woodstock for over 70 years. It is a huge Woodstock event. Each year he comes up with some incredible way to arrive. One year he walked a tightrope across the town; one year he came by elephant. You never know what you will see. After he arrives, kids line up to get a stocking — if you can take the cold and crowds.

Maverick Concerts — Classical concerts with top-notch talent in a beautiful setting. (July and August)

Flea Market — Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from May through November. Antiques, crafts and food. Maple Lane

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Buddhist Center — North American home of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa. Located on the top of Overlook Mountain on a beautiful 24-acre site.

Woodstock Museum — A good place to learn about the history of Woodstock.

Woodstock Playhouse — Music and plays in summer

Bird-on a-Cliff Theatre Co. — Shakespeare Festival in summer, as well as original works.

Opus 40 — One of the most incredible pieces of earthwork sculpture. Sculptor Harvey Fite created out of an old bluestone quarry his masterpiece. Spreading over six acres and using only his hands and traditional quarryman’s tools, he worked for 37 years, ultimately dying while working on it, creating a landscape of swirling terraces and rising ramps around trees, pools and fountains. Today it is open as a museum and for occasional concerts, as well as for weddings and events. Not to be missed!

Woodstock Artists Association — Permanent and rotating shows, as well as a children’s space.

Woodstock Center for Photography — Photography shows and workshops with some of the finest photographers. 59 Tinker Street

The Colony Café — Music, poetry and art

Tinker Street Cinema — My dad founded this movie theater, which shows great independent cinema in an old church. Also home to a lot of the Woodstock Film Festival.

Bearsville Theater — A variety of concerts in a converted barn.

Byrdcliffe — One of the oldest artist colonies in the country. Started by Ralph Whitehead, who in 1902, had a utopian vision of an artist-craftsman community. They host an artist-in-residency program and have many theater performances in the historic barn. There are walking as well as self-guided tours.

The Kleinart/James Gallery hosts art shows as well as music.


Candlestock — A huge selection of candles. Be sure to check out the eight feet tall (and growing!) drip candle in the back. It’s been there since I was a kid.

Golden Notebook — A great independent adult and kids’ bookstore with lots of author events.

Vidakafka — A tiny but beautiful lingerie store.


Oriole9 — Great, fresh breakfast and lunch. Also try to catch their family-style dinners once a month. 17 Tinker Street

Garden Café on the Green — Vegetarian, organic cuisine

Bread Alone — Good breakfast and lunch as well as bread and treats.

The Bear Café — Gourmet dining by a lovely stream.

Yum Yum Noodles — Run by the same people who own Oriole9, this Asian-inspired noodle bar is delicious! They recently opened an outpost in uptown Kingston. 275 Fair Street


Woodstock Country Inn — Originally home of Woodstock artist Jo Cantine. Lovely setting and a heated outdoor pool.


Do and See

The Lighthouse — Historic lighthouse on the Hudson. A nice walk and a beautiful spot. Also two rooms you can stay in overnight. We had our wedding here.


Our Bookshop — Really good used bookstore, with lots of good art and design books.

Dig — Women’s clothes, shoes and accessories. They recently added a small but interesting selection of housewares.

Rock Star Rodeo — Full of funky, fun new and vintage tchotchkes

Green — Vintage ’50s through ’70s modern furniture and home accessories and new modern furniture, as well as Hudson Furniture’s line. 92 Partition Street

Saugerties Antique Center — Multi-dealer shop. One of the dealers specializes in vintage clothes and has a great selection.

Newberry Antiques — Multi-dealer antique center in old Newberry’s five and dime.

Fed on Antiques — Good antique store. Vintage lights are their specialty.

Eat and Stay

Lucky Chocolates — To-die-for chocolates

Brine Barrel Pickles — Yummy pickles

Miss Lucy’s Kitchen — Seasonal menu, serving lunch and dinner

Tango — Argentine café serving breakfast and lunch

Hudson Valley Dessert Company — All-natural biscotti, granola and cookies are their specialty.


Diamond Mills Hotel — All rooms overlook the falls.


Kingston’s uptown section has a long history. It was the first capitol of NY state, and in addition to the Senate House, has plenty of stunning stone buildings dating back to the 1700s. It is worth visiting for them alone.

Sadly it has been a victim of the malls and big box stores moving in across town, and the uptown area has suffered. It has undergone various resurgences but has never quite come back to the thriving area it once was. That said, there are several notable places to visit, and things seem to be on the upswing again.


