As the birthplace and frequent muse of American realist painter Edward Hopper, it’s no surprise that Nyack, situated on the Hudson River’s west bank, has been dubbed “art and soul on the Hudson.” The welcoming vibe that this village of just over 7,000 cultivates through a tight-knit community, an incredibly walkable downtown, and several lovingly restored Victorian-style homes is palpable from just one visit.
Main Street stretches for nearly a mile and is lined with art galleries, boutiques, and plenty of restaurants and cafés, including two dozen new destinations that have opened within the last year. Check out the revamped Simard & Co., a fine cheese and charcuterie shop offering artisan bistro eats and international selections; Dragon Den & Dungeon Hall, where you can dine and play favorite tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons; and Long Path Outfitters, which carries gear you’d need for kayaking on the river or hiking nearby Hook Mountain.
There are plenty of longtime local favorites that are worth a visit, too: DPNB Pasta & Provisions, a homemade pasta shop that also sells prepared foods plus a selection of local and imported goods; The Greekish, fine dining in a relaxed space offering Mediterranean classics with seasonal twists; Art Café, the hipster coffee shop of your dreams with crunchy décor and delicious grain bowls; Boxer Donut, an affordable coffee-and-donut joint that recently expanded into a larger space; and Strawberry Place, a family-run spot with an elevated diner-style menu. Come hungry, there are many, many more—and if you’re in town on a Thursday, don’t miss the Nyack Farmers Market.
If you’re looking to do some shopping, try Maria Luisa Boutique, a clothing and wellness store that’s been a mainstay for over two decades; Pickwick Bookshop, a longstanding literary institution peddling towering stacks of new, used, and rare titles; Bridge Street Botanical, a hub for houseplants, aquaponics, and home décor; and Crystals on the Rocks, a mineral, jewelry, and bead store that also sells incense and essential oils.
The village is served by Nyack Public Schools, rated 96 of 672 best school districts in New York by niche.com. Nyack is also home to Rockland Community College’s Culinary Arts Center. Its student-run restaurant, Hudson Market on Main, is open to the public. A great downtown, a beautiful location, and an eclectic mix of residents (including many artists)—Nyack has it all.