Cyclists on Great Freedom Adventures’ Hudson Valley National Heritage Area Bike Tour explore an area National Geographic Traveler lists in “Our 20 Must-See Places for 2013”
Sherborn, Mass., Jan. 15, 2013 – Bicycle tourists, locavores, artists, nature lovers and history buffs alike can experience first-hand a 2013 National Geographic Traveler “Best of The World” region on Great Freedom Adventures’ Hudson Valley National Heritage Area NY Bike Tour. The Hudson Valley was one of only four US regions to receive this distinction by National Geographic. Great Freedom Adventures’ Oct. 6-11, 2013 itinerary is crafted to highlight the best of the region and is timed to coincide with colorful fall foliage and the bounty of the local harvest.
The six-day, five-night bike tour includes lodging, most meals, guides, van support, bike rental, luggage transport, river cruise, wine tasting, admission fees and other region-specific costs and is priced at $2,295 per person based on double occupancy. Upscale, historic inns have been selected to provide guests with a living perspective on the history of the region. One such inn, The Beekman Arms, is the oldest continuously operating inn in the country.
Bike tour guests encounter a landscape etched with views that inspired a whole new art movement – the Hudson River School of Art. Stops are made at mansions and gardens designed by artistic greats such as Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Gehry and Frederic Church.
Also on the itinerary are visits to FDRs home and museum, Eleanor Roosevelt's tranquil Val-Kill, and the impressive Vanderbilt mansion. Pedaling through the riverfront estates of Montgomery Place, Wilderstein, and Staatsburg, bike tour guests get further glimpses of a bygone era of opulence.
Cycling is not the only activity on the docket of this “must-see” Hudson Valley NY Bike Tour. Guests walk a peaceful preserve to a Catskill Mountain viewpoint high above the Hudson, a setting said to have inspired Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle. Guests tour waterside as well on a narrated river cruise past a historic island lighthouse while scouting for a glimpse of one of the resident eagles.
Wine aficionados appreciate the stops at valley vineyards and the opportunity to sample some of the vintages, while foodies delight in the plethora of top-flight restaurants. Tour dinner locations range from small but chic restaurants manned by some of New York’s City’s finest chef transplants, to the sprawling Culinary Institute of America.
“Between the Culinary Institute of America grads too enchanted to leave Hyde Park and the influx of NYC chefs realizing the land is greener here, area eateries…are stoking locavore passions, says Sascha Zuger, author of National Geographic Traveler’s Hudson Valley article.
All along the route, cyclists traverse a landscape of sustainable farms, orchards, vineyards, horse, alpaca and sheep farms, with a stop at the Old Chatham Sheepherding Co., producer of award-winning artisanal cheese.
Cyclists travel between 15 to 38 miles a day, with optional extensions of up to 55 or so miles for the avid bicyclists in the group. Guests are free to bike the distance preferred on each day.
With so much to see and do off-the-bike, this tour works well for non-cycling traveling companions. Guests who prefer to opt-out of the cycling are transported to each site in the support van or back to town for some shopping in the myriad shops featuring antiques, local artwork and more.
The program begins and ends in Hudson, NY and guests can travel to the start by car or train. The train station is only four blocks from the tour start and Great Freedom Adventures can meet guests at the station. The closest airport is Albany International (about one hour away) and transport can be arranged.
“Much like Rip, Hudson Valley wanderers often wake up to find this is where they long to rest their vagabond souls,” says Zuger.