Outdated — Antiques and cafe with a great mix of food and vintage.


Elephant — Tapas bar

Duo Bistro — Breakfast all day, with lunch, dinner and a bakery

Stockade Tavern — Cocktails!!


See and Do

The Falls! And a charming little historic town.


Nectar — Jenny travels to India, Morocco and Turkey to find furniture and gifts that are sustainable and fair trade. 1412 State Route 213

Lounge — Mitchell Gold furniture and accessories

Linger Apothecary — Soaps, lotions and bath accessories

High Falls Mercantile — Country and industrial antiques for the home as well as new gifts, pillows and books. 113 Main Street

Green Cottage — Gifts, jewelry and flowers


Depuy Canal House — A four-star restaurant in a beautifully restored stone tavern. Brunch and dinner. Also an inn. I would recommend reservations. Note that this restaurant is mostly closed with the occasional weekend opening, so call ahead. They also have a sushi restaurant, as well as Chef’s on Fire, which serves wood-fired brick oven pizza.

The Northern Spy — A casual, reasonably priced café. 845-687-7298

The Eggs Nest — Casual, funky café with a southwestern flair. Also for breakfast and lunch, The New York Store or Last Bite.


See and Do

A small, funky town home to many old, abandoned mines. On Halloween, there’s a party in The Widow Jane Mine.

Rosendale Street Festival — Two days in July of really good local music

Pickle Festival – Do I need to say more? Held in November.

Chili Bowl Fest — Held in February to help support the Women’s Studio Workshop. Buy a handmade bowl, fill with your choice of chili and listen to music — not a bad way to spend the day.

Women’s Studio Workshop — Exhibits and art classes. Check out the Summer Arts Institute schedule with classes from two to five days long in a variety of mediums including printmaking, ceramics and photography.

Redwing Blackbird Theater — Puppetry, dance and music. 413 Main Street


Soiled Doves — Quirky, funky vintage store


The Alternative Baker — Essell bakes yummy treats, and many are wheat-free, dairy-free, vegan or gluten-free. He also serves breakfast and lunch.

Bywater Bistro — Very good dinner and Sunday brunch. 419 Main Street

1850 House and Tavern — Newly renovated with charming rooms overlooking the Rondout Creek.


See and Do

New Paltz is home to Huguenot Street, the oldest continually inhabited street in America. It has a wonderful collection of Dutch Vernacular architecture. Many of the houses date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Open to the public with tours running April through December.

Rock climbing in “the Gunks” is a huge deal here. You can get a guide and rent equipment at High Xposure. You can also do an indoor climb, great for first timers and kids, at the Inner Wall.

Skydiving at Sky Dive the Ranch — My son jumped this fall and said it was one of the best experiences of his life.

Mohonk Mountain House — Located along the Shawangunk Ridge with 85 acres of hiking trails, beautiful gardens, an 18,000-square-foot skating pavilion, a spa, rock climbing, golf, horseback riding and a beautiful old inn and restaurant. You can spend the day or the weekend here.

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is located on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Very good photography and art exhibits. 1 Hawk Drive


The Bakery — Breakfast, lunch and, of course, baked goods. 13a North Front Street

The Tea House — Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and afternoon tea. I haven’t gotten here yet, but a friend raves about it. 10 Plattekill Avenue

Mexicali Blue — Small but fresh and delicious

A Tavola — Zagat-rated Rustic Italian cuisine.


Water Street Market — Antiques, dining, gifts, galleries and more

Rhino Records — Great alternative music store

Rock and Snow — Outfit yourself here for a day of mountain climbing.

Inquiring Minds Bookstore — Good independent bookstore

Barner Books — Interesting used bookstore

Verde — Unusual plants, garden supplies and gifts for the home

Manny’s Art Supply — Extensive art supplies, craft supplies and art paper


If you are heading back to NYC along the NYS Thruway, be sure to visit Storm King Arts Center, an outdoor sculpture museum. Five hundred acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woods with sculpture by some of the best, including Alexander Calder, Maya Lin, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, Isamu Noguchi and more. Open April–October.

There are many historic homes that are open to visitors. Worth visiting are The Roosevelt Mansion (home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt), The Vanderbilt Mansion, Olana (the Persian-inspired home of the painter Frederic Church) and Mills Mansion (has a fabulous sledding hill sloping down to the Hudson River).

