Today’s Hudson Valley City Guide Update comes to us from the original guide writer, designer and stylist . When she’s not styling still lifes and interiors, Raina is enjoying life outdoors with her family in the beautiful Hudson Valley area. Today she takes us on another tour of this picturesque New York haven, sharing the best in shopping, dining and lodging. Thank you, Raina, for such a wonderful update! — Stephanie
Read the full guide after the jump . . .
The above image features The Catskills (1859), painted by Asher Brown Durand, a member of the Hudson River School.
The Hudson Valley is an amazing area — so much to do and see and so many creative people. I grew up in the area Woodstock. My dad, photographer Sy Kattelson, quit taking pictures for a while and started an independent movie theater. It was located in an old church, and we lived in a loft-like space in the back. My nights were spent sitting in the theater watching Fellini, Bergman and Truffaut movies. There was a lot of great music around and many artists. After several years in NYC, I moved back to the other side of the river and live in Tivoli, a tiny little village that in many ways reminds me of the Woodstock of long ago.
I didn’t even realize how much there is to do in the Hudson Valley until I started to write this guide. I spent many days visiting the various towns to refresh my memory and to see what was new, but there is still more to discover. The quality of fresh local food and really fine restaurants here is incredible. There are wineries, cheese makers, grass-fed organic meats of all kinds, family-run farms and orchards. Because of its proximity to NYC and the Culinary Institute, the Hudson Valley has a variety of fine dining choices. You could visit any of these towns on their own or make a vacation going on a big loop from Beacon up to Hudson over to Woodstock and ending in New Paltz, stopping at all the other towns in between.
Beacon has a great arts community and a number of gift and antique stores along its Main Street. It is an old industrial town, like many here along the Hudson River. Artists started to move up here in the last 15 years, and some have opened shops and galleries. Pete Seeger lives in the area, and there are lots of fun festivals and music, many with Pete in attendance.
See and Do
— This is an amazing arts space along the Hudson River. It was built in a former Nabisco box printing factory and has over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space designed to hold Dia’s large-scale pieces. Works by Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Sol LeWitt, and many more important artists of the 60s and 70s.
– Art exhibits, art classes and concerts for adults and kids. 477 Main Street
— This happens at the end of June every year, and there is music non-stop all weekend, as well as lots of activities for young and old. Not to be missed!
Beacon has several interesting art galleries. Definitely check out Fovea Gallery, Beacon Artist’s Union and Van Brunt Gallery for interesting local art, all along Main Street.
— Charming but sophisticated handmade pottery, pillows and fabric.
— A great source for beautiful handmade glass.
– A great toy store for grown-ups and kids. All sorts of fun and quirky gifts.
— Cool housewares, toys, tees and stationery.
— A fun mix of women’s clothes and accessories alongside kids’ toys and baby clothes.
— Filled to the brim with antiques of all kinds.
— Great early American antiques.
— Craft beer and artisanal food sourced locally.
— Wine and tapas bar.
— Chocolate bar and café serving organic, fair trade and local treats. Workshops, events, and design school run by a local architect.
— Gourmet, all-natural fresh fruit popsicles. Do I need to say more?
— This converted factory building overlooking Beacon Falls is home to a 58-room boutique hotel designed by Rockwell Group, three restaurants and a coming-soon spa.
A Few Extras a Little Farther North
— The converted Poughkeepsie Highland railroad bridge has been converted to a state park and just opened this fall. It is an incredible walk over the Hudson River on the tallest pedestrian bridge in the world!
— Originally the home and garden of Walter and Marion Beck. The garden — really more of a landscape of natural stone, sculpted land forms, carefully placed water features and woods surrounding Tyrrell Lake — is designed with an eastern philosophy of creating distinct views or “cup gardens.”
— Check their schedule online, and if you are lucky enough to be here one of the weekends they are open, get up early and head over. You never know what treasure you will find.
