If you’re looking for a trip that will leave you entertained, excited and refreshed, head for New York’s majestic Hudson River. Because the area abounds with museums, theaters, architectural monuments and thriving neighborhoods, a lot of “quality time” could be spent here. There are so many stops along the Hudson that offer great views and even greater boating. Here are some of the top spots to stop on your adventure up the Hudson!
Lower to Upper Hudson
The port of Jersey City is an excellent place to begin. From the scenic views and beautiful walkways in Liberty State Park (201-915-3440), to murder mystery dinner theaters (The Murder Mystery Company, 510 Summit Ave., 888-643-2583) and race cars at Pole Position Raceway (99 Caven Point Road, 201-333-7223), there is definitely not a shortage of things to do here. For dining options, try Edward's Steak House (239 Marin Blvd, 201-761-0000,edwardssteakhouse.com/) or Taqueria Downtown (236 Grove St, 201-333-3220).
There are two outstanding resort marinas there, each offering panoramic views of the New York City harbor and Manhattan’s world-famous skyline. Liberty Landing Marina (201-985-8000, libertylandingmarina.com) is located in Liberty State Park.This full-service 520-slip facility has floating docks in the calm, deep waters of Morris Canal, just off the Hudson River, with striking views of the Big Apple. Newport Yacht Club & Marina (201-626-5550, igy-newport.com) sits directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan and offers 154 slips surrounded by a luxury nautical village, which features great shopping, dining and entertainment. When you’re ready to take a break from the bright lights of the city, cruise north to explore the rich history and natural beauty of the Hudson River.
This little village, approximately 36 miles north of New York City, sits where the Croton and Hudson rivers meet. As you cruise to the town you will pass the Palisades, a towering series of cliffs that stretch from New Jersey to New York, and glide under the Tappan Zee Bridge. Fall cruisers will be dazzled by brilliant foliage displays. Croton-on-Hudson is home to Croton Point Park, a 508-acre facility with outdoor activities and year-round events. Visitors can enjoy hiking, birding, fishing and swimming at the sandiest beaches on the Hudson. The town is also home to the Croton Point Nature Center. If you're hungry, try Ocean House (49 N Riverside Ave, 914-271-0702), for some great local cuisine and a little dinner romance!
Half Moon Bay Marina (914-271-5400, halfmoonbaymarina.com) is adjacent to the park. The 173-slip marina has world-class floating docks, manicured grounds, a picnic area and shopping and restaurants within walking distance.
Plan a stop at Stony Point, about 24 miles farther north, on the Hudson’s west bank. This quiet community was the site of a Revolutionary War battle. The Stony Point Battlefield Historic Site rests on a knobby promontory that projects into the river and boasts the oldest lighthouse in the Hudson Valley. The lighthouse was built in 1826 and restored and relit in 1995. Tours are available for visitors. A stroll through town will calm and revive you—Stony Point has an abundance of peaceful parks, shops and restaurants. Delicioius eating options include Hogan's Family Diner (56 S Liberty Dr, 845-429-9603), Pasta Cucina (32 South Liberty Drive, 845-786-6060, pastacucina.com/) and Gilligan's (10 Grassy Point Road).
Dock at Stony Point Bay Marina (845-429-0100, stonypointbaymarina.com) for a friendly welcome and terrific service. This 400-slip facility has all the essentials, plus a swimming pool, tennis courts, a well-stocked marine store and a facility for boat maintenance and repairs. There is a great selection of restaurants and bars that offer indoor or outdoor dining, right on the river. Grocery stores and a variety of restaurants are all nearby.
Travel another 19 miles north to the lovely city of Newburgh, also on the west bank of the Hudson. Along the way, cruise by Bear Mountain State Park, named for the mountain that resembles a reclining bear. Farther upriver you will spot the United States Military Academy at West Point on its scenic spot high above the Hudson. A few miles north is Pollepei Island with its brooding ruins of the 19th-century Bannerman Castle, built by a nostalgic Scotsman. This mysterious historical gem can be reached by boat tours from Newburgh. Dining options include The Lakeview House (343 Lakeside Rd, 845-566-7100, thelakeviewhouse.com) and Machu Picchu Peruvian Restaurant (301 Broadway, 845-562-6478, machupicchurest.com).
Dock at the Riverfront Marina (845-661-4914, riverfrontmarinanewburgh.com) in the middle of the Newburgh’s renovated waterfront district. This marina has 120 gated slips and all the comforts to make your stay memorable. It is a walk away from first-class restaurants, art galleries and shops. Climb the hill from the marina to wander along streets lined with historic homes and churches.
