Settled between The Berkshire’s Taconic Range to the East, the historic Hudson River to the West and sitting South of New York State’s Capital lies Columbia County. Located just 2 ½ hours North of New York City, where Skyscrapers make way for Silos, it is a region synonymous with scenic farmland and old world rural charm, where there are cultural and recreational amenities abound.
With over 50 public heritage sites dotted across the area, including the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Austerlitz Historical Society and the Clermont State Historic Site, it is an area rich with the architecture and artifacts of yesteryear. Holding a firm footprint in the Art world, the area was also home to the “Hudson River School” artists of the mid-19th century, such as Thomas Cole, whose residence in Catskill can be visited. The Olana State Historic Site, home and studio of fellow “Hudson River School” painter Frederic Edwin Church, can be found in Hudson.
It’s surely no wonder, therefore, that these artists were so romantically inspired by their surroundings. The scenery of the area is second to none, where tiny towns punctuate the backdrop of rolling green hills and bucolic pastures. Driving is sure to deliver captivating vistas, and the vast number of hiking and biking trails provide ample opportunities to soak in the surroundings.
A bona fide reflection of its agricultural roots, Columbia County lends itself to a genuine gastronomic experience. From the family-run farm stands to the upscale farm-to-table restaurants, there are a plethora of options allowing all who visit to savor the flavors of the area.
The County seat is held by the Town of Hudson, home to the Hudson Music Festival, New York State’s largest free three-day weekend music festival. Enchantingly well preserved, it perfectly balances its richness in history with the buzz and activity of a city much larger in size.
Abundant in history, prosperous in culture and set within a timeless tableau of pastoral and arable land, the everlasting romance and enduring charm of Columbia County is guaranteed to please and certainly not to be missed.