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Summer Fun in the Lower Hudson Valley

Summertime is a season that’s meant to be savored, and there’s no better place to do so than in the picturesque Hudson Valley. While there are some tried-and-trues, such strolling the region’s winding riverside roads, visiting charming farmers markets and annual festivals or finding the perfect ice cream cone, there are also some unique experiences to add to your Hudson Valley bucket list this summer. Check out some of our favorites:

People walking at Nyack’s Famous Street Fair

Nyack’s Famous Street Fair
July 14, 2019, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Nyack, New York

There is something for everyone at Nyack’s Famous Street Fair, which returns on July 14 to picturesque Main Street, Broadway and Cedar Street in downtown Nyack. A proud venue for over 300 vendors from several states, the fair offers quality handmade arts and crafts, antiques, retail items, collectibles and home décor. To top it off, delicious festival foods will be available along with Fair Specials from Nyack’s popular restaurants and outdoor cafes. Musician Ritchie G will perform live, and children will be entertained at the Kid’s Zone, featuring a variety of inflatables. This free event will be held rain or shine. For information about the street fair, go to www.pjspromotions.com or call 201-666-1340.

Instrumentalists at Jazz in the Garden at the Edward Hopper House

Photo credit: Robyn Silverstein

Jazz in the Garden at the Edward Hopper House
Thursday evenings, July – August 2019
82 North Broadway, Nyack, New York

Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and groove to some great music as Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center presents Jazz in the Garden every Thursday from July 11 to Aug, 15, at 7:30-9:30 p.m. The lineup includes Scott Reeves, Mayra Caseles & Cocomamas, Don Falzone Quartet, Adam Kolker & Scott Wendholt Quartet, Judi Silvano & the Zephyr Band and a celebration of Dick Voigt. A $5 entrance donation will support preservation of the House & Garden, which focuses on the life and work of iconic 20th century American artist Edward Hopper. Refreshments are available for purchase prior to the concert and during intermission. If it rains, the event will be held at Grace Church, 130 First Ave, Nyack. The center also offers its Hop Into Art ongoing family art workshops on weekends. For more information, visit www.edwardhopperhouse.org.

Dancers at Bastille Day in Piermont

Bastille Day in Piermont
July 13, 2019
Piermont, New York

The charming village of Piermont will host its annual Bastille Day celebration, July 13, promising guests a fun-filled day of French culture, costumes and even a reenactment of the storming of the Bastille, which kicked off the French Revolution on July 14, 879 leading to the country’s independence. The celebration will feature French history as well as history of the town presented by Piermont’s Historical Society. French flags will flap along Piermont Avenue where restaurants and shops will have outdoor seating and offer traditional French, Irish and American cuisine. Artists and vendors will line the street selling French-themed items and live music will play throughout the day. Attendees are encouraged to wear period clothing and to not lose their heads — there will be a guillotine on display, albeit with a wooden blade. Vive le 14 de juillet! Long live the 14th of July!”

Fireworks and crowd at West Point Band and Fireworks Display

West Point Band and Fireworks Display
July 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m. (Rain date July 7)
Trophy Point Amphitheater, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York

There’s no better way to celebrate America’s independence than with the U.S. Army’s oldest band. The West Point Band presents its annual Independence Day Celebration, a 90-minute patriotic program capped off by a spectacular fireworks salute over the Hudson River, as part of its 2019 Music Under the Stars summer concert series. Grab a blanket, bring a picnic and enjoy world-class music at West Point’s majestic Trophy Point Amphitheater overlooking the waters that George Washington called “the key to the continent.” Audiences are welcome to visit the beautiful and historic grounds of the United States Military Academy and enjoy scenic Hudson River views. Best of all, the concerts are free and open to everyone. In the event of inclement weather, the performance will move to July 7 at 7:30 p.m. For concert information, cancellations and updates, call 845-938-2617 or visit www.westpointband.com.

Swing at Orange County Fair

Orange County Fair
July 18-28, 2019
Middletown, New York

For over 100 years, the Orange County Fair has entertained families in the Hudson Valley and beyond. The 179th annual Orange County Fair, July 18-28, will feature amusement rides, concerts, games, petting zoo, animal shows, vendors, Friday night fireworks, favorite fair food, antique fire truck display and amazing acts, such as Animal Planet’s Gator Boys Road Show and Knights of Valor Extreme Jousting Show, all included with admission The fairgrounds are also home to the Orange County Fair Speedway, the oldest continuously operating dirt track in the United States, where stock car races, demolition derbies and monster truck shows are held during the summer months. Fair admission is $10 for adults, $7 for ages 65 and older, $7 for ages 7-12 and free for ages 6 and younger. For more information, visit www.orangecountyfair.com or call 845-343-4826.


Hudson River Valley Summer Activities and Events

With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, it’s time to get outside and enjoy some fun in the sun. Just a short hop from Manhattan, New York’s Lower Hudson Valley, and its river towns are complete with vibrant dining, entertainment, and shopping, but their proximity to the Hudson River also makes the region an ideal recreational destination for boating, kayaking, fishing, cycling, and hiking. Year-long events and activities, from farmers markets to food festivals, add to the area’s charm. Whether you choose to go paddle boating on the river or biking through sculpture parks, the scenic Hudson Valley is loaded with activities all season long. Kick-off Memorial Day weekend with some of our favorite picks:

Deck of boat and sunset

Charter a Boat

Love being on the water but don’t own a boat? Explore the Hudson Valley with Nyack Boat Charter, launched last June, offering public and private tours and charters between Nyack and Croton to anyone who wants to see the river towns and experience the Hudson River from a whole new perspective. Located at the Nyack Municipal Marina, it is one of the few waterfront options in the Lower Hudson Valley where the public can try sailing or head out on a sunset cruise without owning a boat. Groups of two, four or six can go out for two-hour charters, The $85 per-person cost gets you on the Hudson River on a sailboat with a captain and crew, Thursdays through Sundays. Guests can get a closer look at the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, Hook Mountain and the natural beauty of the valley. The charters, which run from early May until mid-October, range from one hour to all day long and include local craft beer and Hudson Valley wines. 845-535-1675; nyackboatcharter.com.


