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Lissa2905 Mar 26th, 2009 05:35 PM

Hudson River Valley Boat Trip
Please help me. I've been searcing for about eight hours for a day trip / boat trip up the Hudson River past all the great estates (i guess predominantly between poughkeepsie and Hudson?) I'm having a lot of trouble finding someone that does this. Hudson Valley Cruises does but only for groups. Please can anyone help. This has always been a dream of mine. Thank you, Melissa

ellenem Mar 26th, 2009 07:44 PM

Out of NYC there is this one-day trip to Bear Mountain/West Point, not as far as the area you want. It is only available in autumn to take advantage of the changing colors:

For lower and upper Hdson, the Clearwater sloop has some public dates:

Lissa2905 Mar 26th, 2009 08:49 PM

Thanks, I'd found clearwater but it doesn't seem to do the trip up past all the great estates. Really hope someone out there knows how to do this. I found where you can book for groups of ten or more, but not just for a couple.

HowardR Mar 27th, 2009 04:58 AM

Go to and click on Hudson River cruises on the left.

njsusan Mar 27th, 2009 05:11 AM

We went on this trip last June.It was a nice 2 hour cruise.

bspielman Mar 27th, 2009 06:21 AM

Have you thought of combining a short cruise with an auto tour? Many of the estates in the lower Hudson Valley are worth visiting. Even if you only visited Boscobel, with its spectacular view down the Hudson past West Point to the Bear Mountain Bridge, you'd get a feel for what these places are like. Also, Boscobel is the venue for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, whose season will be in full swing while you're visiting.

Here's a list of mansions with explanations:

And, here's a link to the HVSF:

Lissa2905 Mar 27th, 2009 03:52 PM

Thanks for all this help, i'd found hudson river cruises, but their website said they don't take booking for under 10 people, I am emailing them to see if they have a trip. I've heard that the train line out to near there is a beautiful trip, or maybe we'd be better off hiring a car out of NYC. We also would like to spend a day out on Long Island and head to Montauk. Once again, thank you

J62 Mar 27th, 2009 06:32 PM

" I've heard that the train line out to near there is a beautiful trip, or maybe we'd be better off hiring a car out of NYC. "

A couple of points.

1. You can get a commuter train (Metro North RR) to Poughkeepsie, but no further.
2. You can take Amtrak to Rhinecliff (Rhinebeck), across the river from Kingston, but you still have to get to Kingston.
3. While there certainly pretty stretches of train ride from NYC to POK most if it is a 60mph clackity-clack ride through NYC & surrouds, woods, industrial areas, or along some rather nondescript stretches of the riverfront.

Rent a car - it'll give you far more flexibility and probably cost less to boot. From Manhattan to Kingston is 1.5hrs on the most direct route (I-87/NYS Thruway), longer if you take a scenic route or stop along the way at various sites.

bspielman Mar 27th, 2009 08:12 PM

If you're willing to give up the boat trip, then I think a rental car is your best bet. J62 describes the Metro North trip and its limitations quite accurately. I also think that, if you're not planning on staying in the Hudson Valley, you'll need to limit your itinerary to two or three places in order to do justice to them in the time you've allotted.

As for Montauk, I don't recall what time of year you said you are visiting, but Montauk is about three hours from the City in good traffic, far, far more in bad. Much of the trip is on the exceedingly boring Long Island Expressway and the remainder is on traffic-choked two-lane highways through the Hamptons (summer home of the rich and famous), then another hour or so out to Montauk. Not worth your trouble, in my opinion.

Some Jersey Shore communities are much more accessible from New York, including via NJTransit rail from Penn Station, and are equally as scenic as eastern Long Island, absent the Hamptons attitude. If you're driving, you might want to head for the spectacularly beautiful Island Beach State Park.

Just a caution: summer weekend (Friday-to-Sunday) traffic is insane whichever direction you go. Another reason, perhaps, to take the train to the Jersey Shore.

(Oh, and incidentally, here in New Jersey, it's never the coast or the beach (well, other than the state park), it's the shore. And, Jersey is the only "New" state in the United States that is commonly referred to without the "New." You never hear other states referred to as "York" or "Hampshire" or "Mexico," for example.)

Lissa2905 Mar 27th, 2009 11:23 PM

Thanks again, So.. if we were to hire a car we could drive out toward Kingston, but we really wouldn't see much of the built architecture I'd imagine, unless we go into each estate which is open to the public individually?
Would it then be a four to five hour drive out onto Long Island and to Montauk? We will be there in the first half of July, So the weather would be quite nice?
If we chose the Jersey shore option... which does sound quite attractive would we need a car, or just use the train, how long would it take to get us out there.
Re the Hamptons, I understand that it's the vacation area of the rich and famous, but we were thinking of it in terms of the built scenery, coastal landscapes and the contrast with NYC? Anyone got any opinions here? Thanks to you all I'm getting a much more fleshed out plan in my head.

J62 Mar 28th, 2009 03:08 AM

You've listed several specific destinations - Kingston, Montauk, Jersey Shore, each of which could be a long to very long haul from Manhattan.

Can you tell us what it really is you'd like to do? There are options that don't entail driving so far that may fit the bill perfectly. If you're planning on doing these excursions as a day trip or a 2-3 day trip?

If it's a beach then you have numerous options, each with pros and cons.

If it's scenic drive w/ historic estates, then there are places much closer than Kingston. We could map out a really nice 1 day trip or even nicer one overnight route for you.

