Tiny towns both east and west of the mighty Hudson River are the escape for N.Y.C. babes (and anyone looking for a peaceful trip east). And if you’ve never been upstate, you’re missing the best of New York’s natural good looks. About a two-hour drive (or Amtrak ride) from Manhattan, Hudson Valley helps visitors shake off their stress and stunt on the ’gram with riverside sunset stories and Catskill mountain panoramas. But don’t worry about posing like another city hipster, this guide — organized by East and West for ease of planning — has all the local tips for a perfect trip.
EAST: No visit to Dutchess County should exclude Dia:Beacon (3 Beekman St., Beacon), one of the largest art exhibition spaces in the country. In Columbia County, do not miss Olana (5720 State Route 9G, Hudson), Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church’s vibrant Victorian mansion set on an expansive estate for 360-degree views of the Hudson and surrounding mountains.
WEST: Spend the entire afternoon at Storm King Art Center (1 Museum Rd., New Windsor), featuring mammoth works by contemporary artists like Maya Lin and Alice Aycock on 500 acres. For a break from high art, head south to gearhead heaven: babes who ride will dig Newburgh’s Motorcyclepedia Museum (250 Lake St.).
EAST: Tivoli locals love the cash-only Traghaven Whiskey Pub & Co (66 Broadway, Tivoli) with its dizzying whiskey list. Hudson’s cozy Spotty Dog Books and Ale (440 Warren St., Hudson) is a bookstore pouring beer and wine all day, or grab a coffee or a cocktail at the Scandinavian-inspired shop/café/bar ÖR Gallery and Tavern (35 S. 3rd St., Hudson). After dark, the Hudson dive of choice is the grungy Half Moon (48 S. Front St., Hudson), which has live music and DJs rocking sweaty Saturday night dance parties.
WEST: In Kingston, start your bar crawl at The Anchor (744 Broadway, Kingston), one of many spots in town with nightly live music. Craft brew buffs should trek to Athens for Crossroads Brewing Company (21 Second St., Athens); don’t pass on the homemade pretzels. Tip: There’s no Uber or Lyft upstate, so pick a DD or arrange a taxi in advance.
EAST: In Hudson, stroll Warren Street to get your shop on, saving your energy for Kasuri (1 Warren St., Hudson), Layla Kalin’s Japanese-inspired, haute-couture boutique. Carrying exclusive, sickening pieces by Comme des Garçons and Issey Miyake, even their sale rack is life changing. If music moves you, visit Darkside Records (611 Dutchess Turnpike, Arlington) to satisfy your appetite for a rare-pressing. At Bruised Apple Books (923 Central Ave., Peekskill), you’ll find nearly 50,000 used, rare, and out-of-print tomes.
WEST: Witchy types should hit Tannersville’s Bones and Stones (5977 Main St., Tannersville) for curiosities like snake vertebrae, deer hoof bottle openers, and the owner’s handmade jewelry. For something soft and delicate, Woodstock’s Vidakafka Boutique (43 Tinker St., Woodstock), a European-style lingerie shop run by Nancy Kafka, specializes in fineries for your bust and behind. Antique-heads will roll at salvage yard/antique shop Zaborski Emporium (27 Hoffman St., Kingston), boasting floors of relics that range from crap to incredible.
EAST: Weekends start at Murray’s (73 Broadway, Tivoli) for brunch in an old church. Go in on the “Conference Call,” a bottle of sparkly served with fresh juices for four. Just be sure to go after 12 on Sundays, or learn about New York’s archaic blue laws. Just off Hudson’s main drag you’ll find “artist chefs” Carla Perez-Gallardo and Hannah Black’s “ ongoing restaurant/installation/performance project” Lil’ Deb’s Oasis (747 Columbia St., Hudson). This trippy, cash-only, pan-Latin gem serves smoothies and pupusas during the day and Peruvian chicken and Brazilian seafood stew at night. Whovian ladies lunch at The Pandorica (165 Main St., Beacon), a Dr. Who-themed restaurant run by Bronx-native Shirley Hot, complete with a Tardis front door.
WEST: Halfway between Saugerties and Woodstock, New World Home Cooking (1411 Route 1212, Saugerties) is the place for the omni, vegetarian, and gluten-free alike. The menu suggests, after enjoying the bone marrow appetizer, a tequila luge through the hollowed shin, so order up shots to “clean” the bone. Beware: your restaurant options dwindle after 8 p.m., but in Kingston, head to 24-hour local favorite Dietz Stadium Diner (127 N. Front St., Kingston) for American classics anytime.
BY VALERIE BRONTE
PHOTOGRAPHED BY GLYNIS S.A. CARPENTER
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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