Best Hudson Valley Towns along the Hudson River

As a Hudson Valley Explorer, I am fascinated by all the Hudson Valley towns and cities. I have an extremely long list of all the Hudson Valley towns & cities I will be visiting in the near future.

But what about those Hudson Valley towns and cities by the Hudson River?

Are they more special than other Hudson Valley towns and cities? Not necessarily, but being so close to the Hudson River does offer an extra perk to visiting these places.

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Essentials you need for any Hudson Valley Outing:


Hudson Valley Directory

Personalized Hudson Valley Directory

Personalized Hudson Valley T-shirts

Picture Perfect Adventures in the Hudson Valley Ebook and Planning System

101+ Things to do in the HV for $10 or less

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What makes Hudson Valley towns by the Hudson River So Special?


There is something about being by the Hudson River that energizes people and also calms them at the same time.

Does that make sense?

When my husband had his small boat (until the motor stopped working), we used to launch at our closest launching pad and explore the beauty of the Hudson River. We listened to music, talked, had lunch and enjoyed the landscape from the river instead of from dry land.

When or children joined us, we would use the inflatable ‘bouncy boat’ that we towed and the kids always had a great time.


The History on the Hudson River and Towns along it


The majestic Hudson River flows south from the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, passed many Hudson Valley towns and cities to the Upper New York Bay between New York City and New Jersey.

The river is named after Henry Hudson, who explored it in the early 1600’s.

The river and surrounding areas inspired those like:

  • Washington Irving
  • Thomas Cole of the Hudson River School of Landscape Painting

Most importantly, during the American Revolutionary War, the British that the river’s proximity to Lake George and Lake Champlain would allow their navy to control the water route from Montreal to New York City.

As a result, numerous battles were fought along the river and in nearby waterways. The Hudson Highlands played an important role and is the area where Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery were built.


Exploring Hudson Valley Towns and Cities


How does one go about exploring all these Hudson Valley towns and cities?

By making a plan and an itinerary.

I have some great itineraries that I use to see and do more in less time.

I have also divided this list by:

  • towns and cities on the west banks of the Hudson River
  • towns and cities on the east banks of the Hudson River

This way, it is easier to plan a day, especially if you want to explore Hudson Valley towns and cities close to each other.


Map of the Hudson Valley Towns & Cities



Hudson Valley Towns along the Hudson River (West Side)


Albany

Hudson Valley Parks
Washington Park, Albany
Albany County, NY

Home to the New York State capitol, Albany, NY is so much more than the Capitol Building. It is full of open spaces, historic sites, museums, restaurants and more.

A trip to Albany is not complete without a visit to Washington Park and the Albany Pine Preserve. Other popular places to visit include Lincoln Park, the Empire State Plaza and Albany Riverfront Park.

Historic sites and museums adds to the perfect visit to this city. Some places include: the New York State Museum, Albany Institute of History and Art, while some historic sites include: the USS Slater, Ten Broeck Mansion and the Schuyler Mansion.

Athens

River watching is one of my favorite things to do in Cold Spring NY
View of the Hudson River
Greene County, NY

The town of Athens, NY is great little waterfront village full of character and charm. Just 30 minutes south of Albany, Athens a quick getaway for those looking for it.

Most notable is the Athens Cultural Center, charming restaurants and breweries, as well as, Athens Riverfront Park. While you’re at the park, you can look out to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.

Typically, there are short rides that take you to the lighthouse (July through October). Check their website for availability.

Catskill

The Hudson River Skywalk found in one of the great Hudson Valley Towns by the Hudson River
Hudson River Skywalk
Greene County, NY

Catskill, NY is a small town in the southern most part of Greene County, NY. The most popular places to visit here are Kaaterskill Falls, Catskill Mountain House and Hunter Mountain Ski Resort.

If skiing is not your thing, then a stroll around the village is a great way to spend an afternoon. The village is the perfect start along the Catskills Beverage Trail.

Home to the Hudson River Skywalk and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill has something for everyone and is a great day trip from NYC or a weekend away.

Cornwall-on-Hudson

Storm King State Park at one of the best Hudson Valley towns by the Hudson River
Storm King State Park
Orange County, NY

This riverfront village is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. Located about 50 miles north of New York City, Cornwall-on-Hudson offers visitors amazing hiking locations, such as Storm King Mountain and opportunities for kayakers at Cornwall Landing. In addition to kayaking, Cornwall Landing is the perfect fishing spot and a great place to relax.

Storm King State Park is located south of the village, as does the United States Military Academy at West Point (See: West Point, NY). Home to the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, this village is the perfect place to explore the outdoors.

Coxsackie

Screen at a Hudson Valley Drive In
Drive In Movie Theater
Greene County, NY

Home to the Hi-Way Drive In movie theatre, Coxsackie, NY is a small town located in Greene County.

The Reed Street Historic District is a national historic district and consists of 19th century buildings that are all similar in style. With boutique and specialty shops, the area is fun to explore.

Visitors also enjoy visiting Riverside Park. The views of the Hudson River from here are outstanding and this is home to the weekly farmers market (May through October).

Fort Montgomery

Hudson Valley Winter Activities
Orange County, NY

Just below the Town of Highlands on US Route 9W you will find Fort Montgomery, NY. This hamlet in the Hudson Valley is named after the first Fort Montgomery, a fortification of the American Revolution stormed by the British on October 6, 1777.

Home of Fort Montgomery State Historic Site, this is a popular place for hikers, as it is a well-known stop on the Appalachian Trail. Visitors today can tour the remains of the 14-acre fortification, perched on a cliff overlooking the magnificent Hudson.