See and Do
— A 10-mile paved nature trail following a defunct railroad bed. A great place to walk, bike or rollerblade.
— Good selection of independent and blockbuster movies that are reasonably priced and also art shows.
— Browse through a selection of many of the fine photography books they publish.
— Beautiful hand-blown glass. They also offer glass-blowing classes.
— Fifteen thousand square feet of antiques.
— Stop in and check out the selection of amazing, stylish and quirky antiques, vintage designer clothing and gifts. One of my fave antique stores.
— High-end affordable women’s clothing and shoes.
— Fabulous independent bookstore. This is the main store; the newer store is in Rhinebeck. Look for readings from both local and well-known authors.
— Stunning flowers and plants
— An old-fashioned local department store. You never know what you will find here.
After you have worked up an appetite walking the Rail Trail, stop in to for lunch and to sample their many delicious teas. You can also shop in the store full of tea-related objects and taste and purchase the entire line of Harney’s Tea.
— I haven’t eaten there yet, but I have heard it is delicious and can’t wait to try it.
— Good local coffee by the cup or beans to take home.
See and Do
Check out the schedule. The Dutchess County Fair is in August, and it’s a really wonderful county fair, with lots of animals on the 4-H hill as well as rides and crafts. The Sheep and Wool Festival is in October, and there are antique shows several times a year. This year Country Living Magazine is holding their in June for the first time.
Rhinebeck has some beautiful old homes, so be sure to take a walk along the back streets and dream about living in one of the great houses you will see.
— Previously part of the Astor estate, this old-growth forest is a great, easy place to take a nature walk.
— Queen Anne-style country house with a Calvert Vaux-designed landscape. Once home to the Suckley family, relatives of Franklin Roosevelt. If you saw the recent movie Hyde Park on Hudson, this was Daisy’s home in her later years. Tour the house and walking trails. Also look at the calendar for various events, such as special Christmas tours and high tea.
— Since 1972 they have shown the best independent films in the area. They frequently have Q&A sessions with the filmmakers — definitely worth catching if you can. If you are here during the Woodstock Film Festival in the fall, they also show films as part of that. 6415 Montgomery Street
— If I were offered one last dessert before I died, it would be from Calico! Leslie makes the most delicious pastries imaginable, and if you can’t decide which cake, have no fear — she makes little mini cakes of all her favorites. Leslie made our wedding cake, and the best part of planning the wedding was the weeks of trying all the various cakes. Okay, we dragged it out a bit! Delicious brunch, lunch and dinners in a charming atmosphere, as well.
— Go for an elegant, mouthwatering meal at the restaurant, or visit the bistro side for more casual but still yummy food in a converted church.
— Really good Italian food, and be sure to pick up the cook book.
— Stop in for a cone of Janes Ice cream. Made locally, it’s some of the best ice cream there is. Killer Chocolate is my fave!
— Coffee, tea, chocolate and old-fashioned candy.
— Well-chosen collection of women’s clothing and shoes.
— Allow some time here because Maureen and Serine have great taste, and there is always something to buy — from jewelry and pillows to cards. I never fail to leave there without something new and exciting that I did not know I needed!
— With two additional locations in Great Barrington, Mass., and Pine Plains, NY, they are a great resource for interesting country furniture and housewares along with jewelry and kids’ toys.
— Nice selection of kitchen supplies, Mud Australia, iitala and more. Cookbook events here, as well.
— Recently moved from High Falls, this is a great source of American and European mid-century furniture, art, lighting and home accessories.
— An old-fashioned local five and dime. Feels like a wonderful step back in time and a place to find all sorts of fun things a small but good selection of yarn and knitting patterns.
— Sophisticated women’s and kids’ clothing and accessories and a small but well-edited collection of shoes.
— “The Beek” has the distinction of being the oldest continually operating inn in America. Good place to stay in the area.
Rhinecliff is a tiny hamlet that’s a five-minute drive from Rhinebeck. A great place to sit and watch the boats go up the Hudson River. Drive to the Amtrak station and walk over the overpass to sit in a little park.
— A great restaurant with a veranda for those summer sunsets over the Hudson River. Better yet, stay the night in one of the newly refurbished hotel rooms.
— For another good dining choice in Rhinecliff, try China Rose across from the Rhinecliff Hotel.
See and Do
— A lovely place to take a walk along the mowed paths of this 120 acres of fields and forest. Outstanding views of the Catskills. About halfway, stop in the twig gazebo to just take it all in.
Bard College — Walk along the campus and observe the historic architecture, as well as buildings by some of the most well-known names in architecture today. Stop into the Hessel Art Museum. Walk down to Blithewood Mansion and enjoy the outstanding garden overlooking the Hudson. Stay and see some of the best theater, music and dance at the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center. If you are here in the summer, be sure to check out what’s going on during . For interesting, offbeat fare, go to the Spiegeltent for avant-garde cabaret and dancing late into the evening. While there, see the “Parliament of Realty,” the beautifully designed outdoor installation by Olafur Eliasson.
— The perfect comfort food – pie, more pie and yet more pie – the delicious pot pie’s keep bringing me back here along with coconut cream, pecan, chocolate mousse, strawberry-rhubarb—pie’s the star, not to be missed.
— Stop here spring through Thanksgiving for locally grown produce and locally made fresh pasta, and if you are here in the spring and summer when is open, look for the cute little trailer in front of Hardeman’s farm stand (Bubby and her family spend the winter in Mexico). Be sure to get a fab vegetarian burrito.
— Sandwiches and soups, but save room for the yummy desserts that Dan Budd makes. Hmmm . . . should it be a truffle bud, one of the many mini pastries, or one of Amber’s too pretty (but yummy) to eat cookies?
— Classic stainless steel diner
— I don’t think I can begin to describe how wonderful I (and everyone else here) think Francesco’s cooking is. Be sure to get a reservation so you don’t miss this! Mmmm . . . chicken liver bruschetta (I know you don’t like liver, but try these!), risotto and seared lamb with broccoli rabe are some of my favorites. Reservations recommended.
— A bit of a drive past Rock City, but for great breakfast and lunch it’s well worth it. Plus you get to see the giant fork in the road. Seriously — not to be missed. 1215 Route 199, Milan
— Really good BBQ in a fun setting.
— You have seen her husband Arno’s colored chalkboard paint on Design*Droits-Humains; now you can pick your favorite color in person while also browsing Jill’s great collection of antique finds and cool independent designers. Some local jewelry and clothing.
Red Hook has several antique stores. My favorite is . Sandra has a way of looking at the ordinary, everyday objects around us and making you see them in a whole new way.
— An old barn filled to the brim with treasures.
See and Do
— A nature preserve with several different ecosystems, including meadows, forests, tidal marshes and excellent views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. A great easy hike, and also a place to put in your kayak or canoe. Also check out the Tivoli Bays visitor center in the historic Watts De Peyster Fireman’s Hall in Tivoli
in October is really cool. The main street is closed off for the day, and all ages and talents come to draw on the street.
Yard Sale Day in July is another fun town-wide event. Lots of people set out their goodies for sale. Arrive early and grab a map — you never know what you will find.
— Dance rehearsal space for some of the top troupes dancing today. Features three studios, including a 160-seat theater with a stage the size of the Metropolitan Opera stage. Check the schedule, as you can often see performances before they debut. There are also dance classes.
— Rotating shows of local artists
— The Livingston House and gardens. Guided tours of the lovely house and also a great place to picnic and stroll with views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. Various festivals from spring to fall — plant sale; colonial, sheep and wool festival; sledding parties; kids’ activities; bird walks and much more.
— Good used bookstore run by a retired Bard professor. An extensive selection of radicalia.
— Good selection of interesting yarn and patterns.
