Longing to escape the sweltering New York City summer for the fresh air and bucolic landscapes of the Hudson Valley? It may soon be easier to do sans car thanks to a new bus route pilot from Catskill Carriage.
On Aug. 3, Catskill Carriage will test run its aptly named Hudson Valley Escape at 3 p.m. from Haymaker Bar on West 29th Street to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz; Senate Garage in Kingston; Sportsman’s Cantina in Phoenicia and Scribner’s in Hunter. Return service will leave Scribner’s at 2 p.m. Aug. 5. Both trips are estimated to take just over four hours.
Tickets are $55 each way if purchases five days prior, $65 one to four days before or $68.75 day of. Anyone buying a ticket on the inaugural Hudson Valley trip is entered to win a $500 gift certificate to Mohonk Mountain House.
Known as the “Hamptons Jitney for Upstate New York” since its official launch in May, Catskill Carriage has been “inundated with requests” for additional service beyond its two current weekend routes to the Catskills, founder Gabriel Brodbar said.
As the other two routes run from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, Brodbar hopes the response to the Hudson Valley pilot “is strong enough that we would immediately start running either on specially selected weekends or, ideally, all weekends for this to become a well-established option” by leaf-peeping season, he said. “We think there’s a really big market in the fall and winter to establish this route.”
Among Catskill Carriage’s partners on this Hudson Valley pilot is And North, which is hosting its second-annual Soiree on the Railway on Aug. 4, a scenic train ride through the rustic Catskill countryside that features local fare, live music and dressed-to-the-nines attendees.
And for those thinking the pilot might be a packed-to-the-gills ride to the Hudson Valley on any old bus, your chariot is not only outfitted with free Wi-Fi, ample legroom and individual power outlets, there’s also beverage and drink service and Aesop products in the restroom.
Though the bus can fit 54 “quite comfortably, we like to cap sales at about 40 to provide more comfort and elbow room,” Brodbar said.
For more info on Catskill Carriage’s Hudson Valley route, visit catskillcarriage.com.
What is Hudson Valley?
The Hudson Valley stretches 150 miles above the tip of northern Manhattan across 10 New York state counties: from Rockland to Albany on the west side of the Hudson River and from Westchester to Rensselaer on the East Side, according to Hudson Valley Tourism.
In addition to being what Lonely Planet dubs “a real city break,” the Hudson Valley is also designated as a National Heritage Area. What are National Heritage Areas, you may ask? They’re designated by Congress as “places where natural, cultural and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape,” the National Park Service explained.