Prior to 2021, I lived in NYC without a car, so I never explored the Hudson Valley. But now that I have one I can take day trips out of the city whenever I want! This means a lot more cider in my life (New York State is the second biggest apple producer in the country behind only Washington) and the epiphany that it take only about 30 minutes on the road for the buzz of the city to melt away.
After searching for the best of everything in the upstate towns small and a-little-less-small I’ve narrowed down some favorite things. This guide currently only includes places I feel I know well enough. So, for now at least, some popular destinations are missing. Each category goes from South (closest to the city) to North because that’s how I categorize them: Will this be a day trip? Or an overnight stay?
As I continue to explore upstate and discovering new recommendations I’ll keep adding to this guide.
Where to Stay in the Hudson Valley
There are many charming option throughout the Hudson Valley from B&Bs to hotels and even farm stays. These are the places I’ve stayed that I would recommend in some of the most popular towns throughout the valley.
Hudson House River Inn | Cold Spring
The name says it all, unlike many lodging options along the Hudson Valley this hotel is right on the river. Waking up and seeing the water from the porch of the downstairs restaurant really gives an “I’m on vacation” feeling.
Rooms here are a bit sparse but if you’re like me you won’t spend much time in them especially because of the bustling restaurant downstairs. Everything is clean but not exactly new, the place was built in the 1800s after all and there aren’t many amenities. However, the river views and easy access to the main street in Cold Spring are the attraction here!
Other Recommendations in Cold Spring: Pig Hill Inn
Inn at Twaalfskill | New Paltz
This charming three room B&B is in the riverside town of Highland. The hostess Nancy is welcoming and helpful and makes a handsome breakfast spread! There is always a savory option and a sweet option plus continental delights like fruit, yogurt, and pastries. In the winters you can cozy up next to the fire in the drawing room downstairs and in the summers you can use the flower covered back patio or sunroom, both great places to enjoy some of the always-on-offer coffee and the occasionally available homemade cookies. By the way, everything was so clean it was literally gleaming, I could see my reflection in the bathroom fixtures!
The inn backs up to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail that you can use to walk across the Hudson views for some really stunning views and a refreshment in Poughkeepsie before you head back.
144 Vineyard Ave, Highland, NY 12528 || Book here!
Kettleboro Inn | New Paltz
Perched on a hillside just four minutes from the center of New Paltz, the Kettleboro Inn has breathtaking views of the Mohonk preserve. While the entryway and sitting room are a little on the formal side, the kitchen is cozy and the large back porch is a great place to watch the sunset over some Mohonks. Breakfast is a spread of locally sourced goodies as well as some fruits grown right next door.
321 NY-208, New Paltz, NY 12561 || Book here!
The Wick | Hudson
In Hudson, which somehow boasts hotels even more expensive than the offerings in Manhattan, The Wick is an excellent choice. It’s built in an historic candle factory so it has more charm than the typical hotel from the Tribute collection at Marriott while still having the perks of being very clean, having a great gym, and free water, tea, and coffee 24/7. The hotel bar is open earlier and later than most other offerings in the small town and the drinks and food are both well made and well priced.
I also appreciated the huge parking lot (it isn’t easy to find street parking in Hudson!) and a shortcut up some stairs to Warren street so you’re quickly in the middle of it all!
41 Cross Street, Hudson, New York 12534 || Book here!
Other Recommendations for lodging in Hudson: Rivertown Lodge
Explore Hudson Valley Farm Breweries and Cideries
Fishkill Farms/Treasury Cidery | Fishkill(ish)
I adore a very dry cider, and it seems like the cider makers at Treasury Cider do too. The idea around cider is that it is sweet but the best ones are like a dry sparkling wine and Treasury’s ciders definitely show that.
Using apples and other fruits from the family farm Fishkill Farms, which the cider bar sits on, Treasury puts out creative ciders using honey, stone fruits, and other ingredients from around the farm. There is indoor and outdoor seating available and on a nice day the cider porch overlooking Fishkill farms is hard to beat (it is covered so no worries about sunburn either!). The cidery bar has cheese and charcuterie plates but there is other food available onsite as well.
Take cider to go and grab some fresh produce from the farmstand. The cider donuts from Fishkill are good enough to draw extensive lines in the fall, so don’t miss them either!
9 Fishkill Farm Rd #6551, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
The Duchess Biercafe | Fishkill
This is the only bar in this section, but for beer nerds I think the Duchess Biercafe is a destination in itself. There is an outstanding collection of Belgian beers, all served in the matching glassware of course, as well as Belgian-style craft beers from the U.S. like the Allagash coolship series. There is also the traditional Belgian style pub food of mussels and an eclectic mix of American bar fare like Bahni Mis next to a brussels sprout salad.
1097 Main St, Fishkill, NY 12524
Angry Orchard Walden | Walden
This 60 acre orchard in Walden might look quaint on approach with a red barn and gravel roads surrounded by endless rows of apple trees, but upon entering one of the buildings it’s quickly revealed that you are visiting a state-of-the-art facility. Modern touches like a temperature controlled barrel room and massive fermenters set Angry Orchard Walden apart from many other cideries in the area but there are also thoughtful touches like an ever rotating list of unique, sometimes experimental ciders (on my last visit there was a still Basque cider, a mango cider, and several single variety ciders all on one list!) and extensive list of freshly prepared restaurant quality food.
There are several tours and tastings available, if you’re new to cider the facility tour is an excellent introduction to the wide world of apple-based beverages that stray far from the fizzy back sweetened concoctions Angry Orchard is known for nationally.
In order to really get acquainted with this Upstate New York gem I suggest one of the smaller guided tastings in their separate tasting barn. A cider expert will lead you through your choice of three distinct ciders that may be made from a single type of apple, or collaborations with other farms, even a graduate school project. I loved having my own tasting tour guide to answer all of my off the wall questions I probably wouldn’t ask on a bigger tour.
I would say this one is worth going out of your way for, and make sure to have some extra trunk space to bring home a variety of ciders!
Arrowood Farms | New Paltz(ish)
Arrowood Farms is a true destination, an onsite kitchen churning out seasonal farm-to-table food, farm-brewed beers, a stage for musical performances, and even cocktails from their house-distilled spirit. You can certainly spend a whole afternoon at one of the outdoor picnic tables gazing at the hop fields and taking in the surrounds of the Mohonk Preserve. It’s a good thing too because there is a bit of travel time involved in a visit to Arrowood. It’s at least 30 minutes from just about anywhere!
I really love their bottled beers, especially the brett-fermented ones.
236 Lower Whitfield Rd, Accord, NY 12404 || More on Arrowood
Plan Bee | Poughkeepsie
I immediately fell in love with the ethos of this brewery located on a 20-ish acre farm outside Poughkeepsie. It feels quaint and tranquill, while also being driven by big ideas and a mission. The team at Plan Bee was able to grow and harvest all the ingredients for one of their beers while the others on the tap list are made from all things hyper local.
The blue grey barn taproom is stunning and emanates warmth while also providing views of the rolling farmland and a peak into the brewery itself. There are rotating food trucks and a stage for performances so make sure to check their website for events that might be happening when you visit.
115 Underhill Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 || More on Plan Bee
Twinstar Orchards/Brooklyn Cider House | New Paltz
Imagine eating pizza so fresh you can literally see the massive woodfired oven it was cooked in while sitting next to a pond surrounded by apple trees. Then taking a sip of perfectly balanced, unfiltered cider that tastes like sunshine, now stop imagining it and go to Brooklyn Cider House!
It’s hard to decide what is best at this place: the picturesque setting, the housemade barbecue, the woodfired pizzas, the creative hard ciders, or the slogan “ugly apples taste better.” Beyond all that great stuff the cidery also has a massive tasting barn serving flights and to-go bottles that aren’t only the varieties from Brooklyn Cider House but also ciders from around New York. And where there are ciders, there are often donuts. That’s no different here, grab one to-go on your way out!
155 N Ohioville Rd, New Paltz, New York 12561
Vosburgh Brewing Company | Elizaville
Vosburgh is just south of Hudson and a great place for a pit stop if you’re a little too early to check-in to a hotel or AirBnb…or just because you want to get out to the car and enjoy outdoor seating along a creek with views of a hop field.
Vosburg has a variety of beer made specifically for the farm brewery, some made by Gun Hill (the co-founder is a part of the brewery operations at Vosburgh), and cider that uses the apples grown on the Vosburgh orchard. There are some fresh-made snacks like pretzels and a great variety to fill a picnic basket with like locally made cheeses, meats, chips, and jams. I grabbed some horseradish farm cheese and was happy with my choice!
I was told more outdoor seating is on the way, but the picnic tables already in place are nice especially on a sunny day.
1065 County Route 19 – Barn, Elizaville, NY 12523
Other Breweries and Cideries Worth a Stop if You’re Nearby
In order by location working South (closest to NYC) to North
Peekskill Brewery 47 S Water St, Peekskill, NY 10566 | Website
Industrial Arts Brewing Company 511 Fishkill Ave, Beacon, NY 12508 | Website
Two Way Brewing Company 18 W Main St, Beacon, NY 12508 | Website
Hudson Ale Works 17 Milton Ave, Highland, NY 12528 | Website
Kettleboro Cidery 277 NY-208, New Paltz, NY 12561 | Website
Cool Hikes (or Walks!) in the Hudson Valley
Walk Across the Hudson River | New Paltz/Poughkeepsie
The rail trail leads from New Paltz across the Hudson to Poughkeepsie. It’s a perfect level leisurely walking or bike path that offers unmatched views over the Hudson without any car traffic to ruin the tranquility.