The Hudson Valley is such a rich area filled with so much to do and yet so close to New York City that it attracts a diverse group of people, including many well-known artists, musicians and writers such as . . .

David Bowie, Donald Fagen, Kate Pierson of the B52’s, famed graphic designer Milton Glaser, photographer Annie Leibovitz, highwire walker Philippe Petit, author Gail Godwin, children’s book author James Gurney, New Yorker cartoonist Danny Shanahan, Kristy Hume and Donovan Leitch, as well as many actors including Robert De Niro, Aidan Quinn, Melisso Leo, Vera Farmiga, Steve Buscemi and Uma Thurman

Suggested For You


  • My imagination is totally captured- sounds dreamy. however, I would LOVE to see some pictures.

  • Hudson, NY – the 12534 – reporting.

    Hudson Opera House’s WinterWalk is this Saturday, December 5th – don’t miss it!

    I’m curious about this “Intelligensia” – Chicago, the 60601 seems like a long way to go for a cup of coffee.

  • Hudson, NY – the 12534 – reporting.

    Hudson Opera House’s WinterWalk is this Saturday, December 5th – don’t miss it!

    We’re curious about this “Intelligensia” – Chicago, IL – the 60601 – seems like a long way to go for a cup of coffee.

  • The most I ever knew about took New Paltz was SUNY New Paltz. How neat to have the longest inhabited street be there.
    This summer, hubby and I took the train out of nyc along the Hudson, but never got a chance to make our way to towns in the Valley.

  • great guide! Having grown up there, I have to rep Cornwall-On-Hudson… If you’re going to go to The Storm King Art Center, you have to go to Painter’s Tavern on Hudson Street for great food and local art!

  • Yay! I’m so glad some one tackled the Hudson Vally guide so beautifully! And I’m proud and honored to be included. Also want to make mention that this Friday, December 4th is the Woodstock Holiday Open House. There are tons of special events planned and stores will be open till 9pm.

  • having grown up there, I have to represent Cornwall-on-Huson! If you’re going to The Storm King Art Center, stop by Painter’s Tavern on Hudson Street for great food and local art or Two Alices, also on Hudson Street for great coffee ( it’s also very kid-friendly)!

  • This is a fantastic guide. Kudos to Raina. As residents of the Hudson Valley (Catskill is across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge from Hudson) we know many of these shops, restaurants and cultural opportunities. The resources here are fantastic if a bit far flung from one another – although I think nothing of the drive to Saugerties to eat at my old boss’ restaurant Miss Lucy’s Kitchen named after his daughter.
    I wanted to mention that we maintain our studio and showroom at 377 Main Street in Catskill. While not as developed as some of the other towns along the river, we have a few shops and restaurants to keep you occupied for an afternoon. Hood and Company is a great design store and Bell’s Cafe serves a good brunch, has some of the best burgers around, and serves beautiful Mediterranean fare at dinner. We also have two fun antique stores and a great old movie theater. Our studio is normally only open by appointment but we will be open from 9-5 December 5, 12 and 19 with lots of great textile work made by us – including work currently in our sample sale – and the work of other local artists.
    Catskill has it’s own Holiday Stroll on December 12 from 5-9.

  • I’m so glad you did a Hudson Valley guide. This has long been my stomping ground (I grew up outside of Beacon) and there’s so much to do there! This is a really comprehensive list and I honestly can’t think of anything to add. Love it!

  • I would like to help fill in New Paltz a bit.

    To eat:
    Main Street Bistro – Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Get there early on the weekend or be prepared to wait.

    The Gilded Otter- Beer brewed on premises, great outdoor seating

    P&Gs Decent burgers and good drink specials.

    To shop:
    Cocoon – A little taste of Brooklyn in the Hudson Valley. Wonderful design store with accessories and housewares.

    Pegasus Shoes – Outlet for Woodstock store, mostly carries comfy type shoes.

    To do:
    Play a round of pool at Bacchus

    Rent a bike and take an easy ride on the Rail Trail. Nice and flat with a great view at the end.

    Apple pick at one of the many orchards.

    To stay:

    Best bet would be to search for a B&B. Less than the Mountain House, better than the nearby motels.

  • Beautiful guide! I have a friend from New Paltz, and this makes me want to visit even more! And, the stunning photo illustrates why we think Hudson is a great name for our baby-to-be!

