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Hudson Valley, N.Y.: This once-sleepy valley is having a shopping and artistic awakening

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It’s no surprise the Hudson Valley is having a moment. Stretching from Westchester to Albany, this once-sleepy region of New York has had an awakening of sorts, with an influx of shops, arts meccas and boutique places to stay that fuse metropolitan culture with a bucolic setting

Great for:

Art lovers, antique hunters, couples.

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Warren Street, Hudson, NY

What to do:

Hudson is called the “Downtown of Upstate New York.” Remarkably, most of the action is centered on one main thoroughfare: Warren Street. Stroll along the mile-long road to find art galleries, antique dealers, home goods stores, and all the good eateries and cocktail bars. For your fill of culture, enjoy a show at Hudson Hall at the Hudson Opera House, which was recently restored after sitting vacant for 50 years.

If Hudson is your home base, there’s plenty to do just across the river in towns like Catskill (with its bustling Main Street) and Athens, home to the Crossroads Brewing Co. The area is also jam-packed with farms, so visit a nearby orchard like Philip Orchards or Don Baker Farm to pick whatever is in season. 

Where to eat:

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Grazin' Diner on Warren Street in Hudson

Staying in Hudson, stroll down downtown’s Warren Street and take your pick. You’ll find American Glory Restaurant, housed in an old red-brick firehouse, for barbecue and live music. Grazin’ Diner boasts a local and organic “biodynamic’’ diner menu. Then there’s the French bistro, Le Gamin Country Restaurant. For your morning brew and a fresh-baked treat, pop into Supernatural Coffee.

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The Maker Hotel

Where to stay:

Founders of the popular beauty brand “Fresh” are offering a new kind of makeover in Hudson. In fall 2020, the duo opened The Maker Hotel, just steps from the town’s popular Warren Street and all its art galleries, shops and restaurants. It stands to reason, then, that the 11-room boutique property celebrates “makers” from artisans to craftspeople and builders. Guests can enjoy a circus-themed gymnasium with its own juice bar, a private pool and several popular eateries. 

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The Art Omin: Cameron Wu, Magnetic Z

Hidden gem:

Chances are you’ve heard of the popular Storm King Art Center, but there is another sizable sculpture garden in the Hudson Valley. Art Omi is just a stone’s throw from Hudson in Ghent. Situated on 120 acres, you’ll find a host of large-scale works in nature as well as a 1,500-square-foot gallery. Pieces are added and exchanged each year, and you can enjoy the grounds free of charge.  

On the way:

Before you leave the Nutmeg State, take advantage of stops on Connecticut’s Wine Trail. Driving north, DiGrazia Vineyards & Winery in Brookfield and White Silo Farm & Winery in Sherman are easy stops off Route 7. Pop in for a tasting or stock up on bottles to-go for your Hudson Valley picnic.

From Hartford: 2 hrs, 15 min / 119 miles

From New Haven: 2 hrs, 10 min / 96 miles

From New London: 2 hrs, 50 min / 152 miles   

This article appears in the July 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.