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Columbia County, N.Y.
Reporter Jesse Drucker on what to do in this sprawling county just west of the New York-Massachusetts border.
By JESSE DRUCKER
What to do: Columbia County includes numerous towns increasingly popular with vacationers and summer weekenders. The best known these days is likely Hudson. Warren Street is bustling, featuring antique shops, galleries and loads of restaurants. Madison Art & Antiques is an outdoor antique flea market with several different vendors selling beautiful old paintings, antique door knobs, mirrors, marble statues and scores of quirky antiques. (347 Warren Street, 413-297-5140) Hudson Home, a home-accessories store, has an excellent fabric selection, including upscale brands like Lee Jofa. (356 Warren Street, 518-822-8120; www.hudson-home.com) Meanwhile, for kids, there's the FASNY Museum of Firefighting, which features dozens of fire trucks spanning decades, and admission is free. (117 Harry Howard Avenue, 877-347-3687; www.fasnyfiremuseum.org) About 25 miles north of Hudson is Old Chatham, home to the Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. The real attraction is the selection of outstanding cheese and fresh sheep's milk yogurt available in flavors like maple and fresh ginger. (155 Shaker Museum Road, 888-743-3760; www.blacksheepcheese.com) The Spruce Ridge Farm in Old Chatham sells beautifully made and incredibly soft handcrafted sweaters, scarves, socks and slippers made of alpaca fiber. (434 Route 13, 518-794-6294; www.spruceridgefarm.com) In the winter, try skiing at Catamount in Hillsdale. (3290 State Hwy. 23, Hillsdale, 518-325-3200; www.catamountski.com)
Where to eat: There are numerous excellent restaurants in Hudson, including Swoon Kitchenbar, which features homemade pastas, organic and local ingredients in a romantic setting. (340 Warren Street, Hudson, 518-822-8938; www.swoonkitchenbar.com) The Cascades is open for breakfast and lunch in a cozy old-style setting. (407 Warren Street, 518-822-9146) In Chatham, Blue Plate is known for its meatloaf. (One Kinderhook St., Chatham, 518-392-7711, www.chathamblueplate.net) For a solid, affordable lunch, first-rate sandwiches, homemade soups, and freshly baked breads, you can head across the street to Our Daily Bread (54 Main Street, 518-392-9852).
Where to stay: There's the Inn at Green River, which has fireplaces in the rooms and whirlpool tub. (9 Nobletown Road, Hillsdale, 518-325-7248; www.iagr.com). A few minutes away is the Honored Guest, which permits young children (20 Hunt Road, Hillsdale, 866-guests1, www.honoredguest.com)