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Culture Club

When we want to enjoy a summer schedule packed with art openings and music and theater productions, or take a leisurely hike or river paddle through breathtaking scenery, we stick close to our home in the Berkshires. When we want an infusion of gritty-city energy, world-class food, and unique shopping, we head to New York City. When we’re craving a bit of both, we hoof it down to Hudson, New York, where we can satisfy all those tastes in one place, and not spend a fortune in the process (well, unless we hit the antique shops. Those are covered here). There’s a lot to love about Hudson, so let us help you count the ways.

You can eat like there’s no tomorrow

Swoon Kitchenbar

In Hudson, you can get everything from a sweet potato pizza to Mexican spring rolls, savory crepes, an overstuffed falafel, and a variety of mouthwatering pastries and confections. We’ve never tried a restaurant we wouldn’t frequent a second time, but here are a few of our favorites:

 

Cafe Le Perche may be new to the Hudson dining scene, but it’s had an immediate impact. Pick up French classics like croissants, sour cherry tarts, and to-die-for crispy breads, or stop in for coffee and conversation.

(p.m.) Wine Bar isn’t just a place for serious oenophiles to indulge their taste for boutique wines; it’s also a terrific place to sample Spanish-style tapas, while pretending you’re in a chic European bistro.

Swoon Kitchenbar pretty much wrote the book on using fresh, regional ingredients in recipes that evoke ethnic flavors from all over the world. Lunch is casual, while dinner is a bit more upscale . . .  and everything is delicious.

Cafe le Perche, 230 Warren Street

(p.m.) Winebar, 119 Warren Street

Swoon Kitchenbar, 340 Warren Street

 

You can stay at the in inn

Thunderbird Suite at the Union Street Guest House

By far one of the coolest boutique hotels we’ve ever tried, the Union Street Guest House is all about the details, from the understated design to the classic linens, free wireless Internet, and the in-room premium coffee and tea selection. Better yet, it’s just a couple of blocks from bustling Warren Street.

Union Street Guest House, 345-349 Union Street

 

You can indulge your shopping lust

Warren Street, with its many antique shops, consignment stores, boutiques, beauty suppliers, and more is the place to be if you’re in the mood for a bit of wallet calisthenics. A few must-check-outs include:

Hudson Vintage, a great source for vintage jewelry and accessories

The Spotty Dog Books & Ale, where you can peruse the latest New York Times best-sellers while listening to live music and savoring an artisanal beer

Otto Turkish ceramics

Casa Urbana for the ultimate in luxury bath and body products

Otto for handmade Turkish ceramics, woven throws, and kilim pillows, plus jewelry, novelty items, and imported snacks

White Rice for unique Asian-inspired home furnishings, antique furniture, and clothing and accessories

Hudson Vintage, 433 Warren Street

Casa Urbana, 525 Warren Street

Otto, 437 Warren Street

White Rice, 531 Warren Street

 

You can take five (or thirty or sixty) with a tasty cuppa

Browse through an extensive library of loose teas at Verdigris Tea, and pick up a few ounces for the perfect cup at home. Or else stick around and contemplate the meaning of life (or at least your next shopping stop) over a pot right here in this airy little store.

Verdigris Tea, 135 Warren Street

 

You can enjoy some first-rate people-watching

Almost smack at the halfway point on Warren Street, Nolita Café & Bakery is a great place to grab a quick sandwich and a coffee, sit outside on the patio, and watch the comings and goings of your fellow Hudson visitors (and dwellers). After all the heavy work of shopping and eating, take a load off at the Henry Hudson Waterfront Park, where you can also catch eclectic live music on Wednesday nights. 

Nolita Café & Bakery, 454 Warren Street

Henry Hudson Waterfront Park, Front Street

 

You can appreciate the great outdoors

Olana gardens, photo courtesy NY OPRHP

Olana, the Persian-style mansion of famed painter Frederic Church, makes for a terrific historic-home tour. But we’re even bigger fans of the gorgeously designed landscape, which encompasses 250 acres and 5 miles of carriage drives, and has both impeccably manicured gardens and wild, untamed forests. Pack a picnic, take a leisurely stroll, and then pick your favorite spot for snacking.

 

Olana, 5720 State Route 9G

 

You can be refined with art, theater, and more

For avant garde theater, unusual documentaries, and a selection of outdoor movies for the kids, look no further than Time & Space Limited If visual art is more to your taste, Warren Street is again the place to be, with a variety of galleries exhibiting the likes of contemporary photography, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European paintings, and handmade art jewelry.

Outdoor music at Time & Space Limited

Time & Space Limited, 434 Columbia Street

 

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