Columbia County is full of historic treasures, gorgeous scenery and quaint villages. In addition to the city of Hudson, there are many places of interest. Here are some ideas:
No trip to Hudson would be complete without a visit to Olana, home of the renowned 19th Century landscape painter Frederic Church. The house is open for tours from May 15 through October. The grounds can be visisted any time.
The Thomas Cole, home just across the river in Catskill, while in no way as spectacular as Olana, is also worth a visit. Cole was an early 19th Century painter, and Frederic Church was a student of his. The house is open from May through October.
The home of Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, is in Kinderhook, about 15 miles North of Hudson. The restored house is open from mid-May through October. The nearby village of Kinderhook is filled with historic homes, most in pristine condition, definitely worth driving through.
Also in Kinderhook is the Jack Shainman gallery, housed in a former school. It is currently featuring an exhibit of works by several contemporary artists, and is open Saturdays from 11 to 5.
If you find yourself in Kinderhook at dinner time (or lunch Tuesday to Friday), consider the Carolina House:
The charming log building with its wooden booths and fireplaces is worth a stop for creative cooking based on Southern traditions, with Southwestern and Caribbean accents.
Built in 1782 in Germantown, on the Hudson River about 10 miles South of Hudson, Clermont was the home of the Livingston family. It is open from mid-April through December.
Art Omi – The Fields Sculpture Park
The Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, about 15 miles Northeast of Hudson, has a 60-acre sculpture park containing more than 80 sculptures. The visitors’ center includes an indoor gallery and a cafe. The sculpture park is open year-round.
Museum of Firefighting – Hudson
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting houses the world’s largest collection of firefighting artifacts. Open all year.
Rodgers Book Barn – Hillsdale
The Book Barn is a very special place with a huge selection of high-quality used books at great prices. You could spend hours browsing and buying here. Here is a blog post that describes it very well:
Crossroads Food Shop – Hillsdale
Crossroads is a great place to have breakfast or lunch. Great food from local producers, very reasonable. You order and pay at the counter and the food is brought to your table. Open Wednesday through Sunday.
More to come! I will be posting more sightseeing, driving tours, restaurants, etc. shortly. Stay tuned.