The Catskills and Hudson Valley have long been the go-to summer destinations for New Yorkers seeking refuge from the heat. It is no surprise given the region’s natural beauty, rustic-meets-modern hospitality and plethora of locally-sourced fine dining options. Small towns rich with American history teem with contemporary creativity as many New Yorkers have relocated upstate to open thoughtful small businesses selling luxury goods.
For the adventurous, the jagged peaks of the Catskill mountains offer countless hiking and climbing possibilities. A more relaxing retreat awaits along the gentle waters of the Hudson river with its kayaking, fishing and The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail; a 22-mile-long, river-side bike path.
With the change of season, the lush rolling hills of the Catskills and Hudson Valley become a marvel of warm colors. The once overcrowded streets of summer quiet down, allowing visitors to leisurely explore the quaint towns and truly embrace a more laidback style of living.
It is that short window of time when evenings are still warm enough to stargaze but the crisp, fall breeze entices you to cozy up near the fire. There is no better time of year for a 72-hour getaway to the Catskills and Hudson Valley.
Arrive in Hudson and check into Rivertown Lodge, a 27-room hotel built in an old motel that previously served as a movie theater from 1928 to 1958. A minimalist, retro exterior leads guests into a bright lobby with sleek seating, rich mahogany bookcases and a wood-burning stove.
Shop along Warren Street; one of Upstate New York’s most popular streets for antiquing. Start off with a delectable pastry from Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions; a pristine little shop selling gourmet desserts, fresh produce and prepared foods. Of the many antique shops to choose from make sure to check out Finch Antiques and Red Chair Antiques; two distinctive collections inspired by the unique experiences of the owners. For handmade, small-batch perfumes and beauty products driven by the art of music, pop into 2 Note Hudson.
Savour Hudson Food Studio’s innovative Vietnamese menu made entirely with organic, locally-sourced, non-GMO ingredients. Warm up with their Big Bowl of Noodles; mushrooms and bok choy from the Hudson Valley, simmered in a comforting bone broth with tender pork shoulder, slow roasted for eight hours. Alternatively, for an authentic country-meets-contemporary experience, visit Grazin; a farm-to-table diner offering grass-fed and organic burgers meeting the highest animal welfare standards.
Drive west into the Catskill Mountains to hike a short trail up to Kaaterskill Falls; a two-stage waterfall nestled in the lush greenery of the highlands. Explore the surrounding trails and discover quiet, cliffside openings that overlook the mountains. Refresh and cool off with a quick swim in the plunge pool at the base of the waterfall.
Watch the sunset over the Hudson River from Olana State Historic Site, the 250-acre estate of the 19th century landscape painter Frederic Church. Admire distinctive art installations that overlook the colors of the Hudson Valley and wander along the property’s many peaceful trails.
Return to Rivertown Lodge to unwind with creatively-crafted cocktails and small plates in their warm, candle-lit restaurant.
Head south to check into Hotel Tivoli, a 10-room, century-old building in the quiet town of Tivoli. Admire the mid-century furniture, Murano chandeliers and contemporary artwork as you settle into your airy, chic guest room.
Make your way further south along the Hudson River to Kingston, a historic city that has seen a revival in recent years to become a hub for creatives and entrepreneurs in the Upstate region.
Explore the charming streets of The Rondout and take a stroll along the Kingston Waterfront. For lunch, sip on natural wines and savour sophisticated bites from vintage china at Brunette; a former barber shop that has been transformed into a marble-adorned wine bar. If still hungry, consider watching the bustle of the harbour from the patio at Ship to Shore while indulging in fresh ginger, lemongrass-glazed Mako shark over fresh greens from the Hudson Valley.
After lunch, wander up Broadway for shopping at Clove and Creek; a distinctive collection of home goods and gifts that support the local artist community. Don’t miss Hops Petunia next door; a cozy brick-and-mortar flower shop with handmade treasures and colorful bouquets. Stroll one block further to peruse the lavish antiques and custom furniture at Milne Inc..
Relish in views of the Hudson River as you drive across the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge to an authentic family-run winery in Germantown. Winning “Winery of the Year” at this year’s Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival, Tousey Winery crafts complex wines with locally-sourced grapes. Originating from England and Denmark, the married couple behind the winery blends their favorite flavors from Europe with those of the Hudson Valley to offer authentic wines.
Return to Hotel Tivoli for a relaxed evening. Experience The Corner, the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant featuring a custom-made, Italian marble bar and two polished dining rooms. A Mediterranean-inspired menu embraces fresh produce of the region with dishes such as Spanish branzino with grilled hen of the woods, corn and chicken tajine seasoned with green olive and ras el hanout.
Enjoy views of the Shawanguk mountains and the Hudson Valley from the Mohonk Mountain House; a Victorian castle located on the Mohonk Preserve. Reserve a day guest package ahead of time to enjoy the resort’s restaurant and spa for the afternoon.
