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America’s first art movement, the Hudson River School of Painters, started here, with their brilliant depictions of lush landscapes of the valley. See how they lived and how they painted at restored homes like Olana and Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The arts continue to have a huge presence here within Storm King Art Center and Dia:Beacon, two internationally known art spaces.

All that landscape translates into limitless recreational opportunities, including part of the 3,200-kilometer-long Appalachian Trail, which was started here. The region is a four-season playground, hosting kayakers, rock climbers, hikers, swimmers, boaters, golfers, paddle boarders and more in the warmer months. Winter brings downhill and cross-country skiers, snow tubers, skaters, snow boarders, snowshoe lovers and hikers who love to see the Hudson Valley covered in white. Don’t miss Walkway over the Hudson with its knockout views of the river and surrounding mountain ranges.

Martha Washington kept house here during the Revolutionary War, entertaining husband George’s troops and military partners. Ramble over forts and battlefields and into homes owned by Americans who helped found the United States. Small manor house demonstrations offer tastes of colonial cooking and show off other skills that we would deem “crafts” today.

Speaking of crafts, there are three major craft villages here, Catskill, Woodstock and Sugar Loaf. Dedicated to the art of the handmade, shops frequently contain the studios of the owners who will gladly tell you about their skilled approach. Inveterate shoppers are dazzled by the range of options, from artisan clothing to discount designer wear. Boutiques abound, as do hundreds of antiques shops for collectors and those who just fancy a piece of vintage Hudson Valley.

Vintage spirits still inhabit historic places, rising up to meet guests when, well, the spirit moves them. A collection of haunted sites throughout the valley are open throughout the year. Even if you don’t meet the resident ghosts, that light touch on your arm or cool breeze at the back of your neck might just be their way of communicating with you.

The Hudson Valley interweaves the exciting modern day with a rich historic background. Travel up the Hudson River, through the Highlands to the vibrant state capital and explore centuries of food, phenomena and fun.

Fun Fact

Painter Norman Rockwell based much of his artwork on the town of New Rochelle
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Painter Norman Rockwell based much of his artwork on the town of New Rochelle

Aerial view of Asheville, North Carolina
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