For fall colors, farm-fresh foods, and serious antiques-hunting, Hudson Valley is still the mecca of all things autumn. Bargain hunters do the best one-stop shopping over Columbus Day weekend, when nearly 200 vintage-furniture and -home-accessories vendors converge for the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair. Looking for early-American oil paintings or eighteenth-century whirligigs? They’re less than two hours up the road. For a break, how about more antiques? The area is known for its historic mansions open to the public, including Olana, FDR’s home at Hyde Park, and Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s country cottage. Montgomery Place, a nineteenth-century mansion just a few minutes north of Rhinebeck, has spectacular river views and a pick-them-yourself apple orchard. Spend the night in one of the romantic upstairs guest rooms at Rhinebeck’s Beekman Arms, in continuous operation since 1766. There’s plenty of authentic early-American décor as well as Manhattan-quality meals at Larry Forgione’s Beekman 1766 Tavern downstairs, an offshoot of his American Place Restaurant. And yes, Washington did sleep here.
DETAILS Beekman Arms (914-876-7077; doubles start at $95); Beekman 1766 Tavern (914-871-1766; entrées, $14.95 to $23.95); Rhinebeck Antiques Fair (914-758-6186; admission, $7); Montgomery Place (914-758-5461); Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce (914-876-4778).