Posts Tagged ‘Hudson River Valley’

It’s a Fine Time to Take to the Water on a Hudson River Cruise from Manhattan Northbound

For years, I’ve joined the mobs of cars heading up to Vermont to catch a glimpse of the yellows, reds, greens and browns of the fall trees. Beautiful to look at, right? But the traffic is killer. This year, I did it right. Taking advantage of Manhattan’s waterside location, I boarded Classic Harbor Line for a four-hour Fall Foliage Cruise up the Hudson River. Departing from Chelsea Piers, Pier 62, the restored vessels travel north until the George Washington Bridge where you can view the Palisades on the left and Morningside Heights on the right, all bedecked in fall’s finest. Food is included, depending on which cruise you choose, plus beverages like spiked hot chocolate to keep you warm. Bundle up — the breeze off the water can be quite intense — even through the fleece blankets that you’re given to help.  If you really want to stay warm, just stay indoors and peer through the oversized windows or through the skylights of the ship’s heated and enclosed observatory.

If you miss the foliage departures, there are three holiday cruises coming up later this month that you won’t want to miss, perfect for a party on the water.

My recommendations:

The Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise on board the Manhattan, weekends only, is a party with a four-course brunch buffet including complimentary bloody Mary, mimosa, beer, wine or champagne.

For something less formal, book a sail on the 80-foot Adirondack, a gorgeous 1890’s-inspired pilot schooner. Bring your own picnic and the boat supplies the drinks (alcoholic, of course, and with warm-up boozy hot cocoa.)

Starting November 23, get festive with a Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise. The vintage yachts are kitted out in holiday dress while showcasing New York City harbor all lit up. Listen and sing along to classic carols backed by a live band. It’s definitely a fun time, and you’ll receive one complimentary drink (including the aforementioned spiked hot chocolate) along with homemade cookies and treats.

If you love jazz, the Holiday Jazz Cruise is your ticket to a 1920’s-style soiree. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning November 26, afternoon and evening departures are all about romance on a luxury 1920’s style yacht resplendent with festive décor. A live jazz trio entertains playing holiday tunes and you’ll enjoy cookies and spiked cocoa, beer, wine or champagne.

Day Trips by Train from New York City — Festivals Await!

Seven exciting events taking place this summer in the Hudson Valley have the added benefit of being easily reachable by train from New York City. With a ride on Metro North or Amtrak, you can stop at these stations and walk—or take a short taxi ride or ride share service—to reach the event. www.hudsonrivervalley.com

While summer in New York City can be a lot of fun with parades, festivals, outdoor movies and concerts, sometimes it helps to have a getaway planned, no cars needed.  From Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal, you can start your day with a bite at the Pennsy or at the food court downstairs or grab a pastry and coffee from Zaro’s, meet your friends under the clock or departure board, then grab a train, sit back, and enjoy a day out of the city at one of these great events.

It’s easy:  you can use the new, interactive Hudson River Train Tour mobile app, recently developed by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in partnership with the National Park Service, to check out programs, find guides, and information about these wonderful day trip opportunities.

Station: Yonkers

Event: Yonkers Riverfest

Less than 15 minutes from Manhattan via Metro North from Grand Central, the 26th Annual Yonkers Riverfest takes place September 15, rain or shine, and it’s free. The festival will include music entertainment, arts, crafts, food, exhibits, children’s activities, and much more. Events take place along Main Street and Buena Vista Avenue, where the Yonkers Train Station is located. https://www.yonkersriverfest.org

Station: Peekskill

Event: Hudson Valley Exposition

Travel just 25 minutes from Manhattan via Metro North from Grand Central to The Hudson Valley Exposition, taking place on August 4, with many events right near the train station. The festival includes a Kidz Zone where children can create art, learn about science, interact with live animals and more. There will also be music, food, drinks and craft beer, and a wellness and technology area. http://www.hvexposition.com

Station: Beacon

Event: Hudson River Craft Beer Festival

Travel a little further – 1 ¼ hours — from Grand Central on Metro North and you can spend the day on the Beacon riverfront for the Hudson River Craft Beer Festival, September 15. For the 6th year, the festival will bring together beer lovers from all around the area to Riverfront Park, next to the Beacon train station. There will be over 150 releases from some of America’s best breweries to be sampled. And just think, you don’t have to drive!  General admission and VIP tickets are now available. https://americaontap.com/event/hudson-river-craft-beer-festival/

Station: Cold Spring

Event: The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

In slightly under two hours, you can train via Metro North from Grand Central to The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival for shows at the Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison. This year, the productions include Richard II, The Taming of the Shrew, The Heart of Robin Hood, The Sea-Maids Music and Rip Van Winkle. Shows take place from July to the beginning of September. What’s even better? HVSF will offer a free round-trip shuttle from the Cold Spring Train Station to the Theater Tent every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. https://hvshakespeare.org/

