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How to Spend a Day in Suffern: A 24-Hour Guide to the Rockland Village

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Photo by Sabrina Sucato

Tucked between Harriman State Park and the New Jersey border, Suffern delights with outdoor attractions and restaurants galore.

It’s hard to beat the allure of a day trip to one of the Hudson Valley’s riverside towns (Newburgh, Nyack, or Piermont, anyone?). Yet as many a local can attest, some of the best escapes can be found further inland. Take Suffern, for instance. Located primely on the border between New York and New Jersey, Suffern is hop and skip from Harriman State Park, a veritable dream for hikers in the region. Plus, did we mention the restaurant row that exists on Lafayette Avenue, the village’s “main street?” Pair the town’s top-notch dining with its charming local shopping scene, and visitors have everything they need to spend a full day (and night) in town.

Ready to hit the road in Rockland County? Tag us @HudsonValleyMag on Instagram if you hit any of these Suffern hotspots.

9 a.m. – Satisfy your coffee craving at Java Love

Located inside what was once a Capital One bank, Java Love’s headquarters house its roastery, coffee bar, and café. Stop by in the a.m. for a cup of freshly roasted coffee (go for the Bad Ass Brew for a kick) alongside a freshly made breakfast burrito or avocado toast with poached eggs. If you happen to fall in love with the java after one sip, ask about the woman-owned business’s coffee subscription program, which allows coffee lovers to sample different roasts of the sustainably sourced beans.

50 Lafayette Ave, Suffern

Suffern Bear Mountain Trail

Photo by Sabrina Sucato

10 a.m. – Hike the Suffern – Bear Mountain Trail

Blink and you’ll miss the entrance to this trailhead. It’s located on Route 59 on the way out of Suffern toward I-87, so keep your eyes peeled for the trail sign on the right side of the road. Parking is available under the underpass, and there’s generally plenty of it, since many locals head straight to Harriman State Park for plentiful treks nearby. Once on the trail, expect a tough trek that will have you stepping and rock scrambling your way up the mountain. Don’t give up though! The clearing at the top offers a bird’s eye view of Suffern and surrounding areas that’s most definitely worth a photo opp.

Route 59, Suffern

Hacienda don Manuel

Photo by Sabrina Sucato

1 p.m. – Enjoy enchiladas and more at Hacienda Don Manuel

While there are quite a few tempting Mexican restaurants in Suffern, Hacienda Don Manuel hits a home run with its authentic flavors and mouthwatering menu. Dishes draw inspiration from the owners’ South Mexican roots and utilize traditional spices and ingredients to wow diners. Keep it low-key with tacos placeros, which run the filling gamut from asada (steak) to birria (beef stew) and even lengua (tongue). The tradicionales section of the menu is a must for full meals, and the enchiladas mole poblano will have you rolling your eyes in delight.

72 Lafayette Ave, Suffern

2:30 p.m. – Shop your way along Lafayette Avenue (and beyond)

No matter what sort of shopping experience you’re in the mood for, chances are Suffern has something for you. Fashion lovers will swoon over the selection at Style on Lafayette, which carries high-end brands and vintage fashions on consignment and at discounted prices. Also on Lafayette Avenue is Wow That’s Unusual!, a fun-for-all collectibles store that kids and kids-at-heart will adore. Around the corner, The Garage Girls specializes in antiques and shabby chic home décor and accessories in every corner.

 

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5 p.m. – Sip on a pre-dinner cocktail at Agave Restaurant & Lounge

With a vibe that’s completely different than Hacienda Don Manuel, Agave is the place to go for cocktails, live music, and a good time in Suffern. Unwind after a day spent walking around town with a glass of fruit-filled house sangria. If you like it spicy, go for the jalapeno mezcal margarita or the spicy margarita flight, which features pineapple jalapeno, mango habanero, and chipotle grapefruit sips. Otherwise, keep it classic with a Casamigos sidecar because, hey, you deserve it.

100 Orange Ave, Suffern

 

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6 p.m. – Savor sushi and sake at Sushi Bada

Arguably one of the prettiest restaurants in Suffern (can you say twinkle lights?), Sushi Bada is also one of the most elegant. Inside, the restaurant offers rolls and specials that will set sushi lover hearts aglow. Order an imported beer or sake to start, then pick and choose between the numerous combinations available. As for the rolls themselves, the Angry Shrimp, made with shrimp tempura and seared spicy tuna, and the Mahwah, made with spicy tuna and yellowtail, are just two of the mouthwatering top picks.

74 Lafayette Ave, Suffern

 

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8 p.m. – Catch a show at Rhino Comedy

You’ll need to walk up a mysterious staircase in the historic Hines Play House to make your way to Rhino Comedy. Once there, sit back and relax as the lighthearted space kicks off an evening of comedy. From standup and open mic nights to improv workshops, there’s a little something for every sort of comedy fan (or aspiring comedian). Check the website for upcoming events, then book tickets for a show in Suffern.

96 Lafayette Ave, Suffern

 

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9:30 p.m. – Sleep the night away at a local Airbnb

Not ready to leave town yet? Lucky for you, Suffern offers more than a few Airbnb options for visitors who want to spend the night. Dive into luxury at this newly renovated forest oasis, complete with its own pool and fire pit. For anyone who wants a more affordable option that still offers privacy, this studio apartment comes with its own full bathroom and kitchenette. Of course, for those who want to keep it simple, this cozy bedroom is highly rated and comes with backyard access as well.