While making the best of fall, travel the old romantic way—by train—and skip town for a fireside escape to Cold Spring, New York. There is enough dependable charm, secluded spots, and affordable trappings to keep you and yours truly in the moment, and it’s only 50 minutes north of Manhattan.
Perched on the Hudson River, Main Street’s bustling scene will have window shoppers and bargain hunters titillated by the vintage Chanel jewelry at Heavenly Treasures (93 Main Street, 845.265.5532), the wide assortment of 18th and 19th century furniture and accessories at Jane Krenach Antiques (114 Main Street, 845.265.5002, janekrenachantiques.com) and the rare Beatles collectors items, super hero figurines, and classic Schwinn bikes at Serious Toyz (82 Main Street, 845.265.6543, serioustoyz.com).
In between antiquing or browsing through the ever-friendly, fully stocked Merritt Bookstore (66 Main St., 845.265.9100, merrittbooks.com—celebrating over 30 years in the Hudson Valley) grab a cup of coffee at Cold Spring Café (129 Main St., 845.265.9471) a quaint, local spot in the heart of the village. Or take the coffee to go, map out walking directions to the enchanting must-see Boscobel House, built in 1808 and open for the season until December 31, 2013. Boscobel is a 1.5 miles stroll from the Cold Spring train station, or you can call a taxi in advance at 845-265-TAXI.
Wanting to unwind for a cozy couple of hours before dinner, you are warmly welcomed back at the Pig Hill Inn (73 Main St., 845.265.9247, pighillinn.com) an intimate setting yet only a short distance from the train station in the middle of the village.
Built in 1825, this rustic place is one of the oldest operating inns in all of New York, and has a variety of unique, themed rooms, all of which sport four-post beds, homey quilts, and working fireplaces. Each unit is stocked with all the necessary tools for fire construction, including a starter log for novices. (Word of warning: make sure to keep the flames under control to avoid going to bed sweaty.)
A delicious dinner awaits at Le Bouchon (76 Main St., 845.265.7676), just down the street from the inn. With scarlet red walls, a well stocked wooden wine rack, and an array of angled mirrors, the restaurant does its best to emulate a Parisian bistro experience. The menu focuses on classic French fare like mussels, cassoulet, and steak au poivre. Any of these dishes would go well with a bottle of Bordeaux or Burgundy from their Francophilic wine list.
If you’re in the mood for something light try one of the specials, which usually feature a fresh catch of the day, and pair it with a glass of the superbly smoky house white, a Pouilly-Fume. The dessert menu is heavy on chocolate, so have a few decadent spoonfuls at the end of your meal, then take the rest to go back to your room.
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. For more ideas for things to do, check out our previous article on Cold Spring.