The thought of a day of antiquing is usually all the incentive one needs to hightail it to the cutesy town of Cold Spring. But it’s even better when you can stay overnight. Situated just 50 miles north of New York City, on perhaps the most scenic stretch of the entire Hudson, the village has a pretty Main Street crammed full of historic buildings, which are home to chic boutiques and restaurants — as well as the Pig Hill Inn.
This circa-1825 three-story building — a stone’s throw from the Metro-North stop — has nine distinctive rooms that teem with antiques and personality, but, in a quest for ultimate renewal, are devoid of telephones and TVs. Most of them have fireplaces and wood-burning stoves; some have Jacuzzi tubs. The Victorian Elegance is especially attractive because of its sleigh bed and claw-foot tub, but the old-fashioned iron and wood bed in Morning Ivy, or the graceful canopied one in Tranquility, all promise a delightful slumber.
Four of the Pig Hill Inn’s charming bedrooms (clockwise from top left): Country Sunrise, Morning Ivy, Mountain Vista, and Windsong. Photographs courtesy of Pig Hill Inn
“We bought a house up here, and my friends were always visiting from New York City. I was cooking and changing sheets all the time, so I figured I might as well do it for some money,” laughs Vera Keil, the Czechoslovakia native who bought the inn in 1998. “It’s a lot of hard work, but I love everything about running this place — especially because our guests are happy ones who come back all the time.”
Begin the day with filling breakfasts in the glassed-in conservatory — the innkeeper used to be a professional chef, and his maple-cured, thick-slab bacon is a favorite — or have a meal delivered to your room at any time. When hunger strikes again, look forward to slices of the inn’s freshly baked mid-afternoon apple pie. An assortment of tea is always available.
Kick off the neighborhood’s requisite shopping excursion by ogling the jewelry and scarves at the on-site gift shop.
Hudson Hil’s Café (left); hikers who survive the climb up Breakneck Ridge (right) are rewarded with a perfect view of Storm King Mountain (photograph by Bevin Supina)
Foundry Café’s old-school, tiny diner feel is amplified by sweet-talking waitresses who are never out of range with the coffee pot. Oversized omelets are a fan favorite, but the French toast, elegantly made with slabs of Italian bread, shouldn’t be missed either. Hudson Hil’s Café and Market, also on Main Street, feels like dining in a farmhouse. Order a black bean burger with a mess of corn tortillas, and don’t leave without perusing the general store-like market. About to hit the trails? The market offers a Hiker’s Lunch Box packed with healthy goodies to sustain you on your excursion. For a little taste of Italy, Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill serves up scrumptious Italian delicacies like spaghetti with guinea hen and apple ragù in both its inviting interior and charming alfresco spaces. Situated just 100 feet from the river, the circa 1832 Hudson House River Inn has garnered much acclaim over its many years in business. Be sure to try the sesame crusted sashimi tuna or one of the five prime-aged steak options.
The dreamiest of settings awaits at Manitoga, the house, studio, and woodland garden of acclaimed industrial designer Russel Wright in Garrison, 10 minutes down the road. Wright’s experimental Dragon Rock, a house built onto the rock ledge of a quarry, is a marvel, especially in autumn.
Home to strenuous and scenic Breakneck Ridge, Cold Spring is a hiker’s paradise. Afterwards, wind down with a delightful autumnal stroll in 12-acre Stonecrop Gardens, lush with woodlands, cliff rocks, and English-style flowers. Stop by on Garden Conservancy Open Day (September 14) for a spot of alfresco tea and cake.
Skin takes a beating and starts to dry out as temperatures drop, but help comes from Cold Spring Apothecary. Sample an array of products crafted from essential oils and herbal extracts, like woodsy Intense Moisture Patchouli hand salve.
The Pig Hill Inn, Cold Spring