Plan your next trip by rail and experience the excitement of New York State's Columbia County in Hudson!

A Weekend in Columbia County


A region of history, natural beauty and a plethora of activities, Columbia County—just a two-hour train ride from New York City's Penn Station—is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. With Amtrak, you will be carried a world away from the big city, straight into the serenity that sits east of the scenic Hudson River.

Upon entering the historic Hudson Station, visitors can walk a few blocks to the Information Center at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce to get ideas for what to do, where to eat and where to stay during their weekend escape.

Olana.pngFrom there, art lovers can head over to the Olana State Historic Site, one of the few intact studio and estate complexes in the U.S., and home to founder of the Hudson River School of Art, Frederic Edwin Church. Visitors can tour the historic house, view exhibitions at the Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery or explore the beautiful surrounding landscape via carriage drives. Or, visit Columbia-Greene Community College, located near the banks of the Hudson River and bordered by the Catskill Mountains. This SUNY institution offers concerts, plays, lectures and other community programming at the Arts Center Theater.

For those interested in hand-crafted spirits, visit Hillrock Distillery. Crowned by a meticulously restored 1806 Georgian house, Hillrock Distillery overlooks rolling barley and rye fields, and the distant Berkshire Mountains. Take a tour of the production line for their hand-crafted spirits—made with their own floor malted grains, craft distilled in copper pots, aged in fine oak and hand-bottled at the estate in the Hudson Valley Highlands. Finish the tour in the estate's tasting room for samplings of some fine whiskey.

Looking for afternoon entertainment? Just a short scenic ride north, in the quaint village of Chatham, is the Mac-Haydn Theatre, the area's foremost professional musical theater, presenting new productions of classic and contemporary musicals in an intimate 350-seat theater-in-the-round setting. Catch the best of Broadway and beyond with professional performers and fan-favorite comedy, dance and songs.


After an entertaining day of Columbia County culture and history, it's time for dinner! Foodies love American Glory Restaurant, specializing in wood-smoked barbecue and classic American comfort foods from cornbread and ribs, to Kentucky bourbon and prohibition-style cocktails. Housed in a masterfully renovated red-brick firehouse, this restaurant boasts a rich history, as well as the compelling aroma of real American barbecue.

Guests can also head to Helsinki Hudson. This beautifully renovated 1863 industrial building offers a creative, homespun, seasonally-selected menu. It's also home to Club Helsinki, a performance venue featuring nationally acclaimed touring artists, and it triples as an event space perfect for all of your celebratory needs.

Rather a more laid-back evening? Visit Wm. Farmer and Sons Barroom & Boarding. This one-of-a-kind establishment offers the institutions of "proper drinking," simple suppers and selfless service with craft cocktails and farm-fresh meals. Eclectic boarding rooms and suites are also available. Designed for quirky, yet warm and comfortable overnight stays, each room's distinctive character offers guests a rare experience when staying in Hudson—all within a two-minute walk from Hudson Amtrak and perfect for early departures.

If one visit to Columbia County is not enough, residential and commercial properties are available for sale throughout the area. If you decide to become a "CC" resident, call Peggy Lampman Real Estate, celebrating 30 years of service, or Beach & Bartolo, "the way home in Columbia County."

For adventurous travelers looking to venture beyond downtown Hudson, Enterprise rental cars will pick you up at Hudson Amtrak and take you to your rental. Travelers can utilize the ILOVENY 15% off discount for trips throughout the state on Amtrak trains.

Andrew Frey



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