Moving Guide

7 Reasons Your Next Home Should be Along the Hudson River

Many New Yorkers looking for their next home start out by looking at a map. They notice that the villages strung along the Hudson River are surprisingly close to the city. Why not take a look at these nearby communities?

Then they visit one or two of these villages and realize that proximity to the city isn’t their biggest selling point. It’s one thing to find a house that’s close to the city, but it’s another thing altogether to find one in a region with so much to offer.

The villages along the Hudson River Line — Metro-North’s route leading directly north of Manhattan — have so much going for them. You notice it immediately: streets lined with one-of-a-kind shops, dining and drinking establishments packed with people, and waterfront walks with views of the opposite side of the river and the mountains beyond.

And that’s just the start of what the Hudson River Line has to offer. Read on for the top reasons to seek out a home along the Hudson River.

Quaint communities

The dozen or so communities along the Hudson River Line are often referred to as suburbs, but that might give you the wrong impression of them. These aren't the kinds of suburbs where you’ll find mile after mile of identical tract homes. These are villages whose histories date back hundreds of years, sometimes before the founding of the country. The homes here run the gamut from pillar-fronted Georgians to turret-topped Victorians.

When you explore a village, the first thing you should do is head to the main drag. You’ll often find a weekly farmers’ market in full swing or a monthly celebration of local artists where you can wander from one gallery to another. Restaurants and cafes will probably have tables that spill out onto the street. The point is that these villages aren’t just suburban communities where people sleep.

Wide range of properties

Each of the villages along the Hudson River Line has its own unique mix of architectural styles. The downtown streets are usually where you’ll find the most historic homes, with Dutch Colonials among the most common. You’ll also find plenty of American Foursquares, Carpenter Gothics, Cape Cods, and other designs that were popular over the last century or so.

The farther you get from Main Street, the more eclectic the housing tends to be. The occasional ranch-style home, along with other midcentury styles, will make an appearance. Moving up into the hills, you’ll find the most expensive real estate. Modern homes, usually with larger footprints than those found in the center of the village, often have decks overlooking the boats sailing along the river.

In recent years, many communities have had condo developments spring up along the waterfront. These offer those in the market for more affordable housing a chance to enjoy everything the Hudson Valley has to offer.

Easy commutes

The one thing that communities on the Hudson River share is easy access to trains to Manhattan. Most of these villages have their own stations where trains running along Metro-North’s Hudson Line stop. Those that don’t have easy access to stations in nearby communities. The journey into the city takes no time at all. From Hastings-On-Hudson, for instance, it takes a little over half an hour. 

If you have to drive into Manhattan, the trip along the Henry Hudson Parkway or the Saw Mill River Parkway takes a bit longer. But you can still be in the city in less than an hour. 

Brimming with history

European settlers first sailed up the Hudson River more than four centuries ago. In 1609, explorer Henry Hudson and his crew navigated the river that would later bear his name. He traded fur pelts with the Lenape and Mohawk peoples, who already inhabited the area.

Hudson left behind his name, but nothing else from that initial voyage. But there are plenty of reminders of earlier eras that you can still see in the Hudson Valley. There are many villages where you’ll find interesting buildings, or even whole swaths of the downtown areas, on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The region is known for its beautifully restored homes from the 19th century. In Tarrytown, make sure to visit Lyndhurst, a Gothic Revival mansion that belonged to one of the robber barons who built what they called “cottages” in the region. Garrison has a trio of historic homes, including the Federal style Boscobel House.

Foodie destination

The growing season in much of the Hudson Valley is fairly short — running from Memorial Day to Labor Day — but the tradeoff is that the produce is guaranteed to be fresh and flavorful. Lots of villages throughout the region have annual celebrations for their local cash crop. 

As a result, the farm-to-table movement is very much in evidence along the Hudson River. Tarrytown and Peekskill have developed a reputation for being foodie havens, as have Beacon and Cold Spring. Restaurants here often grow their own greens, in addition to sourcing the rest of their fruits and vegetables from local growers. The meats and cheeses on your plate probably came from the farm down the road. To wash everything down, sample one of the beers from a dozen or so craft breweries.

Shopping galore

Almost all of the villages along the Hudson River Line have a downtown area where you can stroll to your heart’s content. Some places have a bit of hustle and bustle to them, while others have a more relaxed pace. Most are an easy walk from the village’s train station.

Cold Spring’s Main Street is a particularly delightful place to spend an afternoon. There are boutiques that will appeal to all types of shoppers, especially if you’re in the market for carefully curated clothing for women and children. Beacon is known for its art galleries, as is Hastings-On-Hudson. Dobbs Ferry and Terrytown are also pleasant places to drop by local shops.

Tons of outdoor activities

There are so many reasons to get outdoors in the Hudson Valley. Where should you start? The 26-mile-long Old Croton Aqueduct Trail connects many of the villages along the Hudson River Line. The path for walkers, runners, and bikers is accessible from any point from Hastings-On-Hudson to Croton-On-Hudson, making it ideal for journeys ranging from short strolls to day-long adventures. If you enjoy the scenery so much you want to keep going, you can connect to other nearby trail systems. 

If you want to see the region from a completely different perspective, try kayaking along the shores of the river near Tarrytown. Or head to Croton-on-Hudson in winter for sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in Croton Gorge Park.