— Buy some fabulous beads to take home or spend some time making jewelry with the lovely women who work here. Also watch for really creative beading and felting classes.
— Absolutely the best croissants outside of France! Not to mention great bread and pastries. Plus the place to meet everyone in Tivoli. Get here early before things sell out.
— Really good sushi. My daughter’s favorite.
— Yummy breakfast, lunch and dinner in a nice setting, with outdoor-garden eating in the warm months.
— Tapas and wine bar with a great selection of cocktails.
— A new shop with an old fashioned feel. A bit of everything, including hip stationery and homegoods, FACE Cosmetics, toys, hardware and more.
— A gourmet grocery store with yummy baked goods, sandwiches and prepared meals.
— Recently remodeled with six simple but charming rooms.
Antiques, galleries, boutiques and great restaurants all set among hundreds of beautifully restored homes, many of which are listed on the historic register.
Hudson is considered to have some of the most historic homes in NY state. A great place to wander. Be sure to take some detours off of Warren Street to see it all. In the fall, the town has an Arts Walk with artists displaying their work in the various stores.
See and Do
— Painter Frederic Church’s Persian-style house and studio with a picturesque landscape, outstanding views and hikes.
— Great place for little ones, as well as grown-up fireman buffs.
is a great time to visit Hudson. There’s lots of art and holiday and kid activities as well as a parade — all culminating in fireworks. Stores stay open late, and the street is closed to traffic, with a trolley running from one end of town to the other.
Too many antique stores to mention, but a few of my favorites are: (Scott Neven has a really well-curated collection of mid-century modern), (a collection of interesting dealers), (just plain cool antiques) and Carousel (affordable selection of dealers).
— French and Belgian antiques
— Independent bookstore and café with art supplies.
— Used books, including lots of art books.
— Two locations, one for paintings and the other for photography. Consistently some of the best work around.
— Jewelry and handbags
— A shop dedicated to emerging designers from NYC and the local area. Furniture, lighting, art and jewelry.
— Two floors of elegant jewelry, furniture and housewares.
— Furniture design star’s local shop. Normally his work is only available to the trade at Pucci International. Also features Gabriella Kiss’ stunning jewelry, as well as jewelry and decorative objects by Ted Muehling.
— Exquisite selection of jewelry
— You have probably seen her jewelry in the pages of Domino, Marie Claire and Lucky.
— Local and European men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing.
— Swedish-influenced pottery, decorative accessories, botanical prints and books.
— Local, sustainable and fresh sophisticated food, beautifully presented in a great flower-filled space. Good bar, as well.
— French café with a hip French atmosphere featuring a smattering of antiques in the back and great crepes
— Hands down our favorite pizza. Super thin crust baked in a brick oven and topped with many gourmet goodies including figs, apricots, fennel and huge delicious salads to round out the meal.
— A northern outpost of the lower east side Mexican restaurant
— Good northern Italian food
— Good reasonable bistro food
— Coffee and tea with art
— Historic 1903 Dutch/Jacobean home converted into a beautiful antique-filled inn.
— Greek Revival-style inn. Simple, elegant rooms.
See and Do
In July be sure to visit , a tradition that goes back as far as I can remember. It supports a great cause!
— Five days of independent film, including narratives, documentaries and shorts. Late Sept./early October. Panel discussions with filmmakers and concerts. A jam-packed five days. Films shown in Woodstock and Rhinebeck. Get tickets early because they sell out!
— Sadly Levon (from The Band) lost a long battle to cancer last year. Despite that, the concerts live on at his recording studio in a beautiful barn. Levon’s daughter, Amy Helm (an amazing singer in her own right), along with many well-known musicians can be found playing there. There are many surprise guests, as well. Check the website to see when they are playing and book early, as they sell out. A rare chance to be in a really intimate environment with some of the most talented musicians.