Sign at Piermont Pier that reads fishing access site

Observe Wildlife 

When it comes to the perks of living in the Hudson Valley, few things delight as much as the views of the Hudson River. That’s probably why the village of Piermont is such a gem. Located in Rockland County, the picturesque town sits right along the riverside. Stroll along the Piermont Pier and promenade, a hotspot for bikers and joggers that runs a full mile along the Hudson River. Fishing and crabbing are allowed during warmer months, while visits to the Piermont Marsh, located on the westside of the pier, are fun year-round for bird-watchers and power-walkers. Be sure to check out the trails at The Tallman Mountain path or the scenic overlooks at the Tallman State Park.  Paradise Boats in Piermont, located in the Hudson River Reserve, also offers kayaks, canoes and rowboats for rent and for sale, as well as guided tours and sailing lessons by appointment. 845-359-0073; paradisecanoeandkayak.com.


Table full of plated burgers and fries at the Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival

Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival

If you’re looking for the ultimate foodie event, Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival kicks off June 4 and continues for five days at various locations across the county. Drawing more than 7,000 visitors from the tristate region, the festival is one of the most anticipated culinary events of the year. With seven events over six days, the annual shindig honors the leading chefs, sommeliers and food purveyors who shape Westchester’s cuisine. Events range from wine tastings and burger fests to junior chef demos and food-truck gatherings, so there’s a little something for everyone. On Saturday, June 8, the wining and dining reaches its peak with the Grand Tasting Village, the festival’s signature event, which brings together more than 50 local restaurants and 200 wine and spirits for a truly unforgettable afternoon. For more info, visit: winefood.westchestermagazine.com.


Stand-Up Paddleboarder on the Hudson River

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

One of the hottest recreational activities in the Hudson Valley is stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, a pastime ideal for the region’s many lakes, ponds, and — of course — the Hudson River. Part paddling, part balancing and part surfing, the sport is considered easy to learn and offers a great core workout with great vistas. The waterways of New York’s Hudson Valley region are lined with a range of scenic offerings, from lush landscapes to historic sites. Adept paddleboard enthusiasts can even practice yoga poses on their floating “yoga mats.” Hudson River Recreation has several locations and offers SUP lessons, rentals and guided water tours. Call 914-682-5135 or visit www.kayakhudson.com. Hudson River Expeditions, www.hudsonriverexpeditions.com, also offers kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboard tours, rentals and instruction ​for the novice to the experienced paddler.


River Rose Cruise ship on the Hudson River

Take a River Cruise

What better way to experience the Hudson Valley than from the river itself — cruising past the stately mansions, riverside communities and picturesque mountains? Come aboard an authentic New Orleans paddlewheeler with Captain John “Duke” Panzella, who has been navigating the Hudson for nearly 20 years, and you will experience the majestic river in a whole new way. Two-hour sightseeing cruises head south from Newburgh and include a narrated tour of historically significant sites such as Bannerman’s Island, the Catskill Water Aqueduct, the village of Cold Spring and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A buffet and dance party are offered on Friday nights, and Sunday’s ride serves brunch. A popular choice is the A Day in Cold Spring cruise, which shuttles guests to the scenic village where they can enjoy the sights for three hours before being ferried back to Newburgh (where all cruises begin and end). 845-562-1067; www.riverrosecruises.com.


Two people rowing on Hudson River

Learn to Row

During the 19th and early 20th centuries when crew was popular on the Hudson River, thousands of spectators lined its banks to watch regattas. The sport has prevailed as one of the oldest traditions in the world and thanks to local rowing clubs is available for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, no experience needed. The Mid-Hudson Rowing Association, founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit rowing club located in Poughkeepsie. Its mission is to promote adult and scholastic rowing. The club’s Learn to Row program operates under a simple concept: learn to row while having fun. Or head to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge for a different rowing scene. Scan the shoreline beyond restaurant row and you might spot a dock and Adirondack pavilion, home of the Newburgh Rowing Club, which has been teaching adults and kids to row for more than two decades. Club members meet year-round in a 6,000-square-foot boathouse. Popular summer camp programs tend to sell out, so be sure to call early. The Mid-Hudson Rowing Association, Poughkeepsie. www.midhudsonrowing.org; 845-452-2970. The Newburgh Rowing Club, Newburgh. www.newburghrowclub.org; 845-541-2313.


Beautify Your Home’s Curb Appeal for Spring

Spring is the perfect time to think about outdoor spaces and how to increase your homes curb appeal. The old adage that you only get one shot at a first impression is true, so make your home’s exterior shine from the moment someone walks up to your door. Instead of fretting over the patchy grass and overgrown plants and bushes, map out a plan of action to transform your landscape into an oasis. Even if you lack a green thumb, there are many ways to spruce up your yard to make it warm and welcoming. As a bonus, research shows that gardening can lower stress, boost your mood and even add value to your home. So, embrace the season and show your pride of ownership with these outdoor tips:

Seven Oaks Palisades New York real estate

Seven Oaks, the oldest estate property in Snedens Landing, is cherished for its romantic gardens and bucolic setting. 64 Ludlow Lane, Palisades, New York.

