8 Reasons the Hudson Valley is Better Than the Hamptons

As Hudson Valley natives, naturally we’re going to think highly of our community. From Saugerties, Hudson, all the way down to Kingston, Woodstock, Rosendale, up over the Gunks to Accord, Kerhonkson, and back into New Paltz (home of CronArtUSA’s headquarters at the Water Street Market), we’re in. And we’ve been in for a long time. And frankly, we’re glad everyone else is starting to catch on. No shade, but we were starting to get tired of constantly hearing about how great the Hamptons are.

Don’t get us wrong: we love the Hamptons! They have the ocean and cool lighthouses and wineries -- and much like the Hudson Valley, they have lots of cool art too. But we’re also interested in a little friendly competition, so we came up with 8 things that make the Hudson Valley better than the Hamptons.

1. Mountains (and Streams and Trails and Waterfalls)

We thought we’d start off with a bang, you know? Here’s the deal: we have the Catskill Mountains. We have the Appalachian Trail. How about that Hudson River, eh? Or our personal favorite: we have the Shawangunk Ridge, which serves you quite the view, dawn-till-dusk, as you exit CronArtUSA’s flagship store in New Paltz, NY. You really oughta come see it in person.

We could go on and on about the hundreds of miles of streams and trails lakes and waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes, or the hiking, or the camping, or the skiing, or the mere peace and quiet of the thunderous nature all around us, but then we’d just be bragging.

Instead, we figured we’d leave you to ponder all this with a quote from Artist Thomas Cole: "Must I tell you that neither the Alps nor the Apennines, nor even Aetna itself, have dimmed, in my eyes, the beauty of our Catskills."

Word, Thomas. Word.

2. Art

As art lovers, we’re biased, but then again, it looks the Hudson Valley is too: Storm King, Dia:Beacon, The Dorsky, Art Omi, O+ Festival, to name a few. Our neck of the woods is bursting with creatives and the institutions and organizations that support them. Throw a stone in almost any direction, and BAM! An art-filled day, full of thoughtfully-curated exhibits, installations, and more. See for yourself:

  2. Dia:BEACON
  4. ART OMI

storm king

3. Food

Just checking: does the name Culinary Institute of America ring a bell? How about the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Festival? (Really, any of the hundreds of other food festivals in and around our neighborhoods?) Or maybe, just maybe, you caught this New York Times article that exposes the truth: chefs from NYC prefer escaping to our miles and miles of organic farmland, in order to find the freshest ingredients from up and down the eastern seaboard.

ryan cronin farm for sale

Look. We can’t stress it enough: we get food. It’s in our blood. So if you’re up for diving headfirst into the freshest ingredients at the dozens of farm-to-table restaurants up and down the HudVall, we’re down to have you. Because we’re proud of our food. How we source it...
                                         how we sell it...
                                               how we buy it…
… and how we eat it.

…mmmmm… pickles…

4. Beer, etc.

With every great meal, you should expect a great beverage. And when that beverage is brewed locally, it always tastes better. Like home. And it just so happens that our home is surrounded by over 60 craft breweries/cideries, an almost 500% increase from 2012’s when that number was 11. It’s big business here, and not just the beer. We also have distilleries and tea rooms and coffee shops galore, each with its own unique, distinctive voice, taste, and style.

And while we hate being trend-hoppers, we’re not about to turn down a wealth of options when it comes to our beverage-ing.

PS - FYI, our recommendations all things beer/cider/whiskey are…

  1. UGLY APPLES TASTE BETTER (Twin Star Orchards) - New Paltz, NY
  2. Arrowood Farms - Accord, NY (farm brewery) & New Paltz, NY (tasting room)
  3. Tuthilltown Spirits - Home of Hudson Whiskey (where you can check out a commission our own Artist Ryan Cronin has!)

tuthilltown artist ryan cronin

5. Literature

Rip Van Winkle, House of Mirth, the FDR Presidential Library. Sue us. We’re bookworms. We’re nerds. And we’re proud of it. Washington Irving, Edith Wharton, John Cheever. These are just a few in a cast of literary stars whose names are synonymous with the Hudson Valley. It makes sense too. Remember the whole nature thing we talked about earlier? Don’t let us try and convince you: all you have to do is read the first paragraph of Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” to get a hint of how much the Hudson Valley has continued to inspire writers for generations. (Google it.)

rip van winkle

6. Hudson Valley Apple Trail

We’d try to claim the entire fall, but let’s be real: New England’s got us there. (Lucky for us: we have a gallery in Westport, CT too!)

hudson valley apple trail

What we do have, however, is the gorgeous Hudson Valley Apple Trail, only one small part of the larger Hudson Valley orchard economy. With dozens and dozens of orchards to choose from, each offering its unique version of a “dive-into-fall-you-basic-bitches!" mentality, you’re sure to find all your fall essentials in the Hudson Valley.

7. Lodging 

It’s no secret that the Hudson Valley has always been a place to find sanctuary. For years, our community has been home to some of the most celebrated and stunning hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, and most recently, Airbnbs. Take it from us: if you’re looking for a getaway weekend with your loved one(s), a retreat to inspire your inner-artist, or simply an escape from the real world to clear your head, here are a few of our “homes-away-from-home” ideas, nestled right here in the Hudson Valley:

Audrey’s Farmhouse
This quaint Wallkill-based inn, restaurant, event space, and movie theater (yep) has it all: the views, the peace, and the quiet. If you’re looking for a stunning weekend trip to come visit us, you’ll love Audrey’s. (Or at least hope you do!)

Hasbrouck House
Located in Stone Ridge, Hasbrouck House is a local favorite-- and has been since 1757. With over 50 acres of lake property to wander as you unwind and recharge, their homestyle feel brings in fascinating cliente from all over the world.

Mohonk Mountain House
The historic Mohonk Mountain Resort & Spa (plopped right at the top of the 40,000 acres that make up the privately-owned Mohonk Preserve, part of the Shawangunk Ridge), is a must-visit, even if just for a peek at the stunning property.

mohonk ryan cronin

Love the idea of camping but hate the actual activity of camping? Tentrr can solve that problem for you. They take “glamping” to the next level: with over 150 campsites in the Hudson Valley alone, Tentrr is a sure-fire camping alternative.

We don’t need to say much: just check out this list of popular Airbnb locations in the Hudson Valley. It’s pretty comprehensive-- and jaw-dropping.

8. The New "Out West"

There’s so much of it up here, and it feels endless. Where Long Island has a reputation for being stuffy and elitist (again, no shade!), the Hudson Valley is known for being laid back and spread out. Literally. Boasting over 7,000 square miles, the Hudson Valley offers a more affordable alternative to “Urbanite Weekenders” whose wallets are boasting enough income to substantiate owning a second home (or sharing one with a group of friends, as with the most recent trend). Last year, Business Insider predicted a certain doom for Hamptons real estate, placing the blame on the trending exodus from Long Island to the Hudson Valley. With new developments like the Hudson Woods popping up all over, it makes sense that a new generation of getawayers (on a much wider economic spectrum, we might add) have chosen the Hudson Valley as their weekend sanctuary.

i love the hudson valley cronin ryan