Further up the coast of the Hudson lies Kingston, a vibrant city that dates back to the arrival of the Dutch in 1652. Kingston features rich history and architecture, and a thriving arts community. Visit the Rondout Lighthouse (One Rondout Landing, 914-338-0071), the 86 year old landmark, for spectacular views of the surrounding area. Explore the majestic Hudson River aboard the M/V Rip Van Winkle. Enjoy narrated cruises past quaint lighthouses, great estates, and a magnificent view of the Catskill Mountains. Weekends in the summertime offer live music and dancing on Friday nights, and dinner cruises on several Saturdays (40 Rondout Landing, 845-340-4700, hudsonrivercruises.com/). Try Le Canard Enchaine (276 Fair St, Kingston, 845-339-2003) for some out-of-this-world French cuisine or try the Hoffman House (94 N Front St, Kingston, 845-338-2626) for some more traditional American delicacies.
The Rondout Bay Cafe & Marina is located on the beautiful and historic Rondout Creek in Kingston, NY. The deep water marina lies just 2-1/2 miles from the Hudson River, offering a great mix of boating and fun. Come visit the Tiki Bar, listen to the music, grab a bite to eatt, and enjoy the scenery. Or dock at the Kingston Municipal Dock for great service and a great marina. Relax to the scenic views or have fun at all the special events and attractions.
New Baltimore boasts a natural setting complete with nearby walking trails and Bald Eagle sightings from Houghtaling Island across the river. Reprovisioning is available dockside at Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina (518-756-8001) complete with groceries, beer and convenience store items.
If you plan a day in New Baltimore be sure to check out the Hannacroix Creek Preserve, a 113 acre natural area that includes several marked hiking trails leading to a lovely waterfall, scenic vistas and the foundation of a paper mill. There is also a trail that leads across Route 144 to a boardwalk that is the beginning of the Hudson River Interpretive Trail. You can also visit the New Baltimore Farmer’s Market June through September.
Dock at Shady Harbor Marina (518-756-8001) for a wonderful, friendly staff and a great location. Amenities include a pool, laundry and bath house, and a convience store / gift shop for everything you might need!
Albany is big on festivals, and you can time your visit to coincide with the Tulip Festival (May) or Jazz Festival (September), among others. You can bet the Fourth of July fireworks celebration is always stunning at the Empire State Plaza. The Albany Palace Theater (19 Clinton Ave.; 518-465-3334) presents world–class performers and concerts.
The Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center (25 Quackenbush Square; 518-434-0405) offers visitor a little bit of local history and then points you to a host of attractions. High on the list is the Gov. Nelson Rockefeller Empire State Plaza (200-300 Madison Ave.; 518-474-2418), a 98-acre complex that includes a wonderful modern art collection, an elliptical performing arts center, the New York State Museum (518-474-5843), state office buildings and the New York State Capitol Building.
Dock at the Albany Yacht Club, which prides itself on being one of the oldest organized yacht clubs in the country. The club host transient boaters who are visiting the Albany area or as a stop-over before entering either the Erie or Champlain Canal system. Canal permits are available at the facility.
Troy, known now for its bustling antiques district, remarkable Tiffany window collection, unspoiled 19th-century architecture, and prestigious colleges (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Russell Sage), was once a major industrial center. You can learn all about its shirt-making and ironworks history and get tips on what to do in town at the Troy RiverSpark Visitors Center (251 River St.; 518-270-8667). Also be sure to check out the schedule at the Troy Music Hall (30 Second St.; 518-273-0038) regarded as one of the world’s few acoustically perfect concert halls. On Saturdays in season, the Troy Farmers Market (River St.; 518-708-4216) takes over the waterfront near the town dock.
Dock at the Troy Dock, the heart of the historic New York waterway system. Troy is your gateway to the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and the network of canals that connects New York City with the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes, and the mighty Mississippi.
Navigating the Hudson River
Here are some tips when cruising the Hudson River with its natural beauty and many miles to explore:
• Currents along the river can run from 1.5 to 2.5 knots and pay special attention to cross currents when entering a slip.
• Look for floating debris which can be found lurking under water as well.
• Give the right away to large ships, tugs, barges and ferries as the Hudson is a commercial shipping waterway. Boaters will have a safer trip by traveling just outside of the shipping channels when possible.