How to Plan a Romantic Weekend Away in the Hudson Valley
We know NYC has pretty much everything—Michelin-starred restaurants, five-star hotels, internationally acclaimed museums, luxury flagship stores, cool one-off boutiques—but ask any local and they'll tell you that sometimes, it's all about escaping. That's where the bucolic Hudson Valley, just a 2.5-hour ride from the city, comes into play. Grab your partner/lover/husband/wife and pack your favorite weekender cause we've planned the perfect romantic getaway.
A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.
The Amsterdam, Rhinebeck, NY
After it opened in a poshly renovated Rhinebeck townhouse in April 2017, it was clear the The Amsterdam was one of the Hudson Valley’s most exciting new restaurants. Initially helmed by James Beard-nominated chef Sara Lukasiewicz, the kitchen has been handed over to executive chef Alex Burger who had honed his skills in Daniel Boulud’s NYC kitchens. Head there for an elevated atmosphere and menu (think art-adorned fireplaces and smoked Arctic char rillettes) and check out the backyard post-meal where you’ll find a bocce court, fire pits, and lounge chairs.
Swoon Kitchenbar, Hudson, NY
Not only is swoon in the name, but this New American brasserie has a romantic story of its own. The 19th-century building-cum-restaurant is managed by husband-and-wife, chef-and-pastry-chef duo Jeffrey Gimmel and Nina Bachinsky-Gimmel who have been running the kitchen together since its debut in 2004. The Hudson Valley mainstay has kept its crowds eager by doling out casual sophistication in the form of pressed tin ceilings, subway tiled floors, wainscoted walls, and a lengthy wooden bar. Dishes reflect the pastoral nature of the area with locally procured produce and while the menu changes daily, you’ll find plates like local duck breast with shiitake mushrooms, glazed rutabaga, and red dandelions, and grilled pork chop with potatoes, red kale, and rhubarb.
Henry’s at the Farm, Milton, NY
Tucked away in the Hudson Valley’s lush orchard and wine country, farm-to-table Henry’s takes up residence in the 75-acre Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa in Milton. Whether you stop by for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, you’ll be certain to find a menu full of fresh produce, eggs, honey, and more from the inn’s own organic Millstone Farm. While the whole menu is drool-worthy, we’re particularly enamored with the mustard-and-breadcrumb-crusted rack of lamb served with paremsan potatoes, ratatouille, and a rich rosemary demi-glaze.
Bedford Post Inn, Bedford, NY
This eight-room, circa-1860s Westchester County inn belongs to none other than A-lister Richard Gere, his ex-wife Carey Lowell, and friend/hotelier Russell Hernandez. The pair prove that there’s no love lost as they’ve continued to run the respite together, maintaining its wooded grounds, a serene pool, and light-flooded yoga studio. As for accommodations, it’s all about rustic details; rooms are done in muted shades of gray, off-white and light blue, and are appointed with vintage Audubon prints and mosaic-tiled bathrooms with clawfoot tubs. The dining isn’t too shabby, either; drop by The Barn for a casual, convivial meal or The Farmhouse for a more upscale experience that includes a piano bar and classic American cuisine.
Hasbrouck House, Stone Ridge, NY
This quaint country escape lies less than 20-miles from Woodstock in the mid-Hudson Valley town of Stone Ridge. The 18th-century Dutch Colonial mansion (complete with a stable and carriage house), was given a 20th-century update by Akiva Reich & Co. who made sure to maintain its historic charms by kitting out rooms, lofts, and suites with both vintage and modern pieces, Kiehl's amenities, and luxe Frette linens. Though sleeping in is encouraged, when you do rise, you’ll find guests playing board games in the club room lounge, digging into farm-to-table fare at on-site restaurant Butterfield, and imbibing in regional ciders on the bluestone patio.
The Roundhouse, Beacon, NY
Airy lofts and open-concept penthouse suites await at this painstakingly-restored foundry building in the heart of Beacon, just 80 minutes from Manhattan. Though it’s a perfect base for exploring local art museums and outdoor spaces like DIA and Storm King, you’ll want to spend ample time at the hotel staring out factory windows over the rushing creek and waterfall that runs past the property.
Brunette, Kingston, NY
This converted barber-shop-cum-bar comes courtesy of Jamie and Tracy Kennard who’ve turned their “true love for pink” and natural wines and cheeky sides into one of the northern Hudson Valley’s most beloved haunts. The light-filled space is a designer's dream with repurposed milk-glass light shades, a Carrera marble bar, floral-patterned china, and other IG-friendly accoutrements. Grab a rose or riesling and don’t sleep on the mac and cheese with capicola spread, arugula, celery, cornichon, and chives.
Bull & Garland, Hobart, NY
Okay, this one may *technically* be well into the western Catskills, but it’s worth the minor detour. Husband-and-wife duo Oliver and Melissa Pycroft are to thank for the English-style pub and inn in Hobart, a tiny town (of less than 500), whose central Main Street location draws a fair amount of locals into its cozy converted house and atmospheric outdoor space. Adirondack chairs and picnic tables fill the backyard beer garden, which often hosts local musicians, while a drink menu with local IPAs and handcrafted cocktails (think honey and sage whisky sours and lavender gin mojitos) make challenging your S.O. to a game of pétanque that much more fun.
A&P Bar, Woodstock, NY
“Polarities can be uncomfortable but they can also be infinitely interesting” reads A&P Bar’s ‘about’ page. You can see this philosophy when it comes to the bar’s cocktail menu—an amalgam of ‘comfort’ items and ‘contrast’ items with classic G&Ts and innovative recipes like the .83 Caliber (bourbon, dark cacao, Kahlua, and orange bitters). Don’t just come for the drinks: bar snacks go beyond your typical pretzels and popcorn. Pick up a Scotch egg (from their own hens) with cheddar and pickled baby onions or try a flammkuchen—a German style pizza with poached pear, blue cheese, gruyère, and arugula.
Poets’ Walk, Red Hook, NY
The Hudson Valley isn’t hurting for bucolic trails, but Poets’ Walk is as worthy of your time as any. The Dutchess County park—fashioned by German-born landscape architect Hans Jacob Ehlers—offers two miles of trails that meander along meadows, woods, ravines, and shaded stream-side paths. Local lore has it that literary luminaries found inspiration in the area, and that Washington Irving came up with Rip Van Winkle while staring off at the Catskill Mountain backdrop.
Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY
When you really need an escape from New York, no place compares to Storm King Art Center. Spread across 500-acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers, the outdoor sculpture and art gallery garden feels worlds away from Manhattan’s skyscraper-crowded skyline. Stroll hand in hand taking in large-scale sculptures by masters such as Alexander Calder, Maya Lin, Louise Bourgeois, and Sol Lewitt. There’s also a café on site if you get hungry and a museum shop if the weather turns.
Manitoga, The Russel Wright Design Center, Garrison, NY
Though it’s now a National Historic Landmark, this Hudson Highlands house, studio, and woodland garden was previously home to mid-century pioneer industrial designer Russel Wright. Built into the side of an abandoned quarry, the experimental house coexists with its natural setting. Drop by today for a 90-minute tour or simply take to the surrounding paths for a scenic self-guided hike on one of three trail loops which run three-quarters of a mile to one-and-a-half miles in length.
Keep things low-key with these style picks from the JS editors.
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