If it's a hudson river boat ride - (which is what you first mention) there may be options closer than Kingston. or

If it's a scenic drive through the countryside - lots of routes to consider.

If it's quaint little towns w/ B&B?

If it's outlet shopping ....(not kidding - some people post here on fodors asking how to get to outlet malls near NYC)

emalloy Mar 28th, 2009 04:03 AM

A nice way to see Montauk is to take the train to New London, CT then rent a car and take the Ferry to Orient Point on Long Island. The ferry goes through a pretty part of the sound and puts you closer to Montauk. This avoids most of the driving.

njsusan Mar 28th, 2009 07:03 AM

"i'd found hudson river cruises, but their website said they don't take booking for under 10 people"

We were a party of 3.You do not need to prebook,there is a ticket booth at the dock.

Lissa2905 Mar 28th, 2009 03:18 PM

Thank you njsusan, hopefully they run everyday. I'm waiting for an email back from them regarding this.

emalloy, thank you re getting to Montauk this sounds wonderful.

J62, what we are considering is leaving NYC early in the morning and heading out to montauk, perhaps via the ferry from CT as suggested above, the next day we would then drive to Kingston, take the cruise with Hudson River Cruises and then head back to NYC.

Does this sound feasible. Also, any inside info you have on routes to take would be appreciated.

Thanks again

thorspecken Mar 28th, 2009 03:33 PM

I saw American Cruise Lines add in Audubon Magazine but I think they only do the fall. But all their trips sound interesting. Btw, I met my husband at the Clearwater Festival over 20 years ago. But it's more about the environment than mansions! Check it out sometime though. It's a special thing.

J62 Mar 28th, 2009 03:47 PM

No, I don't think it sounds feasible at all.

- Manhattan to New London: 2 1/2 hr drive on a very busy truck route (I-95)
- Wait at New London for next ferry & boarding - 30min - 1 1/2hr, depending on whether you just miss a ferry or not.
- Ferry to Orient Point - 1 1/2 hrs over open water
- Drive Orient Point to Montauk - 2hrs over very slow 2 lane rds.

If you left Manhattan at 6am you'd get to Montauk somewhere around noon. I'm not quite sure what is drawing you to Montauk, especially for what amounts to a day trip or one quick overnight.

The next day it's a 4-5hr drive from Montauk to Kingston - could be worse if there is traffic anywhere as you'd be driving right through NYC again.

You're basically taking a day trip FROM Montauk to Kinsgton, then back to NYC. As others have said the Hudson Valley is nice IF you are in or passing through the area. There is no way I would advise a one day trip from even NYC to Kingston to catch a boat ride, let alone a added 3+ hr drive from the tip of Long Island.

My advice is to pick one or the other & plan on 2 days / 1 night on either Long Island or the Hudson Valley, but if you plan to do both you'll see hours and hours of roadway & traffic.

bspielman Mar 28th, 2009 08:31 PM

The NJTransit train ride from Penn Station in New York to many of the Jersey Shore communities is about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, depending upon how far south you choose to go. You would probably want to choose one community to visit, such as Spring Lake (very attractive, beautiful homes; a long non-commercial boardwalk; no convenient changing facilities for day-trippers, however) or Ocean Grove (family-friendly community, non-commercial boardwalk, changing facilities available) or Belmar (commercial boardwalk, lots of activity).

However, you've not made clear why you want to head for the Shore (or for Montauk, for that matter). If, instead of beach communities, you're looking for unspoiled dunes and wildlife, you should consider Island Beach State Park (mentioned earlier in this thread).

I agree with J62 that trying to cram LI or the Jersey Shore and the Hudson Valley into a single trip is inviting long waits in traffic.

pewang Mar 29th, 2009 01:17 AM


It's not inexpensive, but have you looked at Smithsonian Journey's fall trip along the Hudson? They use a 49-passenger ship & stop at historic homes of literary, artistic & political figures. Begins & ends in NYC, Oct. 16-24.


Lissa2905 Mar 29th, 2009 02:44 PM

Hi All, thanks so much. Yes I guess in terms of Montauk, we were looking for those stereotypical Hamptons beaches and coastline. Can we get this anywhere else?

We want to see this, and we also want to see the mansions and great estates along the Hudson, would we do better to do both as separate day trips to and Back from NYC?

It's a long way to come from Australia, and we both have things that we've always thought of seeing when in / near NYC.

Thank you


bspielman Mar 29th, 2009 07:22 PM

I'm not so sure you'd be able to get much of a view of Hamptons beaches and coastline. Those towns are very protective and restrictive of who is even allowed on the beaches. And they're a long, long drive from NYC.

I'll repeat my suggestion of the Jersey Shore. Spring Lake has a beautiful avenue (Ocean Avenue) between the large homes (some quite spectacular) and the sandy beach. It's a lovely town, worth a drive through, even several blocks from the ocean. As its name implies, there's a lovely lake within the town limits.

Another couple of towns on the Jersey Shore somewhat north of Spring Lake are Deal and Elberon, both of which have huge homes. But the main "drag" (Route 35) is on the shoreward side of the homes, so you really can't see them.

If you want the quintessential Eastern US seashore, head for Island Beach State Park, a long narrow natural reserve on one of the barrier islands that face the Atlantic Ocean, and are across a bay from the Jersey mainland.

And, yes, you should consider making the shore trip (NJ or LI) on a different day from the Hudson Valley trip. Either or both can be good, if chock full, day trips.

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