Haverstraw

Hudson River Views in the Hudson Valley
Rockland County, NY

Located at the widest point of the Hudson River, Haverstraw is a melting pot of cultures and history. The amazing landscape has been the backdrop to many wonderful movies and has also been the subject for Edward Hopper and many other artists.

Taking a walk through downtown Haverstraw will highlight historic buildings and the design of the downtown area emphasizes the walkability of the area and the area the area has the longest publicly accessible waterfront in the Mid-Hudson Region.

Highland

the view as you walk on the Walkway over the Hudson
Walkway over the Hudson
Ulster County, NY

The hamlet of Highland, NY has the ability to boast that it is the location of the World’s Longest Pedestrian Walkway, The Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park.

In addition to The Walkway, Highland is also home to the Mid-Hudson Bridge, where you can listen to “Bridge Music“. Don’t know what that is? Then read here.

Make sure to stop at Franny Reese State Park and hike to the point where you can see the Mid-Hudson bridge from above.



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Kingston

New York Trolley Museum
Ulster County, NY

The city of Kingston, NY is located over 90 miles north of New York City and approximately 60 miles south of Albany. Once an important transport hub, this city is FULL of museums, restaurants and arts.

The Roundout Neighborhoods are full of historic homes and the Stockade District is full of great restaurants and wonderful boutiques. Murals are a big thing in Kingston, so put on your walking shoes and explore.

In addition, visit the New York Trolley Museum and the Hudson River Maritime Museum.

Newburgh

Newburgh Waterfront dining is one of the best things to do in Newburgh NY
Newburgh Waterfront
Orange County, NY

Newburgh, NY has a bad reputation and I’m here to tell you that if you do not visit this city, you are missing out!

Full of Hudson River views, museums, great restaurants, historic sites, you can spend a day in Newburgh and still not get to see it all!

Click here to read my article all about what you can see & do in Newburgh

New Windsor

Hudson Valley Historic Sites like the New Windsor Cantonment are a great day out.
New Windsor Cantonment
Orange County, NY

New Windsor, NY is located just south of Newburgh (see above), so as you can imagine, this town is also full of history.

Popular places in New Windsor include the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the New Windsor Cantonment.

And don’t miss out visiting Knox’s Headquarters while you’re here!

Click here to read my article all about the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor

Nyack

The center of Nyack NY showcases so many things to do in Nyack NY
Town of Nyack
Rockland County, NY

Located approximetaly 19 miles north of Manhattan and along the Hudson River, Nyack is a popular destination for many reasons. Divided into Upper, Central and South Nyack, there is something for everyone:

Click here to read my article all about my visit to Nyack

Piermont

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Rockland County, NY

The Village of Piermont is located in Orangetown NY. With a population under 3,000 people, this tiny village is located just south of the Gov Mario Cuomo (Old Tappan Zee) Bridge.

The highlight of a visit to Piermont is a visit to the Piermont Pier. A favorite for bikers and joggers, the pier is a mile long and shows off the Piermont Marsh. Another favorite thing to do is visit the Piermont Farmers Market (every Sunday).

Saugerties

Hudson Valley Sculpture Park i slocated in one of the great Ulster County NY towns
Opus 40
Ulster County, NY

Saugerties, NY is a great little town in Ulster County that is full of great restaurants and has a charm to it. Partition Street is full of great shops and is the perfect place to go window shopping or ‘real’ shopping.

There are plenty of outdoor activities in Saugerties, including hiking, especially at the Soujourner Truth (ulster Landing) Park.

Popular places to visit in Saugerties NY are Opus 40 and the Saugerties Lighthouse.

Click here to read my article about my visit to Opus 40

Stony Point

Stony Point State Park in Rockland County
Rockland County, NY

Just north of Haverstraw, Stony Point is rich in history. During the American Revolution, the King’s Ferry in Stony Point linked New York and the southern colonies with New England; it was used many times by General George Washington’s Continental Army, and in 1781 Washington’s French allies used it on their way to the Battle of Yorktown.

Home to the Stony Point State Park, Battlefield and Lighthouse, this is a popular town for visitors looking to learn more about history and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

West Point

Orange County, NY

There’s usually only one reason why someone visits West Point, NY and that is to visit the United States Military Academy and/or the other buildings outside the campus that are associated with the academy.

An afternoon exploring the West Point Museum and the Visitor’s Center is a great way to learn about the Academy, as well as, military history. West Point Tours are currently suspended at this time.

Click here to read all about my visit to the West Point Museum and Visitors Center.


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Hudson Valley Towns along the Hudson River (East Side)


Yonkers

The Structures of Untermyer Park make this the most beautiful of Yonkers Parks
Westchester County, NY

Just north of New York City, this Westchester County city is so large that it has different sections: from historic to modern. The best part of Yonkers is that it’s situated along the Hudson River and offers amazing views from many historic places.

Most notably, popular places in Yonkers include: Hudson River Museum, Untermyer Gardens, Empire City Casino, Philipse Manor, Ridge Hill, Cross County Shopping Center and so much more…

Click here to read my articles all about my visits to the Hudson River Museum and Untermyer Gardens.


Tips for Better Exploring Hudson Valley Towns and Cities:



More Things to do in the Hudson Valley:


Until the Next Adventure…

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Jacqueline Ramirez

Jackie is one of the top bloggers in the Hudson Valley. She has been featured (along with some of her photos) in several local and national publications. Read Jackie’s crazy story, “From a Naive NYC Girl to Popular Hudson Valley Blogger & Author“. Feel free to send Jackie a message here.