Cold Spring in 24 Hours: How to Spend a Day Trip in Town

Use this sample itinerary to plan a perfect weekend of dining, shopping, and strolling in the Hudson Valley's lovely waterside town.

If you’re looking for the quintessential Hudson Valley experience, Cold Spring is an absolute wonderland. With cozy cafés, riverside views, and artisanal shops, the waterfront town delights day trippers and locals alike.

If you find any hidden gems while you’re out and about, be sure to tag us @hudsonvalleymag on Instagram!

9:30 a.m. – Grab breakfast at Hudson Hil’s Café & Market


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This cheerful café opens early for breakfast and lunch and features fresh ingredients from Hudson Valley farms.  The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining, and reservations are highly recommended for larger parties. The market includes New York cheeses, baked goods, jams and jellies, grass-fed beef, and even coffee and teas, making it the perfect place to stop before a picnic in the area. If you plan to go here for your a.m. meal, make sure to call in advance, since this spot is a local favorite on the weekends.

11 a.m. – Pop over to Dockside Park in Cold Spring


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It’s on the far end of West Street, right by the water, and it is gorgeous. Take a blanket, books, board games, a Frisbee, or whatever else you feel like toting along and just enjoy the glorious sunshine for a few hours. Soak up some rays right on the Hudson. Whenever you get hungry enough, bust out the victuals you wisely purchased from Hudson Hil’s after breakfast.

12:30 p.m. – Enjoy ice cream at Moo Moo’s Creamery or pastries at Paulette Cold Spring

You’re already there, since the park is literally next door to Moo Moo’s. You’d be a fool not to head in for a little delicious, high-quality, homemade ice cream (or a lot of it). Moo Moo’s rotates between 16 different varieties daily, but check the website to see the close to 100 popular flavors it can make.

Because Moo Moo’s is only open seasonally, Paulette Cold Spring is the perfect option for the winter season (or any season, really). Stop by for a coffee and sweet treat while browsing the curated selection of fashion and accessories inside the store.

1:15 p.m. – Learn about post-war Italian art 


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Located in a 20,000-square-foot building, the Magazzino Italian Art center is a massive museum to explore outside central Cold Spring. The art center is a nonprofit museum and research center that focuses on highlighting post-war and contemporary Italian artists in the United States. Admission is free, but reservations are required in advance. 

Related: 2 Hudson Valley Towns Named Among Most Beautiful in America

3 p.m. – Go antiquing on Main Street


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Cold Spring is known for its antique shops. On your way back into town for supper, take a little time to peruse the local antique stores and curio shops that line Main Street. The Cold Spring Antique Center is a great place to stop and dive headfirst into the treasures of the past in the Hudson Valley.

4 p.m. – Head on a walking audio tour of the West Point Foundry Preserve


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Open dawn till dusk, the Foundry Preserve offers both a lovely hike along the Hudson and the benefit of being an open-air museum of sorts for the ironworks that once supplied artillery to West Point. The exhibits are fascinating on their own, but, for the full experience check out the website from any web-enabled device for a full audio-visual tour as you walk through the site. Give yourself a good two hours to explore one of Cold Spring’s top attractions.

6 p.m. – Grab dinner in Cold Spring

This is your improvisational portion of the evening. The natural beauty of Cold Spring’s parks and trails is matched only by its many wonderful restaurants. While there’s something for everyone – Asian, Italian, Latin, cafés, bistros, even a few standard chains – some of our favorites include Riverview (classic American, wood-fired pizza, pasta, seafood, and some solid dessert choices), Cold Spring Depot (comfort food served in a converted 1893 train depot), and Doug’s Pretty Good Pub (don’t let the name fool you, this tongue-in-cheek pub offers “burgers,” “not burgers,” and “fried things” that are all solid picks, as well as a rotation of more than 30 beers on tap, about half of them brewed right here in New York).

8 p.m. – Sip wine at Cro’Nest Wine Bar

This little wine bar opened in 2021, and it’s the perfect place for a nightcap. On a nice evening, grab a table on the porch and reflect on a day well spent in Cold Spring. If you’re still peckish after dinner, Cro’Nest offers bites like smoked salmon sandwiches, curried tuna sandwiches, and cheese plates to go with the vino.

10 p.m. – Hit the hay at the Hudson House River Inn


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Constructed in 1832, this riverside inn is a historical hub and the perfect way to end your Cold Spring stay in style. Enjoy the site’s panoramic views of West Point, Storm King Mountain, the Hudson River, and the surrounding topography. For an extra-special experience, be sure to book a room with a balcony and unwind from your Hudson Valley excursion.

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Related: What to Do in Tannersville: A 24-Hour Guide to the Upstate Town

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