Let it be said that somewhat sleepy upstate towns are absolutely my favorite part about living along the Hudson (if only for the weekend, I am – after all- a city mouse).
North of New York City, Hudson NY has become an enclave for upstate hipsters and a destination of city-weary New Yorkers in search of splash of suburbia. Having seen my fair share of enticing pictures on the ‘gram, I decided to spend some hard earned vacation time via a trip to Hudson, and was rewarded by good food and amazing hiking and views from Olana National Park.
I am a consummate planner, and will research and write out my vacation plans down to the hour, so I figure I would share some hard-won intel on some excellent ways to spend a couple of days in Hudson New York.
First Stop, The Maker Hotel
Probably the first thing you should do when you step off of the Amtrak is scoot up the hill to the main street in the center of town and have a drink at The Maker Hotel. The lounge – a restored 19th-century carriage house – is Gatsby-esque in the best of ways. My drink recommendation is “The Song of the Smoke”. Inspired by the poem of the same name by W.E.B. Dubois, the “Smoke” featured mezcal, pineapple, lime, agave, and cardamom. Stay a little longer for lunch in their cafe, with more elevated bites than just sandwiches. They also have a juice bar and restaurant for dinner. Did I mention that they are also the most luxurious hotel in the area? While their standard nightly rates are a bit too rich for me, their rooms are absolutely dreamy.
The Maker Hotel
302 Warren Street
Visit Olana State Historic Site
The highlight of my visit, Olana State Historic Site is a historic house museum and property in Greenport, New York, just outside of Hudson. The estate was home to Frederic Edwin Church, who was one of the major figures in the Hudson River School of landscape painting (which is easily one of my favorite styles). The house on-site is currently closed for renovations, but the surrounding area – including gardens and trails – is open every day from 8AM to sunset. If you’re visiting during the week, you should know that finding a cab/Lyft/Uber back was near impossible – so come prepared by pre-booking a taxi from a local cab company.
Take a Cruise
Probably the most relaxing way to appreciate the Hudson Valley, book a Hudson Valley Sightseeing or Sunset Cruise with Hudson River Cruises. Best times of the year are September through October, as the leaves change color.
To book a cruise, check out Hudson River Cruise here.
There are so many places to shop for antiques in Hudson. As the town has become increasingly popular for their art and antiques, their offerings have gone somewhat upscale, and the clientele has followed suit – or so a local revealed to me. The antiques on main street – especially restored ones – are fetching a higher dollar value, as collectors and interior designers flock to find Hudson’s unique treasures. Don’t go to Hudson without perusing the antique warehouse. If you’re looking for something small enough to bring home in your weekender bag, stop by White Whale Limited. You can grab some pre-war memorabilia, old letters from England, post cards, LPs, music sheets, and all sorts of paraphernalia without breaking the bank.
White Whale Limited
410 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534
Get a Massage
Between hiking at Olana and shopping for antiques, you will be well due for a massage. Bodhi Holistic Spa, located in on Warren Street, doubles as both a shop (for your natural remedies, lotions, and potions), as well as a spa. The spa, located on the top floor, sees its fair share of guests – Guerlain at The Plaza it is not – however, if you’re looking for an excellent massage in a relaxing atmosphere, this is the spot. The team is warm, welcoming, and clearly care about the work they do.
Bodhi Holistic Spa
543 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534
Drop by Nine Cakes
Nine Cakes is my dream bakery. Owner and chef Betsy Thorleifson founded Nine Cakes in 2008, and since then has been the visionary and baker behind some of the East Coast’s most gorgeous wedding cakes. Her Hudson bakery is open only select days a week, where you can purchase warm muffins, cookies, party decor, and cake by the slice as her team crafts intimidating tiered masterpieces in the kitchen behind the counter. You can also pre-order her cakes for pickup at their Brooklyn Wedding boutique. My enduring wish is to have her open a retail bakery in Manhattan, where I can stop by whenever I am downtown for a sampling of her treats. A girl can dream. Until then, I encourage you to make an effort to stop by – you won’t regret it.
748 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534
Create a Custom Candle (& Wine Bar)
Admittedly, I have not been able to do this activity, but a close friend has and loved it so much that I knew I had to include it. Hudson New York is home to the Poured Candle Bar, a fragrance boutique where you can sit down with their scent sommeliers to create a unique candle that’s all your own. You can even pair the experience with their wine bar, sipping local pours as you sniff and pick from over 70 fragrance choices. Not in a creative mood? You can also pick from their signature home fragrances, including “Olana Overture”, “Prison Alley”, and “Warren Street”. The experience lasts less than an hour, but candles take up to two hours to cure – so be sure to book ahead and plan accordingly.
The Poured Candle Bar
711 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534
There are so many lovely places in Hudson to visit. Do you have a favorite? Let me know below!