Looking for an in-depth Hudson Valley travel guide?
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New Yorkers looking for some fresh country air have been escaping to the Hudson Valley for decades, and for good reason.
The Hudson River Valley area, just north of New York City, offers incredible mountain and river views — which inspired the mid-19th century Hudson River School of landscape painting, made famous by artists like Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church.
Some of the most notable names of the 19th and early 20th centuries built opulent homes along the Hudson River, including the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers. You can even visit some of these homes — like the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historic Site — as you travel through the area.
Even if extravagant homes aren’t you’re thing, you’ll find plenty to do in the Hudson Valley.
The area’s proximity to New York City makes Hudson Valley day trips and weekend getaways particularly popular. With just a short road trip or train ride, you can hike some of the area’s top trails like those found at Hudson Highlands State Park (like the Breakneck Ridge Trail and Bull Hill Full Loop) and Bear Mountain State Park.
History buffs can visit the historic military college at West Point or the quirkier Motorcyclepedida Museum in Newburgh.
There are also plenty of romantic things to do in the Hudson Valley if you’re looking to plan a getaway with your sweetie. Explore the giant outdoor sculptures at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor or just relax at one of the area’s top hotels like the Mohonk Mountain House, complete with a world-class spa and sumptuous restaurants.
The spotlight has been on the Hudson Valley for centuries and it’s high time you discovered its magic!
Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to the Hudson Valley in New York State.
Note: This ultimate Hudson Valley guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
- Hudson River Valley Map
- Hudson Valley Travel Guide
- Upstate New York Guides
- New York State Road Trips
- Best Hudson Valley Tours
- Renting A Car In The Hudson Valley
- Hotels In The Hudson Valley
- New York State Travel Insurance
- Hudson Valley Travel Guide FAQ
- Q: Where is the Hudson Valley in New York?
- Q: Where should I go on vacation in the Huson Valley?
- Q: What are some fun things to do in the Hudson Valley?
- Q: What are some free things to do in the Hudson Valley?
- Q: Are there flights from New York City to the Hudson Valley?
- Q: Can you take a train to the Hudson Valley?
- Q: Is the Hudson Valley safe?
- Q: How long can a tourist stay in New York?
- Q: Do I need a travel visa for New York?
- Q: Are credit cards accepted in the Hudson Valley?
- Q: Can you drink the tap water in the Hudson Valley?
- Q: What is the local currency in New York State?
- What would you add to this Hudson Valley travel guide?
Hudson River Valley Map
Use this Hudson Valley tourism map to begin planning your trip to this incredible destination!
Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.
Hudson Valley Travel Guide
If you’re planning a trip to New York’s Hudson Valley, don’t miss:
Upstate New York Guides
New York State Road Trips
Planning a New York State road trip? These guides can help:
Best Hudson Valley Tours
Explore local culture with a New York State tour guide through these unique excursions:
- Hudson Valley Fall Foliage Wine and Local Cheese Tour (Beacon, New York)
- Hudson Valley Fall Foliage Helicopter Tour (Westchester, New York)
Renting A Car In The Hudson Valley
Need a rental car for your Hudson Valley trip?
Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.
Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!
Hotels In The Hudson Valley
Prefer self-contained stays?
You can also use this map to search for local stays and experiences. Both the rental link and map are set to Beacon, but you can easily change the location to your specific destination:
New York State Travel Insurance
When visiting the Hudson Valley in New York — or anywhere else in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.
In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Hudson Valley travel itinerary.
Hudson Valley Travel Guide FAQ
Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling in the Hudson Valley.
Q: Where is the Hudson Valley in New York?
The Hudson Valley region is comprised of the area surrounding the valley of the Hudson River, stretching from the Capital District to Westchester County, directly north of New York City.
The area takes up much of the southeast corner of New York State and includes cities like Albany, Troy, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and Cold Spring.
Q: Where should I go on vacation in the Huson Valley?
There are tons of great towns in the Hudson Valley that make for great getaway locations, but a few stand out among crowd.
New Paltz, located in Ulster County, has been a favorite of visitors to the Hudson Valley for years for its incredible nature, quaint shops, and historic resorts.
The Mohonk Mountain House, a National Historic Landmark, offers guests tons of opportunities to relax and enjoy the incredible mountain views in style. Any stay at the resort includes three meals per day and unlimited activities such as fishing, golf, archery, and yoga that will leave you feeling well-rested and invigorated.
Right near the resort is the Mohonk Reserve, an incredible park with 70 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking, environmental education opportunities, and more. And of course the views of the nearby mountains will take your breath away.
For the perfect spooky getaway, head to Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, home of the legendary headless horseman. The village is naturally at its peak during the Halloween season, when visitors come from miles away to experience the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, a festival featuring thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins on display, and visit sites from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow such as The Dutch Reform Church and the Headless Horseman Bridge.
Sleepy Hollow has much to offer throughout the rest of the year, though. Here you can visit historic houses such as Kykuit, one of the Rockefellers’ massive estates, and Sunnyside Estate, the former home of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving.
History fans will also want to visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetary, the final resting place of famous figures like Elizabeth Arden, Samuel Gompers, and Andrew Carnegie.
You’ll also find tons of great places to eat in Sleepy Hollow, many partnering with local farmers to offer a farm-to-table experience.
Art lovers will want to take a trip up to Beacon, a riverside town in Dutchess County featuring some of the best modern art outside of New York City.
