An historic and beautiful town in the area is Kinderhook. This is birthplace of Martin Van Buren who was a governor in New York State and then the eighth President of the United States. He retired at Lindenwald, now a National Historic Site on Route 9H southeast of the village of Kinderhook. The grounds can be toured. The house has been renovated to reflect how it was when he lived in it. There is also a nature trail on the east side of Route 9H. The site below will lead you to many other sites of interest if you follow the links.
There are many beautiful old homes located in Kinderhook.
The Shaker Museum is located to the north at Old Chatham.
Rhinebeck, NY located south of Livingston in Dutchess County,
Olana was the home of Frederic Church who was one of the painters that comprised the Hudson River School of landscape painters. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk and tours of the house are also available. http://www.Olana.org/
Located in the City of Albany is the New York State Museum
In Hudson you can visit the fire museum: