Hudson Valley

IMG_0449I’ve been wanting to visit the Hudson Valley for so long – It’s been on my list ever since a friend told me about the Andy Goldsworthy sculptures in the Storm King Art Center.  So when we scheduled an October trip to visit our daughter in Boston,  I made sure that we tacked on an excursion to New York.  And the timing was perfect – the fall colors were spectacular.

IMG_0690We stayed at The Millbrook Inn, a lovely and quiet gem, off the beaten path, near the town of Millbrook.  Delicious, huge breakfasts cooked by the charming inn keeper Don were the perfect way to start our two action packed days of touring the valley.IMG_0158 (1)

IMG_0157To get a broad look at the Hudson River and the valley, we started day one at the The Walkway over the Hudson, a cool 1.25 mile long pedestrian bridge (former rail bridge) spanning the river.  It was a great intro to the area.

IMG_0182 IMG_0213 IMG_0205 IMG_0166Next up the FDR Museum and Library – it was the FIRST presidential library and was actually used by FDR during his presidency. We found it to be moving and memorable.

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Now starving, we headed to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for a quick lunch at the Apple Pie Bakery and Cafe.  Delicious!  So fun to see the grand buildings on the Hudson and the students hustling around campus in their white chef coats!

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And the last item on our agenda for the day – a lovely, scenic hike around the Vanderbilt mansion –  more views of the river and a glimpse into the estate of an aristocratic family.IMG_0406 IMG_0319We were happy to be able to skip the house tour and wander the grounds for free!  For dinner we drove to the charming village of Rhinebeck and enjoyed a great, casual meal, comfortably seated at the bar of Market St.

Getting an early start on Day Two, we picked up picnic supplies at Adams FairAcre Farms, a crazy, fun, huge supermarket/nursery/farm store and then drove across the river to hike and wander the grounds at the remarkable Mohonk Mountain House.  Established in the late 1800s, this old, rambling full service resort is something to see.  We paid the day-use fees which allow access to all hiking trails and grounds.  The scenery, the hotel itself, the lake, gardens and sky tower, which provides 360 degree views of five states, were breathtaking.  Mohonk was definitely a highlight of the trip!

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From Mohonk we headed south to Storm King Art Center.  Even though we ran out of time and were literally the last ones to leave this beautiful outdoor museum,  it was totally worth the visit!  Next time we’ll go back to see the other half that we missed!  We did see the amazing Andy Goldsworthy walls that we had heard about, several impressive Mark di Suvero steel structures and other gigantic works of art carefully strewn about the grounds.

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Our last dinner in the Hudson Valley was in the quaint town of Fishkill.  Il Barilotto (another great restaurant recommended by our inn keeper Don) served delicious Italian food in a casual, comfortable setting.

There’s still so much to see in the Hudson Valley. I’m glad we finally got there and I want to go back soon!

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