Next time you find yourself in New York City with a day or two to spare, head north to the Hudson River Valley. You can hop the train, rent a car, or even ride your bike. Whatever your mode of transportation, seek out the back roads, and there is a good chance you will discover something new—a farm stand, a winery, a trail, a memorable meal, or a romantic inn to spend the night.
Here is a sampling of the kinds of places you might stumble upon when you venture off the beaten path:
Although, not exactly hidden, this 80-acre center adjoining the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Westchester County remains in many ways a well kept secret. Pick up veggies for the week at the farmers market, attend a gardening lecture, send your kids to summer camp, and learn what it takes to operate a sustainable farm.
On a summer day, park at the base of the New Croton Dam and cool off in the mist from the falls. This is a great place to pick up the Old Croton Aqueduct trail for a jog or mountain bike ride.
Stop in for a handmade icy treat nestled among the antique shops on Cold Spring’s Main Street.
Warwick locals enjoy 50 flavors of homemade ice cream and valley views from this hilltop stand located between Warwick and Greenwood Lake.
More than a mile long, this new state historic park connects the city of Poughkeepsie with the town of Highland in Ulster County on the other side of the river. A converted railroad bridge, it is now the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Enjoy the best river views the region has to offer.
Stop in for dinner or drinks, or stay the night in a beautifully restored riverside mansion that was built in 1854.
Hike a riverside trail to a historic lighthouse. If you plan ahead, you can even stay overnight in a rustic and secluded bed-and-breakfast setting.
Skiers know Hunter Mountain for its slopes, but in summer, hidden in the treetops of this Catskill resort is a 4.6-mile zipline that holds distinction as the longest and highest course in North America.
For good old-fashioned family fun, get tickets to watch the antique planes put on a daring show in this outdoor aviation museum near the Village of Rhinebeck.
Browse the collection of local titles at this independent bookstore in the center of Pawling. When you’ve had your book fix, head over to the soda counter at McKinney and Doyle for a frozen treat.
Warm your hands around a cup of the daily brew after a stroll on the Millerton rail trail or between visits to the local antique shops.