By Deborah Bruno / Washington Post
The region is rich in timeless scenery and American history, and as more downstate New Yorkers have moved to the area, all kinds of places to go and things to do have opened up or expanded: new restaurants, well-marked hiking trails, river cruises, art galleries and museums that celebrate the Hudson River School painters. Craft beer breweries have been popping up like mad. A recent article in Hudson Valley Magazine listed 34 — new or more established, in the mountains or along the river. The region also has vineyards, some of which seem to tout their views of the mountains as much as their wines.
Itinerary for first-timers: Pay your respects to Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park. FDR was a New York history buff, and his library’s collection on state history has few rivals. And don’t forget about his wife, Eleanor. The Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site is situated at her Val-Kill Cottage, about three miles away. A few miles south, check out Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, a repurposed railroad bridge that’s a pedestrian favorite. And now that you’ve worked up an appetite, try a meal at one of the Culinary Institute of America’s student-run restaurants. (As of press time, American Bounty and the Bocuse Restaurant were open, along with the no-reservation Apple Pie Bakery Café.) Begin a new day with a trip about 35 miles north, to Olana, the Persian-style mountaintop home of painter Frederic Church, then cross the Hudson River Skywalk to visit the home of Church’s mentor, Thomas Cole, which includes Cole’s house and two studios.