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Fall Weekend in the Hudson Valley

This region still has more than enough natural and cultural treasures to fill a three-day weekend. Here are some suggestions.

Poets’ Walk Park, in Red Hook

The 120-acre park, designed by landscape architect Jacob Ehlers in 1849, is an ideal place for a picnic brunch. With its magnificent views of the Hudson, and its open fields and forests, the park is a favorite of landscape artists. The place takes its name from the 19th-century writers, Washington Irving among them, who strolled its paths.

Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson

The Center for the Performing Arts, designed by internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry, is a must-see attraction as one of the few Gehry buildings in the Northeast. Circle the dynamic structure, whose undulating, brushed stainless-steel cladding shimmers as it reflects the landscape.

Olana

On a high bluff overlooking the Hudson in Columbia County is Olana, the Persian-style estate of Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900). Church constructed the grounds of his 250 acre estate as if he were composing one of his landscape paintings, often incorporating the lush background of the Hudson and the distant Catskill Mountains into his picturesque views. Though the house is closed during 2006, the grounds are definitely worth a visit. The half-hour guided landscape tour shows off the exterior of the house and highlights the views of and from the estate as Church planned.

Hudson

A wealthy whaling community in the 18th century, later an industrial town, Hudson fell on hard times in the late 1800s. But in the past 25 years, the town has seen a tremendous economic and cultural revival. Today Hudson is a major antiques center, boasting more than 70 shops. For the best antiquing, visit Warren Street, part of the city’s historic district. The street is also home to a growing number of galleries, bars and restaurants, and the Hudson Opera House, now a cultural and community center.

Day 3

Shaker Museum and Library, Old Chatham

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