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What to Do During a Day Trip to Olana State Historic Site

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So you spent the morning exploring Olana State Historic Site in Hudson. Now what? Lucky for you, you’ve got options galore.

We can’t stress enough that the Olana State Historic Site is worth the trip. Once home to the Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church, the structure is designed in the way of Orientalist architecture. The site is situated high up on a hill with panoramic views of the river valley below—it’s no wonder that Church was so compelled to paint landscapes.

 

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Once you’ve fully explored the Hudson Valley historical site, you have a choice to make. Olana is conveniently located between Hudson and Catskill, with plenty to do in both cities. Foodies, we suggest you head to Catskill for cider, chocolate, and a meal at Creekside—follow the section titled Catskill: Fit for a Foodie. If you’re in the mood to maintain an artsy air, skip to Hudson: An Artsy Adventure. There, you’ll peruse the galleries on Warren Street, sift through a vintage store, and shop for the perfect hat.

With that said, it’s time to choose your adventure in the Hudson Valley!

Catskill: Fit for a Foodie

12 p.m. – A meal at Creekside


You were traveling to Olana, then you got carried away exploring the property, and now you’re hangry. Luckily, Creekside is a crowd-pleaser. If you want to keep it light and cheap, order from the salad menu—the harvest salad is simple and delicious, comprised of mixed greens, roasted sweet potatoes, craisins, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

If your hunger calls for something more substantial, order one of the burgers. You can go for the classic beef burger or opt for the plant-based variety, then load up on additional toppings like bacon, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers. Have a hankering for surf and turf? Creekside has that, too, whether you’re wanting for scallops, crab cakes, sirloin, or all of the above.

1:30 p.m. – Head to Left Bank for a few ciders

 

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Summer shall soon turn to fall, which means the transition from beer to cider as the Valley’s go-to buzzy beverage is in full swing.  Left Bank is a leader in local cider, and its taproom is conveniently located right in Catskill, making this a natural next stop on your Olana road trip. Choose between indoor and outdoor seating, then order a few rounds with your party and enjoy the funky flavors characteristic of Left Bank’s ciders.

Related: Even More to Do in Catskill

2:30 p.m. – Stroll through the Cohotate Preserve


Once you’re all cidered up, have your designated driver take NY-385 north for five minutes and park in the gravel lot. The park is open dawn to dusk, free to enter, and dog-friendly. The main loop is a mild trail which runs along the Hudson River and is easy to traverse in all four seasons.

4 p.m. – Snag sweets for the ride home at Catskill Chocolate Co.


On your way out of town, stop by Catskill Chocolate Company as a little reward for a day well spent. The baked goods range from sticky buns to French macarons to decadent slices of cake, all handmade with “the finest, natural, ethically sourced and local ingredients.” If you have lengthy trip home, consider ordering a few shots of espresso to stay nice and perky for the whole ride.

Hudson: An Artsy Adventure

12 p.m. – Fill your belly at Feast & Floret

 

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For Italian-inspired food fit for a fine artist, cruise on down to South 3rd Street and enter the big brick building which houses Feast & Floret. Diners with a simple palate might start with the grilled flatbread dolloped with ricotta and honey. Conversely, an adventurous eater should consider the bruschetta Toscana topped with chicken liver paté and sun-dried tomato.

Follow that up with pasta, meat, fish, or a plant-based dish; whichever you choose, be sure to pair it with a beverage from the extensive list of wine, beer, liquor, and cocktails. In the way of cocktails, we recommend The Floret, a simple drink composed of gin, chamomile honey, and prosecco. Sip it slow and enjoy the restaurant’s unbeatable atmosphere with your company.

2 p.m. – Peruse your favorite galleries on Warren Street


If there’s one thing Hudson has no shortage of, it’s art. On Warren Street alone, there are more than 10 galleries, each displaying work by world-class artists. It’s unlikely that you’ll have time to stop by every single one, so check out our guide to the galleries of Hudson beforehand to decide which you want to visit the most. Not to be missed are the 19th- and 20th-century oil paintings at Peter Jung Fine Art, including some from the Hudson River School to which Olana creator Frederic Edwin Church belonged.

Related: Even More to Do in Hudson

3 p.m. – Find furniture, fine art, and more at Finch

 

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Since you’re already on Warren Street, stop into Finch, “a unique and expertly curated collection of vintage and modern goods for the home.” With the selection of tables, chairs, and artwork at Finch, it’s no wonder that so many artists and designers flock to Hudson to furnish their homes. Where else could you buy an Italian coffee table from the 1950s, a French art deco vase from the 1930s, and a photograph by German artist Herbert List all in one shopping spree?

4 p.m. – Put a cap on the day at Hudson Hat Co.

 

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This hat boutique features well-made caps of wool, straw, leather, suede, and cotton. Hudson Hat Co. mainly carries western- and fedora-style caps, so go and try on a few, then decide which you’d like to add to your collection.

4:30 p.m. – And don’t forget ice cream at Culture Cream

 

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As a sweet sendoff, stop by Hudson’s most eclectic creamery. Culture Cream offers what might be called “craft ice cream,” with an emphasis on local ingredients, seasonality, and experimentation. “Ice cream is a blank canvas waiting to be infused with herbs, fruits, fungi and fermented addons” is a core belief at this creamery, where the current flavors include passionfruit lemon balm kombucha sorbet, earl grey lavender kefir ice cream, and lacto-fermented strawberry ice cream with beet jam.

Related: Art Omi Day Trip: Where to Eat and Explore Around Ghent

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