(2 hours 15 minutes from NYC) A lively urban gem set in the jewel -like natural environment of Columbia County, Hudson, New York, is a minor miracle: beautifully preserved (its hundreds of historic buildings representing every architectural style of the last three centuries) yet buzzing with all the ingredients of a city many times its size. With its diverse and creative people, world class retail and dining, and a happening art and music scene, it’s America of the past, present AND future. (courtesy of


This charming little town is popular with local residents, second-home owners and day-trippers alike. Weekends are likely to see Main Street and the surrounding area filled with shoppers drawn to the village’s charming diversity of stores, restaurants and galleries.


Kinderhook is one of the most historically significant places in the Hudson Valley. The name Kinderhook appeared on Dutch maps as early as 1614 making it one of the oldest names in the state. In the early days, Kinderhook (Dutch meaning children’s corner) embraced all of Stuyvesant, parts of Chatham, Stockport, and Ghent. Kinderhook was chartered as a township in 1687.


Very quietly, on a cold day in January 2010, the Hillsdale Historic Hamlet District was added to the National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation. Not only does having a property on the National Register make some property owners eligible for tax incentives, this is a highly symbolic honor and recognizes the Hamlet’s architectural diversity and unique origins as a cultural crossroads.


Founded in the 1750’s, the town is rich in history – some early settlers and sons served in the Revolutionary War. The streams of Austerlitz gave rise to industries such as farming, raising sheep, and mill operations. Saw mills, grist mills, mills for wool carding and the making of cider, shingles and planes enabled the settlers to make a living. Vestiges of old milk, early gravesites and historic buildings still remain.


Spencertown Academy Arts Center is an important cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires and the Capital region. Housed in a stately 1847 historic landmark building, the Academy presents a variety of free and low-cost community arts events including the popular Festival of Books each Labor Day weekend.

Spencertown Academy Arts Center is  located in Spencertown, N.Y., a tiny village set in the rural countryside of Columbia County in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. In its lovely 1840’s Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy presents concerts, readings, and fine art  exhibits as well as arts-related workshops and classes.