Envision an idyllic village with beautiful mountain views that hugs the Hudson, with a walkable Main Street dotted with boutiques, restaurants, and galleries that meanders down to a lovely marina, and a tight-knit community vibe. It sounds too good to be true—and yet this former trading port in Putnam County, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is all that and more.
Residents of Cold Spring truly enjoy the best of both worlds—a lively village plus easy access to plenty of outdoor recreation including Dockside Park at the bottom of Main Street, Storm King Mountain and West Point on the other side of the river, and Breakneck Ridge—the popular hiking trail—a short drive away. While in town, be sure to stop by Cold Spring General for home accessories, clothing, jewelry, and Hudson Valley-made treats; Blue Olive for flavored olive oils and vinegars; the independent, well-stocked Split Rock Books; Flowercup Wine, a lovely shop with a knowledgeable staff and shelves lined with many New York State wines; Cold Spring Apothecary for its array of locally-made health and beauty products; and many antiques shops packed with treasures.
There are several eateries where you can dine with a river (and mountain) view including Hudson House and Riverview Restaurant, plus plenty of other delicious options. Hudson Hil’s is a cozy café with a roomy front porch—if you’re there for brunch don’t miss the chocolate babka French toast or the eggs with fig and prosciutto; Cold Spring Depot serves up American comfort food from a repurposed train station; and if you’re in the mood for Italian fare, head to Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill, a colorful eatery with garden seating.
A short drive from the village will bring you to Magazzino Italian Art, a 20,000-sq-ft museum and research center for postwar and contemporary Italian art, with free admission to the public. Nearby, you’ll also find the extensive Stonecrop Gardens, with 12 acres of gardens in a variety of styles; Boscobel, a 19th-century Georgian mansion with 68 acres of grounds to explore; and Constitution Marsh Audubon Center, a beautiful place to do some birdwatching or simply reconnect with nature.
There’s a Metro-North train station right in town for the 70-minute ride to Manhattan, which makes it easy for city dwellers to spend the day or weekend. But be forewarned: when you do visit, you may never want to leave.