There are restaurants and bars on both sides of the walkway so you can stop for lunch before heading back. I like starting or ending the trek at Hudson Ale Works. (Who had an excellent Scotch ale on tap when I visited last!)
61 Parker Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
There are more than 75 miles of carriage trails throughout the preserve so hikers of all experience levels can find something here. There is a $15 fee that goes to support the conservancy and no glass is allowed in the preserve.
3197 Route 44 55, Gardiner, NY 12525
Art Omi | Near Hudson
If a hike is a little intimidating how about a walk through a 120 acre sculpture garden? I love Art Omi because it is a little less self serious than other sculpture gardens in upstate New York. You can bring your dog, bring a picnic, and bring your walking shoes. There are a few hills if you’re really trying to get a work out in but mostly there is just open space with art scattered throughout.
You do need to reserve your parking spot in advance which is done with a suggested donation, other than that visiting Art Omi is the easiest thing you’ll do in the Hudson Valley.
1405 Co Rte 22, Ghent, NY 12075
Other Things to Eat, Drink, and See in the Hudson Valley
Could this list go on for pages and pages? Yes. Most certainly. But here I tried to pick a favorite within each Hudson Valley town I’ve spent a little time in that isn’t exclusively for beer or hiking. Once again, from South to North we go!
Melzingah Tap House | Beacon
Beacon is still close enough to New York City that some spots feel like they are trying just a little bit too hard. Melzingah is not one of those places. It is instantly comfortable when you walk in and you just feel cozier as you peruse the menu of bar essentials with a few clever twists and the well-curated beer menu.
t’s hard to beat a locally brewed pint at the bar here followed by a burger and a classic import from Germany or Belgium. Anywhere I can finish dinner with a tulip glass of Weizenbock makes me a happy camper.
554 Main St Beacon, NY 12508
Also in Beacon
Miss Tea – For Curated Gifts and Loose Leaf Tea | 520-A Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
The Roundhouse – For Brunch you can get in Manhattan with Views you Can’t | 2 E Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
Fuschia Tiki Bar | New Paltz
Over-the-top sushi rolls and over-the-top tiki drinks…why don’t I see these two paired together more often?? At Fuchia some drinks come with flames while others are more subtle in design and flavor. The rum collection here holds serious merit but the space feels more casual, fun, and adventurous than other cocktail bars that claim the same caliber of spirits. The sushi rolls come stacked so high with sauces and toppings that they sit several inches above the table. Sushi here is more fun and whimsical than it is traditional, but that fits the vibe of the same.
Plan to linger here longer than you expected. If you can, make arrangements so you don’t have to drive. This will give you free range try the a couple of the bartenders’ creative libations.
215 Main St, New Paltz, NY 12561
Also in New Paltz
Huckleberry – For Pub Food and Patio Seating | 21 Church St, New Paltz, NY 12561
RUNA – For Flavorful French(ish) in a Charming Space | 10 Plattekill Ave, New Paltz, NY 12561
Lil’ Deb’s Oasis | Hudson
I don’t even know where to begin with Lil’ Deb’s, maybe the atmosphere is the best place to start. It feels a little like the inside of a high school locker decked out in Lisa Frank inspired décor with a tropical bent. Sitting at the bar there’s the distinct feeling that anything could happen during your meal, in the best way possible.
Sundaes come topped with chili crunch. Grilled leeks add earthiness to classic martinis. And somehow the salad is the one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. (A salad???! Yes. Really.) One thing you won’t miss at Lil’ Deb’s is seasoning. Everything from the food to the drinks to the personalities of the staff and customers is far from bland.
Truly a gem with the lines to prove it. My advice: Be one of the first people in the door at opening time to avoid a wait.
747 Columbia St, Hudson, NY 12534
Also in Hudson
Rivertown Lodge – For Brunch and Ambiance | 731 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534
Back Bar – For Eclectic Dive Vibes with Very Non-Dive Cocktails | 347 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534
Spotty Dog Books & Ale – For Beer and Books | 440 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534
For More Getaways in the Hudson Valley
I’ve only been exploring the Hudson Valley for a little over a year but Carly Fisher wrote a whole book on it! For more ideas and inspiration for your Hudson Valley adventure, check out her book.