The Hudson River flows through a varied landscape, and offers some of the most breathtaking scenery to be found in the eastern part of the United States. The majestic Catskill Mountains provide fantastic photo opportunities when cruising the Hudson, while other natural features include Kaaterskill Falls – New York State’s highest cascading waterfall. The waterfall is almost 79 metres high and can be explored closely by walking along marked trails on a shore excursion in the area. More adventurous travellers will have opportunities to explore the landscape along the river through a range of outdoor activities which may include trekking and white-water rafting.
Although the Hudson’s lush, tree-lined banks are a fantastic sight throughout the year they are particularly impressive in the autumn months, as the leaves change colour to various shades of gold and red. Manmade features, including a number of lighthouses, also contribute to the wonderful scenery along the Hudson River; two of the most impressive are the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse – which is built entirely from wood – and the Roundout Lighthouse, which dates back to 1837 and is the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson. Pretty villages located along the banks of the Hudson River, as well as the breathtaking New York City skyline, also contribute to the wonderful views.
Evidence of the region’s impressive past can be seen along the Hudson River, particularly in the rows of mansions that have been owned by industrialists and major business and political figures throughout the history of the United States. While many historic buildings can be seen from the deck when cruising the Hudson, shore excursions allow tourists to explore them in greater detail.
Major historic attractions in this region include Franklin D. Roosevelt’s estate – Springwood – where he recorded many of his famous Fireside Chats; visitors can also explore the Springwood Museum and Presidential Library. Another impressive mansion with historical significance that can be visited in this area is Sunnyside, which was once home to Washington Irving, the American author who is best known for his novel The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. A number of villages along the Hudson River can be visited on shore excursions, with many offering cultural attractions such as art galleries and museums as well as unique shopping and dining opportunities. Riverfront towns such as Nyack also offer evening entertainment in local theatres.
Visitors looking to taste the local food and wine will not be disappointed on a Hudson River cruise. Towns and villages along the river are home to a number of fine restaurants, and local farmers markets also provide travellers with the opportunity to taste the local produce. International restaurants can also be found in the towns along the Hudson, while award-winning wineries offer the chance to taste some of the fantastic local wines.