You have reached that milestone — that academic degree, job promotion, or big decade birthday, which you have anticipated for so long. You have decided to celebrate that proud accomplishment with a solo trip somewhere in the United States. Where does the solo traveler go that is not overrun with other travelers? Hudson, New York, and Hyde Park, New York, provide the perfect itinerary of history and low-key culture for the solo traveler.
DAY 1 — HUDSON: THINGS TO DO
Start your day on Route 9 north of Hudson at the thrift shops. Hudson offers a selection of Goodwill and Salvation Army shops to delight any bargain hunter. Then, head to the heart of Hudson and Warren Street. Since it is lunch time, grab a sandwich or pizza and picnic at the waterfront park. Then, saunter up Warren Street and browse the quirky shops. I left Hudson recently with a Lancelot marionette and a second hand book about the last meals of famous people, including recipes. Mexican Radio is the dinner destination, with its marvelous margaritas and homemade sangria–and good food, too. After dinner, catch a performance at Helsinki Hudson or maybe a play at Hudson Stageworks.
Downtown Hudson offers a number of inns and bed and breakfast establishments suitable for the solo traveler.
DAY 2 — HYDE PARK: THINGS TO DO
Head south on Route 9 toward Hyde Park and spend the morning exploring Olana, the home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church. The next stop on the itinerary involves a gastronomic delight at the Culinary Institute of America with its three restaurants to choose from. Plan ahead, as reservations are required. Once your appetite for food is sated, next on the itinerary is the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site to feed your appetite for historic society. The solo traveler can simply meander around the exquisite gardens or tour the house, as well. Once your appetite here is sated, continue south to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. One admission price will also admit you to the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, run by the National Park Service. In addition to reveling in the United States history surrounding Franklin and Eleanor, enjoy the grounds, especially the flower gardens. For dinner in Hyde Park, stop in at the Eveready Diner and then catch a movie at the Hyde Park Roosevelt Cinemas.
HYDE PARK: LODGING
When I took my solo trip to Hyde Park, I stayed at the Quality Inn. It is convenient to the sites and safe.
In the morning, visit Val-Kill, Eleanor’s personal retreat. Spend a little time appreciating her contribution to U. S. history and her humanism. Return home with a full head and heart as you look forward to meeting your next big goal in life and planning another solo trip.