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Hudson, NY has often been described as the Brooklyn of the Hudson Valley, or the “downtown of upstate”. With a thriving art and restaurant scene, among tons of other great things to do in Hudson, NY, the town is quickly gaining popularity with trendy New Yorkers looking for a weekend trip from NYC.
Hudson is easily one of my favorite fall getaways from NYC. This article will cover everything you need to know about visiting Hudson, NY, where to eat, where to stay in Hudson, and what to do on a weekend trip from NYC.
Where is Hudson, NY?
Hudson, NY is a popular weekend getaway from NYC, located along the Hudson River in the Hudson Valley. You can reach Hudson within 2 hours from New York City by driving north.
Things to Know about Hudson, NY
Although while the tourism industry in Hudson is booming, it definitely still holds onto it’s small town upstate charm. Hudson is actually considered one of most historically rich and diverse architectural cities in New York. Hudson was the first chartered city in the United States in 1785.
How to Get to Hudson from NYC
NYC to Hudson by Car
While it is definitely possible, and not difficult, to get to Hudson by train, I definitely recommend driving if possible. Having a car when visiting Hudson will give you a lot more flexibility to visit other nearby areas, plus the drive up is easy and beautiful.
If you have your own car, this will of course be the easiest, but renting a car in NYC is super easy. I always rent through Avis, but Hertz and Sixt have car rentals all over the city as well.
NYC to Hudson by Public Transportation
Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains provide frequent daily service between Hudson and NYC. Travel time from New York City (Penn Station) to Hudson is around two hours. If you book in advance, a coach train ticket starts at around $31 one-way, and a business class ticket starts at around $50 one-way. Weekends tend to fill up quickly, with higher rates, so make sure to book early.
If you can be flexible with your dates, you can probably grab round trip tickets for around $62. The train ride is incredibly beautiful, so be sure to arrive at Penn Station early, and grab a window seat for the views.
The Hudson train station is conveniently located only a 5-10 minute walk from the center of Hudson town.
Best Things to do in Hudson, NY
#1 Explore the Famous Warren Street
#2 Enjoy Hudson’s Famous Food Scene
Hudson is known of its incredible food scene, with new restaurants and bars popping up all of the time. That’s why it is no wonder that eating is, in fact, one of the best things to do in Hudson, NY. Skip ahead of a list of some of the best restaurants in Hudson below.
#3 Enjoy a Cocktail at a Hudson Bar
Hudson has a number of great spot to grab a delicious drink. If I had to narrow the list down, however, I would grab a cocktail from The Maker Hotel’s speakeasy bar, or a glass of natural wine from Backbar. Backbar is definitely more casual, while the bar at The Maker Hotel is perfect for a date, or fancier night out.
#4 Henry Hudson Riverfront Park
Take a stroll down to Henry Hudson Riverfront Park to catch a beautiful sunset over the water.
#5 Appreciate the Architecture of Historic Hudson
The Hudson Main Street is one of the finest examples of historic architecture in New York. The city features examples of every architectural style since the late 18th century. Take a stroll down the Main Street to soak it all in.
#6 Home Interior Shopping
If you’re looking to find the best home interior pieces, then Hudson is your spot. Whether you’re in the market for a new piece of furniture, or some handcrafted dishware, you’ll find no shortage of choices. I love shopping for new mugs while traveling, as they are a daily remind of my travels. However beware, prices are definitely on par with what you would expect to find at a similar store in NYC.
#7 Visit Olana State Historic Site
Olana State Historic Site was once home to the famous landscape artist, Frederic Edwin Church. Now it is open to the public to explore the grounds. There are guided tours of the house available from November to April, but the grounds are open year-round. If you’re visiting during the winter months, I definitely recommend a tour of the house.
#8 Browse the Antiques
Shopping for antiques is one of the best things to do in Hudson, and one of my favorites as well. My tiny NYC apartment will never have room for all of the quirky items that I want to buy, but I still always manage to make at least one purchase. While shopping in Hudson, I found some awesome antique maps of upstate NY.
#9 Go for a Hike
There are so many amazing hikes in Upstate NY, and some of those are easily accessible as Hudson as a base. Pictured below is High Falls Conservation. This is a short hike, located just 15 minutes from Hudson. Don’t be fooled by it’s length, it’s still a beautiful hike that is definitely worth the visit.
#10 Spend the Day at a Local Farm
There are tons of farms located in, or only a short drive from, Hudson. Head to Fix Bros Fruit Farm during the warmer months to pick your own apples. Plus, there are fruits and veggies for sale. Located 20 minutes north of Hudson you’ll find Kinderhook, where you can grab some local meats.
#11 Head Across the River to Crossroads Brewery
Just across the river, in Athens, NY, you’ll find Crossroads Brewery. They’ve got a great selection of local beers, plus a decent food menu. Stop by in the early evening for happy hour.
#12 Explore a Nearby City or Town
If you’ve had your fill of Hudson after a day or two, there are tons of other great towns in the area to explore, including New Paltz and Kingston.
How Many Days to Spend in Hudson?
I personally think that 2 nights, 3 days is the perfect amount of time to explore the charming town of Hudson. This will give you a good taste of the bustling restaurant and bar scene, while still allowing you time to explore some of the nearby hikes and farms.
Best Restaurants and Bars in Hudson
- Baba Louie – Hudson’s famous pizza spot, known for their potato pizza.
- Backbar – the go-to spot for locals and visitors alike. The bar offers a great selection of beers and natural wines. They also serve food, although I’ll admit that I wasn’t impressed by my food.
- Speakeasy at The Maker Hotel – one of Hudson’s newest hotels, The Maker Hotel, has a gorgeous speakeasy bar hidden at the back of their property
- Swoon Kitchenbar – Swoon Kitchenbar serves up some of the best farm-to-table dishes in the Hudson Valley. Plan ahead, as Swoon is only open Thurs-Sunday.
- Cafe Le Perche – La Perche is a French bakery and bar with the yummiest pastries in town.
- Red Dot Restaurant – Red Dot has been part of Hudson for just about forever, as the oldest continually serving restaurant in Hudson. Do not skip the fried artichokes.
- WM Farmer and Sons – farm-to-table dinners are served Thursday through Sunday and the food here is not something that you’ll want to miss.
Where to Stay in Hudson – Best Hotels, AirBnBs, and More
The Maker Hotel
The Maker Hotel is a charming boutique hotel that opened its doors in 2020. Each room is inspired by distinct makers around the world, the architect, the artist, the writer, and more. From their speakeasy bar to their delicious dining options, The Maker Hotel is a must-stay in Hudson.
WM Farmer and Sons
WM Farmer and Sons boutique hotel and restaurants opened in 2015, and has quickly become a town favorite in Hudson. The rooms are cozy and decorated perfectly, with artwork and unique pieces. Each suite is completely unique, and if only I had the time to stay in each one of them!
Nest Hudson is a great choice if you’re looking for a more affordable option. Located super close to the main road, which is perfect for exploring. Plus, the rooms all come with a kitchenette.
Visiting New York? Here are some other articles to check out:
- Best Things to do in New Paltz
- Siamese Ponds Wilderness Camping
- Local’s Guide to NYC
- Best Instagram Spots in NYC
- 10 Best Hikes in Upstate NY