Recently, we connected with two women who call the Hudson Valley home, Sharon and Nkoula. After a lazy summer and with zero desire to leave my “within driving distance” bubble these days, I’m looking forward to fall road trips and I’m feeling inspired by some of the places that Sharon and Nkoula love in the region. Luckily, the Hudson Valley isn’t terribly far from where I live and it is stunning in the fall. I thought it might be helpful to share a list of some of their faves, along with a few that I love for anybody else looking forward to some fall back roading.
Bannerman Castle Trust in Newburgh. I remember seeing this place on the train once to Poughkeepsie and wandering what the…a castle…is that a castle on that island? Situated on an island in the Hudson River is this former weaponry fortress which looks like a castle. These days, you can hike around the island and admire the ruins, while taking in the spectacular foliage reflecting in the river. This place is a fave of Sharon’s.
Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn in LaGrangeville. I don’t think you can come to the Hudson Valley and not consume some dairy. This place is another one of Sharon’s fave’s and man, do they have some delicious ice cream (made with locally-sourced dairy) flavors to chose from. They also have ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cupcakes, and savory food once you’ve worked up your appetite from all that ice cream eating, ha!
Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook. We had a rule growing up, you can buy as many books as you want when we go to the bookstore. I’ve been a sucker for a good book and bookstore ever since. This is one of Sharon’s fave’s and they offer in-store (with social distancing) shopping, curbside pick-ups, FaceTime shopping appointments, Zoom events with authors, and well-priced shipping for online ordering.
Grow Black Hudson in Hudson. This is the beautiful, affirming movement that Nkoula has started that aims to re-introduce Black and Brown communities in Hudson with growing food. The rewards go beyond the edible bounty that will come from growing, Nkoula is also helping foster sustainability, champion for environmental awareness, and strengthen ancestry connections to the land.
PieconicNY in Chatham. Empire State Bourbon Chocolate Walnut. Backyard Apple. Dark Roast Coffee Chocolate. Need I say more? Get yourself to a car, train, bicycle, skateboard and go.
Hope this list helped inspire you to do some exploring, even if it’s just to take in the leaves as they change. I know I am now extra psyched. Have a great weekend.