DIA Beacon is one of the best Hudson Valley attractions to visit

Top Hudson Valley Attractions Perfect for Your Next Adventure

Hudson Valley attractions range in interests as much as the residents and visitors to this great region do. This 10-county region of New York State is full of outdoor recreational activities, art and culture, restaurants and so much more that it is the perfect place to visit for a weekend trip. This cultural hub also makes for perfect day trips from New York City.

With a rich history, abundant natural beauty and a concentration of world-class cultural sites, New York’s Hudson Valley is the perfect escape from the fast pace of New York City. Parks, nature reserves and hiking trails offer ample opportunities to truly enjoy the natural beauty of the region. Here are our picks for the best places to visit in the Hudson Valley.

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Why Visit Hudson Valley Attractions?


The Hudson Valley encompasses 10 counties, including Rockland County, Westchester County, Orange County, Putnam County, Dutchess County, Ulster County, Columbia County, Greene County, Rensselaer County, and Albany County.

River watching is one of my favorite things to do in Cold Spring NY

Visiting Hudson Valley attractions is important because it offers a diverse range of experiences that showcase the natural beauty and rich history of the region. The Hudson Valley is home to many parks, New York historic sites, National Historic Sites and cultural institutions, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, learning about local history and culture, and enjoying the arts.

Additionally, the Hudson Valley is known for its local farm-to-table cuisine and wineries, providing visitors with a unique culinary experience. Overall, visiting Hudson Valley attractions allows people to immerse themselves in the region’s unique culture and natural beauty, making it an enriching and memorable experience.


Hudson Valley Attractions in Lower Hudson Valley


Lake Hessian at Bear Mountain. Things to do in Rockland County and the best Bear Mountain activities.

Bear Mountain State Park

Bear Mountain State Park, a favorite of both Hudson Valley residents and people from New York City, encompasses parts of Rockland and Orange Counties, and offers everything from hiking, swimming and ice skating to a rustic, elegant restaurant and overnight accommodations at the Bear Mountain Inn.

As one of the best day trips in the Hudson Valley, Bear Mountain State Parks offers acres and acres of fun for the whole family. Lake Hessian is the centerpiece of the park and is a popular place for fun during the warmer months. The Trailside Zoo and Museums is a perfect day trip any time of the year. Home to a nice variety of animals, the zoo and museums are free to visit and fun for children and adults alike.

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Reference this article to see all the adventures you can have at Bear Mountain State Park

Things to do in Nyack NY

Edward Hopper House

The Edward Hopper House and Hopper House Art Center is located in the heart of Nyack. This is one of the Hudson Valley attractions that highlight American Art. American painter Edward Hopper is known for his urban and rural scenes. Born in Nyack, Hopper is considered one of the most important American artists of the 20th century.

The Edward Hopper House is the birthplace and childhood home of the artist. The house has been turned into a museum and art center, which features permanent and rotating exhibitions of Hopper’s work, as well as, art classes and other educational programs.

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Hudson Valley Art Museums Not To Be Missed!

Lyndhurst Mansion is on the short list of Westchester Museums

Lyndhurst Mansion

No, you’re not in Scotland or Ireland, you’re in Tarrytown, New York, admiring one of the most beautiful Neo-Gothic mansions in the country. Built in 1838, the Lyndhurst mansion once housed significant figures, such as New York Mayor William Paulding, New York merchant George Merritt and railroad magnate Jay Gould.

The mansion also has a bowling and recreation pavilion from 1894, a beautiful rose garden and the first steel-framed conservatory in the country. The rolling green fields and grassy terrain are dotted with stunning monumental works of art by 20th century artists, from Calder, Sol LeWitt and Richard Serra to Mark di Suvero. What better way to spend the afternoon than visiting a castle?

Teatown Lake Reservation is one of the best Hudson Valley Attractions

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Hudson Valley Castles you Need to See For Yourself in order to Believe!

Teatown Lake Reservation

Located in Ossining, Teatown Lake Reservation is a nature preserve and environmental education center. Teatown offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages, including hiking and bird watching. The reservation also has a nature center which has a live animals exhibit and interactive displays that teach visitors about the local flora and fauna. This is one of the most educational of the Hudson Valley attractions and should not be missed!

