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Upstate New York/Upper Hudson River Valley Weekend

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My wife and I live in New Jersey in the NYC area. Looking for a quick, relaxing getaway in late March/early April that is a short drive. Shopping, eating and scenery will be the main focus.

I'm not sure whether I should target:

a) the Hudson River Valley: Rhinebeck, Nyack, New Paltz, Hudson and similar towns in that region.
or
b) bigger destinations like Lake George or Saratoga.

Can anyone tell me when the main benefits/drawbacks are to each area?

I'd like to get a good deal on a hotel in a beautiful area where there is enough stuff to keep us busy. Bed and breakfasts are fine as long as they are somewhat modern.

Any guidance would be appreciated as I am completely unfamiliar with both of these regions.

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