Santa on the Green — Santa has been arriving on Xmas Eve in Woodstock for over 70 years. It is a huge Woodstock event. Each year he comes up with some incredible way to arrive. One year he walked a tightrope across the town; one year he came by elephant. You never know what you will see. After he arrives, kids line up to get a stocking — if you can take the cold and crowds.
— Classical concerts with top-notch talent in a beautiful setting. (July and August)
— Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from May through November. Antiques, crafts and food. Maple Lane
— North American home of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa. Located on the top of Overlook Mountain on a beautiful 24-acre site.
— A good place to learn about the history of Woodstock.
— Music and plays in summer
. — Shakespeare Festival in summer, as well as original works.
— One of the most incredible pieces of earthwork sculpture. Sculptor Harvey Fite created out of an old bluestone quarry his masterpiece. Spreading over six acres and using only his hands and traditional quarryman’s tools, he worked for 37 years, ultimately dying while working on it, creating a landscape of swirling terraces and rising ramps around trees, pools and fountains. Today it is open as a museum and for occasional concerts, as well as for weddings and events. Not to be missed!
— Permanent and rotating shows, as well as a children’s space.
— Photography shows and workshops with some of the finest photographers. 59 Tinker Street
— Music, poetry and art
— My dad founded this movie theater, which shows great independent cinema in an old church. Also home to a lot of the Woodstock Film Festival.
— A variety of concerts in a converted barn.
— One of the oldest artist colonies in the country. Started by Ralph Whitehead, who in 1902, had a utopian vision of an artist-craftsman community. They host an artist-in-residency program and have many theater performances in the historic barn. There are walking as well as self-guided tours.
hosts art shows as well as music.
— A huge selection of candles. Be sure to check out the eight feet tall (and growing!) drip candle in the back. It’s been there since I was a kid.
— A great independent adult and kids’ bookstore with lots of author events.
— A tiny but beautiful lingerie store.
— Great, fresh breakfast and lunch. Also try to catch their family-style dinners once a month. 17 Tinker Street
— Vegetarian, organic cuisine
— Good breakfast and lunch as well as bread and treats.
— Gourmet dining by a lovely stream.
— Run by the same people who own Oriole9, this Asian-inspired noodle bar is delicious! They recently opened an outpost in uptown Kingston. 275 Fair Street
— Originally home of Woodstock artist Jo Cantine. Lovely setting and a heated outdoor pool.
Do and See
— Historic lighthouse on the Hudson. A nice walk and a beautiful spot. Also two rooms you can stay in overnight. We had our wedding here.
— Really good used bookstore, with lots of good art and design books.
— Women’s clothes, shoes and accessories. They recently added a small but interesting selection of housewares.
— Full of funky, fun new and vintage tchotchkes
— Vintage ’50s through ’70s modern furniture and home accessories and new modern furniture, as well as Hudson Furniture’s line. 92 Partition Street
— Multi-dealer shop. One of the dealers specializes in vintage clothes and has a great selection.
— Multi-dealer antique center in old Newberry’s five and dime.
— Good antique store. Vintage lights are their specialty.
Eat and Stay
— To-die-for chocolates
— Yummy pickles
— Seasonal menu, serving lunch and dinner
— Argentine café serving breakfast and lunch
— All-natural biscotti, granola and cookies are their specialty.
— All rooms overlook the falls.
Kingston’s uptown section has a long history. It was the first capitol of NY state, and in addition to the , has plenty of stunning stone buildings dating back to the 1700s. It is worth visiting for them alone.
Sadly it has been a victim of the malls and big box stores moving in across town, and the uptown area has suffered. It has undergone various resurgences but has never quite come back to the thriving area it once was. That said, there are several notable places to visit, and things seem to be on the upswing again.
— Antiques and cafe with a great mix of food and vintage.
— Tapas bar
— Breakfast all day, with lunch, dinner and a bakery
See and Do
The Falls! And a charming little historic town.
