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Columbia County

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A Weekend in Columbia County

A region of history, natural beauty, and a plethora of activities, Columbia County—just a two hour train ride from New York City’s Penn Station—is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. With Amtrak you will be carried a world away from the big city, straight into the serenity that sits east of the scenic Hudson River.

Upon entering the historic Hudson Station, visitors can walk a few blocks to the Information Center at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce to get ideas for what to do, where to eat and where to stay during their weekend escape.

From there, art lovers can head over to the Olana State Historic Site, one of the few intact studio and estate-complexes in the U.S., and home to founder of the Hudson River School of Art, Frederic Edwin Church. Visitors can tour the historic house, view exhibitions at the Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery or explore the beautiful surrounding landscape via carriage drives. Or, visit Columbia-Greene Community College, located near the banks of the Hudson River and bordered by the Catskill Mountains. This SUNY institution offers concerts, plays, lectures and other community programming at the Arts Center Theater.

For those interested in hand-crafted spirits, visit Hillrock Distillery. Crowned by a meticulously restored 1806 Georgian house, Hillrock Distillery overlooks rolling barley and rye fields and the distant Berkshire Mountains. Take a tour of the production line for their hand-crafted spirits, made with their own floor malted grains, craft distilled in copper pots, aged in fine oak and hand-bottled at the estate in the Hudson Valley Highlands. Finish the tour in the estate’s tasting room for samplings of some fine whiskey.

Looking for afternoon entertainment? Just a short scenic ride north, in the quaint village of Chatham is the Mac-Haydn Theater, the area's foremost professional musical theater, presenting new productions of classic and contemporary musicals in an intimate 350-seat theater-in-the-round setting. Catch the best of Broadway and beyond with professional performers and fan-favorite comedy, dance and songs.

After an entertaining day of Columbia County culture and history, it’s time for dinner! Foodies love American Glory Restaurant, specializing in wood-smoked barbecue and classic American comfort foods from cornbread and ribs, to Kentucky bourbon and prohibition-style cocktails. Housed in a masterfully renovated red brick fire- house, this restaurant boasts a rich history, as well as the compelling aroma of real American barbecue.

Guests can also head to Helsinki Hudson. This beautifully renovated 1863 industrial building offers creative, homespun, seasonally-selected foods. It’s also home to Club Helsinki, a performance venue featuring nationally acclaimed touring artists, and it triples as an event space perfect for all of your celebratory needs.

Rather have a more laid-back evening? Visit William Farmer and Sons Barroom and Boarding. This one-of-a-kind establishment offers the institutions of “proper drinking,” simple suppers and selfless service with craft cocktails and farm-fresh meals. Eclectic boarding rooms and suites are also available. Designed for quirky, yet warm and comfortable overnight stays, each room’s distinctive character offers guests a rare experience when staying in Hudson—all within a two minute walk from Hudson Amtrak and perfect for early departures.

If one visit to Columbia County is not enough, residential and commercial properties are available for sale throughout the area. If you decide to become a “CC” resident, call Peggy Lampman Real Estate, celebrating 30 years of service, or Beach & Bartolo, “the way home in Columbia County."

For adventurous travelers looking to venture beyond downtown Hudson, Enterprise rental cars will pick you up at the Hudson Train Station and take you to your rental. Travelers can utilize the ILOVENY 15% off discount for trips throughout the state on Amtrak trains.

—Andrew Frey


Begin your day with some attractions near the circa 1874 Amtrak train station. Stroll to EB Fine Art Curatorium (across the street from the station, at 60 S. Front St.) and view the latest works of contemporary artists. Head over to Waterfront Park and board Hudson Cruises for a sightseeing trip of the river, or a special guided tour of the Hudson-Athens lighthouse. Nearby Warren Street is Hudson's central thoroughfare and dozens of antique shops. An antique lovers paradise, these street-side buildings are marked with Victorian-styled facades. There aren't quite as many dining spots as antique shops, but there are many cuisines and dining styles to choose from.
Rent a car from Enterprise (at 78 Green St.) and explore the charming villages set amid Columbia County's beautiful rolling farmland. Or take a short cab ride to two of the area's stops on the Hudson River School Art Trail: Frederic Church's Moorish-style home, Olana, and just across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, the home of Thomas Cole.
With all that Columbia County has to offer, it's nearly impossible to soak it up in one visit. Local inns and B&Bs offer charming accommodations for a weekend or more. And if you find yourself so captivated you want to live in this lovely locale, contact Peggy Lampman Real Estate to find the home of your dreams.


There's no shortage of choices for a bite. At American Glory BBQ, set in a meticulously restores firehouse, you can settle down in proprietor Joe Fierro's inviting interior and savor wood-smoked barbecue and down-home comfort food, and choose from 12 local microbrews. Or go right next door to experience the foddier fare of Swoon Kitchenbar, or visit the Restaurant at Club Helsinki before listening to some live music.



Olana State Historic Site
3.7 miles, 7 min. drive from Hudson Amtrak station
Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church lovingly created his riverview estate as a three-dimensional work of art, comprised of romantic landscape design, breathtaking views and exotic architecture. Visitors may tour the unique house-filled with paintings and sculpture-and explore the landscaped grounds.

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The Hudson River School Art Trail offers visitors the chance to hike in the footsteps of Hudson River School artists and see the locations that influenced famous American landscape paintings of the 19th century. The Hudson River School Art Trail is a project mapping the painting sites of the artists Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School School, Frederic Church, one of the most accomplished painters of the movement, and their contemporaries including Asher B. Duran, Sanford Gifford and Jasper Cropsey. The Art Trail website offers resources to guide you on your actual or virtual journey including a mobile app and directions. The guidebook displays reproductions of well-known Hudson River School paintings alongside photographs of the same views today.
Lindenwald, The Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
11.8 miles, 19 min. drive from Hudson Amtrak station
Lindenwald in Kinderhook was home to our 8th president (1837-1841) for the last 20 years of his life. Van Buren served the young nation as Secretary of State (1829-1831) and as Vice President (1833-1837) under Andrew Jackson. The 36-room mansion has been carefully restored and the grounds include 12.8 acres of the original 225-acre estate.



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