Up the River, A Cache of Olde-World Charm

Picnic at Boscobel Mansion

COLD SPRING, NY— An hour and fifteen minutes after you’ve left Manhattan— approximately 50 miles—you arrive in one of the most pleasant, preserved communities you never knew existed. Take a left out of the train station, walk down the ramp and into Main Street’s endearing hustle and bustle; a collection of antique shops will charm you first, then you’ll push through bell-strung doors into places full of tchotchkes and vintage toys followed by clothing boutiques and a surprising number of well-regarded restaurants for this petite village of approximately 2,000 people.

Established in 1846 as the Village of Cold Spring-on-Hudson, the central area by the banks of the Hudson River is now on the National Register of Historic Places, a tribute to the rows of untouched 19th-century buildings that compliment the cozy antiquated air of the community. One big perk about Cold Spring is how walk-able the area is. Should you want to venture past the village’s sole traffic light at the top of the hill, the Butterfield library is there on the left of Route 9D (also called Morris Avenue); turn right on 9D and you’ll see a couple of small plazas that offer necessities such as a grocery store, drug store, bank and post office.

If you don’t feel like strolling far, starting this spring, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will see the return of the trolley. It leaves frequently from the Visitor’s Center, and for one thin dime, you can ride not only through Cold Spring, but over to the next town of Garrison (which is also on the Metro North line) making stops along the way at places like the untarnished historical site of the Boscobel house built in 1808.

Aside from its old-fashioned features, Cold Spring’s greatest attraction is its location. Surrounding the village are some of the most beautiful and pristine hiking trails in the Hudson Valley. Visit here for more information on the various routes. Smack-dab on the banks of the Hudson, the town of Cold Spring is a very accessible riverfront environment composed of benches, walkways and a gazebo; the town juts out into the river, nearly the proverbial stone’s throw from the mountains looming across the way. Picnic-specked parks and weekly summer music concerts transform the area into an idyllic, welcoming retreat from Manhattan.

Whether or not you picnic, you’ll want to take advantage of the variety of restaurants in town—most within walking distance of the train. The Cold Spring Café has very reasonable prices and light homemade fare. The Foundry Café offers breakfast and lunch in large portions; many vegetarian options are available. The Riverview Restaurant is a bit more upscale— yet still family-friendly—and you can dine on excellent food while overlooking the river. Like most towns, Cold Spring has its pizza place, the Cold Spring Pizza & Deli, though you may also find it worth your while to trek up to Route 9D (Morris Ave.) to go to Angelina’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in the Foodtown plaza for some authentic Italian fare. For something inter-continental, step into Le Bouchon for some French cuisine, which can be enjoyed on the front porch or back garden during warmer months. For the most filling experience, try Cold Spring Depot restaurant at Depot Square next to the Metro North stop, sit fireside, feast on comfort food, and watch the trains go by.

Although Cold Spring is close to New York City you will be smitten enough to want to stay overnight, for which there are quaint and luxurious options. Right on the riverfront, the Hudson House Inn has been offering hospitality for 160 years and remains a beloved place for residents and weekend visitors alike. On Main Street, there are two B&B’s, the Pig Hill Inn and Kittleman House. Staying a little longer may afford you the opportunity to take part in the many socials, festivals and events, usually listed in the village’s newspaper, The Putnam County News & Recorder.

Boscobel Mansion | 1601 Route 9D, Garrison, NY | 845.265.3638 | boscobel.org
The Cold Spring Café | 129 Main St. | 845.265.9471
The Foundry Café | 55 Main St. | 845.265.4504
The Riverview Restaurant | 45 Fair St. | 845.265.4778 | riverdining.com
Cold Spring Pizza & Deli | 120 Main St. | 845.265.9512
Angelina’s Restaurant & Pizzeria | 43 Chestnut St. | 845.254.7078
Le Bouchon | 76 Main St. | 845.265.7676
Cold Spring Depot | One Depot Square | 845.265.5000 | coldspringdepot.com
Hudson House Inn | 2 Main St. | 845.265.9355 | hudsonhouseinn.com
Pig Hill Inn | 73 Main St. | 845.265.9247 | pighillinn.com
Kittleman House | 45 Main St. | 845.265.3697

How to get there: Cold Spring is accessible from Grand Central Station via the Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line to Cold Spring Station. For the latest schedule click here.

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  • Maxine

    This wonderful article makes me want to jump on a train right now and head to Cold Spring! I have been there many times, and the author really gets it right in her beautiful description of the town. Put it on your near-future travel itinerary now!

  • Chrissy

    Cold Spring is a must-see on my list. Thank you, Ms. Long, for a wonderful narrative on a wonderful weekend getaway!

  • Thank you for waxing so eloquently about my village. I have lived here for 25 years and still love it. I have had my store, The Country Goose, for 21 years and have never regretted giving up my ‘Executive’ New York lifestyle. Cold Spring is a place for lovers, families, hikers, bikers and dogs.

  • I am very excited to hear about the trolley – great news for people who take Metro-North up and would like to see things in the area not readily accessible by foot.

  • Thank you for doing such a wonderful piece on lovely Cold Spring! For more information on Cold Spring, please visit http://www.ColdSpringLiving.com

  • Thank you for your wonderful article about our village. I relocated to the area from Greenwich, CT and have never regretted a minute. Be sure to visit my boutique – St. Claire and mention the article for a special discount.

  • Pingback: Westchester/Putnam (?) to Sleepy Hollow - New York (NY) - City-Data Forum()

  • ColdSpringLiving

    For more information, visit http://www.ColdSpringLiving.com

  • Steven

    Excellent article! Sadly, the above link refers to the website of a woman whose father is a NYC real estate mogul and who tried to make a bid to buy up most of main street so they could redevelop it into high-end boutiques and luxury rental apartments. They were chased upstate to Athens, becuse this vision isn’t really in accord with COld Spring’s style. Still, they have a few overpriced rentals they;re trying to move, and the whole site channels you towards their handful of listings. One wart on an otherwise perfect village!

  • Cold Spring is a must-see on my list. Thank you, Ms. Long, for a wonderful narrative on a wonderful weekend getaway!