Beacon is home to Dia:Beacon, a massive contemporary art gallery with giant immersive art pieces that will capture your imagination.
Beyond Dia:Beacon, you’ll find tons of other galleries in town featuring everything from glassblowing to photography to paintings.
Becon is also home to Bannerman Castle, the ruins of an early 20th-century Scottish-style castle that’s now the perfect place to hike and explore.
Soak up some fresh air in the local parks, do a bit of antiquing, and check out one of the local farmer’s markets for delicious, fresh ingredients.Banner
Q: What are some fun things to do in the Hudson Valley?
One of the most fun things to do in the Hudson Valley is to check out its exciting arts scene. The area is home to numerous world-class museums and galleries showcasing work from artists from around the world.
You’ll also find tons of opportunities to enjoy the performing arts around the Hudson Valley. Theatre lovers will want to visit Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater, which hosts New York Stage and Film’s Summer Season every year.
This festival of new works has helped launch many famous plays and musicals such as Hamilton, Doubt, and Hadestown and their workshops and readings are not to be missed.
You can also catch daring new productions of Shakespeare’s classics every summer at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, NY. Bring a picnic and enjoy both new and classic works in an incredible outdoor setting.
A visit to a local farm is a favorite activity of many travelers to the Hudson Valley. There are tons of great farms throughout the region specializing in everything from apples to Christmas trees to livestock.
Many of these farms have farmstands open year-round where you can shop for fresh produce and local ingredients to spice up your home cooking.
Other farms have pick-your-own produce experiences and tours to give you a taste of life on the farm.
Whenever you choose to visit the Hudson Valley, there’s likely a farm experience available for you. Pick apples and pumpkins in the fall, browse rows of fresh Christmas trees in December, tour maple syrup farms in the winter, and bring home bushels of berries throughout the spring and summer.
The Hudson River
With so many great things to do in the Hudson Valley, the Hudson River itself often gets ignored; however, you’ll find that the river is the best way to take in the beauty of this region.
Many towns along the river offer sightseeing cruises on classic steamboats, sailboats, and more. The average day cruise lasts about two hours and sails past historic lighthouses, Victorian mansions, and impressive bridges.
You can also hop on a sunset cruise for romantic views of the river and surrounding hills.
Some river cruises even offer live music on board or cruises during special events like Halloween and during the West Point Fireworks Display on the Fourth of July!
Q: What are some free things to do in the Hudson Valley?
One of the best free things to do in the Hudson Valley is to get outside and explore the area’s natural wonders. The Hudson Valley is home to some of the best hiking trails in Upstate New York, which are all totally free to explore (although you may need to pay for parking at the trailhead).
The area’s trails also vary in levels of difficulty, so there’s something for everyone from pro climbers to those just starting out.
Beginners will want to check out some of the easier trails at the Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining while more experienced hikers can take on trails like Anthony’s Nose in Garrison and Bull Hill in Cold Spring.
Either way, you’ll get a chance to take in the sights of the Hudson Valley and get a nice dose of fresh mountain air.
Many of the Hudson Valley’s famed art museums and galleries are also free to explore. The Rockland Center for the Arts in West Nyack features an excellent collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography, and more from local artists.
Once you’ve finished with the gallery, take a walk through the Catherine Konner Sculpture Park, home to a vast collection of unique, large-scale sculptures from a variety of artists.
In Cold Spring, you can visit Magazzino Italian Art, a large gallery that brings the best of contemporary Italian art to the Hudson Valley.
And in Pelham, the Pelham Art Center hosts rotating exhibitions showcasing the work of up-and-coming artists from across the country.
Q: Are there flights from New York City to the Hudson Valley?
The Hudson Valley is easily accessible from New York City by train and bus, but there are only a few flights from the city to the area.
You’ll find a few non-stop flights from LaGuardia or Newark International Airport to Albany International Airport most weekdays. The flight is just a little over an hour and the airport is just a few miles from the city center. Note, though, that there are many Hudson Valley villages, towns, and cities that are much closer to NYC than Albany.
Q: Can you take a train to the Hudson Valley?
Since flights are so rare, you’ll likely have more luck finding a train ticket to your destination. The Hudson Line on Metro-North, the MTA’s regional rail service for points north of New York City, hits many of the major towns and cities along the Hudson River and terminates at Poughkeepsie.
For points north of Poughkeepsie, you’ll want to hop on Amtrak’s Empire Service.
Q: Is the Hudson Valley safe?
The Hudson Valley is considered a very safe place to visit. In fact, many of the area’s towns have been voted some of the safest in the state of New York. As with any travel destination, though, you’ll want to be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for petty theft, especially in more crowded areas.
If you’re driving, be sure to lock your car whether you’re parking in town or near a trailhead.
Q: How long can a tourist stay in New York?
Most visitors from abroad who are allowed to enter the United States — the country New York State is located in — can stay for up to six months. Entry requirements and allowances vary depending on where you are from, so definitely check the US government website.
Q: Do I need a travel visa for New York?
Visa requirements vary depending on where you are from. You can visit the US government website to see if you need a visa and what type.
Q: Are credit cards accepted in the Hudson Valley?
Credit cards — particularly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted in the Hudson Valley, though it is always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and in case of emergency.
Q: Can you drink the tap water in the Hudson Valley?
While tap water is safe to drink in most places, it’s smart to check with the hotel in your specific destination to be safe.
Q: What is the local currency in New York State?
The local currency in New York is the US Dollar (USD).
What would you add to this Hudson Valley travel guide?
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