Hudson ValleyEarth : North America : United States of America : Mid-Atlantic : New York (state) : Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley  of New York is anchored at the top by the state capital of Albany and its surrounding cities, and it extends south to the outskirts of the New York City area. Between them is an area that has much in common with nearby Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, consisting of rolling hills leading down to the Hudson River. In 1996 Congress established The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area , one of 27 federally designated heritage areas.
- Albany County
- Columbia County - mostly rural; visit farmstands, wineries, and historic sites
- Dutchess County - its southern half is rapidly becoming suburban, but the northern portion is still rural; visit farmstands, orchards, and wineries
- Putnam County - western side of the county is dominated by the rocky Hudson Highlands, the eastern side by reservoirs of New York City's water supply; a nice getaway from New York City
- Rensselaer County
- Saratoga County
- Schenectady County
- Washington County
- Ulster County from the shores of the Hudson to the high peaks of the Catskill Mountains, an area rich in history and the arts
This area of North America is considered a cradle of European settlement, first by the Dutch as the colony of New Netherland and later under the British as the colony of New York. It was also a strategic battleground in colonial wars. The Hudson River in this area is more accurately described as a tidal estuary. Tides roll upstream as far as the federal lock at Troy, some 150 miles inland.
Probably the best, most beautiful and historic view of traveling to and within the Hudson Valley is by boat up the Hudson itself. There are a few tourist cruises you can do, but unless you have or use a private boat, the Hudson River itself won't be your primary method of travel in the Hudson Valley. One exception is NY Waterway , an operator of commuter ferries, that offers full day and weekend sightseeing cruises from New York City to several locations including Tarrytown and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
- Westchester County Airport, 240 Airport Road, White Plains, +1 914 995-4860 (airlines), . The largest airport of the lower Hudson Valley, other than the three New York City/New Jersey international airports.
- Stewart International Airport, 1180 First St, New Windsor, +1 845 564-2100, . Serves the middle of the valley.
- Albany International Airport, 737 Albany-Shaker Rd, Albany, . Serves the upper portions of the valley.
- Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, , John F. Kennedy International Airport , and LaGuardia Airport : The three major international airports in the New York City area offer service to just about anywhere.
- Amtrak, . For rail service north of Poughkeepsie (and two station stops south of Poughkeepsie, at Yonkers and Croton).
- Metro North Rail Road, . The Hudson Line, marked in green on maps, is the line that travels north along the Hudson River, from New York City to Poughkeepsie.
- New York City Subway. You can take it to the southern edge of Westchester County and bus up further.
- Greyhound, . Stops in most of the major cities as well as some small towns.
- Adirondack Trailways, . Stops in most of the major cities as well as some small towns.
The Hudson River itself can be both means of and impediment to travel. A few commuter ferry services exist in the lower valley, but bridges have otherwise become the dominant means of crossing the river. Tolls vary in cost, getting progressively more expensive closer to New York City. E-Z Pass electronic payment, common in the northeast United States, is accepted at all of the following Hudson River crossings with eastbound but not westbound tolls:
The New York State Bridge Authority  operates:
- Rip Van Winkle - Catskill, Green County to Hudson, Columbia County
- Kingston-Rhinecliff - Kingston, Ulster County to Rhinecliff, Dutchess County
- Mid-Hudson - Highland, Ulster County to Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County
- Newburgh-Beacon - Newburgh, Orange County and Beacon, Dutchess County
- Bear Mountain - Bear Mountain, Orange County to Peekskill, Westchester County
The New York State Bridge Authority  operates:
- Tappan Zee - Nyack, Rockland County to Tarrytown, Westchester County
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates:
- George Washington  - Fort Lee, New Jersey to New York City
- Beeline Bus System, . Westchester county's bus system also connects to nearby lines, such as Rockland County  and Fairfield County, Connecticut . Elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, public transit is either very poor (Dutchess, Ulster, Putnam counties) or nearly nonexistent (Orange, Sullivan, Columbia, Greene counties). Ulster County's public transit system is UCAT, Ulster County Area Transit, and there are city buses in Kingston.
- Tarrytown. Lyndhurst, a gothic mansion, formerly home of railroad baron Jay Gould. Also, Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle.
- Pair this with a visit to Irving's grave site in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, at Sleepy Hollow. Also in Sleepy Hollow is Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate in the hamlet of Pocantico Hills and The Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground where Ichabod Crane sought sanctuary from the Headless Horseman in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
- Caramoor Center, in Katonah. Take afternoon tea and tour or attend one of their evening concerts at this Mediterranean villa set on an 80 acre estate.
- Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, features modern, contemporary, and African art.
