This past weekend (aka the second Saturday in May), we took Amtrak up to the town of Hudson. I have to say–it was very exciting to take a little trip entirely by train; we felt that much more like real east coasters.
Nonetheless, deciding not to take a car and committing to a single destination was at first a challenge; we love road trips and usually spend as much time on detours as final destinations. But traveling by train would not only save us money (especially important seeing as we just returned from a big trip) and make perfect sense for a one night getaway to such a walkable town, it would enforce a certain relaxation factor–i.e. no, we won’t go an extra hour to find that famous pancake house but we will sit and enjoy the very tasty ones in town. (And we later learned that May 8th is actually National Train Day!)
We were inspired to check out Hudson after reading a Trip Pick on Jauntsetter; we even followed their hotel suggestion and stayed in the library room at the Union Street Guest House. Just four or five blocks from the train station and one block off of Warren Street—the main street—it was super-convenient. And it was really more like the ground floor of a town house than a hotel room. I loved the little touches like the plush RL towels and Aveda products as well as the general theme of the room (it was filled with books).
The 10 a.m. train got us there just in time for lunch, so after surveying the street a bit (bike rental shop, local coffee roaster, rare book store… all noted), we paused for lunch at Le Gamin and tried to warm up a bit from the chilly spring weather with some wine and Grog. Aron had hoped to snag us massage appointments at the spa around the corner from our inn, but last minute planning and Mother’s Day don’t go hand-in-hand; something for next time. As it was, it turned out that we had more than enough to do.
Aron actually did all of the planning and had made reservations for a couple of spots for us to eat. Many of the town’s restaurants feature local, seasonal food, and we decided on DaBa for dinner, and Swoon Kitchen for lunch the next day after taking a look at the two.
The rest of the afternoon was spent walking up and down Warren, checking out the city. There were so many cute stores! Hudson is known for great antique shopping, but there were plenty that mixed vintage with modern options. I think our favorite may have been Rural Residence. There were art galleries and an opera house, a wine bar and a couple of good-looking coffee shops, restaurants and a grocer we knew from the Saturday Greenmarket. Quakers convened at one end with signs promoting peace and there was a nice park with a lovely view of the Hudson at the other. We didn’t venture much off Warren Street; there was no need.
We bought some champagne at a nice shop called Hudson Wine Merchant and walked to the park, claimed as public space when the town was chartered (the first to be so after the Declaration of Independence was signed) from where we could see the train passing alongside the Hudson. The brewing clouds made for for a dramatic view, but the wind ultimately drove us from the exposed location back to our room.
We relaxed briefly before we left for dinner. DaBa was delicious! Although 8pm was clearly on the late side for dinner in Hudson.
We started the next day sharing an order of blueberry pancakes at Earth Foods, which had all you could want from a small town breakfast joint. We browsed the stores some more–striking up conversation about a man’s grizzly bear skull, learning where Martha Stewart has been coveting the book shelves for years, and talking again to the wine merchant about his collection of rare sherry–before packing up and storing our bags at the desk.
Lunch at Swoon was especially good; like DaBa, they focused on local ingredients, but I think we both had a harder time choosing what dish to order–everything sounded amazing. In retrospect, we should have each ordered our own peanut butter chocolate cake to finish. It was tricky to eat while our forks competed for space.
We stalled as long as possible before heading back to the Amtrak station for the train ride home at 5. Sadly, the Strongtree coffee store next to the station closes at 4–another thing to remember for next time. Luckily we were able to get seats together for the ride home so that we could sneak some sips of Port (of which we’d chosen a bottle over the pricey and rare Sherry).
Hudson was such a lovely place to visit: it was a great place in which to celebrate, and is now definitely one of our favorite towns in the area. Once again, bikes would be a perfect addition to a weekend here. Aron’s keen on getting us some (I’ll be encouraging him)–folding ones would be perfect to take on the train to Hudson. Maybe a summer trip is in store!
Some helpful links for a trip to Hudson: