Guest post by Robin Locker
I live in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. I have lived several places in my life, but this is where I was raised and I am happy to call it home. Much has changed over the years, but it is a fabulous travel destination and only a short drive or train ride north of New York City. These are my top five attractions for anyone traveling here.
- Walkway over the Hudson. Newly opened last fall, the once neglected railroad bridge is now a walkway that spans the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Highland. The walkway, which is a New York State Park, offers great views both up and down river and is the highest and longest pedestrian bridge of its kind. At the present time admission is free.
- Vanderbilt Mansion. Now part of the National Parks Service this beautiful historic mansion is popular with tourists and locals alike. You can take a tour of the mansion, have a picnic or stroll around the beautiful grounds which offer stunning views of the river and on a clear day, the Catskill Mountains. There are also formal gardens that shouldn’t be missed if you visit in the warmer months.
- Culinary Institute of America. This prestigious culinary school, located in Hyde Park, sits on a prime piece of real estate directly on the Hudson River. The views are as beautiful as the architecture of the buildings on campus, which have been around for 60 years. It boasts four restaurants and a bakery all run by the students. The campus gift shop sells CIA brand cookware and tons of cookbooks. Reservations are a must.
- Shawangunk Wine Trail. Eleven family-owned wineries all with drop-dead views are nestled among the Shawangunk Mountains in both Orange and Ulster counties. All of the wines are produced using traditional methods brought to the region by early French Huguenot settlers. All offer many varieties of white, red, sparkling and dessert – some even award-winning. Special events are held throughout the year.
- Dia. Art lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the only modern art museum in the area, which is located in Beacon. Open since 2003, the museum, which was converted from an abandoned Nabisco box printing factory, is used to house its renowned collection of art from the 1960’s to present.
Robin Locker is a France and Italy travel consultant, freelance travel writer and photographer who hopes to one day realize her dream of living La Dolce Vita in her beloved Italy. She writes about travel for MNUI travel insurance and on her own site, My Melange. She is addicted to social media – you can follow her on Twitter @MyMelange.