Upstate New York is known for many to be the quickest way to get away from the big city and relax in the great outdoors, driving through national parks and visiting small towns that dot the banks of the Hudson River. Sometimes, however, you’re looking for something in between – a nice balance between the arts, shopping, and hospitality of the city and the open skies. Sound like you? If so, consider making a trip to the city of Hudson, NY.
Sometimes referred to as a “Little New York City,” Hudson is a small city of about six and a half thousand regular residents located some 100 miles north of the Big Apple. The city is home to the bustling, historic Warren Street (running through the center of the city’s business district), and is also home to a number of locations on the National Register of Historic Places. Throughout the city, visitors can find a variety of exciting live performance venues, restaurants, shops, and art galleries.
Hudson was, at a time, within just one vote of being proclaimed the state’s capital, as it served as an important trade port in colonial times. Before its upbringing as a sprawling city, however, the Hudson area was first purchased from the Mihican Native American tribe by Dutch settlers in 1662; at this time, the town would come to be known as Claverack.
The area would go on to be purchased by English colonists, who eventually turned the land over to the US after the revolution. By 1790, the town of Hudson had grown to national prominence, which would only increase as it grew to be New York’s fourth largest city by the early 19th century. A century later, the city was important enough for the US Treasury to mint a coin in its honor: The Hudson Half Dollar. In the unlikely even you ever came in to possession of one. Hold onto it! It’s one of the rarest US coins ever produced, with less than 11,000 minted at the original time of production.
Here are a few historic sites in Hudson, New York that you might want to specifically carve out some time for:
- Olana State Historic Site: Originally the home of artist Frederic Edwin Church, the Olana State Historic Site is a breathtaking 250 acre property filled with some of the original artwork and sketches of the owner. The mansion itself is strikingly designed, and offers stunning views of the Hudson River.
- FASNY Museum of Firefighting: Historical vehicles, uniforms over the years, and more! This museum can keep a family busy for hours with old footage and equipment from the history of firefighting. Even if you’re not a firefighting buff, those interested in history will appreciation the explanations and exhibits on past firefighting practices. Interactive exhibits for children are also included here.
- Taconic Orchards: These beautiful orchards house a farmer’s market type atmosphere, and offer fresh produce, delicious baked goods, souvenirs and more to visitors and locals alike.