All you need to take a mini-vacation in the Hudson Valley is a day off and a boat (or a friend who has a boat.) The Hudson River has been a recreational haven for mariners for centuries and since the passing of the Clean Water Act in 1972, great lengths have been taken to clean up the once polluted waterway. Now boating, jet skiing, swimming and even crabbing and fishing (though caution must be exercised in type and quantity of fish species ingested) are all options in many places along the 315 mile long river.
A great way to start out a day trip on the river is with a socialization stop in the sheltered cove on the East shore of the Hudson at Croton Point Park. Here, on summer days, dozens of vessels drop anchor so their captains and crews of friends can spend a few hours soaking up the sun, taking in the scenery, and having some fun! Friends often tether their boats together and synchronize their stereos, hosting on-deck cookouts and parties. There is sometimes even a refreshment vendor boat abound, selling hot dogs, hamburgers and cold beverages.With notoriously clean water and the Park’s pleasant sandy beach accessible, it is the ideal location to linger. Water sports such as volleyball are commonly played in the waters of the cove and the fellow boaters you’ll find amassed here are typically friendly and welcoming.
If you need some alone time to relax and regen after all that activity, try heading a few minutes north to the waters around White Beach in Verplank, NY. The beach itself is privately owned by Con Edison, and thus off limits, but the surrounding waters are open to the public. Nestled in a scenic woodsy little cove, White Beach is far more subdued and less densely populated than Croton Point. It is the ideal place to drop anchor, toss out the tubes and drift lazily in the peace and quiet for a few hours before moving on to experience the Hudson’s lively nightlife.
After a long day on the water, there are few things more desirable than a delicious seafood dinner. There are several nearby restaurants with boat slips that enable you to access them without ever taking time out on land. The Striped Bass in Tarrytown is one such restaurant that offers docks for boaters to utilize while dining. Though a bit pricy (entree options range from $16 to $40) the food is well worth it with choices like Lobstermania, the Striped Bass’ signature dish of lobster piled high with lobster stuffing and a variety of pan-seared or grilled fishes with sauce options like Tropical Mango Salsa, Cajun Meuniere Butter Sauce, and Pan Asian Sauce.
If you are looking for someplace a little more lively to party and dance the night away, try The Hudson Water Club in Haverstraw on the west shore if the Hudson. Complete with tikki bar, outdoor dining and a dance floor, the Water Club frequently hosts great bands who perform well into the late night hours. Their simple yet diverse menu includes a variety of sensational salads, classic dishes like linguini with whole clams, and a range of wonderful small plates.
When its time to head back to your home marina, take your time doing so. There is something about moonlight glistening on the broken-glass surface of the Hudson River with beautiful rolling mountains in the background that is simply good for the soul. Go home, take a cool shower and get some sleep (all that sun and fun can be tiring after all.)
After your one day mini vacation on the water, you’ll be refreshed and ready to meet the week ahead of you… No matter what it has in store for you!
Rothman, Carly, Study Shows Hudson River is Mostly Safe for Swimming, http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/07/study_shows_the_hudson_river_i.html