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What to Do in Garrison: A 24-Hour Guide to the Riverside Hamlet

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Adobe Stock / Kirkikis

Garrison’s cozy waterfront community packs historic locales, serene nature retreats, and cozy comfort food into a few square blocks.

By Sabrina Sucato, with additional reporting by Matt Moment 

For such a small town (it’s technically a hamlet), Garrison tucks quite a lot into its quiet streets. That’s not to say it’s bustling, though. On the contrary, the space between the Hudson River and Cold Spring forgoes lively city centers in favor of nature preserves, historic sites, and cultural hubs. There may not be a real Main Street, but there are quite a few hidden shops and restaurants that make a trip to the area well worth the visit.

Intrigued? You should be. The next time you find yourself in Cold Spring or West Point, take a jaunt over to nearby Garrison to explore all the cozy locale has to offer. The landscapes in town are something else, so don’t forget to snap a few shots as you wander through the region. Tag us @hudsonvalleymag on Instagram if you capture any stellar Hudson Valley scenes!

9:30 a.m. – Grab some breakfast goodies at the Cold Spring Farmers’ Market


Start your day the fresh way by supporting local farmers and makers at Boscobel House and Gardens (more on that later). The vendors at the Cold Spring Farmers’ Market source their ingredients from regional farms, so you know that you’re getting the very best fuel for your day in Garrison. The market is only open on Saturday, so if you visit the hamlet on another day, you’ll need to grab a bite on the way. There are some great options in the nearby town of Cold Spring including Hudson Hil’s Café and Cold Spring Coffeehouse, both located on Main Street.

10:30 a.m. – Hike your way around Constitution Marsh Audubon Center

 

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Once you power up with breakfast, work it off at the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center. With scenic hiking paths and a number of onsite education programs, the outdoor preserve is a nature lover’s paradise. Visitors can walk and photograph their way around the multifaceted landscape, which offers ample opportunity for birdwatching and wildflower spotting. Canoeing is available, weather permitting, with public access at Scenic Hudson’s Foundry Dock Park in Cold Spring.

12 p.m. – Score a slice at Garrison Restaurant & Pizzeria


Don’t let the straightforward appearance of this Garrison eatery deceive you into thinking it’s your standard, run-of-the-mill pizzeria. Yes, there is pizza (for a real treat, try the lasagna pie). Yet the restaurant also impresses with traditional Latin American dishes like arroz con camarones—that’s rice with shrimp—and carne asada in honor of the owner’s Ecuadorian heritage. Keep an eye out for the weekly specials before you place your order.

12:45 p.m. – Explore local history at Boscobel House and Gardens


Maybe it’s cliché to say that history comes alive at Boscobel House and Gardens, but that doesn’t mean it’s untrue. The former Loyalist home has an incredible local history that includes a demolition and reconstruction 15 miles north of its original location. Nowadays, visitors to the grounds can tour the lush gardens, local trails, and even the interior of the Neoclassical mansion. From the top of the hilly expanse, guests can look out over the rolling Hudson River to the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point across the way.

2 p.m. – Experience modern design at its finest at The Russel Wright Design Center

 

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While sites like Dia:Beacon and Storm King take center stage when it comes to art in the Hudson Valley, The Russel Wright Design Center in Garrison remains somewhat off the grid. On a day trip to Garrison, do yourself a favor and venture into Manitoga, the home and studio of industrial designer Russel Wright. Guests can tour the interior and surrounding landscape of Wright’s innovative abode, which sits on the rock ledge of an old quarry. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance!

4 p.m. – Embrace your inner bookworm at Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints


Bibliophiles and weekend readers alike will fall head over heels for Antipodean Books, the antiquarian storefront near the Garrison riverfront. The charming shop sells old and rare books alongside historic maps, prints, and photography. Stop in for a while to browse the wares, which range in subject matter from Hudson Valley geography to Australian topography. By the time you step outside the storefront, you’ll feel like you just returned from an impromptu world tour.

5:30 p.m. – Wine and dine at Valley Restaurant at The Garrison

 

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Since 2004, The Garrison’s Valley Restaurant has delighted diners with decadent meals that fuse world flavors and local ingredients. The menu changes often based on the seasons, but always achieves a balance between delectable small plates and indulgent main courses. Depending on the day, visitors can sample anything from Berkshire pork belly tacos and Davoren Farm shishito peppers to house-made kale pappardelle and Long Island duck breast. P.S. This restaurant is an excellent choice for anniversary dinners in the Valley.

7 p.m. – Sip a drink and watch the sunset at World’s End Bar

 

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You don’t need to dart to the car to find the finest cocktails in Garrison. Instead, mosey over to World’s End Bar, which is conveniently situated alongside Valley Restaurant. With breathtaking views of the Valley and the Hudson River, World’s End makes visitors feel as though they’ve found their way to the very edge of the globe. As far as what to drink, opt for something herbal. Anything flavored with mint, basil, or lavender likely contains ingredients sourced straight from the kitchen gardens.

Plus, did we mention this spot is an ideal destination for a post-show drink following a Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival performance?

8:30 p.m. – End the day with dessert at Dolly’s Restaurant


Nestled on the shore of the Hudson River, Dolly’s is a hidden jewel in Putnam County. Views from the patio, which is literally right next to the water, are incredible throughout the year. The dessert menu includes an array of treats for any hankering, whether it be chocolate or cherry or cheesecake. If it’s a cool evening, warm up with the citrusy-sweet peach tart served with crème Anglaise and perk up with an affogato. If you’re a chocolate lover, don’t miss the dark chocolate and cocoa pudding.

9:30 p.m. – Call it a night at The Garrison

 

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When decadent eats, handcrafted drinks, and rich desserts get the best of you, retreat to one of The Garrison’s four cozy rooms for a tranquil overnight that will make you feel worlds away from home. All of the spaces feature a plush king-sized bed that harmonizes with a creamy neutral color scheme. Kick back with a book for a low-key evening or, if the explorations of the day have thoroughly tuckered you out, dive straight under the covers and let the sandman do his thing.

Related: This Is How to Spend 24 Hours in Warwick

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