The best chefs happily reveal their sources, and when the featured food and wine is from the Hudson Valley, it's often proudly stated on the menu. Beginning just north of New York City, head up the river (and then down again) to discover their favorite organic farm markets, celebrated artisanal cheese makers, award-winning wineries and breweries, and the world's premier culinary college.
Pick and choose from these itineraries according to your taste and schedule. You might want to spend an hour or an entire day exploring some of these gems. With farm fresh foods, wines produced at local vineyards, and restaurants that feature some of the world's finest chefs, you'll definitely eat and drink well on these trips.
DAY ONE: Wallkill, Pine Bush, Gardiner and New Paltz
Starting in Wallkill at Magnanini Farm Winery & Restaurant, enjoy the first of many picturesque Hudson Valley wine tours and tastings. Make reservations if you'd like to make this your final destination on a Saturday evening. Savor an evening meal of Northern Italian cuisine while enjoying the view of the vineyards.
From May through mid-October, Pine Bush Farmers Market is open Saturdays, rain or shine. You'll find the freshest and most pleasing vegetables, fruits, eggs, breads, eggs, sweets, meats and other treats AND you'll hear homegrown music and be captivated by the works of local artists. The quaint streets of this upstate hamlet were first settled in 1740.
Just a bit north, you'll find Baldwin Vineyards, which produces an internationally acclaimed Strawberry Wine, among other award-winning wines. In Gardiner, Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery is one of the largest Hudson Valley vineyards, or if your tastes run to other spirits of the field, visit Tuthilltown Spirits. Take a tour of the Tuthilltown Gristmill, a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places now converted to a micro-distillery. Try their award-winning vodkas from local apples, plus whiskeys and other small batch distillations produced with local grains; on the third Sunday afternoons of each month, they host live music.
In New Paltz, the winery at Adair Vineyards is housed in a 200-year old barn overlooking ten acres of vines. This bustling college town boasts several great restaurants - including The Village TeaRoom, a member of the Hudson Valley chapter of Slow Food - an eclectic shopping district, and many lodging options, from B&Bs to resorts and hotels.
You'll find several charming Bed & Breakfast choices along the way, too. There's the quietly elegant Pine Bush House (featuring Old World charm - there's even a victrola and a player piano! - plus modern conveniences); the stately Montgomery's Borland House (find out why their signature three-course breakfast receives so many kudos); and Bernetta's Place, a pet-friendly lakeside inn that offers a Jacuzzi hot tub, massages and a five course gourmet breakfast, with vegan options too).
DAY TWO: Ulster Park to Kingston to Hudson
Ready to continue the vineyard and farm market theme? Travel east from New Paltz and head north on 9W, a scenic route with Hudson River views. Stop by the family-owned, all-season Apple Bin Farm Market for homemade pies and baked goods, seasonal fruits and produce, gift baskets, apple and pear cider, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and an array of gourmet foodstuffs. Just a bit further north, the El Paso Winery beckons (April through December) with award-winning wines, tours, a gift shop and tastings in a 125-year old converted barn. Try their Chardonnay with a crisp hint of Granny Smith apples!
In the nearby Historic Rondout District of Kingston, take the waterfront promenade and stop for lunch (or dinner) at Ship to Shore, owned by a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. The chef features the freshest local ingredients in his eclectic and delicious menu. A bit outside of town, the Skytop Steakhouse's warm, candlelit dining room overlooks the mountains: if it's Thursday evening, you may enjoy listening to live jazz over dinner and drinks. At Keegan Ales, you can take a free tour of the brewery on weekend afternoons, or just stop in to sample the beers and have a delicious meal. Stay for live music or, on Tuesdays, raise your glass for Trivia Night.
You could easily spend an entire weekend in Hudson, especially if you like to stroll, shop, drink, dine out -- and then repeat! The Warren Street district is hopping, all year long, and you'll find an abundance of edible and other amusements, all along the way. To whet your appetite for a visit to this charming riverside town where you'll find Japanese fusion, Caribbean take-out, High Tea and all else you desire . . . Vasilow's Confectionary on Columbia Street specializes in small batch chocolates, nuts and confections made on the premises. At Café Le Perche, you can enjoy everything from artisanal breads to an intimate bar and elegant dining. Swoon Kitchenbar, owned by husband and wife chefs, features Meatless Mondays and Burger Thursdays, and a delicious lunch, dinner and dessert menu. Vico relies upon the bounty of Columbia County food producers with award-winning results. And, let's just say that the B&B scene in Hudson is definitely not your mama's version of cozy or chic: it reflects the town's mix of hip and modern, with a nod to carefully considered restorations and amenities.
New York has an abundance of farm markets, u-pick farms, gourmet food shops and fine restaurants. Throughout the state, farmers markets and orchard-side emporiums offer fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods and just-pressed cider. World-class wineries and craft breweries let you taste and shop at the source. Find information on harvest schedules and tours at Pride of New York, Uncork New York, and at Hudson Valley Wine Country
Adair Vineyards - New Paltz
Apple Bin Farm Market - Ulster Park
Baldwin Vineyards - Pine Bush
Bernetta's Place - Wallkill
Borland House Bed and Breakfast - Montgomery
Café Le Perche - Hudson
Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park
El Paso Winery - Ulster Park
Hudson, New York
Keegan Ales - Kingston
Mexican Radio - Hudson
Magnanini Farm Winery & Restaurant - Wallkill
New Paltz lodging
Pine Bush Farmers Market
Pine Bush House Bed and Breakfast
Ship to Shore - Kingston
Skytop Steakhouse - Kingston
Swoon Kitchenbar - Hudson
The Village Tea Room - New Paltz
Tuthilltown Spirits - Gardiner
Vasilow's Confectionary - Hudson
Vico Restaurant & Bar - Hudson
Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery - Gardiner