Hudson is a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of New York City. It’s also a gorgeous two-hour ride on Amtrak (800-872-7245, www.amtrak.com ) from New York’s Penn Station. The train runs right alongside the Hudson River the whole way, past the Palisades, the Tappan Zee, Bear Mountain, the Highlands, West Point, and other sights.
The town has just one hotel, the 120-year-old St. Charles (518-822-9900, www.stcharleshotel.com ), with simply decorated rooms and two unpretentious restaurants. It’s a short walk from all of Warren Street’s antiques stores. The Hudson City Bed & Breakfast (518-822-8044, www.hudsoncitybnb.com ), in an 1865 Victorian house, has six guest rooms, a front porch with a wooden swing, a parlor with a fireplace, and a walled “meditation garden” in back. Twenty miles south, in Rhinebeck, the classy Beekman Arms (845-876-7077, www.beekmandelamaterinn.com ) claims to be “America’s oldest operating inn” and is known as much for its superior colonial-style restaurant as for its accommodations, most of which are actually in adjacent buildings.
Good places to eat right on Warren Street include the bohemian-chic Red Dot bistro, named in homage to the former red-light district (518-828-3657); Mexican Radio, an outpost of a Mexican place on New York’s Lower East Side (518-828-7770); and Charleston (518-828-4990), which serves an eclectic international menu in a 1926 space with its original wainscoting and tin roof. To learn more about Hudson and its surroundings, pick up either of two good guidebooks: The Traveler’s Guide to the Hudson River Valley , by Tim Mulligan (Random House) or The Hudson Valley Book , by Evelyn Kanter (Countryman Press).