Located just north of New York City
, Westchester County is one of America’s oldest inhabited regions, rich in history and charm. We profile Westchester’s finest restaurants, cafes, landmarks, and museums to help you appreciate all the culture this New York suburb has to offer. Here’s our comprehensive list of 10 things to do in Westchester.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
With two locations in Westchester, Polpettina
specializes in the use of natural ingredients and quick service. Known for its Brooklyn-style pizza, Polpettina features walls of reclaimed wood and industrial style decor throughout, creating a cozy and warm atmosphere. Whether seated at the charming bar, or at an intimate table, Polpettina is great for any occasion. However, with limited seating, stopping by during lunchtime is recommended, as it can get very busy during dinner hours. Well priced with solid pizza, this place is an easy trip from New York and will not disappoint.
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
Aside from the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
is the best place to find contemporary and modern art. The museum attempts to improve its audience’s understanding of contemporary art and its connection to social issues. The art showcased here is unique in that many of the projects are from artists in residence, or artists who have specifically lived in the center and the area to develop their long-term projects. The cheap admission prices and location of the museum in scenic Peekskill makes this center a must-see.
Kykuit: The Rockefeller Estate
Art Museum, History Museum
Rockefeller’s former estate occupies 249 acres right on the Hudson River and is currently a museum rich in antiquity. What separates this property from other historic landmarks in Westchester is the art collection. Mr. Rockefeller’s son, Nelson, is primarily responsible for the sculptures, paintings, and ceramics throughout the home. The Grand Tour is strongly encouraged, as tour guides explain the significance of every room and help visitors understand the generosity of the Rockefeller family.
Unique and breathtaking, Lyndhurst
is where the Hudson Valley begins. Situated on a 67-acre estate right on the Hudson River, this mansion was inhabited by three different families during its time as a residence. Even when the house is closed, the grounds are open for visitors to walk on. The elegant mansion is rich in history and exhibits 19th
century architecture with its castle-like structure. Accompanied by its views of the Hudson River and its beautiful grounds, Lyndhurst is a must-see.
New Croton Dam
Perhaps the paragon of Westchester’s natural beauty lies in Croton-On-Hudson. Completed in 1906, the Dam
took 14 years to build and is an absolute hidden gem. It is boasted as the third largest hand hewn structure in the world, only behind the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Wall of China. Many people living in Westchester have yet to discover this impressive man made structure, which contains a beautiful waterfall and a bridge overlooking the rushing water. Spread the word and take your friends to experience this engineering wonder.
Castle Hotel & Spa
This elegant castle
, a relic of America’s Gilded Age, sits atop one of the highest points in Westchester County. Its magnificently furnished interiors and relaxing spa truly make this hotel one of a kind. However, what distinguishes this hotel is its award-winning Equus Restaurant. Serving primarily French cuisine, Equus uses strictly local ingredients and updates their menu seasonally with new and exciting dishes. You do not need to stay at the hotel to eat at Equus, but if you wish to travel back in time and enjoy a five star restaurant, this is your best bet.
FDR State Park
Located 40 miles north of New York, this park
has picnic areas as well as an Olympic pool that can accommodate up to 3,500 people. There are two soccer fields as well as a pair of NCAA regulation basketball courts. However, this park is not all just for recreational use. Named after the 32nd
president, the park has tours available that showcase Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the work they did in the White House and in the area. Located right on Mohansic Lake and Crom Pond, visiting this beautiful park is a perfect way to spend a hot summer day.
Longford's Own-Made Ice Cream
Established in 1992, this homemade ice cream locale is a one of a kind. Produced in Port Chester but sold in Rye, Longford’s
incorporates ingredients from all over the world, and includes local ingredients into their 60 exceptional flavors of ice cream, gelato, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. The ice cream is made in small batches with the most care and attention you will ever find in an ice cream factory. Ice cream season peaks in the summer and this local treasure is always busy day and night.
Ruby's Oyster Bar & Bistro
Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, Seafood, French
Fresh seafood with a French twist. Ruby’s Oyster Bar
does a great job serving fast and large portions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even Sunday brunch. The creativity and combination of flavors are unmatched by any seafood restaurant in the area. A favorite of many customers is the lobster grilled cheese, made only with the freshest ingredients. The long wine list and number of beers on tap make for the perfect way to top your meal off. Make sure to call in a reservation well
in advance, as this restaurant is a very popular destination for a meal at any time of the day.
Slave To the Grind
Bar, Cafe, American, $$$
Looking for more than just a cup of coffee? Slave To The Grind
can take care of that. Established in 1993, Slave To the Grind offers eight different brewed coffees, along with their original coffee beans for sale. The breakfast treats, desserts, and sandwiches available are all extremely popular at this eclectic cafe. In the back there is a beautiful mahogany bar salvaged from a hotel that burned down in Bronxville. With a great ambiance and friendly employees, its atmosphere and originality makes Slave To the Grind a must-visit.
Still looking got some time to burn in New York? Read our guide to the best things to do in New York.