Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

Visit Hudson

  |   November 1, 2017  |  Comment

This Amtrak-accessible, compact, little gem of a city is as edgy, chic, and cool as they come. Once upon a time, it was a whaling port; once upon a later time, it was a hotbed of sin and drama focused on the brothels and gambling dens of Diamond Street. Diamond Street’s been renamed Columbia Street; the brothels long gone, but Hudson remains a sexy, multifaceted sparkler.

Hundreds of historic buildings laid out in a classic grid make an ideal setting for highly creative cuisine and commerce. In some cases, history is destiny: Hudson Hall, the 21st-century name of the 1855 Hudson Opera House, now hosts performances, exhibitions and workshops of all sorts in its grand second-floor performance hall. In others, history’s been delightfully twisted: Basilica Hudson and Helsinki Hudson are both former industrial spaces converted into cutting-edge venues. Another, Time and Space Limited, thrives in a former bakery.

Antiquing put Hudson on the destination map, and there are nearly fifty flourishing dealers. Over 30 wildly various galleries show contemporary art. And if you’d like to understand the genesis of the Hudson River school of painting, there’s no better place than Frederic Church’s Olana, a sumptuous villa and landscape that blends the Victorian eye of Calvert Vaux with Middle Eastern design elements.

Some people journey upriver from Manhattan to do their clothes shopping in Hudson, which is understandable when you consider the selection of boutiques. There’s fine vintage and cutting-edge contemporary, shops specializing in hand-done hats and leather creations. Luxe, eclectic international clothier Kasuri, original designs handmade at Marine Penvern Atelier, classics from De Marchin that manage to be subtle and showstopping in the same breath—Hudson is the place to go for a whole new look, complete with the spas and salons to lay on the finishing touches. Top it all off with a hostelry with a fine locavore kitchen and craft cocktails, such as Wm. Farmer & Sons Boarding and Barroom.

The cuisine has kept pace. Wine Enthusiast just named Zak Pelaccio’s Fish & Game to its top 100 wine restaurants for the third year running. One of the partners responsible for the exquisite Northern Italian menu at Ca’Mea is a noted restaurateur from Northern Italy. A New York Times food writer said that Swoon Kitchenbar “marries the best of city-based training with the advantages of Hudson Valley ingredients.” Yeah, it’s that kind of a town.

Pictured above: Rivertown Lodge

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