Getting Oriented

Set on both sides of the Hudson River, the region stretches from just north of New York City all the way to Columbia County's northern border, narrowing the farther north you go.

Six bridges connect the west and east banks of the river in the region: the Tappan Zee Bridge, the Bear Mountain Bridge, the Newburgh–Beacon Bridge, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the Kingston–Rhinecliff Bridge, and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Interstate 84 runs east–west across the northern section of the lower valley, crossing the Newburgh–Beacon Bridge. Interstate 87, the New York Thruway, runs northward through the Bronx and lower Westchester on the east side of the Hudson River, before crossing west at the Tappan Zee Bridge and heading north toward Albany. From New Jersey, Interstate 287 merges with 87 in southern Rockland County shortly after crossing the New York state border.

The Palisades Interstate Parkway is the other major north–south road on the west side, sometimes referred to as the "left bank"; Route 17 cuts northwest across the lower valley and into the southern Catskills. U.S. 9W travels the west bank from Nyack to Catskill, through Newburgh and Kingston.

On the east side of the river, the Saw Mill River Parkway runs north of Yonkers, hooking up with Interstate 684 in the northeast corner of Westchester County. The Taconic State Parkway, which starts north of White Plains, winds its way northward the length of the Hudson Valley. U.S. 9 mostly hugs the east bank of the Hudson River, passing through many picturesque towns, including Tarrytown, Hyde Park, and Rhinebeck.

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