15 Best Things to Do in Hudson, NY

Hudson, NY
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Hudson is a city with a vibrant history and an auspicious future with a lot to offer.

Situated around 120 miles north of New York City, Hudson started as a whaling port and then converted into an industrial city.

Now, it is a place teeming with numerous antiques and artists.

Due to its wide collection of antiques, Hudson feels like a window to the past.

Located in Columbia County, this city has the Hudson River flowing on one side and is easily accessible by road and rail.

Time and again, Hudson has proved that it is one of the best riverfront cities in the United States.

The city thrives with scenic beauty, grand architecture, and artistic events that support its booming economy.

From exploring the endless antique stores to enjoying the different entertainments, here’s a list of things you should do and see in Hudson:

Wander down Warren Street

Warren Street, which is Hudson’s main street, is an antique lover’s paradise.

It is a mile-long street with picturesque buildings, charming antique stores, stylish boutiques, cozy restaurants, and expensive hotels on either side.

You can either head to the Finch for vintage furniture or to the Tom Swope Gallery for relics.

On the other hand, Valley Variety offers an impressive collection of modern home furnishings.

If you love beauty and wellness goodies, then visiting The Quiet Botanist is a must!

If you’re a person who prefers apparel shopping over antique hunting, stores and boutiques like Sideshow Clothing, Marchin, Artemesia, and Meridian are the ones for you!

You can end your day by taking a stroll down Promenade Hill Park, located at the end of the west side of Warren Street.

It provides a breath-taking view of the Hudson River and is a great place to unwind after a long day.

Visit the Greenport Conservation Area

The Greenport Conservation Area ought to be on a nature lover's itinerary.

This place was originally a piece of land belonging to the Mohican Indians.

It was then purchased by the Dutch for farming, and later the Open Space Institute bought it intending to turn it into a conservation area.

This 736-acre land, overlooking the Hudson River, consists of seven miles of different trails for hiking, taking a stroll, cross-country skiing in winter, and also includes an accessible trail.

It provides a beautiful view of the river and the Catskill Mountains in the distance.

Located a short distance from downtown Hudson, this place will certainly give you relaxation with its green and tranquil surroundings.

Tour the Olana State Historic Site

Olana State Historic Site
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The Olana State Historic Site comprises the main house of Frederic Church, who was one of the most prominent painters of Hudson River School, and the surrounding landscapes designed by Church himself.

Resting atop a hill, the main building combines Victorian and Persian styles and boasts a collection of sculptures, paintings, and vintage furnishings.

The sprawling 250-acre land surrounding the house are carriage roads swathed with meadows along with an artificial lake and a farm.

You can choose to take the guided walking tour to this site or the open-air vehicle tour through the carriage roads, but ensure that you pre-book your tours.

The site is accessible by car, or you can also take the Skywalk across the river.

If you are an art enthusiast, you simply cannot afford to miss this site.

Catch the Live Performances

Hudson Opera House
, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hudson has something for everyone, whether you are in the mood for rock, classical, opera, indie, or funk.

You could go to Hudson Hall (officially named Hudson Hall at the Hudson Opera House).

It is a 21,000-square-foot theatre (the oldest theatre in New York), a performance hall, and a gallery.

The annual Hudson Jazz Festival is hosted here, consisting of several performances, and lasts for several days.

The Park Theater Hudson is another place offering lots of live performances, some of which are free.

The Helsinki Hudson has a music venue and a restaurant combined to give the best of both worlds.

You can also check out Basilica Hudson, which is a performance venue built inside a factory.

It conducts various arts and musical events throughout the year.

Experience the Art Galleries

Hudson boasts around 35 art galleries, each of which provides a unique and exciting experience.

The city’s art history can be traced back to the foundation of the Hudson River School, from where artists like Thomas Cole and Frederic Church were drawn to Hudson’s scenic landscapes.

You can visit Hudson’s oldest gallery space, the Carrie Haddad Gallery on Warren Street, which is famous for showcasing the works of upcoming regional artists.

The Stair Gallery is known for its art auctions.

You can place a bid online or over the phone for a wide range of items.

However, a prior appointment needs to be done if you wish to see the items in person.

The September Gallery, located on Warren Street, exhibits and supports contemporary artists from various disciplines.

Cruise the Hudson

To truly bask in nature’s glory, you need to sail in the Hudson River.

The best time to take the cruise is during the evening, as it allows you to watch the sunset over the city from the expanse of the sparkling water.

Hudson Cruises is one of the oldest businesses offering lovely sightseeing and luxury cruises as well as ferry services.

They even organize a Murder Mystery cruise once a week, in which guests will have to uncover clues and find the perpetrator.

Do checkout their cruise schedules beforehand.

Stop by the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park

The Henry Hudson Riverfront Park is located alongside the Hudson River, and its grassy surfaces are ideal for picnics and strolls.

