Mid-Hudson River Valley: Milton NY

WHY GO: There’s something divine about sunrise in the Mid-Hudson River Valley, over the Hudson River. Even more so from my private balcony at the Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa. 

Sunrise over the Hudson River from Buttermilk Falls Inn, Milton, NY

It takes just 1 1/2 hours to get here from New York City by train or car. And then, to bask in Mid-Hudson River Valley luxury and serenity. This Getaway is rare in that it is focused almost exclusively on one Hudson Valley Inn.

Yes, there are a few reasons to venture “off-campus,” and we’ll tell you how. (Start with a visit to Hyde Park and Poughkeepsie).

But for the most part, bring a book and an appreciation for farm animals, leisurely strolls, and the simple life. Keep Calm and Carry On up to Mid-Hudson River Valley.

More Things to Do In Mid-Hudson River Valley

Union Pacific Freight Train at Historic Milton, NY Train Station

DRIVE: Rural Mid-Hudson River Valley Backroads

Buttermilk Falls is just outside of the tiny hamlet of Milton, NY. Take the back-roads to Milton’s tiny red train station, now on the Historic Register. You just might be lucky enough to see a Union Pacific Freight train idling there, “re-crewing.”

Typical Hudson Valley Road in Farm County NY

On your way, you’ll probably get stuck behind a tractor or two. But take joy. This rich farmland is the source for most celebrity kitchens and chefs in New York City and environs.

Kedem Winery Tasting Room, Marlboro NY

VISIT: Kedem Winery Tasting Room, Marlboro NY

Originally owned by Joseph Herzog, brother Michael Herzog still owns this maker and purveyor of Kosher wines – the main competitor of Manischewitz-sweet grape-juice for the holidays. Kedem’s Tasting Room also serves as a shop for all makes of Kosher wines from Alfasi to Carmel and others. It’s the perfect place to stock up for the High Holidays and Passover.

VISIT: Gomez Mill House, Marlboro NY

Purchased by Jewish merchant, Luis Gomez, in 1714, this proud stone and brick home is “The Oldest Jewish Dwelling in North America.” Learn the history of the man whose family fled from the Spanish Inquisition and who purchased 6,000 acres of land on the Hudson River as a trading post. Open April 6- Nov. 9th, Wed-Sun. Tours 10:30, 1:15, 2:45, $8 adults, $3 kids.

Best Restaurants In and Near Buttermilk Falls Inn

Henrys Restaurant - Buttermilk Falls Inn

EAT:  Henry’s Restaurant

Steps from Buttermilk Falls Inn’s front door and named after the owner’s son, this is true garden-out-back-to-table dining. Or at least hyper-locally sourced. Chances are you’ll see at least a portion of your meal poking from the ground on your walk around the property.

Ship Lantern Inn, Milton NY

Massive glass globes hang like hot air balloons from barn rafters. Candlelit tables are rustic-chic. And waitstaff are attentive and helpful. Try a toothsome cocktail – like Sex on the Farm ($13). It combines moonshine, liqueurs, and juice for a refreshing buzz.

EAT: Ship Lantern Inn, Milton

The iconic Ship Lantern Inn occupies a building that dates to the Revolutionary War. But that’s just one of its charms. Known as one of the best very fine dining restaurants in the Mid-Hudson River Valley, Ship Lantern was established in 1925 by John Foglia – one of four founders of Chef BoyArDee. His grandson, A. Michael Foglia, now presides over a menu rich in local meats and produce. 

Try innovative dishes like Graham Crack Crusted Calamari with Serrano chile scented apple jelly and Hudson Valley Breast of Chicken Scarpariello roasted with Wild Boar Sausage. This restaurant may look touristy and dated from the outside. But inside, cuisine is a revelation. 

Buttermilk Falls Inn, Milton NY

Winterberry Room, Buttermilk Falls Inn, Milton NY

STAY: Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa

Featured on the National Geographic “Stay” list, the eco-friendly Buttermilk Falls Inn, which juxtaposes renovated 1700’s cottages with abstract contemporary buildings on 75 acres, is no longer that “secret” hideaway 90 miles from Manhattan on the west bank of Hudson River.

Breakfast at Buttermilk Falls Inn, Milton NY

In the 40’s and 50’s, what’s now Buttermilk Falls belonged to famed Black soprano and education activist Dorothy Maynor, and her husband, Reverend Shelby Rooks (two suites are named after them). In 2004,  real estate developer Robert Pollock purchased the farm and turned into an 11 room inn.

Pool in Spa Building at Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa, Milton NY in Hudson Valley

Get a Spa Treatment, Swim, or Read By the Indoor Pool

** Be aware that as of Spring 2022, the Spa Building and Pool are closed for renovations. Opening TBD.

The full-service spa is housed in a modern glass and steel structure steps from the main house.

Sure, you can exert yourself in the “endless current” indoor pool, but plenty of guests bring along a book or pile of neglected newspapers. They camp out in one of the poolside lounge-chairs to just chill out and remember what enjoying life was all about. $35 Day Pass per person, $50 Per Couple, includes pool, sauna, steam room, use of robes, access to grounds.

Stroll the Grounds

An invigorating stroll (or snowshoe hike) around the Buttermilk Falls Inn property rewards you with the pleasures of river and farm.  Watch for friendly Angora goats, voguing llamas, Alpacas and cuddly miniature donkeys as well as a bunch of laying hens (fresh eggs in the morning), beehives (creamy honey) and sizable organic garden on your way.

1700s Cemetery on property of Buttermilk Falls Inn, Milton NY in Hudson Valley

Gravestone Rubbing

There’s a small, historic Cemetery on Buttermilk Falls grounds, adjacent to the spa. This final resting place harks back to the time when Leonard Smith owned the property in the mid 1700’s. One headstone marks a couple born in 1709 in “Plymouth Colony,” buried here in 1800. 

You can stay in a cushy room in the main house for $250- $400 per night. (Depending on season). Or, rent a hidden two bedroom stone cottage perched right over the water $750-$1,000/night. Rates include a two-hour afternoon tea with small bites, and a hearty gourmet farm breakfast.

Mid Hudson River Valley NY Pin


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.