Simplify Your Style

“When it comes to a front foundation, generally less is more,” said Blythe Yost, co-founder of Tilly, an online landscape design service with roots in the Hudson Valley that helps homeowners design the exterior of their dreams. “Rather than installing a few plants of many varieties, consider using only a limited palette with significant repetition,” she said. “This will help provide more cohesion and allow for a cleaner, more updated look.” Use seasonal hues to bring instant color to your curb appeal to life. One simple way to add radiant color is with annual color bowls set out on your porch or entryway.


Tuxedo Park New York real estate

The verdant gardens and charm of this natural landscape, a hallmark of homes in Tuxedo Park, New York, surrounds a lovely 1939 cottage, making it a desirable respite for city dwellers who crave solace in the country. 2 Stable Road, Tuxedo Park, New York.

Garden Planning

While weeding and keeping lawns well-watered and manicured is a great way to make a positive visual impression, experts say careful pruning and clearly defining plant beds are key design elements critical for curb appeal. “Clearly designating where a planting bed stops and the lawn begins can make a big difference in the perceived cleanliness of a home,” said Yost, who also notes that some people may prefer to define borders with stone or alternative materials. Put your lawn in order or add a new patch of lawn with sod for instant green. Remember, lawns are plants, too. As a finishing detail, an inch or two of mulch can be added after planting to make your garden bed look neater and accentuate the color of your flowers.


Upper Nyack New York Real Estate

Wonder Falls, a Hudson riverfront home on six-plus private acres, features natural landscaping including an 80-foot waterfall with pond, five wading pools and sculpture art. 503 North Broadway, Upper Nyack, New York.

Utilize Garden Art

French painter Claude Monet once said, “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” Indeed, a yard can be an aesthetically pleasing work of art as well as a peaceful retreat. Strategically placed antiques, sculptures, unique furniture and lawn ornaments can all lift the look of your garden. For example, convert copper pots into plant-holders by drilling holes in them. Consider playing with color and art that exhibits your personality. A home garden should be a source of joy and inspiration.


Palisades New York real estate

The Henry Dobbs House, built and named for a Hudson River boat captain, is the quintessential rustic Snedens Landing home. The renovated 1812 stone-and-clapboard home features a terraced yard with double porches, stone walls and river views. 63 Washington Springs Road, Palisades, New York.

Grow Your Home’s Value

In addition to boosting mood and relieving stress, gardening can make a big impact on homeowners hoping to put their homes on the market. A few small investments can go a long way to increasing a home’s perceived value. According to HGTV, landscaping can add as much as 10% in value to your home. Keep the grass cut and free of clutter. A few hearty, potted plants and inviting seasonal flowers or shrubs around the walkway will go a long way. If you aren’t planning to sell your house anytime soon, plan for the future with a landscaping improvement that will mature over time. Planting shade trees, for example, not only makes your home more desirable, but a fully grown, properly placed tree can significantly cut your cooling costs. Not into gardening? Hire a lawn service expert to trim your lawn and shape your hedges without breaking the bank. Invest the time now to get your yard clean and organized and you will be able to kick back and enjoy your outdoor living spaces by summer!


Spring Market: Moving to the Suburbs

With its rolling hills, majestic mountains, river views, rich culinary heritage and significant place in shaping American history, New York’s Lower Hudson Valley is dotted with scenic and historic towns that have long attracted city professionals and urban dwellers.

For many buyers, the high cost of New York City real estate often prompts a move to the suburbs. The prospect of more space for the money, a grassy yard and excellent school systems are key motivating factors. Markets including New York’s Rockland and Orange counties and their Hudson River towns continue to be favored by buyers who live in New York City, especially Manhattan and Brooklyn. From the quaint village of Nyack and secluded, celebrity-laden enclave of Snedens Landing to historic Tuxedo Park, there is a suburb for everyone to call home.

Grandview New York Real Estate

Perched above the banks of the Hudson River, Overledge is an exquisite representation of early 20th century architecture, with extraordinary views, four working fireplaces and endless charm. 159 River Road, Grandview, New York.

Nyack, New York

Just 20 miles from Manhattan, the eclectic and energetic village of Nyack is a creative hub for music, film, theater and art enthusiasts, complete with vibrant dining, entertainment and unique shops. Nyack’s proximity to the Hudson River and Hook Mountain also makes it an ideal recreational destination for boating, kayaking, fishing, cycling and hiking. Year-long events and activities, from farmers markets to street fairs, add to the charming old-style town appeal while

the sleek new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which replaced the Tappan Zee spanning the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties, means improved commutes to and from the city for people on the west side of the river. Head-turning architecture, charming main streets and engaging culture and lifestyle are all part of the allure.


Tuxedo Park New York Real Estate

The lovely gardens and charm of this sun-filled, three-bedroom, three-bath 1939 cottage make it a desirable respite for city dwellers who crave solace in the country and the natural landscape that is hallmark to Tuxedo Park. 2 Stable Road, Tuxedo Park, New York.

Tuxedo Park, New York

Birthplace of the tuxedo and once the home of tycoons, Tuxedo Park is one of the oldest gated communities in the United States. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the village was built in the 1880s by Pierre Lorillard, the tobacco heir, as a hunting and fishing retreat for his affluent New York friends. Considered one of the nation’s finest examples of pre-World War I architecture, Tuxedo Park also offers an abundance of hiking, biking and riding paths within the private compound’s acres of bucolic parks. Several stunning lakes, suitable for swimming, also are stocked with trout and bass for fishing. The commute to New York Penn Station, via New Jersey Transit, takes under 50 minutes.


Henry Dobbs House Snedens Landing New York

The Henry Dobbs House, built and named for a Hudson River boat captain, is the quintessential Snedens Landing home, steeped in rich history and the arts, with easy access to New York City. The renovated 1812 stone-and-clapboard home features three wood-burning fireplaces, original wide-board pine floors, stone walls, beamed ceilings, garage with small studio and a terraced yard with double porches and views of the Hudson River. 63 Washington Springs Road, Snedens Landing.

Snedens Landing, New York

Nestled among the steep cliffs of the Palisades in Rockland County, just 12 miles north of the George Washington Bridge, Snedens Landing is a secluded enclave dating back to the 1700s offering a coveted lifestyle just a short hop from the city. With renovated turn-of-the-century homes, including 18th- and 19th-century cottages and farmhouses in historic districts, its sense of old-fashioned Americana makes it one of Rockland County’s most-sought-after markets. The rural hamlet has attracted widely known residents for decades. Angelina Jolie spent part of her childhood here as did Hayden Panettiere. Laurence Olivier, John Steinbeck, Katharine Hepburn, Mick Jagger, Al Pacino, Bjork, Bill Murray and Diane Sawyer are among those—to name a few—who have called Snedens Landing home at one point or another, while Scarlett Johansson is reportedly the area’s latest resident.


Hingle Estate Suffern New York Real Estate

The Hingle Estate, once part of the landmarked Cobblestone Farm and former home of character actor Pat Hingle, is a renovated gem complete with a separate four-room guest cottage, saltwater pool, tennis court and three-car garage. 41 Viola Road, Suffern, New York.

Suffern, New York

Suffern, a Rockland County village dating back to 1796, is steeped in history, with an urban vibe. Accessible by trains, buses and highways, Suffern is home to a thriving business district and array of diverse restaurants, shops and a growing arts, film and cultural activities center, most recently serving as the backdrop for the CBS television show, “Instinct.” Lafayette Avenue, Suffern’s main street, is named in honor of Revolutionary war hero Marquis de Lafayette. Other notable guests have included George Washington, who made camp in the village several times during the war, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The scenic village, framed by the Ramapo Mountains and Ramapo River, offers numerous hiking, biking and running trails.


Romantic Restaurants in the Hudson Valley

Looking for a place to wine and dine your Valentine? Make it memorable with a visit to the historic lower Hudson Valley—just a short ride from New York City— where opportunities for romance abound. Whether you are looking for a relaxed, intimate or first-date spot in Hudson Valley, there is a medley of diverse eateries and cuisines to suit your palette. Check out some of our restaurant picks offering cozy fireside dinners to scenic waterfront views. Love is in the air.

Old ’76 House, Tappan, New York

Old ’76 House, Tappan, New York

If you are looking for a romantic meal by the fireplace in cozy 1776 surroundings, try the historic Old ’76 House in Tappan, New York, a national historic landmark that boasts the oldest dining room in America. The three-centuries-old tavern and restaurant served meals to George Washington and Alexander Hamilton and once was a temporary prison for British spy John Andre, who conspired with arch-traitor Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War. Yankee pot roast is a hearty menu staple. 110 Main St., 845-359-5476, 76house.com


Blu Pointe, Newburgh, New York

Photo credit: Blu Pointe

Blu Pointe, Newburgh, New York

Set on the historic Hudson River, Blu Pointe in Newburgh, New York, offers a farm-to-table menu featuring fresh seafood and prime beef, raw bar, local craft beers, and spirits. The temperature-controlled, walk-in wine room holds over 3,000 curated New and Old World wines and serves as a dramatic backdrop to a cozy lounge and dining room complete with a bluestone fireplace and river views. Enjoy a romantic seasonal Valentine’s Day menu Feb. 14-17, including oysters and champagne for two and prime beef, carved tableside. 120 Front St., 845-568-0100, www.blu-pointe.com


The Hudson House, Nyack, New York

Photo credit: Hudson House

The Hudson House, Nyack, New York

The Hudson House restaurant, housed in a former village hall and jailhouse in the quaint Victorian village of Nyack, New York, offers contemporary American cuisine in an upscale but relaxed and welcoming setting. The cozy eatery’s walls and ceilings are covered in original pressed tin dating from the 1800s, and its jail cells have been repurposed as wine cellars. Co-owner and pastry chef Matt Hudson makes guests feel at home, and his desserts alone are worth a visit. 134 Main St., 845-353-1355, hudsonhousenyack.com


Harvest on Hudson, Hastings, New York

Photo credit: Harvest on Hudson

Harvest on Hudson, Hastings, New York

Resembling a Tuscan villa or Napa Valley lodge, Harvest on Hudson in Hastings, New York, couples Italian-Mediterranean cuisine with spectacular Hudson River views and a dining room with soaring ceilings. The inventive menu uses ingredients from the restaurant’s own herb and vegetable garden. One River St., Hastings, 914-478-2800, www.harvesthudson.com


Freelance Café and Wine Bar, Piermont, New York

Freelance Café and Wine Bar, Piermont, New York

The historic and charming waterfront village of Piermont, New York, has become a dining hot spot in Rockland County. Its artsy, bohemian feel, quaint shops and eclectic restaurants make it ideal for date night or Sunday brunch. The Freelance Café & Wine Bar menu consists of small plates, large plates and daily specials of modern American cuisine with global inspiration. Favorite dishes include Thai pasta, braised short ribs and classic crème brulee along with a robust selection of wines by the glass or bottle. Cozy, casual and intimate, it’s a local favorite. 506 Piermont Ave., 845-365-3250, freelancecafe-piermont.com


Red Hat on the River, Irvington, New York

Red Hat on the River, Irvington, New York

Nestled on the waterfront in Irvington, New York, Red Hat on the River is a French-American modern bistro housed in a 100-year-old renovated factory with spectacular Hudson River views. Banquettes, a pewter bar and period art accent the space evoking a feeling of a turn of the century Parisian bistro. Menu offerings at this popular date spot always include French bistro mainstays like moules frites, steak frites, rillettes and profiteroles with some global influences and brasserie-style comfort foods. One Bridge St., 914-591-5888, redhatbistro.com


Winter Activities in the Lower Hudson Valley

Escape the city and ward off the winter blues with an activity-packed weekend getaway to the scenic Hudson Valley. Whether it’s hitting the slopes, meeting an owl or lacing up your skates, opportunities for winter fun abound. Check out some of our favorite winter delights that promise fun for all ages.

Thunder Ridge Ski Area

Patterson, New York

Embrace the frigid temperatures and hit the slopes at Thunder Ridge Ski Area (137 Birch Hill Road, Patterson. 845-878-4100, thunderridgeski.com), which offers 30 trails to accommodate all skill levels and interests as well as ski school. From the glass atrium at the base lodge, you can see almost the entire mountain.

Mount Peter

Photo credit: Mount Peter

Warwick, New York

Conveniently located in Warwick, just one hour from New York City in the Hudson Valley of Orange County, New York, Mount Peter (51 Old Mt. Peter Rd, Warwick. 845-986-4940) is famous for its free beginner ski and snowboard lessons, racing programs for kids, two lodges and night skiing. Originally opened by Macy’s department store in 1936 for a ski apparel fashion shoot, this family-run establishment is the oldest operating ski area in New York State. This winter destination may seem small compared to Windam and Hunter Mountains, but don’t let looks deceive you. It has long been the go-to hill for many area families, Long Islanders, New Jerseyans and city slickers. It also is home to tubing fun that any age can enjoy, even offering its popular Little Tikes Tubing Area, a dedicated section complete with kid-size tubing for little adventurers under the usual 42-inch height requirement. The expansive views of the Warwick Valley, just feet away from the Appalachian Trail, adds to the overall appeal.

Sterling Forest State Park

Tuxedo Park, New York

Join Doc Bayne, educator and environmentalist, for an approximately three-mile hike to the site of a beaver lodge in Tuxedo Park’s Sterling Forest State Park. If deemed safe, participants walk on the ice to get an “up-close and personal” view of the beavers’ sanctuary while taking in the natural beauty of the area’s great outdoors. Or visit sites such as Southfields Furnace, the Sterling Furnace and the Sterling Forge, and learn about the group’s special outdoor activities including snowshoeing and ice fishing. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call the Friends of Sterling Forest at 845-351-5907.

Palisades Center Ice Rink

West Nyack, New York

Hit the ice at Palisades Center Ice Rink (4900 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack. 845-353-4855, palisadescentericerink.com), located in Palisades Mall in West Nyack, New York. The shopping and entertainment mecca offers public skating lessons and serves the recreational and professional ice-skating needs of Rockland County. Skating schedules and rates may vary, so call ahead or check their website before you lace up.

The Ardsley Curling Club

Dobbs Ferry, Westchester, New York

You’ve seen it in the Winter Olympics, but did you know that you could learn to curl right in Westchester, at Dobbs Ferry? Despite the ice, you’ll find a warm atmosphere at The Ardsley Curling Club, which has been in operation since 1932 and offers curling classes for all skill levels. Meet Olympic Gold Medalist Tyler George Feb. 2-3 and witness some serious curling skills in action. Visit ardsleycurling.com or call 914-591-8019 for more information.

Hudson Valley Nature Museum's Owl Prowls

Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York

Have a hoot of time on a woodland excursion at Hudson Valley Nature Museum’s Owl Prowls, where guests can learn about these fascinating creatures then bundle up and head outdoors looking for owls in the wild. Or kick off maple sugaring season on Feb. 23 with special seasonal events. Learn to identify and tap sugar maple trees and discover techniques used by Native Americans, pioneers and modern-day farmers. Finish with a taste test. More info at hhnaturemuseum.org. Wildlife Education Center, 25 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson. 845-534-7781.


Lower Hudson Valley Holiday Gift Guide

Now through New Year’s Day, New York’s Lower Hudson Valley sparkles with the sights and sounds of the holiday season, with festive shop windows, stunning art galleries, eclectic shops and a plethora of diverse restaurants that make the region a foodie destination. On the west side of the Hudson River, just across the Tappan Zee Bridge, Rockland County is a unique mix of scenic waterfront villages offering fine dining, antique and novelty shops and the perfect antidote to the monotony of retail mall madness. Shop for distinctive, hard-to-find gifts and experiences for everyone on your list with some of these local finds.

Ned Kelly & Company

Photo credit: Ned Kelly & Company

Ned Kelly & Company, Piermont, New York

With hand-painted fabrics, Bernadaud china from France, Egyptian cotton towels, exquisite floral designs and select art and furniture pieces, this purveyor of fine goods in Piermont strives to ensure that patrons “live well at home.” Ned Kelly, the floral designer for Peter Xaviar Kelly’s acclaimed restaurants, also provides complete wedding decor and design, including lighting and quality linens. Located on Piermont Avenue, the village’s main commercial street, visitors also can enjoy lovely Hudson Valley water views and fine area dining after shopping for unique home goods.


Photo credit: Karenderya

Karenderya, Nyack, New York

Treat a loved one to a unique culinary experience this holiday season that will transport you to Southeast Asia without ever checking a bag. Named one of Esquire magazine’s “best new restaurants in America” for 2018, Karenderya is a homey Filipino eatery owned by husband-and-wife team Paolo Garcia Mendoza and Cheryl Baun in Nyack. According to Mendoza, who grew up in the Philippine’s capital city of Manilla before moving to New York when he was 15, the menu is a blend of Indo-Malay, Chinese and Spanish flavors with a dash of Indian. The casual mom-and-pop restaurant, based loosely on the affordable, roadside eateries of the Philippines, offers both traditional and modern Filipino dishes, including Chicken Tocino, chicken marinated in pineapple juice and brown sugar; Pork Ribs Sinigang, pork ribs in sour tamarind broth, bok choy, long beans, served with rice; and unique desserts like Halo-Halo, Filipino shaved ice. Gift certificates are available, and reservations are accepted for groups of six or more.

Antiques Masters

Antiques Masters, Nyack, New York

The historic Hudson Valley has many fine antique shops and galleries that buy, sell and appraise furniture, jewelry, art and other collectibles. Poke around Antiques Masters, a Nyack staple since 1995, specializing in American and European antiques, furniture, art, lighting fixtures and restoration. Owner Mohamed Mahmoud has turned his love for antiques and commitment to personal attention into one of the premier antique shops and refinishing services in the area. Visitors will find an array of unique gift ideas, home décor treasures and inspiration.

Piermont Straus

Photo credit: Piermont Straus

Piermont Straus, Piermont, New York

For the fine art and literary aficionado in your life, visit Piermont Straus, a gallery, foundation and specialty bookstore celebrating the natural beauty, history and culture of the Hudson River valley. Located in Piermont, New York, 15 miles north of Manhattan, the cozy storefront specializes in one-of-a-kind and limited-edition, artist-made prints, paintings, pottery, woodworking, textiles, jewelry, sculpture and an array of plants in unique, handmade earthenware. The vision of award-winning photographer Laura Straus, this magical find now represents more than two dozen artists, offering an ever-changing, sophisticated selection of treasures to explore that capture the spirit of a creative mind. The gallery is open on weekends or by appointment.

Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center

Photo credit: Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center

Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center, Nyack, New York

This holiday season, give a gift that can be enjoyed year-round while benefitting arts education in Hudson Valley public schools: a membership to the Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center in Nyack, New York. Hopper, widely acknowledged as one of the most important painters of 20th century America, was born in Nyack, and his restored residence is on the National Register of Historic Places. Memberships, which can range from $35 for seniors to $70 for an entire household, offer exclusive benefits including unlimited free admission, 10 percent discount in the museum shop, discounts on museum programs and invitations to member-only events, exhibits and programs.


A Home for the Holidays

As Perry Como famously sang, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” The holiday season is a time to come together with loved ones to celebrate the season of joy and make lasting memories. It’s a time when a home is transformed into a gathering place for love, laughter and cheer. Explore our distinctive collection of lower Hudson Valley homes with holiday-inspired spaces because “for the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home.”

536 N. Broadway, Upper Nyack

A Sanctuary for Life and Work: 536 N. Broadway, Upper Nyack

Truly a unique find, this majestic, artful stone carriage house is a secluded sanctuary featuring a colossal, 9,000-square-foot open floor plan, 11-foot ceilings, polished concrete radiant-heated floors and Italian marble baths. The main level offers a cozy living room with fireplace, open kitchen, dining area and family room. A contemporary staircase leads to an upper-level platform library with built-in book cases and exposed-beam rafters, four bedrooms and two baths. The lower level, which features a separate entrance, is ideal for recreation, work or an artist’s space.

Wonder Falls, 503 N. Broadway, Upper Nyack

503 N. Broadway, Upper Nyack

Wonder Falls, 503 N. Broadway, Upper Nyack

Known as Wonder Falls, this whimsical and artistic property is situated on 3-plus acres and 325 feet of Hudson River shoreline. Featuring an 80-foot waterfall and five wading ponds, this home is reportedly the site where Henry Hudson anchored his ship, Half Moon, on his famous trip up the river. There are cantilevered decks, atriums, multiple levels and surprises at every turn. Created with stone, marble, jade, quartz, glass, stainless steel, mahogany and teak, this one-of-a-kind home features numerous patios, skylights and more. Just 50 minutes to New York City, this ultra-private home is a destination like no other.

Tuxedo Park

Patterson Brook Carriage House, Tuxedo Park

Dating to the 1800s, the gated, Gilded Age enclave of Tuxedo Park (best known as the place where the term “tuxedo” was coined for men’s formalwear) is known as a playground for New York’s affluent and home for those seeking a quiet respite, outdoor recreation and a tightly knit community surrounded by stunning woods, parks and private lakes. The Patterson Brook Carriage House, an original Wagstaff Carriage house circa 1896, is a masterpiece completely rebuilt in 2008, with attention to recrafting key elements of the original design and architectural details. Unique features include a converted former horse stable and two garages with radiant heat and 15-car capacity, providing exceptional spaces for showcasing a fine automobile collection. It also could be a studio for musicians and artists.