Its serene ambiance offers a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

You can watch the boats sail by, or the view of the lighthouse with the mountains in the background stretched across the horizon.

It’s a perfect place to end your busy day.

Sail to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse
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The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse is an iconic lighthouse perched atop a small island in the Hudson River, halfway between Hudson and Athens, NY.

The lighthouse was constructed back in 1873 to warn ships about the mudflat between Hudson and Athens, which is hidden underwater during high tide.

The lighthouse first became operational in 1874 and is still functional today, helping the ships navigate the Middle Ground Flats.

Hudson Cruises has partnered with the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society to conduct seasonal boat tours from July to October to the lighthouse.

The boarding point is the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, which provides an excellent view of the lighthouse if one wishes to see it from land.

Check out the FASNY Museum of Firefighting

Established in 1925, the FASNY Museum of Firefighting is an interactive museum that consists of all things related to firefighting.

You can spend the better part of a day here in this 50,000-square-foot space learning about the history of firefighting.

You can also check the fire equipment from the 1800s, rare vintage fire engines, along an impressive collection of firefighting artifacts.

This museum is a family favorite as it allows children to perform firefighting activities.

Activities like climbing ladders, sliding down poles, putting on a firefighter jacket, and getting behind the wheel of a fire truck are just some of the many exciting activities available for kids.

The museum also has a library and a gift shop filled with creative souvenirs.

Visit the Hudson Farmers Markets

Many riverfront cities are known for their exceptional farmers’ markets filled with fresh organic food and other locally sourced munchies and ingredients.

The Hudson Farmers Market is no different in terms of showcasing its products.

This is Columbia County’s largest farmers market, which brings over 30 native vendors together.

It is open from June through October at two places within the city.

If you’re visiting Hudson during these months, then the farmer's market is an attraction you wouldn't want to miss.

Apart from the treats, the farmer's market also has live music performances put up by local artists.

Dine at Restaurants, Cafés, and Eateries

You can’t fully experience a city until you taste the delightful dishes, potent drinks, and aromatic beverages offered by its countless joints.

It goes without saying that Hudson, too, has a plethora of options available for you when it comes to food and drinks.

You can head over to the contemporary Wm.Farmer and Sons on Front Street for a hearty meal and a heady drink.

The Crimson Sparrow on Warren Street provides a luxurious dining experience if you're in the mood for something fancy.

A trip to the Verdigris Tea and Coffee Bar on Warren Street for their delicious baked goods and strong coffee is a must for any coffee lover.

The French bakery and bistro, Cafe le Perche, on Warren Street is a favorite for brunch and wood-fire baked bread.

The Hudson Food Studio, with its stylish and rustic design, is famous for its Thai and Vietnamese specialties.

The Maker Lounge on Warren Street is a place where grandeur and luxury meet comfort and serenity.

With its wide selection of drinks and warm ambiance, this place will surely enrich your visit in Hudson.

You can also visit their café for brunch and restaurant for an immersive dining experience.

Check out the Hudson Brewing Company or Hudson Wine Merchants

If you are a beer and wine enthusiast, you must visit two places in Hudson.

One of them is the Hudson Brewing Company, famous for its craft beer, local wine, and tap cider.

The other one is the Hudson Wine Merchants.

It organizes wine tastings along with art shows in its gallery upstairs.

Admire the Historic Architecture

Hudson is one of the first cities to have built on a modern grid layout.

Credit goes to the city’s original settlers, but the wealthy traders built huge mansions and extravagant townhouses.

As you enter downtown Hudson, it becomes clear why the city’s historic architecture stands out.

The city is an amalgamation of buildings built in different styles, creating a beautiful tapestry of perfectly stacked blocks.

Some places worth checking out are The Curtiss House, The Seth Jenkins House, and The First Presbyterian Church on Warren Street.

They are all significant landmarks that depict a colorful picture of the city’s mix architectural styles.

Visit the Hudson Area Library

Hudson Area Library
Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hudson Area library offers a wide array of books on the city’s history, culture, art, and architecture.

It even hosts several events for children and adults alike.

Apart from this, it offers various programs for people to learn a new art or volunteer for different social causes.

Even if you don’t wish to visit the library, the modern style architecture of the building is worth checking out.

Check into the Rivertown Lodge

The Rivertown Lodge is worth mentioning because of its cozy and retro vibe.

It is a hotel with 27 rooms that was built in 1928 as a movie theatre.

For years, it has been even used as a motel before eventually being transformed into Riverfront Lodge.

With a bar and a pub right next to it, this place makes for an exciting temporary residence.

The lodge even allows its guests to borrow bikes for touring the town.

One of the main reasons to choose this lodge is that it’s located right in Warren Street, the main thoroughfare of Hudson city.