Hudson River Valley
Grand houses and castles have been built along the bluffs allowing their owners to take in the dramatic views of the river and distant Catskills.
Some -- like Kykuit, once the country home of the Rockefellers, Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s home and Lyndhurst, a magnificent Gothic Revival mansion in Tarrytown -- are now open to the public.
Just as Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church, famed 19th century painters from the Hudson Valley School, attained rock star status as fans lined up around the block to view their works, renown golf course architects Pete Dye, Robert Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Stephen Kay and others created their own masterpieces here.
There is West Point Golf Course designed by RTJ and the Golf Club at Mansion Ridge, the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in the state open to the public. Evoking Ireland, The Links at Union Vale designed by Stephen Kay was created by lads from New York City's Irish Golf Association on windswept grassy farmland in LaGrangeville.
Stony Point Battlefield, the site of a hotly contended battle between the Brits and the Patriots during the Revolutionary War, is now the place where golfers enjoy the views of the Hudson and battle for birdies on Patriot Hills Golf Club.
Throughout the Hudson River Valley, there are enough fairs, festivals, garden and wine tours, art exhibits, Civil War reenactments, zipline tours, river cruises and concerts to keep you busy all year long.
You can fish, cruise, go water rafting, bike the Discover the Hudson Valley Trails crossing the Walkway Over the Hudson and hike the Appalachian Trail (which actually started here).
Lodging choices range from cozy B&Bs and small inns to hotels, motels and the crenulated stone Castle on the Hudson in Tarrytown. There are resorts like the river-view Garrison with an 18-hole course and the historic Victorian Mohonk Mountain House, with a nine hole golf course, spa, lake and gardens.
And you’ve got to expect with the Culinary Institute in the valley and the growing farm-to-table culture, the cuisine will be superb.
Garrison Golf Club is a fun course with plenty of character. It's more than three decades old and while that's a relative pup in these historic parts, it's far enough back that it reminds of when how a course actually played mattered more than eye-popping numbers on a scorecard. Garrison is better in person than it is in a brochure. That should still count for something.
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