What to Do in Carmel: Spend a Day in This Scenic Putnam Town

Spend 24 hours in the under-the-radar locale to soak in picturesque views near the Hudson River and indulge in comfort food treats along the way.

Gleneida Lake | Wikimedia Commons, Photo by Daniel Case

Spend 24 hours in under-the-radar Carmel to soak in picturesque views near the Hudson River and indulge in comfort food treats.

When you think of Putnam County, Cold Spring is usually the first town that comes to mind. Yet that doesn’t mean that Carmel should be overlooked. On the contrary, the town, along with the hamlet of Mahopac, offers visitors a break from the hustle and bustle of the work week and gives them a place to relax in a peaceful environment. Scenic trails take passersby along multiple bodies of water while recreational activities get everyone outdoors and enticing comfort food eateries call from miles away.

Thinking about a visit? Tag us @hudsonvalleymag and use #hvmag on Instagram if you take any scenic shots in town.

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9 a.m. – Eat a comfort food breakfast at Countryside Kitchen

Yes, this eatery serves breakfast of all sorts. Yet it also happens to be the home of The Famous Holy Cannoli Pancake. What’s a Holy Cannoli Pancake, you ask? True to its name, the dish consists of a cannoli creamfilled pancake dusted with powdered sugar. If, for some reason, you’d rather take the savory route, try a waffle topped with chili, shredded cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and a drizzle of ranch dressing. The cozy country atmosphere is the perfect way to start the day right. 

493 Rte 6, Mahopac

10:30 a.m. – Take a stroll along the Putnam Trailway 

Although the expansive path starts in Brewster Village and ends near the border of Westchester County, take the shorter, quarter-mile walk from Countryside Kitchen to the entrance at Bucks Hollow Road and walk north on the trail until you reach Chamber Park. Once you’re there, take in the beautiful views of Lake Mahopac while sitting on a bench or in a gazebo, if you prefer.

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12 p.m. – Grab a quick bite to eat at Bliss 

This Putnam County eatery may seem small, but don’t let that stop you from making a detour. The menu packs a punch with everything from burgers to milkshakes to wraps. The Boss Wrap, a warm tortilla stuffed with crispy chicken cutlet, penne a la vodka, and mozzarella, is a must. If wraps aren’t your thing, pair one of the decadent milkshakes with a Taxi Driver Burger cooked in buffalo sauce and topped with a smattering of crumbled bleu cheese. The dive is sure to hold you over before dinnertime in Carmel. 

4 Cherry Ln, Mahopac 

2 p.m. – Play a round of golf at Putnam County Golf Course (spring and summer)

This championship 18-hole course is beautiful in every way possible and open to the public. The change in elevation throughout the course, combined with scenic vistas, defines the Hudson Valley region. Designed by William F. Mitchell, the course challenges its guests to a 6800-yard par 71. Whether you are a golfing pro or a newbie, the landscape of the property will impress.

87 Hill St, Mahopac

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2 p.m. – Ski and snowshoe at Fahnestock State Park (winter)

When the flurries begin to fall, hit Fahnestock’s 11-mile trail to take advantage of the outdoor expanse. Beginners, experienced skiers, and snowshoers alike can get moving and breathe in the fresh air all afternoon, when the park is open to guests. Throughout the snowy season, the park is also a popular destination for sledding, an activity the whole family can enjoy.

1570 Rte 301, Carmel

never knew this existed right in putnam â¤ï¸

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3 p.m. – Take a tour of Carmel’s Chuang Yen Monastery  

Did you know that the largest Buddha statue in the western hemisphere is in Carmel? Visit the 37-foot tall Buddha and walk around the 225-acre property filled with multiple halls and attractions. On your way out, stop by the Woo Ju Memorial Library to get a glimpse of Buddhist literature.  

2020 Rte 301, Carmel

4 p.m.  Get a history lesson at Red Mills Historic Park 

The land of this park was once home to an old mill site, an important part of Putnam County’s economic development. While walking through the park, learn about the Hamlet of Red Mills, including how it got its name, its role in the local economy and community, and the disappearance of the mill. Don’t forget to enjoy the scenery and take a break on one of the many benches throughout the park. 

23 Hill St, Mahopac


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6:30 p.m. – Enjoy dinner in a country-style atmosphere at The Carriage House  

From old family recipes to American classics with a spin, this dinner destination in Carmel has something everyone will like. Start the night off with pulled pork nachos. Just when you thought poutine couldn’t get any better, this eatery tops its French fries and cheese curds with braised short ribs and a delicious au jus. For the main course, choose a seafood dish like the enticing plate of bacon parmesan scallops. Want more protein? Try the filet mignon served over a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and covered in a peppercorn cream sauce. 

887 Rte 6, Mahopac

9 a.m. – Stay the night at a cozy Airbnb in Carmel

Out-of-towners and locals alike are always looking for a place to stay when traveling in and around the Hudson Valley. Bed and breakfast locations are usually the go-to overnight destinations, but Airbnbs rentals are on the rise in Carmel. If you are into a comfy farm atmosphere where goats and chickens roam, Mitchell Farm Cottage is the place to stay.  The Treehouse Lovenest is another option if you want a private two-bedroom cottage in the woods. Lakefront Cottage, meanwhile, is a great location for those looking to stay on the water. The cottage is equipped with a dock that sits right on Seven Hills Lake.

Related: What to Do at West Point: Spend 24 Hours in the Historic Town

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