Station: Poughkeepsie

Event: 4th of July Fireworks

Buy a ticket for a ride that’s just an hour and a half from Manhattan by Metro North from Grand Central to see fireworks that are even more spectacular over the water. Join the City of Poughkeepsie and the Walkway Over the Hudson for their 4th of July celebration. The park, a 15-minute walk from the train, is the place to watch the city’s fireworks display overlooking the Hudson River, scheduled for 9pm. Tickets can be purchased online at $12.50 for adults, $10.00 for Walkway Members, Veterans and Seniors and free for children under 10. https://walkway.org/4th-of-july-fireworks-spectacular/

Station: Rhinecliff

Event: The Dutchess County Fair

Amtrak service from Penn Station in Manhattan will take you to the popular Dutchess County Fair in about an hour and a half to the second largest county fair in New York, scheduled this year from August 21-26. With more than 147 acres of land for farm animals and exhibitions, the grounds become an entertainment destination for all. There are free shows and attractions, and tickets can also be purchased for the Grandstand Concert Series including The Wallflowers, Chris Lane and Kip Moore.  Start your day early – this is a terrific event. http://dutchessfair.com/

Station: Hudson

Event: Basilica Soundscape

If you don’t mind a slightly longer trip, the 2 ½ hour ride on Amtrak from Penn Station in Manhattan will lead to the beautiful countryside where Basilica Soundscape is being held from September 14-16. Basilica Soundscape is a weekend of art, culture and music held in historic factory building down the street from the Amtrak station. Live performances by Efrim Menuck, Grouper, Haxan Cloak x Nick Zinner, Insect Ark, and Jungil Hong are scheduled over the three days. There will also be conceptual performances, author readings, local vendors and artisans, collaborations and activities throughout the weekend. http://basilicahudson.org/soundscape/about-basilica-soundscape/

www.hudsonrivervalley.com

Learning Vacations in Upstate New York

It’s vacation time and also a very good time to learn a new skill.  For Manhattanites, there is a wide range of options waiting within an easy drive or train ride from the city. As an added benefit, these learning holidays all take place in areas where the scenery will wow you with its unspoiled natural beauty.

Upstate New York’s craft traditions date back to Colonial times and its natural beauty is safeguarded by “Forever Wild” Forest Preserves and State Parks that cover an area greater than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Great Smokies national parks combined.

Here are some examples of learning vacations that will challenge you while allowing you to bring home a new skill:

  • Build a boat in wine country. Black Sheep Inn and Spa, in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, will offer a week-long boatbuilding class this summer. No experience is required, and students build a Bevin’s skiff to take home. Packages offering pottery, stained glass, glassblowing and jewelry workshops are also available.
  • The art of glass. In the Finger Lakes region, the Corning Museum of Glass offers glass-making programs for children and adults. Additionally, the Oatka School of Glass in Batavia in the Greater Niagara region offers classes in kiln-formed glass ranging from introductory two-hour Make+Fuse to advanced multi-day workshops.
  • Watercolor and more. Hudson River Valley Art Workshops at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn in Greenville are offered in a variety of media for diverse skill levels. Whet your appetite by visiting Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing to see the Hudson River Valley School paintings.
  • Make a rustic headboard. Set in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York, the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne offers opportunities to build authentic Adirondack chairs and twig furniture as well as learn weaving, pottery, soap making and more. On tap year-round, classes range from half-day sessions to week-long courses. Most are tailored to adults.
  • Write a graphic novel or learn how to make a movie. At Chautauqua Institution, located in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region, workshops include film-making, creating graphic novels and more.
  • Awaken your spirit. Also in the Hudson Valley, the renowned Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY offers classes in dance, writing, music, crafts, and other creative arts.  Practice your downward-facing dog in one of their many yoga classes to help you unleash your inner creator.
  • Cook with a chef. The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY, in the Hudson Valley offers CIA Boot Camp Cooking Vacations with expert chefs. Courses include two- to five-day specialized programs such as American Regional, Italian and Asian cuisine and a classic five-day Basic Training.
  • Make a wooden bucket. Novices and aficionados can apprentice for two days with skilled cooper at Genesee Country Village & Museum, a living 19th-century country village in the Finger Lakes region and take home their own crafted bucket. The living museum also offers classes in tinsmithing, blacksmithing and cheese-making.
  • Weave an Adirondack pack basket. Students can learn to weave a pack basket or door, notepad and other Adirondack-style baskets at the Thousand Islands Arts Center (home of the Hand Weaving Museum) in Clayton in the 1000 Islands region. The center also offers classes in pottery, jewelry making, painting and other fiber arts.

Planning a trip to NYC?