09/23/2014 02:10 pm ET Updated Nov 23, 2014

Exploring Hudson Valley's West Bank (PHOTOS)

The Hudson Valley, the historic area of New York State running up and down the mighty Hudson River, has dazzled travelers since the Dutch arrived and mapped the land in the 1600s, and most likely before then, too. The natural beauty is unrivaled—hills and mountains framing lush greenery, thick forests and open meadows. Agriculture flourished here, quickly followed by settlements and then grand country houses. Weekenders, of course, want to see what the fuss is all about.

In the modern era, the east side of the river has gotten more attention, but for the more outdoorsy, adventurous type, the west side of the river is where the fun is to be found—from rock climbing in the Shawangunk Mountains to long walks in the sprawling sculpture park Storm King. But that doesn’t mean culture doesn’t thrive, and the area's well-preserved architecture and edibles are the region’s strongest suits.

Here, nine ways to dig into the history and the bounty of the Hudson’s west bank.
—Ted Loos

Exploring Hudson Valley's West Bank (PHOTOS)

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