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A Perfect Way to Spend a Day in Wappingers Falls


Walkable and picturesque with restaurants and shopping destinations galore, Wappingers Falls is a hidden gem in the Hudson Valley.

Wappingers Falls is more than just a walkable little village with a picturesque falls. Young families are moving in, and new businesses are opening, giving the sleepy little burg a new, exciting vibe. Here are some suggestions on how you can spend a day here.

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8:30 a.m. – Get your motor running at The Ground Hog

At this Main Street spot, you can get sweet with a peanut butter latte or jolt yourself awake with a cup of Sledgehammer joe. Pair your coffee with one of the omelets (try the “Fun Guy,” with sausage, cheddar, and — you guessed it — mushrooms). If you go on Sunday, do yourself a favor and order the blueberry pancakes, which are arguably the eatery’s most beloved entree. On your way back to the village center, pass County Players at the Falls, the community theater that’s been around for more than 60 years.

2703 W Main St, Wappingers Falls
Mon – Sat 7:30 a.m. 
– 3 p.m., Sun 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

9:30 a.m. – Use up your breakfast energy at the Greenway Trail 

The truly ambitious can tackle the entire 10-plus-mile loop. If you’re not up to the journey, start at the kiosk at Market Street Industrial Park instead. Surrounded by historical factory buildings, the Wappinger Creek offers inspiring views of the beautiful falls. It’s near this industrial area where the original Sweet-Orr blue-jean factory got its start in 1871 — a few years before a more well-known manufacturer who went by the name of Levi. If you feel like it, follow the green-and-white Greenway Trail logos into the woods for a bit, then wander back to view the falls.

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10:30 a.m. – Take a peek at Windsor Machinery

Those falls aren’t there just for looks (although they are truly impressive); the 20-feet-tall, 245-feet-wide dam powers a real 2.3-megawatt hydroelectric plant run by Windsor Machinery. Although public tours aren’t generally available, the circa-1800s building and its post-industrial location are interesting to view. Walk north on Market Street, and you’ll soon find yourself in the heart of Wappingers Falls.

11:30 a.m. – Go window shopping in town

The winding, hilly East Main Street is a good way to work out as well as window shop. Make sure to stop and admire the artwork that the Wappingers Falls Civic Association installed in the area. Don’t leave without checking out the circa-1880s Grinnell Library; the Swiss/English-inspired architecture is unique.

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12 p.m. – Stop in at the Candlelight by the Falls Gift Shop

Just off East Main, Candlelight is worth a trip to admire the candles and home décor that are lovingly displayed, and maybe pick up something for yourself. In season, stop next door at The Village Creamery for a yummy ice cream cone. If you’re in the market for a bicycle, visit Wheel and Heel across the street.

16 Mill St, Wappingers Falls

1 p.m. – Grab a bite at County Fare

Hungry for lunch? Stop at County Fare on Main Street for some comfort food (like great burgers) in a hip, rustic atmosphere (don’t miss the weathered brick walls and vintage Sweet-Orr sign). As you leave, swing by the beautiful Graceland Tattoo studio a few doors down to browse the latest in body art and piercings.

2652 E Main St, Wappingers Falls
 – Tues 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Wed – Thurs 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Fri – Sat 11:30 – 2 a.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

2 p.m. – Hop in the car and visit Mesier Park

Not far from the village’s downtown, the former home of Loyalist tea merchant Peter Mesier was the site of a “Boston Tea Party”-like revolt in May 1777, when his customers grew angry at his prices and imprisoned Mesier, his family, and his servants in the house. Today, his homestead and surrounding property are a peaceful respite.

3 p.m. – Grab a brew at Cousins Ale Works

Leave some room for a libation at Cousins Ale Works. Aaron Browne and Chris Dorn (yes, they’re actually cousins) have been brewing award-winning beer for a while, and are excited about their Revolutionary-themed tap room, which hosts live music, trivia, and more. Since you’re on Route 9 already, swing by Spins Bowl for an hour or two of bowling, arcade games, and billiards.

1582 Rte 9, Wappingers Falls
Fri 3
 – 11 p.m., Sat 1 – 11 p.m., Sun 1 – 7 p.m.

4 p.m. – Score an afternoon snack at AJ Café

On your way back downtown, stop by AJ Café for award-winning chicken wings and a warm welcome. If it’s nice out, plan on a game of horseshoes out back, or just chill at the outdoor tiki bar. Check the website often for the fun benefits the eatery holds for various causes.

2557 South Ave, Wappingers Falls
 – Thurs 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., Fri – Sat 12 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sun 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.

5 p.m. – Jam out at The Vinyl Room

Return to East Main Street and go retro by perusing the albums at The Vinyl Room, the quintessentially cool place to hang out. If you’re lucky, you may even score that Hendrix record you wanted. If you find yourself getting hungry again, let your bartender know (did we mention they serve alcohol here?) and he can order some pizza from The Wagon Wheel next door — it’ll be served through a hinged door in the wall!

2656 E Main St, Wappingers Falls
 – Thurs 5 – 11 p.m., Fri 5 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sat 3 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sun 3 – 9 p.m.

6 p.m. – Sip in style at Di’Vine Wine Bar

Head to Di’Vine Wine Bar on Market St. and grab a seat overlooking the falls. In the warmer weather, enjoy the outdoor seating. Pick some small plates from the menu, enjoy some wine or other drinks, and stick around for some live music. You’ve had a long but enjoyable day — you deserve it!

1 Market St, Wappingers Falls
 – Thurs 5 – 10 p.m., Fri 5 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sat 3 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sun 3 – 9 p.m.

Did we miss a spot? Let us know where to go to find the best of Wappingers Falls in the comments or by email at edit@hvmag.com.

Related: This Is How to Spend a Charming Day in Germantown