Weekending in Hudson Valley: An Artsy Escape With Outdoor Galleries and Andy Warhol Masterpieces

Beauty everywhere you look, from the mountain views to the large-scale works of art.

hudson valley

The Maker Hotel conservatory in Hudson. Photograph by Francine Zaslow

A longtime leafy weekend escape for New York City-dwellers, the Hudson Valley is also a haven for creatives. Make the three-hour drive northeast from Philly to find art galleries, antiques shops, and a flourishing farm-to-table restaurant scene — all along the scenic Hudson River.

Drop your bags at one of the newest accommodations in the city of Hudson, the Maker Hotel (rooms from $475), opened last summer by Fresh beauty founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg. The boutique property feels like a walk-in work of art, with 11 spacious rooms, each with vintage artwork and a mix of Art Deco and mid-century modern decor and stocked with plenty of bath products from the beauty brand. Borrow a book from the library’s vast collection to read by the pool, and order a plate of duck frites with a gin cocktail at the Restaurant, housed in a glass-walled conservatory.

hudson valley

Esopus Creek. Photograph by Sinisa Kukic/Getty Images

Get a sense of how the region’s beauty inspired artists at Olana State Historic Site (free entrance; tours from $12), the former estate of 19th-century landscape painter and member of the Hudson River School art movement Frederic Church. Explore with a guided walking tour through the site’s main house — situated on a ridge with stunning views of the nearby Catskills — or a driving tour in one of the open-air electric vehicles.

Even if there’s nothing on the events calendar, it’s worth a walk by the Basilica Hudson, on the riverfront. The venue, once a factory, is a popular wedding and performance space that also hosts an artist-in-residence series and a yearly art and music festival.

Get to know downtown Hudson with a stroll along Warren Street, popping into boutiques like the Quiet Botanist for organic face masks and hand-poured candles, Nikki Chasin for flowy dresses, and Finch for vintage and handmade modern furniture. Refuel at Moto Coffee Machine, inside a working motorcycle shop, and don’t miss Lil’ Deb’s Oasis for steamed cockles and pork tamales surrounded by splashy tropical vibes.

Coming or going, make time to stop at the Dia Beacon (tickets from $15) and Storm King Art Center, a little over an hour’s drive south. The former museum features contemporary art dating from the ’60s to the present day, with plenty of large-scale works from artists including Louise Bourgeois and Andy Warhol. Storm King (tickets from $20) is a sprawling 500-acre outdoor museum with hulking sculptures by Alexander Calder, Ursula von Rydingsvard and dozens more. The property is worth visiting any time of year but especially in fall, when the backdrop of changing leaves lights up the Catskills.

Published as “The Hudson Valley” in the “Escape to New York” guide in the September 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.