  • Thanks for including my restaurant in your listing. I just wanted to clarify the name: it’s The Village TeaRoom, Restaurant & Bake Shop not The TeaHouse

  • The coffee shops in Hudson are:

    Strongtree Organic Coffee Roasters at 60 Front Street across from the train station.
    Spotty Dog listed above.
    Swallow at 433 Warren Street.
    Parlor at 742 Warren Street.

  • Oh, I second the Main Street Bistro in New Paltz. When I’m in town, visiting my Mom, their pancakes are enough to make my day! Raina, thank you so much for this wonderful guide. The Hudson Valley really is a treasure.

  • I grew up in the Hudson River Valley in the 80’s and thought the Mohonk Mountain House was the most magical place. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  • I’d like to highly recommend Poppy’s Burgers and Fries in Beacon—I’ve made special trips up there just for that.

  • My favorite restaurant in Rhinebeck , Terrapin,was left off the list.

    Otherwise, a fantastic guide. I grew up in the Hudson Valley and to me there is no place that is prettier anywhere on earth.

  • Yay! Door Sixteen Land! Would love to think I could visit this part of the world and all these great spots someday… thanks for the lovely inspiration, Raina.

  • Hudson’s Winter Walk- one of my fav’s and on the list Sorry somehow Terrapin dropped off the list- we eat there all the time and love it. Both the main dining room and bistro. And a correction- my listing was not for the Rhinebeck Dept. Store but for Stickle’s- a step back in time.
    My friends son’s name is Hudson as well.

  • This area is also a must see for any fan of the Hudson River School. Olana is a wonder, but you can also visit Thomas Cole’s home in nearby Catskill. Those two house tours are fantastic. Also, in warm weather months, Kaaterskill Falls, (gorgeous, and the subject of many paintings) is accessible.

    And I must second the recommendation of Bell’s Cafe in Catskill. So lovely and handmade in every sense!

  • The Storm King Arts Center is amazing! It’s worth a trip up the Thruway just to see Andy Goldsworthy’s wall (also featured in a documentary about the artist!)

  • Lovely guide! I’m from a small town near Beacon, and you omitted a gem- Alp’s Sweet Shop! As a serious chocolate lover, I rate this as one of the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s a mom & pop on Main Street.

  • Just to let you know the Clearwater festival takes place in Croton on Hudson, not in Beacon. :)

  • As a stalker of the Hudson Valley I have to say this is a great, great guide. :-) The Midnight Ramble should be on any music fan’s agenda. It is life changing (as are Lucky Chocolates, on the road in!).

  • Oh, this makes me miss home so much! I grew up in Kingston, which is right next to most of these places but not really filled with much but a ton of good restaurants. I’ve been living in Boston for the past 5 years but my heart still, and will always, belong to and yearn for the ever beautiful Hudson Valley.

    This was a nice surprise to find!

  • This is really great I love when people highlight the Hudson Valley- but don’t forget to visit Kingston too which is, as mentioned by Casey, right in the middle of it all in the Hudson Valley!
    Kingston is an extremely beautiful and historic city. It was the first capital of New York state – every day you can take yourself on a “talking house” tour of the colonial stone buildings in uptown Kingston. While you’re uptown, visit Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats for delicious meats and dairy and Hudson Coffee Traders. There is also tons of great shopping uptown, from trinkets to antiques. Downtown Kingston features wonderful waterfront eateries which are really fun in the summertime and tons of antique shops.

  • I was SO thrilled to see this guide come up on my Google Reader! I grew up in the Hudson Valley and this makes me miss home like you wouldn’t believe.
    Also, Paper Trail in Rhinebeck is one of my favorite shops, and they have a Web site here if anyone’s interested: http://www.papertrailrhinebeck.com

  • My husband and I stayed at the Mohonk Mountain House over the summer. It was an ABSOLUTE dream! I’ve been telling everyone I can about it and the town of New Paltz, and for someone else to mention what I consider the gem of the Hudson Valley is GREAT! Not only is it rich in history but the beauty is astounding! We will definitely be going back there soon and possibly getting out to the other towns on your list! Thanks so much for the information!

  • Strange reading about a guide where your grew-up and currently live.

  • In Hudson, a few other things of note. Verdigris Tea, which has an extensive selection of top quality teas, is on 3rd St. a few steps from Warren St. They will make a pot of any tea in their collection to drink in their cafe. Also, worthy of note, Strongtree’s coffee is all fair trade, shade grown coffees and roasted on the premises. Caps and macchiatos are very creative and compete with the Italians. It’s across from the train station on Front St. There are also several other first rate galleries there, showing regional/NYC/nat’l artists: John Davis Gallery, Nicole Fiacco Gallery and BCB Art, all on Warren Street. Finally, just east of Hudson, in Philmont, there are two wonderful farm to table restaurants: Main St. Public House, casual and super for breakfast, and Local 111, more upscale.

  • Oh my! This makes me want to hop in a zip car and drive right of the city and get my fill of quaint small town life. My BF and I did a weekend away to Woodstock a few years ago, we loved it!

  • This is my hood! I grew up in this valley, travel out of it often, but love that I still call it home. Kudos for including such an eclectic place on the globe: all these towns, each with their own discernible flair and flavor, are certainly each destinations! I would not be who I am without growing up amongst these local flavors!

  • That certainly IS what the Hudson Valley looks like in fall!
    I grew up in the Catskills, went to SUNY New Paltz and ended up living in Kingston…I just couldn’t leave. Don’t forget all the amazing artists that call the Hudson Valley their home! The arts are a HUGE part of living in this peaceful and inspiring area if NY.

  • Thank you so much for this! Fabulous guide…we are loving our weekend trips to the Hudson valley.

    To Ilaria, that isn’t photoshop! The leaves really look like that a peak season! Head up there in Oct. for a lovely surprise… :-)

  • So fun to see our beautiful area highlighted here. Raina, you hit on all of the best places.

    I live in Rhinebeck and you have one small mistake. We do have a 5&dime store in town. It is called Stickles. It is two stores away from the Rhinebeck Dept. Store. Stickles is a treasure.

    All of these small towns are wonderful to explore. Thanks so much!

  • Thanks for the great Hudson Valley post! This Saturday, December 5th, there’s a great Holiday Craft fair at Shambhala Yoga Center, 4 South Chestnut Street, in Beacon NY, 11-5 .It’s all local crafters and artisans so do you’re holiday shopping with us and help support thepeople who make the hudson valley a gem! Hope to see you there!

  • I am so so thrilled to see the Hudson Valley on here! I moved about a year ago to Beacon and I can’t get over how much I love being here! There are so many things to do and explore that I just can’t keep up. A few things I’d like to add about Beacon… Poppys is amazing! Local grass fed beef burgers, a fantastic veggie burger and the sweet potato chips are killer! Homespun foods for the breakfast burrito or the chipotle mac n cheese…amazing! A fairly new addition to Main, Beacon Vintage has really wonderful mid century mod furniture, trinkets and (my fave) lamps. And Zuzu’s Leaf and Bean is my favorite pumpkin latte around. I’ve never experienced a community which cared so much about the welfare of it’s local businesses and talented artists. It’s an easy metro north ride up the awesome Hudson River from NYC. I recommend coming on the second Saturday of any month when the stores and galleries stay open late and have free snacks and wine, and there’s always some great live music!

  • Raina, thanks so much for this superb, comprehensive guide…and of course for the lovely things you said about our shop! We are totally dedicated to our beautiful area, but what makes it truly special, besides the amazing landscape, food and cultural riches, are the PEOPLE. The Hudson Valley is populated by the smartest, coolest, nicest people you could ever have the pleasure of having as neighbors, and they inspire us to do our best as shopkeepers.
    Thanks again for your fine work.
    Serine Hastings
    Paper Trail

  • This is awesome! You should stop by my beautiful wine shop in Saugerties next time you’re in town. I’m at 123 Partition, next to the Municipal parking lot. A few more things to check out: YaYa’s for vinyl and very cool, affordable accessories; Lucky Chocolates, now at their new location on Partition Street in the Village (both locations open through the holidays); and a kick-ass bakery on Main Street–The Hudson Valley Dessert Co. Lots of great stuff in Saugerties! Thanks for doing this.

  • We think we were forgotten,Luna61 is a organic vegetarian cafe in tivoli,please join us for dinner tues thru sunday,including a yummy brunch on sunday and some of the best banana cream pie you have ever had

  • Hello to all our friends in the DesignSponge Community – Thanks for including our Hudson Valley on your site. If you are looking for LGBTQ things to see and do in the region, check out BigGayHudsonValley.com

  • Does anyone know good places to take a dog where he can walk off leash and/or swim in the Millerton/Pine Plains/Amenia area? something maybe hidden where others don’t go?? Thanks!

  • Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I just found this! I was born and raised in the Rhinebeck/Clinton/Staatsburg area and went to school in Rhinebeck. My first job was at Calico, and let me tell you- Raina isn’t kidding when she raves! Tony and Leslie have such a passion for what they do and it is my absolute favorite place to go eat in Rhinebeck. I also suggest Winter Sun, Summer Moon and Raspberry Rose for some other shopping in Rhinebeck! And you have to go to Stickles!! I have such fond memories of when my aunt used to take me there when I was a kid. I also highly suggest Olana, it is amazing and Mills Mansion has beautiful views of the river, and the sledding is awesome! I used to go sledding there as a kid all the time. Great guide, thanks for posting!

  • If you are looking for a great places to stay in the Hudson Valley, consider vacation rentals-ours can be seen at tirynswall.com

  • Visit the Rose Garden Antiques Art and Design Gallery, a really cool shop at the fork in the road between Rhinebeck NY and Red Hook NY. Unuusual imports of industrial and french antiques plus in house designs, local northeast paintings and folk art , contemporary and outsider art, indusrtrial french modern and garden antiques,

    .com Phone 6462497480

  • There is a great new consignment shop in Beacon NY! They have a variety of contemporary and vintage finds, great selection and cute boutique! It’s called Blackbird Attic and is at 442 Main Street Beacon NY

  • Another great spot is the new Birdsall House in Peeksill. The food is SO good and the space is super cool. It has 100 year old refurnished wood bar and booths with cool original deco lights at each. It’s dark and romantic and has a great selection of beer. Well worth a visit.

  • How do you manage to leave out Nyack? One of the most important places in the Hudson Valley? You have to do a review or post on the village! Thanks!

  • I’m from the Hudson Valley, and you brought back great memories for me! A newer, hidden gem is the Tuthill House at the Mill Restaurant and Tavern in Gardiner, next to New Paltz. Best new restaurant in the area!

  • We’re coming down from Canada this month to tour the area. This is such a helpful blog and we plan to try as many places as we can that are recommended here. Well done!

  • This guide is really helpful. I’m looking for more particulars on the towns in the Hudson Valley. My wife and I are considering buying a farmhouse in this area. We love farmer’s markets, organic food options, and towns that have some varied restaurant options. We really liked New Paltz and wanted to know if any of the other Hudson Valley towns offer similar options. Any thoughts?

  • This makes me so happy! I grew up in Red Hook and the surrounding areas always feel like home when I come back. Such a beautiful place to visit or live. This guide does a great job of capturing the beautiful must-see locations!

  • How could you not include Boitson’s in the “eat” section of Kingston? It’s the best restaurant in Kingston and the owner is responsible for much of the resurgence of the uptown neighborhood.

  • We moved to New Paltz from NYC last July, and we are so happy we did! Might I add to the list of must-do’s in the form of Luscious Lagusta, a top-notch chocolate shop just around the corner from Pegasus Shoes on Front Street, just steps away from Historic Huguenot Street. It’s right near my house, lucky me! I second a previous commenter about the Tuthill House Tavern- they are also a distillery and make AMAZING whiskeys from local ingredients.

  • Don’t forget: Market Market Café in Rosendale
    “We take an artistic approach, walking the line between hi-brow and low-brow, fancy and casual, vegetarian and omnivorous, sophisticated and glib.” Low-key and ‘cool’ café, interesting menu.

  • Saugerties NY is in full bloom right now! Its not just Antiques anymore! We have several designers and artists with shops right in town!
    Don’t miss Juda Leah Atelier & Boutique for one of a kind clothing, jewelry, accessories, and custom bridal! Also The Modern Dream and Steam Ship Alice, all designers on Partition Street!
    And New World Home Cooking on Route 212 between Saugerties and Woodstock is open for dinner 7 days a week, award winning food! We are having our wedding there next year!

  • And we’re having our son’s Bar Mitzvah party at New World Home Cooking next month!

  • My favorite store in Rhinebeck didn’t get a mention: Sawkille (Not sure if they are still there). Absolutely amazing furniture and a great alternative to BDDW.


    Raina – thanks for taking the effort in writing this post. Much appreciated!

