New York's Hudson Valley Inspires Long-Lasting Memories
The author shares photos of herself with family as they enjoy the simple pleasures of a trip to a Hudson Valley diner, apple picking, and out at a local pumpkin patch.
When reminiscing about my childhood there is not a single moment I can remember where I wasn’t a camper. My mother has often told me that when shopping for their first travel trailer they specifically looked for ones with a countertop microwave to warm up my baby bottle, because back then microwaves in RV’s were uncommon.
Camping trips were always a big adventure. For a significant portion of my life, our family camping trips were in what we’d call the “off season,” as my parents had taken their camping obsession to the next level and now owned several campgrounds, including two in New York. Now as an adult I get to go camping with my extended family whenever we can find time to get away, or take cabin camping trips with my husband as we have yet to purchase our own RV. I’m based in Albany, New York for my legal career, so we particularly enjoy taking short trips to explore the Hudson Valley Region just below.
I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things to do when camping.
Hudson Valley Farmers Markets. Think European open-air markets where you don’t have to get on a plane to discover edible delights that a weekend jaunt can bring you right here. Create your own culinary adventure by buying a new ingredient you haven’t cooked with and take the challenge of planning a meal to grill or cook over the campfire. Two of my favorite spots are The Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market, and The Heart of The Hudson Valley Farmers Market in Milton NY. Both are great places to get kids excited about fresh food and trying new things.
Looking for a little more adult fun? New York State, including the Hudson Valley, is renowned for wineries and breweries. Chatham Brewery, Chatham Berry Cidery, the Hudson Chatham winery, and the Clemson Bros Brewery in Middletown are just a few of the excellent locations to sample locally made products. Check their social media pages. These locations offer events that often incorporate some of the best local food trucks and music.
What's more American than a diner? The Hudson Valley Region boasts some of the best diners, ones that my Canadian in-laws always frequent when they visit. The Phoenicia Diner and the Plaza are just two of our local family favorites. It is a family goal to figure out who has the best hamburger or breakfast offerings.
I admit, it’s not summer until I have had ice cream. Looking for soft serve? O’Kenny’s in Valatie is a family favorite, and if you time it right you can catch one of their classic car shows while you eat outside the building themed as a classic gas station. They even have a painted school bus for kids to play in. Looking for some more unique ice cream flavors? Samascott Garden Market in Kinderhook makes amazing flavors of ice cream and sundaes - they even had a S’mores sundae!
Every fall we go apple picking. My family particularly enjoys Samascott Orchards or Golden Harvest Farms. Samascott lets you pick all sorts of produce and even has some intriguing blue pumpkins in the fall! Golden Harvest has a distillery with amazing whiskey. A quick Google search will reveal that there are many fine Hudson Valley orchards and farms that provide great produce at great prices.
One more suggestion for unwinding and recreating in the Hudson Valley. The region has been expanding its biking and hiking paths. You cannot go wrong with waterfall hikes or a ride down an old rail trail. There are also outdoor arts museums, festivals, and some of the best County fairs.
For me and my family, camping has always provided an escape from work and chores, the opportunity to spend time getting re-acclimated with the great outdoors after working in an office all week, and the invitation to a new adventure, especially here in the Hudson Valley.
Christine E. Taylor, Esq. is an attorney in upstate New York at The Towne Law Firm, P.C. She helps clients with both transactional and litigation work throughout the Northeastern United States. Reach her at: Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos property of and courtesy of Christine E. Taylor, Esq.