Planning Your Time
To do the Hudson Valley justice would take at least two weeks, but you can also see a lot over a long weekend or on day trips from New York City. Easily accessible, the area sights are closely spaced; to drive from Manhattan to the northern reaches of the Valley takes less than three hours. If you’re pressed for time, it’s best to avoid crossing the Hudson River, as accessing the bridges can be time-consuming.
For a good one- or two-day trip from the Big Apple, stick to the lower Hudson Valley. Tarrytown, home to four major historic homes, including Sunnyside and Kykuit, is a great option. Another day trip could take in Beacon, where you’ll find the cutting-edge Dia:Beacon museum, and Cold Spring, an attractive village on the Hudson.
Outdoor lovers might want to take a day hike in Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks and stop in Nyack on the way back. West Point and Storm King Art Center make up another good one- or two-day outing.
A three- or four-day trip could take in one of the lower Hudson Valley sights, plus two days in Hyde Park, home to the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt estates, with an overnight in or near Rhinebeck. Or, spend those extra two days in Woodstock and New Paltz.
With six days, travel to two or three of the sites in the lower and mid-Hudson Valley before heading to the upper Hudson Valley. Here, visit the historic city of Hudson, home to a Persian-style castle (Olana) and the American Museum of Firefighting.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition