Before kids, international travel was a primary passion of mine. I’ve visited nearly thirty countries in my 32 years of life and I have a very strong desire to explore the world and experience new and different places. Now that Daisy has arrived, Nick and I are a bit more tethered to the US, but I still feel “ants in my pants” if you will - I always feel a desire to pack up and go. So, we’ve modified our response to that travel bug: local weekend adventuring.
This fall, I read about Hudson, New York on a number of my favorite blogs and it sounded like the perfect destination. So, I rented an AirBnB nearby as a Christmas gift for Nick and we headed there a few weekends ago.
The Hudson Commerce site describes it as follows:
A lively urban gem set in the jewel -like natural environment of Columbia County, Hudson, New York is a minor miracle: beautifully preserved (its hundreds of historic buildings representing every architectural style of the last three centuries) yet buzzing with all the ingredients of a city many times its size. With its diverse and creative people, world class retail and dining, and a happening art and music scene, it's America of the past, present AND future.
... This description couldn't be more apt. Hudson is like a tiny treasure in the middle of gorgeous verdant rolling hills and bucolic farm country. We were amazed at the wealth of high-end art galleries and antique stores - we could've spent days sorting through the vintage furniture, china and silverware, textiles, and books... It was heaven for someone who loves a good patina.
When we first arrived in the area, we headed straight to our weekend accommodations which were in nearby Athens, NY, a fifteen-minute drive from downtown Hudson. Billed as an "1890's Hudson River Zen Victorian", it was everything I'd hoped it would be and more - an old house, beautifully preserved and restored, simply decorated and full of character. A clawfoot tub and woodburning stoves in the country kitchen and living room made the house romantic and there seemed to be at least one reading nook in every room. Pure paradise.
Our dear friends, Jess and Mike, and their son Jack (who is three days older than Daisy) met us for our second night in Hudson and we loved exploring the town and sharing the home with some of our favorite people. We noshed on local charcuterie by the wood stove, played Cards Against Humanity late into the night in the charming, well-loved dining room (it was clear we were not the first or last to enjoy a night of games at that table - in the best way!) and played with our babies on the floor for hours.
Being with good friends and the house itself was half the fun of our time in Hudson, the other half was exploring all of the shops and restaurants this sweet little town had to offer.
Here are some of the highlights and spots we'd recommend:
Fish & Game Restaurant
Nick and I had a fabulous, cozy and romantic dinner by the fire at F&G on our first night in Hudson, with Daisy sleeping quietly in her car seat beside us. The meal wasn't inexpensive but it was absolutely divine. The wood oven-roasted oysters were the best thing I've eaten so far this year - topped with a kimchi hollandaise that tickled the tastebuds. A roasted squash agrodolce was so delicious it couldn't possibly have been made from vegetables. We tried sable for the first time, which was prepared with a sake and soy glaze, local rice, beets and preserved ginger - the fish was so delicate it tasted like butter melting on your tongue. Finally, the sorprese had that perfect bounce that you can only get from fresh pasta and the lamb ragu it was served in was warming from the inside out. What an experience. We are still daydreaming (with watering mouths) about this meal. The service and cocktails (and mocktails) were excellent too. Highly recommend a visit to Hudson just for this dining experience alone.
Loved the jewelry, cool accessories and collection of dresses here. There were loads of great wrap dresses, caftans and resortwear pieces for under $100. I bought a bold, bright dress for our Puerto Rico vacation later this year and I've tried it on three times since we got home because I love the way it feels so much!
Smartly-curated home design store with a retail selection that you would find in Manhattan. We loved their collection of objects of interest - lots of architectural elements and small sculpture for $50-200.
We had lunch with the Blakes, babies included, at this fun Mexican joint and everything was delicious. The fish tacos and street corn were to die for and they make a good virgin margarita. Best part: they were totally into babies. If you have kids and make it to Hudson, you'll feel perfectly at home with your babes in tow here.
Don't let the name fool you - this is no place to fill up your shopping cart with macaroni and cheese. Hudson Supermarket is a former supermarket turned warehouse filled from floor to ceiling with some of the most unique antiques I've ever seen. The furniture selection is to die for: particularly pre-war and art deco dining sets.
Named for the relationship between music and fragrance (I didn't even know there was one!), this cool shop was founded by two lifelong musicians who decided to go into business bottling artisan fragrance. I sampled everything in the store and loved the unique scents and botanical notes they were using. One particular scent, called Gypsy Aire, struck an immediate chord - it was like someone had bottled up my best friend Natalie in California and sold her in a store in New York. I had to buy the product and mail it to her.
Highly recommend a trip to Hudson if you're in Philadelphia, New York or even Boston. Great AirBnB's in the area run about $150/night and there's a cute hotel in town too. Family-friendly, affordable and fit for foodies!