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A Romantic Tour of the Hudson River Valley
By Dean Novosat

New York's Hudson River Valley is a wonderful place to take a romantic little getaway. Just minutes outside of New York City, it is a short trip from the city but feels like another world. Quaint bed and breakfasts, country inns, and small resorts are in abundance.

New York's Route 9 heads north out of New York City and travels through such towns as Hyde Park (home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Sleepy Hollow (home of the Headless Horseman), and Rhinebeck. A wonderful loop takes you across the Hudson and down the west side of the river. You'll find plenty of quaint towns full of antique shops and local restaurants.

We liked the Belvedere Mansion near Rhinebeck, New York. This beautifully restored bed and breakfast had wonderful bedrooms, a full-service restaurant, and breakfast on the porch overlooking the Hudson River (and, unfortunately, Route 9). We stayed one night in the mansion in one of the period bedrooms. It was lavish! The next night we stayed in the Hunt Lodge which had a tiny room but was tastefully decorated. We didn't spend much time in the room anyway as we spent most of the day at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome watching an airshow of antique airplanes and taking a ride in a restored biplane!

Across the river, you absolutely must see Mohonk Mountain House. This is one of our favorite romantic getaways. Situated near the top of a mountain, it features an old-world inn on the edge of a spring-fed lake. The inn itself is beautiful and you will feel as though you have been transported back in time when horses and carriages made their way up the long, private driveway. Mohonk has been updated to a world-class hotel and resort with a huge dining hall, an outdoor ice skating arena, miles of hiking trails, and a new spa and fitness center.

Just south on Route 9W you'll find one of the largest flea markets we've seen! Located near the town of Newburgh, you'll find thousands of vendors in this outdoor venue. There's also an indoor section, too, so the market can stay open year-round.

So, for a quick getaway from the city, take a short trip up the Hudson River where you will find world-class resorts, wonderful shopping opportunities, and quaint bed and breakfasts.

Dean Novosat is an avid traveler and writes for Bed and Breakfast Life (http://www.bedandbreakfastlife.com).