The first time I visited the Hudson River Valley, just one hour north of Manhattan, I thought to myself that it was the perfect place for a girls weekend getaway from NYC. It has everything — amazing food, wineries, chocolate shops, historic sites, artsy towns, and fun ways to be active outside. When I visited this winter it was too cold to do much outside, so I went back this spring to explore some more. To help you plan your weekend getaway, I’ve put together a girlfriend’s guide to the Hudson River Valley.

Planning a Girls Weekend Getaway — How to Get to Beacon, NY

The Hudson River Valley extends from Yonkers, just north of the Bronx in New York City, all the way up to Albany, covering 10 counties on both sides of the Hudson River. I spent most of my time in Westchester and Dutchess County and highly recommend staying in the quaint, old-now-new hipster town of Beacon. Getting there from NYC is easy, you can hop on the Metro North at Grand Central Station for the hour and a half ride up to Beacon with great views of the Hudson along the way. Once you are in Beacon, there are weekend shuttles in the high season or you can easily walk into town.

If you are coming from the suburbs or the surrounding states, Beacon is just off of Interstate 84 and across the bridge from Interstate 87.

Beacon New York makes a perfect girlfriend getaway weekend destination

Where to Stay in Beacon, NY

On my first visit to the area, I stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott outside of Poughkeepsie. That was fine for a family visit, but for a girls weekend getaway or romantic escape, I’d highly recommend the historic, yet funky, Roundhouse Hotel. Situated in a recently-restored, 200 year-old factory building, this boutique hotel leverages and showcases the artistic talent that you will find in Beacon.

Roundhouse Beacon Hotel

Located right on the Fishkill Creek and Falls that were used to power the factories that called these buildings home, the Roundhouse has been restored with an exceptional attention to detail. There are three buildings, the main building which houses the restaurant over looking the falls, lounge with wood-burning fireplace and guest rooms; an event space; and a second building of guest rooms. Although you wouldn’t take it for another hotel building from the graffiti on the outside, once I stepped into this newly-opened second building, there was no mistaking the scent of wood and paint that signified the finishing touches were freshly applied. I felt more than secure behind my steel door and enjoyed the exposed brick walls, huge wood-paned factory windows, and reclaimed wood beams that bisected the room in spots. The furnishings were modern and simplistic, in perfect alignment with the design aesthetic, and the modern bathroom was closed off with a sliding wood slab.

Roundhouse Hotel in Beacon New York

While my room was spacious and more than comfortable, I was drawn to the lounge and its wood-burning fireplace to take away the evening chill during my spring visit. There is scattered seating throughout the lounge and I was there early enough to snag a prime spot right in front of the fire. I admired both the creative cocktail menu and the design details such as the amber globe lights over the bar, the hand-carved wood table, and the deer head sculpture over the fireplace. As I sat and watched the other guests and locals trickle in, I could see why they sometimes call Beacon the “Brooklyn on the Hudson.”

Where to Eat in Beacon, NY

I’ve written before about the farm-to-table movement in the Hudson River Valley and some of the top-notch restaurants in this area, but if you want to stay in Beacon itself, this is what I’d recommend:

The Vault Restaurant — This tapas restaurant is a great choice whether you are traveling alone or with a group because you get to sample so many tasty dishes. Walking distance from the Roundhouse, the Vault is also one of the few restaurants on Main Street to have its own parking lot (bonus!) I’m almost embarrassed to admit all the dishes I tried, but it was all in the name of research! 😉 The bruléed figs, goat cheese crostini, and crispy pork belly were definitely stand outs.

The Vault tapas restaurant in Beacon NY

Kitchen Sink — Further down Main Street, this new farm-to-table restaurant is on the smaller side, but also offers a back patio in nicer weather. I’d been told the fiddlehead fern toast was amazing, but after my indulgences at The Vault, I opted to start with the baby kale salad and sampled the chilled carrot soup — both of which were perfectly seasoned and executed. Luckily I started light because I overdid it with the beer-braised pork lasagna. With its béchamel sauce, it was actually a bit too rich for me, but that didn’t stop me from downing a few of the best beignets I’ve had outside of New Orleans.

Kitchen Sink restaurant in Beacon New York

Poppy’s Burgers & Fries — Perfect for lunch, Poppy’s is like a retro burger joint meets organic cafe. They feature local, grass-fed beef and organic produce and serve up some very tasty burgers, salads, rice bowls and fries. I also love the dedication to all things local with local beer, wine and even sodas.

Homespun Foods — Whether you eat at their Dia: Beacon outpost or the prime location on Main Street, Homespun Foods spins out some eclectic sandwiches, salads and amazing homemade cookies.

The Beacon Bagel — You can take this Jersey girl out of NYC, but whenever I’m back in NY or NJ, I’m on the lookout for “real” bagels and I found them at Beacon Bagel. Big, doughy, chewy, and plenty of flavors, just like you would expect from a real bagel joint. And yes, I brought a dozen home with me for the freezer.

Get Frosted Cupcake — I also have a penchant for interesting cupcakes, which was satisfied at Get Frosted. She whips up new flavors all the time but I came home with mint chocolate chip, s’mores, and Butterbeer!

Where to eat in Beacon NY

If you want wine or beer to play a role in your girlfriend weekend getaway, be sure to also stop into Two Way Brewing Company, drive out to Millbrook Vineyards, or pop into one of the wine bars in town like the Oak Vino Wine Bar or Chill Wine Bar.

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