Quirky culture, north of NYC
Café Le Perche, a bakery with a liquor license that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, frequently sells out of its outrageously delicious croissants and chocolate chip cookies. Another restaurant bound to become a Hudson institution is the Chai Shop, where authentic Indian food made from local ingredients, such as wild spinach pakora, is served inside a still-functioning home furnishing store. For more casual fare, the new Grazin’ looks like a greasy spoon but it is the first restaurant in the US to be certified by Animal Welfare Approved, meaning that the grassfed Angus cattle are humanely treated – and also make a delicious burger.
Shopping is also a key attraction in Hudson, and Warren Street is lined with high end but cheaper-than-the-city antique shops, boutiques and art galleries. Check out White Rice for women’s clothing and home furnishing; Rural Residence for antiques; Five and Diamond for vintage clothing; Carrie Haddad Gallery for contemporary art and photography; and The Spotty Dog for books and micro brewed beer.
The one area where Hudson is still lacking is in accommodations, so visitors should book rooms well in advance. The Inn at Ca’ Mea, attached to a well-regarded Italian restaurant with a lively bar, has an excellent location right on Warren Street. Another good choice is the meticulous Croff House Bed and Breakfast. And though Hudson is incredibly walkable, a car will add to your options of places to stay. About 17 miles away, the sleepy town of Hillsdale, New York, for example, has the elegant Inn at Green River and the affordable and modern Silvanus Lodge.
A car also opens additional options to explore the surrounding rural landscape. Most notably there is Olana, the historic home of the Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church. There are guided tours available of his sumptuous, Moorish-style house that overlooks the Hudson River, and there is a network of trails and pathways to explore the 250-acre estate.
If you arrive in Hudson without a car, Olana is still within reach. Since it is just under four miles from downtown Hudson, taxis are more than used to taking city visitors to the site.