The Hudson Valley ends near New York City, which is a convenient place to start your trip. While you’re still in the metropolitan area, count your first stop as Nahmias et Fils Distillery in Yonkers. The distillery’s Legs Diamond rye is made using New York organic grains. Be sure to try the Mahia—a white spirit made from figs and a nod to co-founder David Nahmias’s Moroccan-Jewish heritage. A short hop north, just beyond New York’s sprawl, Sleepy Hollow embraces its spooky reputation and offers an abundance of family-friendly Halloween-centered attractions. On most fall nights, the 250 year old Van Cortlandt Manor hosts The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, a riverside walk filled with structures made from jack-o-lanterns—even the Pumpkin Carousel. Another 18th-century house, Phillipsburg Manor, hosts the Horseman’s Hollow haunted house experience. Even the Old Dutch Church, one of the oldest buildings in the state, joins in with live retellings of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Kykuit—the opulent home of generations of the Rockefeller family—doesn’t boast any ghosts, but the extensive gardens offer spectacular views of the Hudson River.
If you left the kids at home but brought your wallet, head to nearby Pocantico Hills for dinner at the legendary Blue Hill at Stone Barns, number twelve on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Don a dress or jacket and tie for the 30-plus course, multi-hour farm-to-table tasting menu ($258 per person; $168 for the “unconventional” wine pairing), with much of the fare coming from the attached 80-acre farm and research center. Fittingly, the restaurant offers numerous Hudson Valley whiskeys, as well as rare older bottlings of Van Winkle bourbon ($398 to $695)—perfect for toasting a legend of local lore.
The other side of the river, just across Bear Mountain Bridge, abounds in foliage-driven outdoor adventures. Bear Mountain itself is an easy hike (or drive) to the top, and on a clear day you can see Manhattan. Picnic near the summit or stop at Bear Mountain Inn for lunch, dinner, or accommodations. Farther north is the United States Military Academy at West Point, home to the Battle Monument, one of the largest granite columns in the world. Built by Civil War veterans, the memorial is situated at Trophy Point, with a grand overlook of the Hudson River. Storm King State Park, just northwest of West Point, offers dramatic scenery and hikes alongside the river. Nature and civilization blend together at the dramatic Storm King Art Center, an outdoor museum that juxtaposes contemporary sculpture with the beauty of the wooded landscape. Finish the day with a visit to the quaint riverside town of Beacon, home of the acclaimed Dia:Beacon art museum. Denning’s Point Distillery, also in town, offers tours and tastings of its small-batch Beacon bourbon, apple brandy, gin, and Maid of the Meadow, a wheat-based spirit infused with wild herbs and honey from the Hudson Valley.
Southern Hudson Valley Distilleries to Visit
Nahmias et Fils—201 Saw Mill River Road, Yonkers
Tastings and tours available by appointment most days.
Denning’s Point Distillery—10 N. Chestnut Road, Beacon
Tastings Fridays and Sundays; tastings and tours Saturdays.
Where to Stay
Tarrytown House Estate—49 E. Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown
An early 19th-century mansion on a riverside estate.
Bear Mountain Inn—55 Hessian Drive, Highland Falls
An upscale yet rustic wilderness lodge in Bear Mountain State Park.
The Beacon Hotel—424 Main Street, Beacon
A newly renovated boutique hotel in the heart of Beacon.
Where to Dine
Blue Hills at Stone Barns—630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
One of the world’s best restaurants. Reservations required; can be made 60 days in advance. Formal dress code.
The Twisted Oak—61 Main Street, Tarrytown
Fine farm-to-table dining; more casual (and affordable) than Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
The Roundhouse—2 E. Main Street, Beacon
Modern New American cuisine in a chic industrial space with an outdoor patio.