- Donald M Kendall Sculpture Gardens in Purchase. Corporate collection of PepisiCo of more than 40 major sculptures among 12 gardens.
- United States Military Academy, West Point, +1 845 938-4011, .
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum, and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, both in Hyde Park.
- Olana, the mountaintop villa of painter Frederic Church in Hudson.
- Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Lindenwald, retirement home of the 8th President in Kinderhook.
- Storm King Art Center, Old Pleasant Hill Rd, Mountainville, +1 845 534-3115, . Five hundred acre landscape dotted with modern sculpture.
- Mount Gulian Historical Site in Beacon, is about the Verplanck family which contains an assortment of stories about husbands and wives, army generals, and an escaped slave.
- Hike in Bear Mountain State Park Start the hike from Bear Mountain Inn, cross the road and wind through a wild animal preserve, Cross the Hudson River via the Bear Mountain Bridge, join up with the Appalachian Trail, then split off to "Anthony's Nose," a scenic overhang where the entire valley can be viewed. If you do this hike at the end of Sept or beginning of Oct you may be lucky enough to catch the Oktoberfest near the Bear Mountain Inn afterward.
- Visit a farmer's market or farmstand. The upper reaches of the Hudson Valley are still largely agricultural, so keep an eye out for fresh, local products sold right off the farm. Pick your own fruit, berries or produce at Grieg Farm, 223 Pitcher Ln, Red Hook, +1 845 758-1234.
- Take a cruise on the river aboard one of many boats. Pride of the Hudson, +1 845 220-2120,  departs from Newburgh. Commander, +1 845 534-7245,  departs from West Haverstraw, West Point, and Peekskill. Rip van Winkle, +1 845 340-4700,  and Teal, +1 845 679-8205,  both depart from Kingston.
- Take sailing lessons, at the Croton Sailing School, Senasqua Rd, Croton-on-Hudson, +1 800 859-SAIL, .
- Take a guided kayak tour through the Hudson Highlands: Hudson Valley Outfitters, 63 Main St, Cold Spring, +1 845 265-0221, . Or paddle the entire tidal portion of the river via the Hudson River Water Trail . Join the annual Great Hudson River Paddle  as it wends its way from Albany to New York City.
- New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, . Join a group hike sponsored by the trail conference. You could also venture off by yourself with a NYNJTC topographic trail map to the Hudson Palisades trails, Harriman-Bear Mountain trails, or the east and west portions of Hudson Highlands State Park.
- Watch bald eagles. In winter, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation recommends the following viewing points: Riverfront Park, Peekskill; Charles Point's China Pier, Peekskill; George's Island Park, Verplanck, town of Cortlandt; Constitution Island from the North Dock at West Point; Norrie Point State Park, Hyde Park; Iona Island, viewable from the turn-out off Route 6 just south of the Bear Mountain Bridge on the east side of the Hudson River.
- Follow Ichabod Crane's route, . Fans of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow can follow the route of Ichabod Crane from Tarrytown to Sleepy Hollow. But don't expect to find the "Western Woods" or anything else from the 1999 movie Sleepy Hollow. Tim Burton's production is only loosely based on Irving's story, and was filmed largely in Hertfordshire, England
- Woodbury Common, 498 Red Apple Court, Central Valley, New York, +1 845 928-4000, . Located approximately 1 hour from Manhattan. Daily 10AM-9PM. Over 220 outlet stores with lots of great brand names offering discounts between 25%-65%. By car: take the New York State Thruway (I-87) to Exit 16; by bus: take the Gray Line bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, buses leave daily at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, 11:15AM, noon (round trip $34).
As home to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, the area is blessed with the services of many of its graduate chefs.
-Deer overpopulation is a problem throughout the Hudson Valley. Use caution while driving, particularly at night and/or near wooded areas.
-With the high deer population in the area comes a high population of deer ticks. Dutchess County has the highest incidence of Lyme disease per capita IN THE WORLD, with several other Hudson Valley counties not far behind, so check for ticks after entering wooded areas and areas with high grass, and remove them immediately. Ticks typically come out as soon as the snow melts (usually mid March-early April) and don't disappear for the winter until the first extended freeze (usually early to mid November).
A natural extension to your trip in the Hudson Valley is to head south to New York City (presuming you didn't start there), which is easily accessible by public transportation and by private automobile. But also consider heading north into the Adirondacks, a mountain range in northeastern New York and the location of the Adirondack State Park, the largest state park in the continental United States. Amtrak's  Adirondack route cuts through these mountains en route to Montreal. New England is also easily accessible from the Hudson Valley, particularly the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts, and the Connecticut shore.
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