Hopewell Farm, Crawford, New York

Hopewell Farm, Crawford, New York

Now you can own a piece of history or, perhaps, a bed and breakfast just 90 minutes from Manhattan. Built in the mid-1780s, historic Hopewell Farm – also known as The John I. Crawford Farm – is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and considered to be one of the best-preserved farms from that era. It remains an iconic landmark in the town of Crawford, named for its founding family. Built by Crawford’s son, Jonathon, who served in the Revolutionary War, the charming five-bed, three-bath home features the unique architectural details of a smokehouse, carriage house and barn. It may be the oldest surviving barn in the United States.

Montgomery, New York

Montgomery, New York

Expansive retreat on 38 acres, Montgomery, New York

Paul Teutul Sr., star of the “Orange County Choppers” and “American Choppers” television series, is selling his expansive Orange County, New York, estate. Its massive garage and farm often were featured on the reality shows.  This one-of-a-kind retreat is nestled on 38-plus private acres with stunning vistas. The main three-bedroom, two-and-one-half bath, log cabin-style home features a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, wrap-around porch and custom in-ground pool. Multiple patios are equipped with Viking grills. They are surrounded by a koi pond, waterfalls and a one-acre, self-feeding pond stocked with fish. For car and biking enthusiasts, the master mechanic and custom fabricator’s home features a two-story showcase garage with two self-contained apartments for guests, plus another working garage suitable for the most discriminating car aficionado or hobbyist.


Hudson Valley: A Culinary Destination

Just a short drive from New York City, the scenic Hudson Valley is teeming with restaurants and craft breweries that celebrate the region’s agricultural heritage, cuisine and bounty. While autumn in the valley is a renowned fall foliage wonderland, food enthusiasts also flock to the Hudson Valley to explore its restaurants and chef community as well as its amazing farms, wineries and purveyors of local products, from pumpkin ravioli to pumpkin brews. Appealing to the country’s appetite for all things local, homegrown breweries also abound in the Hudson Valley with many of the area’s brightest beer makers brewing with exclusively state-grown ingredients, notably malts and hops. Here are a few popular food and beverage activities worth a visit:

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week
Oct. 29-Nov. 11 (multiple locations)

It’s that time of year when the Hudson Valley’s counties come together to promote their plethora of restaurants and chefs in a two-week celebration of dining. The 2018 Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, Oct. 29 through Nov. 11, features nearly 200 participating restaurants, including more than a dozen eateries new to the lineup this year, according to Valley Table magazine, producer of the event.

This will be an opportunity for chefs to showcase their best culinary creations and for diners to check out new restaurants and visit old favorites. Chefs will feature their best dishes by way of three-course, prix-fixe lunch ($22.95) and dinner ($32.95) menus. Most restaurateurs use locally sourced ingredients in support of the region’s farms, winemakers, distillers and artisanal producers. No passes, tickets or coupons are required; however, reservations are highly recommended.

Hit the Hudson Valley Beer Trail

Hit the Hudson Valley Beer Trail
Industrial Arts Brewing Company, Garnerville, New York

In the lower Hudson Valley, Industrial Arts Brewing Company will have you hitting a high note. Housed in a converted pre-Civil War textile factory that dates to the 1700s, the high-ceiling beer hall in Garnerville, Rockland County, New York, is a simple, yet impressive brewing facility producing high-quality beer. The brewery launched a year-round series of lagers brewed exclusively with New York State ingredients as part of its Landscapes series, which feature the work of a prominent local artist and benefit various nonprofit organizations.

Autumn Landscape is a spicy, rustic harvest lager currently on tap that showcases floor-malted Germantown pilsner malt, special Bavarian Munich malt and a small proportion of rye malt from Hudson Valley Malt. Want a taste for yourself? Ask for the brewer’s favorite and you might get the Tools of the Trade, a bright and hoppy extra pale ale; Metric, a clean and creamy Pilsner; or Wrench IPA. Industrial Arts’ beer hall is open Thursdays to Sundays with a half-dozen beers on tap, plus in cans. The entrance is right under an old smokestack.

Torne Valley Vineyards

Photo Credit: Torne Valley Vineyards

Wine Tasting and Live Music at Torne Valley Vineyards, Hillburn, New York
Weekends in November

It’s been said that if you take a sip of a wine produced in the Hudson Valley, you’ll taste a connection with the landscape surrounding you. The Hudson Valley is the country’s oldest wine-producing region, and many of the picturesque family-owned wineries still produce excellent vintages. Awarded the distinction of becoming the first fully functioning winery in Rockland County, Torne Valley Vineyards vineyard sits on a historic 19th-century country estate. On weekends, guests can enjoy lunch and live music at the winery’s restored Victorian mansion and take a stroll around the beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking the Ramapo River.

Shawangunk Wreath Fineries at the Wineries

Shawangunk Wreath Fineries at the Wineries
Nov. 17-18, Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9
Along the Shawangunk Wine Trail

Nestled between the magnificent Shawangunk Mountains and the majestic Hudson River in Ulster and Orange counties, New York, just 60 miles north of New York City, lies the eighty-mile-long Shawangunk Wine Trail, home to 13 diverse wineries that are as varied as the wines they produce, from small to medium in size and new to old, including one in a 100-year old refurbished barn. Some are quiet, and others offer live music and special events. There is one common thread: each resides in New York State’s beautiful Hudson Valley. Take a self-guided wine tasting tour along the Shawangunk Wine Trail and get a jump start on your holiday shopping with Wreath Fineries at the Wineries, the Shawangunk Wine Trail’s holiday event. Advance tickets only; tickets will not be sold at the door. Visitors will receive a souvenir wine glass, grapevine wreath and Shawangunk Wine Trail ornament.


