Orange County, the eclectic gem of the Mid-Hudson Valley, is defined by its contrasts. Bordered on one side by the Hudson River, on the other by the Delaware, you can visit some of the richest cropland in the country in its fertile Black Dirt region. It’s only a short hike to the majestic Shawangunk Ridge, a world-famous climbing mecca, or try on designer fashions at Woodbury Commons, an international shoppers’ dream destination. Walk on the wild side through Bear Mountain State Park, Harriman State Park or Sterling Forest Preserve, or stroll among some of the most important modern sculptures in the world in the rolling, 500-acre outdoor sculpture park at Storm King Art Center. Home to a growing number of 4-star restaurants, breweries, and distilleries, the county is fast emerging as a culinary-getaway destination.
In the middle of all this activity, the beautiful historic Village of Goshen, home to the oldest operating horse racetrack in North America, offers culinary excursions to delight every palate. Since its establishment 270 years ago, the Stagecoach Inn has been a place of respite for travelers. Today, lodgers can spend a night in one of the inn’s five luxury rooms. Relax with a local libation in the historic bar, followed by a sumptuous supper of local cuisine in one of three elegant dining spaces. “The renovation is completely historically accurate. We offer traditional cuisine, and everything is made in house, right down to butchering many of our own meats,” says Ron Boire, husband of owner Faith Ferguson.
In the heart of the village, Limoncello Restaurant at the historic Orange Inn offers an upscale dining experience. Enjoy a Northern Italian cuisine with an international twist. “We’ve had chefs from different parts of the world” manager Carly Glassé comments. “Everyone who comes leaves a little imprint with different spices and techniques. Of course we always try to use local ingredients.”
Just a short walk up Goshen’s Main Street, Craft 47 gastro-pub serves up impressive tapas, like braised wild boar, Swiss cheese and mustard crème fraîche flatbread and shrimp and pineapple habanero salsa tacos. True to its name, the pub is all about craft–with 12 taps the selection of brews rotates weekly. Cider lovers will be just as happy after a trip to Soons Orchards in nearby New Hampton, where visitors can enjoy award-winning hard cider while listening to live music during a weekend evening “Speakeasy.” Just up the road is Orange County Distillery at Brown Barn Farms. This fifth-generation farm turns the beets, corn and products pulled from the Black Dirt region into award-winning, small-batch vodka, whiskey, and gin. The barn serves field-fresh cocktails, light fare and live music.
No matter what you hunger for, next time you’re looking for a weekend retreat, escape to Orange County. Whether you want to scale a mountain or a modern sculpture, a trip to Orange County will satisfy you and whet your appetite for more.