Autumn in NY's Hudson Valley: History and scenery

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 4, 2014 at 8:42 am •  Published: September 4, 2014
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TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Exploring the region north of New York City isn't just for locals, and autumn is one of the nicest times of year to do it. The Hudson Valley offers history, culture and outdoor attractions with Hudson River scenery as a backdrop, just an hour or two from Manhattan. Here are five places worth visiting.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

You could easily spend a full day touring sites dedicated to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, starting with exhibits at the presidential museum and library that bring to life FDR's leadership during the Great Depression and World War II.

Self-guided museum tours include footage of the aftermath of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and a radio broadcast of one of FDR's famous "Fireside Chats." FDR's political accomplishments are astounding — the only U.S. president elected four times, responsible for creating everything from Social Security to the Securities Exchange Commission. But his personal life is equally interesting, from his domineering mother, to his struggles with polio, to his relationships with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and other women.

Nearby National Park Service sites include Springwood, where FDR was born and lived; Val-Kill, Eleanor's retreat; and Top Cottage, FDR's private digs. Park rangers lead tours of the homes, providing glimpses of the Roosevelts' lives, from FDR's use of a manually operated elevator at Springwood after he was paralyzed from polio, to the guest list at Val-Kill, where Eleanor hosted John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill and many others.

Open daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through October, and until 5 p.m. November-March; adults, $9 for the museum ($18 if you add Springwood; Val-Kill and Top Cottage are separate), http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/museum/. The grounds and white marble tomb where FDR and Eleanor are buried are free to visit.

WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON

A short drive from Hyde Park in Poughkeepsie, this bridge offers a scenic stroll across the Hudson River, 1.28 miles (2 kilometers) each way, 212 feet (64 meters) above the water. It's the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world — no cars, but bikes are OK — with free and paid parking nearby; https://www.walkway.org/ .

STORM KING ART CENTER

This unique 500-acre (200-hectare) park in New Windsor houses more than 100 outdoor sculptures, many of them massive structures in bold shapes and colors that create dramatic silhouettes amid rolling fields, woodlands, waterways, open skies and mountain views. Take the free tram for a terrific overview of the grounds, then start walking or rent a bike onsite for a closer view of your favorite works. Highlights include Roy Lichtenstein's whimsical, colorful "Mermaid," emerging from a pond like a cartoon watercraft; Maya Lin's "Storm King Wavefield," an undulating, grass-covered earthwork; and through Nov. 9, Zhang Huan's enormous steel-and-copper disembodied Buddhas.

Open Wednesday-Sundays through Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (until 4:30 p.m. in November); adults, $15; http://www.stormking.org/ .

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