Spanning over 315 scenic miles, the majestic Hudson River flows from high in the Adirondack Mountains down to its mouth in New York City near the Atlantic Ocean. The Hudson River Valley in New York is a popular tourist destination well known for its natural beauty, diverse culture, and historical significance. Whether you are looking for a romantic couples’ getaway, a place to escape the chaos of everyday life, or a fun family vacation, the Hudson River is the perfect destination for you. Here are the ten ways to enjoy your visit to the Hudson River.
Visit the USS Slater
The USS Slater is one of only eight Destroyer Escorts (DE) left in the world and the only one that maintains its original WWII configuration. Moored in the Hudson River, this cannon-class ship is the last DE still afloat in the United States. These ships were used during WWII as convoy escorts to defend against Kamikaze air attacks and to detect and destroy Japanese submarines. The Slater has been fully restored to its original WWII glory and is open to the public for guided tours.
Take a river cruise adventure aboard the Pride of the Hudson
What better way to take in the majestic splendor of the Hudson Highlands than aboard the luxurious Pride of the Hudson? This narrated river cruise adventure begins at Newburgh Landing and takes you on a fantastic floating journey through some of the Hudson River’s most distinctive sights. You will visit Washington’s Headquarters, World’s End, West Point, and many others. You can enjoy the sights from the spacious sundeck or from the climate-controlled comfort of the salon.
Tour the Maritime Museum
The Hudson River Valley has a rich maritime heritage. The Maritime Museum, located on the historic Roundout Waterfront, strives to preserve and share that history. The museum sports a vast collection of artifacts, vessels, art, and much more, all related to the maritime history of the area. The museum is continually being updated by staff and includes free public events, a self-guided exhibit tour, educational programs, and even sailing lessons.
Journey along the Walkway
The Walkway Over the Hudson is the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. The walkway is 1.28 miles long and rises 212 feet in the air, spanning the breadth of the Hudson River. The bridge offers an unobstructed, 360-degree view of the surrounding scenery like no other. The entrance is located in Poughkeepsie and is ADA accessible. The walkway features a mobile audio tour in multiple languages corresponding with signage on the bridge. At either end of the walkway are miles of trails, diverse dining options, shopping, and entertainment.
Kayak the river
Touring the river by Kayak is a great way to get up close and personal with the beauty of the Hudson River Valley. Hudson River Recreation has three convenient locations along the Hudson River. They offer several tour options, including programs for beginners and first-timers. There is even an option for paddle boarding. Take your adventure into your own hands with a nature-spotting or historic site kayaking adventure along the Hudson.
The Hudson River is one of the most important commercial and recreational rivers in the United States. Lighthouses guided countless sailors as they traversed the waters of the past. Today there are only seven lighthouses remaining on the Hudson River. While they no longer guide ships, they are beautiful windows into our imaginations. Individually explore the inner workings of the Rondout lighthouse, which was built in 1915, or the Esopus Meadows lighthouse, which is fully solar powered, or book a dual lighthouse tour cruise for an external view only.
Dine along the water
Whether you are looking for a casual brunch with friends or dreaming of a romantic sunset dinner with someone special, the riverfront dining scene is the place to be. The choices of cuisine are endless, but they all have one thing in common – the picturesque beauty of the Hudson River backdrop. Don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy delicious food while taking in the stunning scenery of the area. It’s sure to be an experience you will never forget.
Head to Little Island at Pier 55
Little Island is a public park in NYC within the Hudson River Park. This whimsical 2.4-acre area is an artificial island on Pier 55 that is designed to appear as though it is emerging from the river. It sits atop 132 concrete piles rising up from the water. The park is exploding with greenery and features ample open spaces for play and activities. More than 66,000 bulbs and 114 trees create an unforgettable experience. The park has stunning views of the river and features two amphitheaters for public performances. It is open daily to the public for free.
Visit the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is the only educational institution that is housed on an aircraft carrier. On display at the museum is the submarine Growler, as well as over two dozen aircraft restored to authenticity, including a Lockheed A-12 Blackbird and a British Concorde. It is also home to the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Explorers of all ages will enjoy learning about the past and experiencing firsthand some of the most memorable aircraft of all time.
Visit Bannerman Castle
Situated in the middle of the Hudson River, the Bannerman Castle sits on the 6-acre Pollepel Island. The castle can only be reached by a short but beautiful boat ride from Beacon, NY. The walking tour takes you around the castle’s perimeter, through the grounds and gardens, and into the Bannerman’s separate and restored summer home. Erected around 1901, the castle was built as a munitions warehouse and was designed without the typical right architectural corners we are accustomed to, giving the external structure a truly fairytale appeal.
The Hudson River Valley is the perfect destination for anyone. It is an area rich in culture and history and steeped in breathtaking natural beauty. Whether it’s high adventure, family fun, or a leisurely getaway you are looking for, the Hudson River has it all. Start planning your visit today.