If you have made it up to Hudson Valley on your weekend getaway from New York City, also check out a precious gem in the area – Westchester County. There is an easily accessible train ride or quick road trip that will get you away from the city in just a few hours. If you need some inspiration to get out and explore your own backyard, here are some stops that will help in designing your perfect weekend getaway in the New York state.
Taste The Freshest Maple Syrup
Taste some of the best maple in the world at Crown Maple at Madava Farms. Their certified-organic maple products are so pure, you can taste the woods! Take a tour of the technologically advanced facility and learn how maple is harvested. Sample different kinds of syrups and homemade pastries freshly made on the premise. The 800-acres property of Madava Farms is open to the public for picnicking and hiking too. It’s a great place to enjoy the peaceful and scenic outdoors, located only 80 miles from the city.
Drink Hudson Valley Wines
There are over 35 wineries in the Hudson Valley. If you have limited time and can only pick one to visit, go to award-winning Millbrook Vineyards and Winery’s 30 acres of vines plantations growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and an Italian grape varietal called Tocai Friulano. The winery officially opened for tours and tastings in 1988 and today, it produces between 10-12,000 cases of wine annually.
Grab a Gourmet Lunch
For lunch, stop at Babette’s Kitchen, offering gourmet salads, pastas, sandwiches, and entrees, cooked using local and seasonal ingredients. They pride themselves in having long lasting relationships with local farmers who supply them with the best produce that the Hudson Valley has to offer. You can also get boxed lunches to-go and hop on a scenic train ride or road trip.
Admire the Local Art
Contemporary art lovers would want to include a stop at Dia: Beacon art gallery. Occupying a former Nabisco box printing factory that is located on the banks of the Hudson River, Dia:Beacon presents Dia’s collection of unusual art installations and spaces, such as white on white, homepage to the square, fluorescent lights and more. Since its opening in May 2003, Dia:Beacon has helped transform the city of Beacon into a vibrant art destination for visitors from the region, New York City, and beyond.
Step Back in History
Thereafter, take a tour of Lyndhurst Mansion, one of America’s finest Gothic Revival mansions. Overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York, the architectural brilliance of the residence, is complemented by the park-like landscape of the estate and a comprehensive collection of original decorative arts. It was designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis and its noteworthy occupants include former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould.
Dinner on The River
Dinner at Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen is a must! The restaurant and market showcases producers located throughout the Hudson Valley. Menu includes a variety of fresh seafood, poultry and meat, paired with local wines. The rustic decor of the restaurant with its restored wood ceiling, brings the outdoors inside, and gives a subtle reminder of the restaurants’ sustainable initiates.
Visit Happy Farm Animals
Those interested in learning about where their food comes from, can visit the Stone Barn Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown. Here you can meet some happy chicken, pigs and sheep, who are treated humanely. The center also offers educational day camps for kids to learn about farming, livestock and sustainable eating.
Take a Tran Ride to Yonkers
Yonkers is an interesting suburb, where many New York City commuters also reside. Here you can visit the Hudson River Museum to see six art galleries, the Andrus Planetarium, and Glenview Mansion, which is a historic house museum of 1876. Taste local brews at Yonkers Brewery and enjoy a delicious meal at award-winning chef Peter Kelly’s restaurant, Xaviar X20 on the Hudson. A ride back to Grand Central is only 30 minutes aboard Metro-North Railroad.
This trip was coordinated by I Love New York, the state’s official tourism board.
Read Part 1 of my upstate New York experience in Duchess County.