Senior Women's Travel

Columbia County Favorites

The city of Hudson is in Columbia County and, throughout the year, the county hosts many great events.  Here are some of our Columbia County favorites:

·          Olana, Frederic Church’s Moorish fantasy house

·          Garden Conservancy…$5 each buys you a look at private gardens

·          Time & Space Limited and Hudson Opera House, two of Hudson’s best performance venues

·          Columbia County’s agriculture:  farmer’s markets, organic meats, fruits, vegetables, dedicated small farms, wineries.

·          The Spencertown Academy Book Festival…author lectures, thousands of new hardcovers for $3 each

·          Grass roots theatre companies…at least a dozen

·          Winter Walk in Hudson…Warren Street revelry: window performances, carolers, music, theatre, hot chocolate and wine tastings

·          Spring Art Open Studios…always “discover” a new artist to love. Weekly art gallery openings throughout the county

·          Antiquing…feast for the eyes in Hudson antique shops, Stair Gallery auctions

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One-day Tour of Hudson, New York

Tours every day except Wednesday (subject to availability)

The city of Hudson, in the Hudson Valley, is two hours north of New York City.

Arrive in Hudson about 11 a.m. by Amtrak or car from New York City.   The fare on Amtrak is around $66 round trip, expensive but well worth it.  The tracks run right along the Hudson with lots to see: West Point, a ruined castle, tiny lighthouses, the Catskills and many bridges.  Exclusive:  I supply a written script of what you will be seeing with a brief history of the under-appreciated Hudson River.

You can also fly to Albany, where we will pick you up for the one-hour drive to Hudson.  Think of Hudson, as a possible pre-trip before going on to New York City.

Why Hudson?

As a relatively new resident of Hudson and a tour operator specializing in Europe’s most vibrant and exciting cities, I am intrigued and entranced with Hudson.

Why does a native of New York City love this rural town?  Hudson fascinates me because of its rich history and varied architecture, much of it has survived and been lovingly restored.  Hudson also offers an excellent picture of a young 18th century town moving more than once from boom to bust and back again to a thriving community.  I also idolize the Hudson River, and deplore its lack of respect.  It’s importance in the development of New York state is little-known and under-appreciated.

Hudson is also a study in contrasts…older residents who are a little distressed over changes in their town, a determined farming community dedicated to preserving their small farms, and the new people who with the earlier residents bring sophisticated vibe equal to many larger cities.  Entrepreneurs, mostly from New York City, bring a cultural energy that extends to every segment of the arts…I call it Hudson Valley Lifestyle.  

Hudson's Historic Warren Street

Architectural Styles Abound in Hudson

Tour Highlights

Hudson’s Historic Warren Street and Olana:

        57 antique shops, 27 Art Galleries, Artists’ Studios…I will lead you to the best.  My favorite Hudson shop has an eclectic mix of furniture, home accessories plus jewelry, scarves, and tempting miscellany.

        The story of Hudson…the city has gone through many boom to bust cycles.  Its history includes periods ranging from a whaling, merchant economy to an infamous period of prostitution and corruption to its present thriving stance.

        A dictionary of American architecture…Fine examples of Federal, Greek Revival, Second Empire and Italianate styles. As a member of Historic Hudson, an organization devoted to preservation of Hudson architecture, I rely on their extensive research to tell Hudson’s architectural history.

        Performing arts venues…At the Hudson Opera House, see the first theater in New York State, a huge theater waiting for renovation.  Time & Space Limited is a factory-like space that hosts edgy movies, controversial speakers and quirky music.

        Visit Olana, just a few minutes by car, from Warren Street.  Olana is the former home of Frederic Church, one of the leading painters, in the famed Hudson River School of painting.  Olana is a  Moorish villa with spectacular views of the Catskills and the Hudson River, a landscape that was the inspiration for the Hudson River painters.

Olana, Frederic Church's Moorish Fantasy

View of Olana's Grounds and Hudson

Leave for home or choose to stay overnight at a bed and breakfast and continue your exploration of the Hudson Valley the following day, self-guided or with us.

The following can be substituted for any of the above activities on a one-day tour (or extend your trip to a second day):   

·        Visit a nearby farm that raises 100% Black Angus cattle that feed on high energy grasses.  A drive through the small herd is unexpected.  Learn how they raise chickens that also fertilize the grass.  Buy a steak or two; price is about $25 a pound.

·        Visit a high-quality linen outlet store right near Hudson.  If you are a linen aficionado, you'll appreciate the 50% to 80% off their high prices (sold at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue).

Cost

1 to 4 people: $325

Tours for larger groups: price available on request.

Themed Tours for Larger Groups

  • Family Farms:  An overview of the vigorous farm scene in the Hudson Valley.  Farmer’s market, premium apple grower, a winery, and a jeep ride through a small herd of Black Angus cattle.  Finally, a Salute to the Pie Ladies of the Hudson Valley, a sampling of the best.

  • Private Garden Tours:  The Garden Conservancy runs summer tours of the most incredible home gardens.  Schedule available in March 2009.

  • Art Trail:  Introduction to the Hudson River School of painting at the homes of two of its most prominent painters, Frederic Church’s Olana and Thomas Cole’s Cedar Grove.   See the actual landscapes they painted.

  • Antiquing in Hudson:  No one can visit the more than 60 antique stores in one day.  We’ll lead you to the best with brief talks by some of the owners.  Walking tour of historic Hudson’s Warren Street.

  • Stately Homes along the Hudson:  Clermont, Staatsburgh, Wilderstein.  Garden views at Montgomery Place, glorious Hudson River vista at Bard College.

Challenge us to create a tour just for your group to reflect your interests.

Prime time for these tours is May through October. However, some tours are available year round. Tours can be booked every day of the week (except Wednesday for the Hudson one-day tour when Hudson antique stores and many of its restaurants are closed).

Cost depends on number in group, where you are coming from, etc.   Contact us for more information on our Themed Tours or to plan a day for your group.