Travel

Hudson: The Perfect Maiden Voyage Upstate

A bevy of high-end restos and shops makes this former whaling port a perfect maiden voyage upstate — no car required.


hudson new york things to do

Moto Coffee Machine | Photo: Julien Capmeil

If you’re skeptical about this whole New-York-beyond-the-five-boroughs thing, the city of Hudson is the place to start. Getting there is easy — you can Amtrak to Penn Station, from which trains leave every one to two hours and drop off right in town. Getting around is even easier — with one main retail drag and a second street of private residences that doubles as a greatest-hits tour of American architecture, there’s almost nowhere you can’t walk.

The only thing that’s difficult? Deciding where among the dozens of eateries and boutiques to spend your time and money.

Distance from Philly: 4 hours.

Where to Stay

hudson new york things to do wm farmer sons

A room at Wm. Farmer & Sons | Photo courtesy of Wm. Farmer & Sons

You’ll feel right at home in any of the 14 uniquely appointed suites at Wm. Farmer & Sons. And no, not just because of the La Colombe draft lattes in the fridges: It’s more about how the cozy quirks of an old house (claw-foot tubs, heritage furniture) pair with modern amenities (free wi-fi, toiletries from the artisanal apothecary down the street). And it doesn’t hurt that the farm-to-table restaurant downstairs is one of the best for miles. From $229 per night.

Where to Eat

Never thought you’d tuck into a breakfast salad dotted with edible wildflowers at a motorcycle repair shop? That’s how mornings start at Moto Coffee Machine. Book dinner at Food Studio, a delightfully narrow strip of a kitchen slinging locavore Asian cuisine, or head to Swoon Kitchenbar, where the conversation (and wine) flows freely and the crispy artichokes are a decadent indulgence on Thursday burger nights. And then there’s Lil’ Deb’s Oasis. This neon-bedecked tropical comfort-food experience defies most descriptions, so we’ll just stop right there.

Insider Intel

The bad news: Wednesday is the “weekend” for Hudsonites, so the town gets sleepy and lots of places close. The good news: It’s infinitely easier to score a seat then at Fish & Game, one of the most impossible-to-book joints in town, where the “Primi Piatti” menu gets you a glass of vino, house-made pasta, and to-die-for garlic focaccia for under $30.

Places to Shop

Head to Minna, Hawkins New York, and Batterby House for minimalist-with-a-twist tableware that looks like it’s been lifted straight from the pages of Domino. If you’re after old, not new, Red Chair on Warren curates Swedish, Belgian and French antiques in a Provençal-farmhouse palette of grays, blues and whites, and you’ll want to devote an entire afternoon to winding the never-ending stalls of Americana-oriented furniture and ephemera at Antique Warehouse.

Good to Know

Semi-regular flea markets and the “anti-festival” Soundscape draw Hudson Valley creatives to Basilica, an old factory turned community center.

Published as a part of “Into the Valley” in the September 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.