Explore the eclectic shops and history of nearby New Paltz. Stroll down Hugenot Street; a National Historic Landmark District and one of the oldest streets in the country. Admire charming houses that date back to the 17th century as you continue down Hugenot Street to your dinner destination.
Continue to experience the town’s rich history at Garvan’s; a modern gastropub set in a Victorian home built in 1759. Take in the locally-sourced, American-Irish menu among the locust trees on one of the two patios in the lush backyard. Let Garvan, the restaurant owner who lives next door, make your experience truly memorable with a tour of the historic home.
Check in to Audrey’s Farmhouse for a reflective evening in this rustic-meets-chic 18th century farmhouse featuring vaulted ceilings, wide plank hardwood floors and cast-iron, claw foot bathtubs. Cozy up next to the fireplace or stargaze from the hot tub outside. Wake up to a homemade country breakfast with fresh herbs from the garden and take a dip in the natural swimming pond before returning to reality.
Where to Stay
Where: 731 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: Vintage meets modern in this former motel and movie theatre. The hotel owners collaborated with New York design studio, Workstead, to create custom-made beds and fixtures. The hotel features furniture, woodwork and art pieces from numerous local craftsman.
Where: 53 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583, USA
Why: New York painters, Brice and Helen Marden, have masterfully crafted a calm, bright space that fuses eclectic, colorful modern design elements with vintage touches.
Where: 2188 Bruynswick Rd, Wallkill, NY 12589, USA
Why: A blend of mid-century antiques and modern furniture showcased in a rustic farmhouse built in 1740. Owners Sally and Doug make it an authentic, country experience with locally-sourced, homemade breakfasts and an outdoor fire pit, hammock and hot tub.
Where to Eat & Drink
Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions
Where: 323 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: Gourmet food items made with high quality ingredients sold in an immaculate, minimalist shop.
Where: 717 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: This contemporary-meets-retro diner is the first completely Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the world.
Hudson Food Studio
Where: 610 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: Pays homage to Hudson Valley farms with a menu designed in collaboration with local farmers around what is available. Unique Vietnamese dishes are sourced with organic and non-GMO modified ingredients.
Ship to Shore
Where: 15 W Strand St, Kingston, NY 12401, USA
Why: Sourcing ingredients from local farmers in the Hudson Valley, Ship to Shore serves fresh, classic American bistro dishes with modern twists.
Brunette Wine Bar
Where: 33 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401, USA
Why: Upstate weekenders Tracy and Jamie Kennard have transformed a barber shop into a bright, sophisticated wine bar featuring a distinct menu of small bites and natural wines.
Where: 1774 New York Rt9, Germantown, NY 12526, United States
Why: An authentic, family-run winery blending European flavors with locally-sourced grapes of the Hudson Valley to create complex wines.
Where: 215 Huguenot St, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA
Why: This 18th century, historic home features a traditional Irish gastropub, two formal dining rooms and tranquil patios set in a serene backyard. Garvan, the Irish immigrant and former New Yorker who owns the property makes it an authentic dining experience as he takes time to show each guest around the house.
What to See & Do
Where: 555 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: Married co-owners Andrew Arrick and Michael Hofemann merge the Hudson tradition of hand-crafted goods with a 20-year design background in luxury fashion retail, working for Yves Saint Laurent, Celine and Vera Wang.
Where: 606 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: An antique shop that has been specializing in 17th, 18th and 19th century European antiques for 20 years. Owner Jocie Sinauer travels to Europe to hand pick products for her collection.
2 Note Hudson
Where: 255 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: A perfumery founded by Carolyn Mix and Darcy Doniger; two musicians blending the art of music with the craft of making scents. All fragrances are hand-made in small batches with premium ingredients.
Clove and Creek
Where: 73 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401, USA
Why: A distinctive collection of handmade products inspired by the natural beauty of the region that support the local artist community.
Where: 73 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401, USA
Why: A warm, intimate space adorned with a thoughtful flower bouquets and gifts.
Where: 81 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401, USA
Why: A design company and antique shop that blends modern designs with vintage and industrial furniture.
Where: Kaaterskill Falls Parking, NY-23A, Tannersville, NY 12485, USA
Why: This natural wonder is one of the country’s oldest tourist attractions and served as the wilderness ideal for early American landscape painters.
Where: 1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA
Why: Countless peaceful hiking trails in the Shawanguk Mountains and unbeatable views of the Hudson Valley.
Olana State Historic Site
Where: 5720 NY-9G, Hudson, NY 12534, USA
Why: A National Historic Landmark offering picturesque views and a rich artistic history of the region.
Hugenot Street Historic District
Where: Huguenot St, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA
Why: One of the oldest streets in the United States lined with charming, 17th century homes.