Jun 4, 2019

Exploring the Hudson River Valley

The Hudson River corridor is dotted with a plethora of historical sites along with a variety of other interesting places to visit. Located on a vantage point above the Hudson River, West Point is America's oldest continuously garrisoned Army installation, the nation's first engineering school, and the home of the United States Corps of Cadets since 1802. Built in January 1778 it was the first military post after the signing of the
Declaration of Independence. The motto of West Point "Duty, Honor, & Country" has not changed. The Visitors Center provides an excellent starting point for all visitors to the U.S. Military Academy. Visitors may enter the academy grounds only by guided tours. Besides displays there are videos that are shown every half hour on cadet life and Point’s history. The West Point Museum and bus tour of the Point is a trip through
American history. At Trophy Point see a few links of the chain that crossed the Hudson River preventing the British from invading the rest of New York State. Pointing to the sports field, the guide shared, "Eisenhower was a member of the Century Club. This is where he had to walk off his demerits." In the West Point chapel is the world’s largest church organ with free concerts held at three on Sundays.

In nearby Newburgh visit America's first publicly owned historic site and tour the rooms where American history was made. In the critical months that General George Washington spent at Newburgh, he made some of his most important contributions to shaping the American republic. It was here that Washington rejected the idea of an American monarchy; ended
the Newburgh Conspiracy, preventing potential military control of the government; created the Badge of Military Merit, forerunner of the Purple Heart; and circulated an influential letter to State Governors outlining the key principals he felt necessary for the new republic. The National Purple Heart Hall of Fame is just a short jaunt away.

The Lower Hudson River area became the playground of the Robber Barons and others.  Visit Lyndhurst 67-acre Greek Revival country “house” of Jay Gould. And, there is “Uncle Freddy’s Cottage on the Hudson” as the family euphemistically called the Beaux-Art Vanderbilt mansion which was modest in comparison with some of the other estates as
it only had 54 rooms. The home of Franklin Roosevelt and the nearby one of his wife, Eleanor, were modest by comparison but still fascinating places to visit. 

The scenery along the Hudson River is stunning, so much so that English-born artist Thomas Cole was so enthralled with the unspoiled landscape of the
Hudson Valley that he painted many works of art that personified the beauty and serenity of the area. His work gained him the status as being the founder of the Hudson River School of Art, a movement that flourished in the mid-19th century creating many landscape artists. At the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill visitors can tour his house and studios.

Don’t miss the Walkway Over the Hudson River 212 feet above the
river.  The 1-plus mile linear park has great views of the Catskills and Hudson Highlands.  Consider dining at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) or the historic 1704 Beekman Tavern in Rhinebeck where it is said that the quarrel that led to the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr originated. They also offer accommodations. Explore: there are plenty of other things to see and do.