Monday, August 13, 2012

Exploring the Historic Hudson Valley

It isn’t just a series of rolling hills that is coincidentally situated between New York City and the Adirondack Mountains. It is a worthy destination of its own!

Venture off the New York State Thruway at Exit 17 approximately one hour north of New York City at Newburgh, New York, and enter a timeless sanctuary of serenity—packed with options of activities representing a simpler, more peaceful era. The vicinity offers tours of West Point, comfortable Bed & Breakfasts, multiple antique market locations, galleries featuring fine art, sculptures, photography, handmade jewelry, pottery and blown glass.  There are concerts, crafts fairs, festivals, historic mansion tours, castles, villas, inns, a renowned culinary institute, horse shows, fabulous restaurants, tea rooms, museums, the New York Renaissance Faire, hiking, horseback riding and the best shining gem of all—the picturesque Hudson River. Plant a little smooch on the lips of your darlin’ as you saunter, hand in hand, along the romantic riverfront.

Not only is the visitor able to choose from a variety of restaurant venues spaced along the spectacular riverfront, but they can also hop aboard a tour boat that will guide them on a narrative historical journey as they navigate the waters of the mighty Hudson. While there are numerous choices, Hubby and I ventured over to The River Rose during a recent visit. This is an authentic New Orleans paddle wheeler that holds 150 passengers plus an affable crew. We spent some time chatting with Captain John “Duke” Panzela—truly a fascinating character. I’d certainly like to be writing his life story! An entertaining, informative, reasonably priced two hour tour on a pristine, sun-soaked day was a perfect (oops, Never Say Perfect…the name of one of my novels…) and memorable afternoon along the Hudson. Check out

Dinner at elegant Torches on the riverfront was the epitome of a lovely dining experience and served as a delicious glaze on top of a special day to cherish. Torches serves “Eclectic American Cuisine” and boasts a 6,000 gallon aquarium for diners to ogle.See

For additional information about the Hudson Valley region, visit, and plan to take that detour off the hectic NYS Thruway by taking Exit 17. You may just be glad you did!

Sipping an afternoon iced tea along the riverfront

Hope to see you again soon!

Mary Anne Benedetto