The Hudson Valley outside of New York City is a gothic and often time’s mysterious place; filled with legends and myths, a location that holds much of America’s early history. It is here where one of the longest and widely seen episodes of ‘UFO activity’ ever took place; over 7000 pieces of documentation from the incident were collected from 1982 to 1995. It is also the Hudson Valley where Washington Irving sets his legends of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.
400 years ago, Henry Hudson set sail up the river along Manhattan Island to explore the mainland of America. That river valley is now the Hudson Valley and the river, the Hudson River. In its early years, during the 17th century, the Valley was home to the early Dutch settlers and before then, the Algonquian-speaking Mahican and Munsee Native Americans.
The region saw a boom time in the mid-1800s when the Erie Canal was built. Washington Irving called the area his home, he lived in Tarrytown, and the Hudson River School, a group of American Romantic painters worked here from about 1830 to 1870.
Besides its great history, the Valley is known for its great beauty. A section of the east bank of the River in Dutchess and Columbia counties has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Sites: The Valley has MUCH to offer but here is just a sampling
Nyack, New York is a lovely little Victorian town and worth a stop on your road trip north for brunch.
Playland Amusement Park, was the first planned amusement park in America. The Art-Deco park is now a National Historic Site, and includes a wooden coaster and carousel which date back to when the park first opened in 1928.
Playland Parkway, Rye, NY 10580 -914-813-7000
United States Military Academy at West Point is the oldest military academy in the country. Guided tours leave daily from the West Point Visitor Center, and the museum shows military life as it has been lived over the past 200 years.
Highland Falls, NY 10996
Anthony Bourdain fans might recall the Mohonk Mountain House from his special on the Hudson Valley. The resort is a 250 room building both imposing and magical. Built in 1869, the resort looks over a private crystal clear lake and provides daily activities during all seasons including hiking, golf, ice skating, lake swimming, and boating
1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY – 800-772-6646
Kaaterskill Falls. The Hudson River School painters flocked to this site because of its exquisite beauty and since the 1800s, tourists haven’t stopped. The falls are a 260”, of two-tiered, cascading water.
Elka Park, New York 12427
The Hudson Valley is only an hour and a half away from New York City, a quick drive or train ride via Metro North (catch the Metro North at 125th St. in Harlem or Grand Central Station).