Hudson Valley: A Treasure Trove of Architectural Styles

The Hudson Valley is a distinct and diverse architectural region with centuries-old buildings ranging from elaborate Hudson River mansions to one-of-a-kind farmhouses and carriage houses among its bucolic rural towns and villages. Long before its settlement by the Europeans, the fertile valley sustained many communities drawn to the bounty and beauty of the area. The region has since enjoyed continuous growth and prosperity, dotted by a mosaic of homes reflecting a diversity of architectural styles from the Federal period to the revivals of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Many of these homes are lovingly preserved to reflect their period conditions, offering Old World charm with modern amenities, while others reflect the artists and creatives that have helped put their own stamp on this unique area of the country.

Bennett-Deyrup House, Upper Nyack, New York

Bennett-Deyrup House, Upper Nyack, New York

The extraordinary circa 1887 Bennett-Deyrup House, located on the Hudson River in Upper Nyack, New York, is one of the best examples of Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture in the area. Originally built for J. A. Bennett, U.S. Consul to Bogota, it later was home to the Deyrup family for most of the 20th century. Alvin Johnson/Deyrup co-founded the New School of Social Research and established the “University in Exile” program. The mansion, which underwent a masterful $4 million renovation that preserved period architectural details, features a classic asymmetrical exterior design with balconies, turret, belvedere and more. Period features include: embossed Lincrusta ceilings and walls; stained and art glass windows; eight fireplaces, three with original raised Victorian tile work; and four decorative stone mantels.

The Sickles-Tallman House in Orangeburg, New York

The Sickles-Tallman House in Orangeburg, New York

The Sickles-Tallman House in Orangeburg, New York, which dates to the late 1700s, is part of Rockland County history. Nestled on 2.2 private acres, the restored red Dutch colonial estate is one of the few remaining sandstone Sickle family homes in the area once known as Sickletown. It was once owned by Zita Johann, an Austrian-American actress best known for her performance in the 1932 film, The Mummy, with Boris Karloff.  Lovingly restored with over $600,000 in upgrades, the home features Early American touches such as exposed-stone interior walls and intricately carved and tiled mantelpieces, coupled with modern conveniences including a family room with radiant heat, stunning Gunite salt water pool and master Savant system controlling all lighting, television, sound and security systems by phone app.

Clock House, Snedens Landing

Clock House, Snedens Landing

The historic, artistic community of Snedens Landing provides a rustic backdrop for the Clock House, a cottage retreat which gets its nickname from a focal point above the home’s entrance way: a European style clock that protrudes from the slate roof. Noted interior designer Ernest de la Torre, who has been featured in Elle Décor’s list of 25 Top Interior Designers and Architectural Digest for his work, transformed the home with extraordinary architectural design, full of curated experiences at every turn. The home features a dramatic double-height living room and details such as walls stamped in gilded leather from Paris, an 18th century fireplace mantel from London and wood ceiling beams from a 19th century barn in Pennsylvania.

201 Route 9W, Snedens Landing

201 Route 9W, Snedens Landing

The Big House, a manor-style, historic home also in Snedens Landing, is known as one of the oldest homes in Rockland County and, perhaps, the country. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most significantly, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette met and dined here during the American Revolution as guests of owner Jonathan Lawrence Jr. It features many charming historic details, including wide-plank floors, 1700s wood paneling, cherry ceiling beams, five working fireplaces and 23-inch-thick walls. The kitchen features an old-style Dutch fireplace, with a large firebox open on both sides.

50 Woods Road, Snedens Landing

50 Woods Road, Snedens Landing

The homes in Snedens Landing are as varied as the people who built them. This pristine, renovated contemporary on a wooded oasis reached by a private road is one of the newer houses in the secluded hamlet, which dates to the 1600s. An extensive, architect-driven renovation transformed the existing contemporary into a 4, 200 square-foot modern house ready for entertaining, with five bedrooms, a large chef’s kitchen, mason-crafted stone deck, three wood burning fireplaces, unique arbors and gardens, complete with a rustic handmade chicken coop.

536 North Broadway, Upper Nyack

536 North Broadway, Upper Nyack

This majestic, artful stone carriage house features a magnificent open colossal floor plan of 9,000 square feet and 11-foot ceilings, polished concrete radiant heated floors and Italian marble baths. The lower level has separate entrance featuring an artist’s work space and recreation options. A contemporary staircase leads to an upper-level platform library with built-in book cases and exposed beam rafters, four bedrooms and two baths to complete a truly a unique home.

Patterson Brook Carriage House, Tuxedo Park

Patterson Brook Carriage House, Tuxedo Park

Dating back to the 1800s, the gated enclave of Tuxedo Park is known for being a playground for New York’s wealthy seeking a quiet respite, outdoor recreation and a tightly-knit community surrounded by stunning woods, parks and private lakes. The Patterson Brook Carriage House, an original Wagstaff Carriage house circa 1896, is a masterpiece completely rebuilt in 2008, with attention to recrafting key elements of the original design and architectural details. Unique features include a converted former horse stable and two garages with radiant heat and 15-car capacity, providing exceptional spaces for showcasing a fine automobile collection. It also could be a studio for musicians and artists.