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the Middle Hudson Valley

The very heart of the Hudson Valley, the Middle Hudson Valley dominates both the political as well as cultural history of America. Along its banks the rich and powerful flocked to erect their great mansions. And from these banks the Hudson River School of Art, American Romanticism in the arts, was inspired and flourished.

Both Presidents and the mighty found the scenery, climate and social atmosphere of this region ideal. FDR's home, Springwood, and Presidential Library and the mansion of Frederick William Vanderbilt dominate the cozy little village of Hyde Park. Just south of Hudson, the country seat of the Livingston Family, scions of society and politics, sits majestically on the east bank of the Hudson in Clermont.

In Staatsburg the beaux arts extravaganza of Mills Mansion, in Poughkeepsie the mediterranean simplicity of Locust Grove and in Rhinebeck the towering Victorian splendor of Wilderstein are all open for your visitation and pleasure. Linger on the lawns and picnic, hike the trails and take in the extraordinary vistas that attracted these estates to their locations.

But then prepare yourself for the natural inspiration of the Shawangunks and the towering Catskills. West of the Hudson lie these two distinct ranges of mountains. The "Gunks" offer world class cliff climbing, crystal clear sky lakes and nearly endless miles of easy hiking and cross country skiing. And then there are the forever wild Catskills. Dozens of trails await you to lead you out into the misty glens and quiet coves where people like Rip Van Winkle lost themselves and slumbered away the day.

On both sides of the Hudson are quiet cozy little towns and villages, each distinct and each lined with shops and attractions for you to enjoy and linger at. New Paltz at the foot of the Shawangunks is a shopper's paradise. Woodstock tucked up in the Catskills is filled with boutiques containing the unique and unusual as well as the best of designer goods. To the east, Millbrook reflects the country set that call this area home and Kinderhook boasts special shops and eateries.

Speaking of food, want the best the world has to offer? Call early and make a reservation at the CIA, (Culinary Institute of America), in Hyde Park, the largest and most important institute of culinary arts education in America. Or stop by The Bakery in New Paltz for mouth watering delicies And scatter across the region, wineries and vineyards are all pursuing their own unique viewpoints and tastes in the creation of award winning wines.

On the western flanks, trace the D&H Canal from High Falls down to Ellenville, then stay for an exciting evening of theatre at the Shadowlands. Go hand gliding or sail planing along the western faces of the Shawangunks. Or step back in time at Huguenot Street, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America, lined with early Dutch homes.

If history is your thing, you'll find no where better than the Great Estates Region. In every corner you will discover small museums and historic homes such as Locust Lawn, Glebe House. And make sure to walk the streets of Historic Kingston and its Rondout District. The old stockade district is a warren of quaint streets, lined with homes dating as far back as the American Revolution. And down at the Rondout, terminus of the D&H Canal, the maritime heritage of the Hudson River can be experienced at the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Rondout Lighthouse.

All in all, the Middle Hudson Valley is incomparable in location, ease of access, diversity of activities and welcoming people. No matter what you like, from wandering the streets and shops of Rhinebeck or Woodstock to wandering the trails of Mohonk or the Catskills, it's all right here waiting for you.

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