The Hudson River flows through the American states of New York and New Jersey, which subsequently flows into the Atlantic Ocean between the cities of New York and Jersey City. It is this area known as the Hudson River Valley that is extremely attractive to tourists, the 322 km long route has not only a beautiful and interesting landscape, but also a lot of sights.
According to Mcat-test-centers, The Hudson River Valley is one of 40 National Historic Landmarks in the United States of America designated by the US Congress. It is one of the most important historical areas that preserve national values. This valley was declared a protected area in 1966, and since then important historical, cultural and natural monuments have been protected here.
In 1807, inventor Robert Fulton built the steam-powered ship Clermont, which made its first voyage along the Hudson River. Her voyage from New York to Albany took 32 hours and was the first successful use of steam in shipping. This marked the beginning of a new era in commercial transport. In 1825, the Erie Canal was opened, adding even more importance to the Hudson River. It connected Manhattan with the Great Lakes region through it.
Compared to Long Island, this area is more historically preserved, in many places you feel as if you have stepped back in time to the early 19th century. To see all these places, you would need more than a week. Sometimes you don’t want to believe that near the modern concrete and hectic New York there are places that breathe so much of the past. Take a trip to the Hudson River Valley and you won’t be disappointed.
Fort Lee Historic Park in New Jersey is where George Washington watched the nearby Fort Washington fall to the British during the American Revolution in 1776. A little further north, at a place called Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site, the British were defeated by General Anthony Wayne in 1779. Today, there is a small museum here, and battle reenactments and battlefield tours are regularly organized here.
Take US 9W all the way to West Point, where the United States Military Academy overlooks the meandering Hudson River. If you plan your visit in spring or autumn, you can take part in the cadet parade. West Point has been in operation since 1802 and has become particularly famous for its harshness of education and drill. Army officers are trained here for four years. West Point has graduated many prominent American generals and military leaders in the past, but not all of them prospered with outstanding results. For example, Ulysses S. Grant belonged to the worse half of the class, and Dwight Eisenhower was also just an average student.
Originally, there was a fortification built here in 1778 by the Polish officer Tadeusz Kósciuszko, who fought on the side of the Americans during the revolution. Kósciuszko was promoted to general of the American army in 1783 for his services to America and received special thanks in the form of land of about 250 hectares. He also received a substantial sum of money from the US government, which was paid to him in several annual installments. Today, you can find his monument near the training ground. West Point is now a museum that displays a collection of weapons, military art and dioramas, that is, special models that try to give the impression of real historical battles.
Near the academy is a cemetery, which also includes the Old Cadet Chapel from 1836. The Neo-Gothic Cadet Chapel, designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, was built near it in 1910. At a place called Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, there is a small stone house, Hasbrouck House, where the then American president lived in 1782-1783. In addition to a museum with artifacts from the Revolutionary era, you can see Washington’s rooms, which are equipped with period furniture and have been preserved in such a way that you feel as if the president left there only a few days ago.
Another stop when exploring the Hudson River Valley is the town of New Paltz, which was founded in 1677 by the French Huguenots. Only six stone houses on the main street have been preserved from this period. From there it is possible to continue to the town of Kingston, which was the capital of the state of New York during the revolution. In 1777, the first state constitution was adopted here at the Senate House State Historic Site (SHS). Today, the house houses exhibits introducing visitors to the state’s first government, as well as paintings by John Vanderlyn, who was a member of the Hudson River School of Art. You can also visit Kingston’s Stockade Historic District in the city.
Olana State Historic Site features the summer home of American painter Frederick Church, who designed it himself. The style in which the residence is built was called “personal Persian”, i.e. “own Persian style”. Another point of interest in the Hudson River Valley is Clermont SHS located in Germantown. For a long time, Robert R. Livingston, the chancellor and member of Congress who oversaw George Washington’s first presidential bid, lived here. However, his house was burned by the British in 1777, but rebuilt after the declaration of American independence.
From a historical point of view, the Montgomery Place house, which was built by Janet Montgomery – the widow of the American general Richard Montgomery, is also valuable. Among the magnificent historic houses, we can also mention the Vanderbilt Mansion, built in 1899 for two million dollars. It was built for the financier and political activist Frederick Vanderbilt by the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White. A great destination for a family outing is the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.
Continue on US 9 to Hide Park, home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site (NHS). There is a house from 1826, but its present appearance is a reflection of the time it had after the Second World War, in 1945. In the local rose garden, Roosevelt’s wife Eleanor is buried. It is home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Museum and Library. About three kilometers further on is the Eleanor Roosevelt NHS with the house where the then First Lady Eleanor lived until 1962 after the death of her husband.
If you get off US 9, you will encounter more and more stately mansions and homes of the wealthy along the way. Let’s name, for example, Van Cortlandt Manor, Philipsburg Manor, Rockefeller’s residence Kykuit, which also includes a collection of modern art, the summer residence of railroad baron Lyndhurst, or the originally simple stone cottage Sunnyside, which the writer Irving converted into an eccentric house.