— Jenny travels to India, Morocco and Turkey to find furniture and gifts that are sustainable and fair trade. 1412 State Route 213
— Mitchell Gold furniture and accessories
Linger Apothecary — Soaps, lotions and bath accessories
— Country and industrial antiques for the home as well as new gifts, pillows and books. 113 Main Street
— Gifts, jewelry and flowers
— A four-star restaurant in a beautifully restored stone tavern. Brunch and dinner. Also an inn. I would recommend reservations. Note that this restaurant is mostly closed with the occasional weekend opening, so call ahead. They also have a sushi restaurant, as well as , which serves wood-fired brick oven pizza.
— A casual, reasonably priced café. 845-687-7298
— Casual, funky café with a southwestern flair. Also for breakfast and lunch, The New York Store or .
See and Do
A small, funky town home to many old, abandoned mines. On Halloween, there’s a party in .
— Two days in July of really good local music
– Do I need to say more? Held in November.
— Held in February to help support the Women’s Studio Workshop. Buy a handmade bowl, fill with your choice of chili and listen to music — not a bad way to spend the day.
— Exhibits and art classes. Check out the Summer Arts Institute schedule with classes from two to five days long in a variety of mediums including printmaking, ceramics and photography.
— Puppetry, dance and music. 413 Main Street
— Quirky, funky vintage store
— Essell bakes yummy treats, and many are wheat-free, dairy-free, vegan or gluten-free. He also serves breakfast and lunch.
— Very good dinner and Sunday brunch. 419 Main Street
— Newly renovated with charming rooms overlooking the Rondout Creek.
See and Do
New Paltz is home to , the oldest continually inhabited street in America. It has a wonderful collection of Dutch Vernacular architecture. Many of the houses date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Open to the public with tours running April through December.
Rock climbing in “the Gunks” is a huge deal here. You can get a guide and rent equipment at . You can also do an indoor climb, great for first timers and kids, at the .
— My son jumped this fall and said it was one of the best experiences of his life.
— Located along the Shawangunk Ridge with 85 acres of hiking trails, beautiful gardens, an 18,000-square-foot skating pavilion, a spa, rock climbing, golf, horseback riding and a beautiful old inn and restaurant. You can spend the day or the weekend here.
is located on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Very good photography and art exhibits. 1 Hawk Drive
— Breakfast, lunch and, of course, baked goods. 13a North Front Street
— Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and afternoon tea. I haven’t gotten here yet, but a friend raves about it. 10 Plattekill Avenue
— Small but fresh and delicious
— Zagat-rated Rustic Italian cuisine.
— Antiques, dining, gifts, galleries and more
Rhino Records — Great alternative music store
— Outfit yourself here for a day of mountain climbing.
— Good independent bookstore
— Interesting used bookstore
— Unusual plants, garden supplies and gifts for the home
— Extensive art supplies, craft supplies and art paper
If you are heading back to NYC along the NYS Thruway, be sure to visit , an outdoor sculpture museum. Five hundred acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woods with sculpture by some of the best, including Alexander Calder, Maya Lin, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, Isamu Noguchi and more. Open April–October.
There are many historic homes that are open to visitors. Worth visiting are (home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt), The Vanderbilt Mansion, (the Persian-inspired home of the painter Frederic Church) and (has a fabulous sledding hill sloping down to the Hudson River).
The Hudson Valley is such a rich area filled with so much to do and yet so close to New York City that it attracts a diverse group of people, including many well-known artists, musicians and writers such as . . .
David Bowie, Donald Fagen, Kate Pierson of the B52’s, famed graphic designer Milton Glaser, photographer Annie Leibovitz, highwire walker Philippe Petit, author Gail Godwin, children’s book author James Gurney, New Yorker cartoonist Danny Shanahan, Kristy Hume and Donovan Leitch, as well as many actors including Robert De Niro, Aidan Quinn, Melisso Leo, Vera Farmiga, Steve Buscemi and Uma Thurman