The Hudson Valley: Places to Explore



Rising from decades of decay and decrepitude, Hudson has, over the past few years, finally arrived as a bona fide weekend destination for a growing cadre of hip New Yorkers. The beautifully restored architecture, the hundred-odd antiques emporiums, and the nascent reputation of the city as an upstate offshoot of Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood are what draw the hordes of aesthetes who descend on Hudson from Wednesday through Sunday each week.

Warren Street, the main drag, is lined with the lion's share of the city's antiques shops, scores of quirky boutiques and art galleries, and a rising number of increasingly trendy restaurants. At its foot is Promenade Hill Park, which offers views of the river, the Catskill Mountains, and the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.

Settled in 1783 as a whaling port, Hudson was built—from scratch—on a planned grid by a group of Quaker seafarers, artisans, and businessmen from Nantucket and New Bedford. These hardy folks felt their hometowns were sitting ducks for British warships in the uncertain days following the Revolution and wanted a safe, inland, deepwater haven. Not so long ago, into the mid-20th century, the city became famous for another industry: vice. Its red-light district, on what today is Columbia Street, was notorious. These days the old brothels have been restored by weekenders.