We know, the Hudson River Valley in the fall. Groundbreaking. But when the temperature dips there’s good reason the bucolic region gets so much attention. The sweeping views of fiery fall foliage, family-run orchards, and farm-to-table restaurants all add up to the perfect excuse to pack up you knitwear and head north. Plan an impromptu road trip to take it all in — from apple picking to antique shopping, we mapped out the perfect weekend in Hudson, New York.
On Friday, take off a little early and head for Hudson, a little less than three hours north of New York City. Getting to the charming riverside town is half the fun this time of year — take your time driving through the region to take in the Catskill mountains and legendary fall foliage.
Check into the newly-opened Little Cat Lodge, a 14-room haven outfitted with custom-made maple wood beds and vintage art and decor. Each room has a view of Catamount Mountain and the surrounding forest landscape from its own private terrace or patio, and the wooded grounds offer hiking trails, barrel saunas, and a swimming pool for the warmer months. For dinner, book a table at the Tavern, the resort’s Alpine-inspired restaurant led by James Beard Award-nominated chef Jason Bond. Pair a Little Cat Martini made with Michelberger ‘mountain’ herbal liqueur with one of the chef’s classic comfort dishes like pork schnitzel and hand-made pasta.
Wake up to a complementary breakfast before heading to Hudson, a roughly half-hour drive from the property. First stop: Olana State Historic Site, the former estate of 19th-century landscape painter Frederic Church set on 250-acres overlooking the Hudson River. Take a guided walking tour around the property to soak up views of the working farm, lake, and gardens, and the surrounding Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley’s fall color palette.
After a morning outdoors, head to Hudson. Break for lunch at Half Moon, where they serve thin-crust pizzas and wine, or Hudson Food Studio for braised pork ramen, spicy shrimp rice noodles and a mojito made with lemongrass ginger simpe syrup. Hit Hudson Roastery afterward for a pick-me-up in the form of organic, locally-roasted coffee. Afterwards, spend time strolling around the exceedingly charming town, stopping into antique shops and boutiques on Warren and the surrounding streets. Don’t miss Florent for botanical skincare and perfume, the bold-printed frocks at designer Nikki Chasin’s eponymous shop, and Magic Hill for mid-centruy furniture and other antique treasures.
In the late afternoon, make your way to the Maker — the boutique hotel on the corner of Warren and 3rd Streets opened by Fresh Beauty founders — and grab a seat on one of the tufted velvet armchairs inside the Lounge. The warm, dimly-lit space is the perfect setting for fall cocktails. Try one of their signature concoctions, or an alcohol-free version like the Sea of Poppies, made with hibiscus, rose, and bitter lemon tonic. For dinner, Lil Deb’s Oasis, a ten-minute walk up the street, is a must for dishes like scallop ceviche and spiced lamb skewers with Thai basil salsa verde, capped off with pineapple cilantro sorbet — all paired with a joyful, come-as-you-are energy.
Take your time getting up on Sunday, and take a post-breakfast walk (and sauna break) around the grounds before setting out for the time-honored fall tradition: apple picking. BYO bag to the family-owned Hopedale Farm to pick Honeycrisp and Jonagolds in the charming, no-frills orchard that’s been in operation since 1916. Make sure to fill your bags with enough to bake a cobbler back home.
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