Recharge With a Sustainable Weekend in the Hudson Valley

Here's your guide to a low-impact getaway.

hudson valley guide
(Image credit: The Quiet Botanist)

Home to a diverse group of artists, chefs, and outdoor lovers, the Hudson Valley— located about two hours north of New York City—provides the ideal backdrop for a quick weekend away. And unlike farther-flung destinations, a recharging trip here (even with a few indulgences) can come with a low carbon footprint. The Hudson Valley train line from Manhattan's Grand Central is a great, sustainable option for non-drivers, though I had access to Volvo's new XC40 electric car, making the trip upstate even easier. I simply jumped in, told Google "to take me to the Hudson Valley," and voila, I was on my way. In addition to feeling like you're doing something good for the planet (you are), charging stations are becoming more readily available—keep scrolling for more on where I charged in my destination, the town of Hudson—making driving electric a convenient way to plan a road trip sans gas. However you choose to travel to this pastoral paradise, here's what to do once you arrive.

hudson travel guide

The author at her earth-friendly Airbnb (it comes with an EV charging station!)

(Image credit: Sara Holzman)

Where to Stay:

If you are traveling via an EV, the Hudson Valley is a well-equipped destination. The downtown area of Hudson has access to public charging spaces, meaning you can stay in one of the swanky new centrally located hotels, like The Amelia Hotel, The Maker, or Rivertown Lodge, and park and "fuel up" overnight. (I drove about 120 miles to get there, but the car has a range of 260 miles.) For those who prefer to have their own private access to charging, The Wick (also in Hudson) has guest-only charging hubs. Alternatively, a few well-appointed Airbnb's also offer electric charging options to get yourself charged up for adventure.

hudson travel guide

The tasting room at Left Bank Ciders

(Image credit: Left Bank Cider)

What To Do:

Filled with hiking trails and waterfalls, there's no shortage of nature to explore on foot, bike, or car. If you're not so outdoorsy, stay in town, where there's a huge array of local shops to pop into, from furniture to vintage stores to specialty food purveyors:

  • A feast for the eyes, The Quiet Botanist has an exquisite array of wild-crafted and dried florals, alongside earthenware pottery and other vessels. You can also book a facial appointment at the newly opened spa that integrates organic botanicals.
  • For books and brews, visit The Spotty Dog Books & Ale and pick up one of our favorite reads.
  • New York-based designer Nikki Chasin's eponymous store has a great selection of clothing that she designs in-house, alongside vintage selects that will be hard to come by anywhere else.
  • Kitty's Market and Talbott and Arding offer a great selection of snacks and locally sourced prepared foods, meats, and cheeses, plus kitchenwares to create your own seasonal boards.

If you find yourself in the village of Catskill, spend an afternoon at the taproom at Left Bank Ciders, founded by two locals who were inspired to make good out of the mounds of discarded apples they encountered working for the composting program at the neighborhood farmer's market.

hudson travel guide

The lounge at The Maker

(Image credit: The Maker)

Where To Eat & Drink:

The Hudson Valley's culinary scene is unrivaled, with a growing number of expertly trained chefs flocking to the area after stints at Michelin starred restaurants across the globe. On Warren Street in Hudson, you'll want to pop into Breadfolks, a local hotspot for everyone's pandemic favorite: sourdough. Right next door you can check out Culture Cream's colorful storefront serving kefir and kombucha-based ice cream. For retro diner fare, head to Kitty's Market and Cafe and order the chicken noodle soup or the chicken lunch plate. 

For dinner, make a reservation at Feast & Floret, serving up Italian food with a sustainable ethos. Order the squid ink pasta, the chicken Milanese, and the grilled flatbread with ricotta, farm honey, and pesto. You'll also want to snag a table at Le Perche for French food. Everything is made from scratch, while goods at the adjoining bakery are fired up in their wood-burning oven. Order the Manilla clams on nettle toast and the Steak au Poivre with frites. 

For pre- or post-dinner drinks, head over to the lounge at The Maker, located inside a 19th-century carriage house decked out in leathers, lit by candlelight, and warmed by a hand-carved fireplace. Spend the evening sipping on local wines, craft beers, and bespoke cocktails before you head back home, batteries fully charged.

Sara Holzman
Sara Holzman

Sara Holzman is the Fashion Editor at Marie Claire covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to.