Cold Spring in New York: 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.

Cold Spring is on the National Register of Historic Places

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 complement the cozy antiquated air of the community. One big perk about Cold Spring is how walkable 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 such as the classic Breakneck Ridge scramble and Bull Hill loop

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.

cold spring outdoor diningWhere to Eat

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 Hudson Hil’s Cafe has very reasonable prices and light homemade fare using locally sourced ingredients.

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.

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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.

Where to Sleep

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, the Pig Inn is the main B&B. 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 |
The Hudson Hil Cafe | 129 Main St. | 845.265.9471 |
The Foundry Café | 55 Main St. | 845.265.4504
The Riverview Restaurant | 45 Fair St. | 845.265.4778 |
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 |
Hudson House Inn | 2 Main St. | 845.265.9355 |
Pig Hill Inn | 73 Main St. | 845.265.9247 |

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.