Teatown is also an important stopover point for migratory birds, making it a popular destination for bird-watching enthusiasts. The reservation is open year-round and visitors can hike on more than 15 miles of trails which are accessible in winter and are popular for cross-country skiing.


Hudson Valley Attractions Mid Hudson Valley


Dog and hiker in the Hudson Valley

Breakneck Ridge

Breakneck Ridge is a part of Hudson Highlands State Park, and it’s a popular spot for hiking and rock climbing, with multiple routes available for climbers with experience. It’s important to be aware that the trail is not easy as it is steep with lots of climbing. The trailhead to Breakneck is located on Route 9D in Cold Spring. The hike to the summit of Breakneck Ridge offers panoramic views of the Hudson River and the surrounding countryside, making it one of the most popular places for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

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The Most Popular Hikes in the Hudson Valley for all Skill Levels

DIA Beacon Admission

DIA Beacon

DIA Beacon is a Nabisco box factory converted into an art gallery stands majestically overlooking the Hudson River, 60 miles and 90 minutes from Grand Central Station. Don’t fret if you don’t have a car. Taking the Metro North Railroad to Beacon is the easiest way to get there without a vehicle. The museum is dedicated to contemporary art and features a collection of works from the 1960s to the present, with a focus on minimal, conceptual, and process-based art. They are one of the only places where art meets nature, with a special exhibit called “Birdcalls”.

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A visit to DIA Beacon is one you will not soon forget!

Hudson Beach Glass

Hudson Beach Glass is one of the best Hudson Valley attractions to visit any time of the year, but Autumn and the start of Winter may be my favorite time to go. In addition to the Hudson Beach Glass gallery that showcases very cool stuff, there is also an opportunity to participate in great workshops, including but not limited to glass blowing. I had a great time making a glass ornament for my home. You must reserve spots on their site. Located a short distance from the beginning of Main Street in Beacon, this is one of the best things to do in this great city.

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Click here to see what it’s like to make your own ornament at Hudson Beach Glass

Minnewaska State Park

Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located in the Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County. The park covers more than 22,000 acres of rugged terrain and features a variety of outdoor recreational activities including hiking, rock climbing, swimming, and horseback riding. The park features more than 50 miles of carriage roads and over 30 miles of hiking trails, including the famous Gertrude’s Nose trail, which offers a challenging hike with spectacular views of the Shawangunk Mountains.

Minnewaska is known for its beautiful landscapes, with a unique combination of forests, cliffs, waterfalls, and two crystal clear lakes. Minnewaska is open all year round, but the hours of operation vary depending on the season. The park also offers camping, picnicking and also have visitor center which is open seasonally. It’s recommended to check the park website for more information and also to check the park conditions before visiting.

Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk Mountain House

Located in New Paltz, this one of the most popular Hudson Valley attractions in Ulster County. Featured in many photo shoots, commercials and movies, Mohonk Mountain House is special and unique. Founded in 1869, this Voctorian castle resort is surrounded by 40,000 acres. This National Historic Landmark offers a place for a place to escape either for dinner, a day trip or a nice weekend/week away.

Saugerties Lighthouse

Saugerties Lighthouse

The Saugerties Lighthouse is located at the end of a thin peninsula that juts into the Hudson for more than 170 years, and it even has rooms to rent for travelers looking for novel accommodation. On the west bank of the Hudson and next to the beautiful Catskill Mountains, Saugerties offers such picturesque natural areas as Falling Waters Preserve, a 149-acre forest canyon full of waterfalls and river views.

Unique places to stay include mountaintop resorts and the 1869 Saugerties Lighthouse, a B&B that offers panoramic views of the Hudson and, on occasion, eagle sightings.

Shawangunk Mountain Ridge

Also known as The Gunks, this area encompasses Ulster County, Sullivan County and Orange County. Part of the Appalachian Mountains, the area has many public areas, such as the Minnewaska State Park Preserve (see above). The area is popular for rock climbing and hiking.

Moonlit Walk Sculpture

Storm King Art Center

Located in New Windsor, Storm King Art Center, also known as Storm King, is an open air museum. It holds one of the largest collections of outdoor sculptures. Founded in 1960 as a museum in order to showcase paintings from the Hudson River School, it quickly spanned to approximately 500 acres. The core collection includes pieces by Alexnder Calder, David Smith, Mark di Suvero, Henry Moore, Douglas Abdell and many more. This makes this one of the most interesting outdoor Hudson Valley Attractions.

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Experience Storm King Art Center during any season of the year

One of the majestic Vanderbilt Homes

Vanderbilt Mansion

One of the 5 Vanderbilt Mansions that can be toured, the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site in Hyde Park is a wonderful outing for anytime of the year. As one of the best Hudson Valley attractions for history buffs, tours of the 54-room mansion are affordable and makes this trip extra special. As one of the area’s oldest Hudson River Estates, they view of the Hudson River from the property is spectacular.

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Take a peek inside the Vanderbilt Mansion and see why this is such a special place

Featured image for the Walkway over the Hudson

Walkway over the Hudson

Spanning over the Hudson River from Highland, NY to Poughkeepsie, NY, the Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park is one of the most extraordinary Hudson Valley attractions. A former double track railroad bridge, a fire damaged the tracks (in 1974), it later reopened (in 2009) as a pedestrian walkway. Visited by thousands of people a month, the Walkway is the perfect place for a walk, jog, bike ride, and holds events throughout the year.

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See why events on the Walkway over the Hudson are so special


Hudson Valley Attractions Upper Hudson Valley


Empire State Plaza

Located in Albany, the Empire State Plaza is the centerpiece of the area that houses the New York State Capital, the Corning Tower, the New York State Museum and so many more historic buildings. The Plaza hosts a weekly farmers market, hosts events, has several dining options and has an ice rink, used by many in the winter. Their website has a great map so you can plan your day before heading to the plaza.

NY State Museum is one of the most educational Hudson Valley attractions

New York State Museum

Albany, the capitol of New York State, is a good place to immerse yourself in the state’s culture and history at the New York State Museum and stroll through the large rooms of the impressive Capitol Building. If you’ve always wanted to learn about New York’s history, there’s no better place to visit than the Museum of the State of New York, considered the oldest state museum in the country.

With collections, exhibitions and programs on history, art, nature and science, the museum shows important aspects of the state over the years. Located in Albany, on the south side of Empire State Plaza, the museum is located in front of the New York State Capitol and has nearly 16 million scientific specimens and about one million cultural pieces in 100,000 square feet of space. The architectural wonder of the New York State Capitol is located atop Albany’s State Street hill as part of the Empire State Plaza complex. Built in the 1880s and costing more than 25 million dollars, the building’s profusely carved stone interiors, marble columns, ornate chandeliers, and magnificent skylights continue to amaze visitors.

Olana is one of the most beautiful museums in the Hudson Valley

Olana State Historic Site

In 1845, artist Frederic Edwin Church, a student of Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of American Landscape Painting, was drawing landscapes on the site near Hudson that later became his home, known as Olana.

The house on the hill, once the domain of Frederic Edwin Church, a 19th-century painter whose spectacular landscapes epitomize the Hudson River School, has captivated visitors for years. New Yorkers and tourists flock to this green region year-round to enjoy its limitless outdoor recreational activities and cultural attractions. The Persian-inspired Victorian mansion perched atop the ridge offers unparalleled views of the valley and the Catskill Mountains beyond. This difficult hike isn’t suitable for everyone, but those who have enough experience to climb its rocks and steep ledges and reach the top will be rewarded with unbeatable views of the Hudson River.

Hudson Valley Historic Sites like the Schulyer Mansion are worth a trip to Albany

Schuyler Mansion

Located in Albany, the Schuyler Mansion National Historic Landmark is now a part of popular culture, as it is the home of the Schuyler family and where Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler. Additionally, the Schuyler family was well known for their hospitality, and the mansion hosted guests such as George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Chastellux, and James Madison. Tours are available for a small fee. You can check their website here for more information.


The Hudson Valley offers a diverse array of attractions for visitors to enjoy. From historic sites and museums to outdoor recreational activities and scenic drives, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region. Whether you’re interested in learning about the area’s rich history, taking in stunning views, or indulging in local cuisine, the Hudson Valley has it all. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that the Hudson Valley is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Make plans and explore all that this region has to offer!

Until the Next Adventure…

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