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Hudson, NY: A dog-friendly holiday weekend

We could have hustled right down to New York City after my niece’s graduation ended last weekend, but instead I organized a couple of nights in Hudson, NY, about an hour south of Albany. The draw had been Olana, artist Frederick Edwin Church’s gorgeous 19th c. home and grounds, which I’ve long wanted to visit (the grounds are dog-friendly — pack a tick collar! pack whatever tick protection your vet recommends — ours, it turns out, recommends Frontline+, feeling that tick collars only have a limited range of protection), but because of a planning malfunction (oops, no reservations made for the house tour), and because the weekend was very hot and humid, we ended up spending all of our time in Hudson.

That, it turns out, was perfectly fine. Hudson is a joy, if you are in a mellow mood and like antiques, architecture, good food, or, reportedly, music. We fell asleep too early for the music, but had an excellent time dawdling around town (did I mention the heat?) and stopping repeatedly to eat. Chloe, too, had an excellent time — the only shadow that fell across her visit was the Memorial Day parade, tiny but poignant, which featured, alas, a powerful drum section.

Here are some of the things that made this two-day getaway work for us, traveling with Chloe:

We stayed at the Union Street Guest House, which welcomed Chloe (and us) to the Thunderbird Suite, a two-bedroom, 2-bath eyrie with a small but useful kitchen (fridge, kettle, sink, and a table). We paid our own way, and the price ($225/night) was very reasonable. Per the guest house’s website, pets “sometimes can be accommodated” — write a persuasive e-mail and cross your fingers.

This picture (of the adorable living room) does not do the Thunderbird justice, and it's blurry too.

You would never know it from my wretched picture, but the Thunderbird is charming, clean and quirkily furnished by someone with a very good eye indeed, in all likelihood from the town’s antique shops. All I can tell you is that my husband was pleased and comfortable, which is pretty high praise. We both liked the location, the quiet, the free wifi, and the easy friendliness of Chris, the owner, who handed us a key, mentioned some good local resources, and pointed us to the guest house’s upstairs honor bar (located in an inviting room that guests can curl up in and chat). There’s a fearsome cancellation policy (understandable, though, given what a small place it is), and the guest house’s two resident dogs can overwhelm a small dog (picking Chloe up when we walked through the yard eliminated that as an issue), but we were perfectly happy and will return with pleasure.

Living in Seattle, we are used to good coffee — and we found it at Swallow Coffee, which uses Stumptown beans and a Synesso machine, both of which are good signs. They were kind to Chloe, rushing outside to refill the sidewalk water bowl when they saw her, and inviting her to come inside and join us. It’s a plus that the coffeehouse shares space with Loaf bakery, though the holiday weekend offerings only included scones and banana bread (both very good).

If you are traveling with a companion, one of you can dash inside and pick up excellent ice cream from Lick (we opted for dulce de leche), or gourmet groceries for a picnic from Olde Hudson (nearby Hudson Wine Merchants pointed us to a rosé that handled the heat and our sardine appetizer perfectly). All of these shops, like Swallow, are on Warren St., the town’s main drag.

If you and your dog are on your own, the town has at least three food trucks you can walk up to. Two of them, Tortillaville and Truck Pizza, are located on Warren between 3rd and 4th. American BBQ, too, has a food truck (as well as its main location, also on Warren but across the street). All three trucks are seasonal — and all three were on break over the holiday weekend, so I can’t give you a first-hand report.

All weekend, though, they looked as though they just might open up. We circled like sharks, but no joy.

I will gather up a group of antique-loving, rosé-guzzling girlfriends and return, but these leads should get you started. We met a lot of dogs, and Chloe drank from a lot of retail water bowls (and the lady at the wine shop confirmed that Hudson is a dog-friendly town) — I suspect there are more dog-friendly features to be found.