A Day in Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Valley

| 20 Jul 2021 | 03:49

For a day trip, the city of Hudson offers an appealing visit 120 miles north of Manhattan; two hours by Amtrak or car; restored dwellings, great restaurants, and unique cultural attractions await.

With that in mind, and a day’s rental car, I drove with two senior friends to the Mid-Hudson Valley. If you are driving, there are four distinct routes, two on each side of the Hudson; taxis are available in Hudson if you travel there by train.

Olana, just south of Hudson, is the Persian-style home of landscape artist Frederic Edwin Church, located in a 250-acre New York State Park. Tours of the house and grounds are given daily except Mondays during the summer. The estate grounds, sited above the Hudson River, offer a memorable vista, appearing today as they did in beloved Hudson River School paintings from the latter 19th century.

Mile-long Warren Street, Hudson’s center, offers everything culinary from an organic hamburger to a fine French meal to nourish the most finicky eater. You might want to work off your meal by strolling the streets, viewing many restored architectural gems from as far back as the eighteenth century.

Clermont State Historic Site, 15 miles south of Hudson, previously belonged to the Livingston family for seven generations. There are no tours of the mansion this year, but the almost-level trails and gardens here make for easy exercise, and the spectacular Hudson River shoreline, less than 30 feet below the grounds, makes for an up-close scenic experience.

From there, catch another local meal and a beautiful sunset over the Catskills to complete a restorative day. If you take Amtrak, there are trains back to Manhattan as late as 7:30 p.m.

How: Hudson, 120 miles north of NYC can be reached by car or Amtrak from Penn Station. Taxis from the Amtrak Hudson Station take you where you need to go.
Why: Olana defies comparison, Hudson has restored buildings and great restaurants to please all palates.
Cost: Amtrak: $50 to $100 per person coach round trip. A rental car in NYC will run from $150 to 300 for a 24-hour period, figure 12 gallons of gas for the round trip, tolls range from nothing to $20 depending on your itinerary.
Senior Friendly? Hudson is somewhat hilly, but many stores and restaurants are ADA-compliant and/or have sidewalk dining. Olana grounds have paved paths, house tour has stairs, no elevator. Clermont grounds are level.