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4 Hudson Valley Towns Just A Train Ride Away

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In recent years, the Hudson Valley’s waterfronts and downtowns have been infused with fresh, welcoming energy as makers and bakers, brewers and do-ers have re-fashioned the industrial era landscapes to suit the citizenry. And there’s really no lovelier way to explore these places when you're an out-of-towner than by hopping on the train and starting from the riverside—and no better season for it than autumn.

So grab a window seat (perfect for maximum leaf peepage) and an off-peak ticket and take yourself a day (or weekend) trip to any of these Hudson Valley towns just a train ride away. While enroute, download the free Hudson River Train Tour App for more information about the sights and stories of the valley.

Schedules and ticket information can be found on MetroNorth’s website, along with destination information and some cool package deals. Meanwhile, here are four of our favorite walkable train towns for car-free exploring and a few of the reasons we love them so much:

Cold Spring

Cold Spring, NY - IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Cold Spring, NY
At Cold Spring, take a moment to enjoy the view of Storm King Mountain across the water and then plunge into an exquisitely varied wonderland of shopping, eating and drinking. Antiques and boutiques beckon, delicious aromas waft out over outdoor cafe tables.

It’s all housed in a beautifully preserved 19th-century landscape and surrounded by outdoor recreational choices; you can even take the train straight to the Breakneck Ridge trailhead for a challenging hike to a blissful view to start your day.

Peekskill

Peekskill, NY - IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Peekskill, NY
When you pull into Peekskill, stretch your legs along the Scenic Hudson Park, a mile-long trail adorned with sculptures. Across the river, you’ll see Jones Point and Dunderberg (Thunder) Mountain. You can walk just down the block to the Peekskill Brewery, where they’re having an Oktoberfest every weekend through the end of October, or cruise the glorious, historic Hudson Highlands aboard the Evening Star.



You can take a 15-minute walk (or a Zipcar or Uber) up into town and, starting October 12, catch How We Live at Hudson Valley MOCA.

Beacon

Beacon, NY - IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Beacon, NY
Beacon’s waterfront on the gloriously picturesque Newburgh Bay is a living monument to environmentalism — there’s the Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park and Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, where you can rent a kayak.

An easy .75 mile walk takes you to Dennings Point State Park, home of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries; the visitor’s center there is open midday on weekends through October. And then, of course, there's Dia Beacon to visit—not to mention a romping small city full of art and treats.

Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsie, NY - PHOTOS COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Photos Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Poughkeepsie, NY
Poughkeepsie's waterfront offers a variety of parks to play in and riverside restaurants. And only in Poughkeepsie can you whoosh upward in a scenic glass elevator to Walkway Over The Hudson State Historic Park, the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge. Walk up the hill through Little Italy and you'll find yourself in the heart of the Queen City of the Hudson, surrounded by eats, drinks and art, much of it in cleverly repurposed industrial buildings.

Whether you're a weekend warrior looking for new places to explore or a Hudson Valley newbie planning your next weekend getaway or day-trip, there's plenty of cool places to explore without straying too far from the next train back home.

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