The identity of New York's Hudson Valley—its scenery, food and wine—greatly depends on its open spaces, as any drive along the area’s winding roads makes clear. Along with wineries, the Hudson Valley features important sites in American history, as some of the 19th century's wealthiest families came here to build grandiose mansions along the river banks. The area is also home to a budding art culture and one of the world's largest modern-art museums, the Dia: Beacon, part of the Dia Art Foundation.
Take a break from sipping wine to enjoy the views of the Hudson River from the Beaux Arts-inspired Vanderbilt Mansion, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt's grandson, or see what it was like in the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of America's most well-known presidents. Or head out to the fields yourself and pick raspberries, blueberries or pumpkins at Greig Farm. It is all within a short drive from the area's main wineries, and the sweeping views of farmland and vineyards make it worth the drive.
Please note that prices, hours of operation and other details can often change, and we recommend that you call ahead before you go.
3 Beekman St.
Beacon, NY 12508
Telephone: (845) 440-0100
Open: Summer, Thu-Mon, 11-6; Winter, Fri-Mon, 11-4
Cost: Adults, $10
This modern-art museum, one of the world's largest, has helped revitalize the industrial town of Beacon, at the southern end of Dutchess County. Housed in a Nabisco factory, built in 1929, the Dia Art Foundation's collection highlights works from 24 cutting-edge artists, plus temporary exhibitions.
FDR's home office looks very much like the White House's Oval Office.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
4079 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Telephone: (800) 337-8474
Open: Daily, Nov-Apr, 9-5; May-Oct, 9-6
Cost: Adults, $7 to $14
Franklin Delano Roosevelt designed his presidential library—the nation's first—during his second term. The library houses a large collection of his belongings and archives. It stands next to his Hudson Valley home, where he entertained world leaders like Winston Churchill. Both Franklin and his wife, Eleanor, are buried in the rose garden. Eleanor's cottage, where she lived after FDR's death, can be seen from the property.
At Greig Farm, you can pick your own produce or dine at Gigi's Market.
223 Pitcher Lane
Red Hook, NY 12571
Telephone: (845) 758-1234
Open: Daily, 8-8
Cost: Pay for what you pick
Greig Farm has been offering pick-your-own fruits and vegetables for more than 60 years. The 500-acre farm has 20 acres of apple orchards and 100 acres of in-season, pick-your-own produce. Summer means sugar snap peas, blueberries and blackberries while fall provides 12 varieties of apples, red and yellow raspberries and 20 acres of pumpkins. Gigi's market on the farm offers local produce and fine dining using in-season crops.
Menashe Kadishman's Suspended defies gravity in the middle of the Hudson Valley countryside.
Storm King Art Center
Old Pleasant Hill Road
Mountainville, NY 10953
Telephone: (845) 534-3115
Open: Wed-Sun, 10-5; Saturdays during summer, 10-8; open select Monday holidays
Cost: Adults, $12
How many works of art can claim the majestic Hudson Valley as their backdrop? Storm King, which celebrates its 50th year in 2010, displays an exciting collection of large-scale modern art on rolling lawns ringed by forests. Early acquisitions include a number of David Smith sculptures, and Storm King has continued to collect. If you like the Richard Serra Torqued Ellipses at Dia: Beacon, be sure to check out the site-specific piece he created here nearly 20 years ago. And don’t forget to bring a picnic; strolling through nature appreciating art can make you hungry.
Tours take you through the first and second floors of the Vanderbilt Mansion.
4097 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Telephone: (845) 229-9115
Open: Daily, 9-5
Cost: Adults, $8
Cornelius Vanderbilt's grandson, Frederick, began building this 54-room mansion in 1898, as a convenient retreat from the city. The National Park Service has preserved the lovely grounds of the 600-acre estate and the rooms of the mansion, which looks like a small French palace with its Beaux Arts exterior. Along with views of the Hudson River, visitors can take a 45-minute tour of the home, including highlights on the first and second floors.