    I would like to add 2 recommendations from the little town of Kerhonkson :)

    Materia Design: http://materiadesigns.com/ – also a worthy alternative to BDDW :)

    Country Inn (technically in Krumville): http://krumville.com/ – 500 vartiety of beer selection! Simple and delicious Americana food – and a stunning firepit overlooking a lake on the warmer months. Must. Go!

  • What about Poughkeepsie? I went to school there, so it holds a special place. I haven’t visited in a while and would love to hear about things to do downtown.
    I remember Mole, Mole a really wonderful restaurant with the best….Mole!
    Thank you!

  • while in Kingston, please visit Boice Brothers Dairy & Ice Cream stand. You can buy their milk from anywhere and their ice cream is delicious. New York’s oldest family run dairy. They also sell Adirondack Creamery ice cream and Hudson Valley Fresh which is not-for-profit dairy cooperative dedicated to preserving the agricultural heritage of the Hudson River Valley.

  • Saugerties has First Fridays, Late night town-wide open houses the first Friday of every month all year ’round! Great music, food, drink and festivities! Next one is April 5th!

  • Such a great comprehensive list! There’s a lot of small charming towns in Rhode Island (the quaint Jamestown island by Newport), and Conneticut too that is within driving distance from nyc- that could be the next guide ;)

  • Here I am again, plugging Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, but there are some really fun shops (Pretty Funny Vintage, Whimsies, Belkind Bigi, Hanks Alley, Deja Vu) and places to eat (Village Dog, Mint, Chiboust, Main Street Sweets) and places to wander (Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Rockefeller Preserve (you can walk the trails to Stone Barns) and the Metro North Tarrytown stop is a short walk from Main Street!

  • Yes, definitely visit Boice’s in Kingston! Their Cardamon-Pistachio ice cream is AMAZING. We also love Essel, the Alternative Baker in Rosendale, and his mixed berry scones. Kyoto in Kingston for sushi, or Hokkaido in New Paltz—both are excellent. The Mountain Brauhaus is a favorite, and oh yes, Marketmarket!…I moved up here from NYC almost 25 years ago and am still falling in love with the area. Thanks to everyone who commented here and made suggestions—now I have new places to try, new parts of “home” to explore.

  • I have to add some Poughkeepsie love! Go visit the spectacular grounds of Vassar College (www.vassar.edu). Eat at Mole Mole, Twisted Soul, Babycakes Cafe, or the Alumnae House at Vassar College.

    There are also AMAZING hikes throughout the valley. Notable are North and South Lakes, Hunter Mountain, Bonticou Crag, the paths at Mohonk Mountain House and at Awosting lake, Overlook Mountain, and so many others!!!

  • I’m so glad to see Montgomery Place Orchards in Red Hook listed here – their New York heirloom apples are a MUST for me every fall – bursting with incredible flavor and the variety is staggering!

  • The great Hudson River Clearwater Revival is in Croton-on-Hudson at Croton point in June. You can take the train to Harmon station and take a bus over to the point. The website has a list of all the musicians currently planning to attend. Peter Seger is always there.

  • You forgot Catskill!! Head over the Rip Van Winkle bridge from Hudson on you way to Saugerties and pass through Catskill. Stop for a while. Lots of galleries, great family style Thai Restaurant called Wasana’s, Italian food, a coffee roaster called Retriever Roasters. A quaint and funky little town.

  • I’ve been searching for a guide like this for quite some time. Thank you SO MUCH for putting this together. This is just fantastic and is just in time for spring shenanigans!

    FYI- a few of the links don’t seem to be working: Walkway over the Hudson and Olana

  • I just don’t see how Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park aren’t included on this list? The Walkway is definitely Poughkeepsie, there are a bunch of great restaurant and shops as well.
    And Hyde Park? How about the Culinary Institute of America, FDR, Vanderbilt etc?

    Considering you have to pass through these to get to Rhinebeck I’d definitely put them in here!

  • This Hudson Valley area looks very nice! It makes me want to go on a hike as soon as I can. The weather has been nice lately, so after this storm I will try to get out and enjoy the sun.
    Jayden Eden

  • Is it possible to take the train from NYC to any of these locations and not have to have a car?

    • Janet

      Yes! There are train stops in almost all of these areas on the east side of the river :)

      Rhinebeck, Hudson and Beacon are especially walkable!


  • I am sad to report that both Another Fork in the Road and Me Oh My Pie are now closed :(

  • Perhaps it’s time for a big update…Pete Seeger died 17 January 2014. RIP