Columbia County offers historic communities and charming villages set among an idyllic landscape.
Just thirty minutes outside of Albany lies Columbia County - a delightful day trip destination any time of the year. Steeped in history, the area offers numerous historic sites including a wonderful Shaker Museum and Library, as well as the retirement home of Martin Van Buren, the 8th president of the United States.
A drive along any road will lead you to the stunning architecture and mansions of long-ago sea captains and merchants. You'll feel a part of a Norman Rockwell painting in this charming region! Even the very names of the quaint communities seem to capture a bygone time... Chatham Village, Malden Bridge and Hillsdale to name a few.
And what would a historic area be without antiques? In the center of Columbia County, lies Hudson, NY, an antiquers paradise and without a doubt, one of the premier antiquing centers in all of the United States. Over 65 shops are clustered within walking distance, or depending on how much you have to carry, motoring distance, of each other. Venturing out from this notable town center, you can meander from the shores of the Hudson River to the foothills of the Berkshire Mountain, stopping at many antique havens along the way.
The area is also home to numerous art galleries and art centers featuring the work of international and regional artists in a variety of mediums. Music fills the air and summers bring jazz festivals and concerts throughout the area, with community theatres and opera houses rounding out the many performing arts the county has to offer.
Dining in Columbia County means fine restaurants amid a friendly, comfortable atmosphere - perfect for getting out of the city for an enchanted evening's dinner and drive. Many feature locally grown produce from one of the many country markets and farms where you can stop at a neighborhood stand for sweet corn, or "pick your own" fruits and vegetables for a fun and rewarding day in the country.
Outdoor activities abound. Spring and summer brings hiking, biking, fishing, camping and swimming while winter offers cross-country and downhill skiing, featuring the Catamount Ski Center on the border of New York and Massachusetts.
Should you decide to extend your stay in Columbia County, maintain the historic ambiance by trying one of the many inns and B&Bs that dot the countryside. Hotels, campgrounds and cabins are also available.