Cold Spring, NY – Everyone’s Favorite Day Trip from NYC

Cold Spring, NY – Everyone’s Favorite Day Trip from NYC

Updated April 7, 2018

NYC Day Trip to Cold Spring, NY

When my family asked me what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day, without hesitation I said let’s go to Cold Spring, NY. Perhaps my favorite town in the New York area, Cold Spring exudes Main Street charm, with antique stores and quirky mom and pop shops dotting the center of town one after the next. Located in Putnam County about 50 miles north of Manhattan, it is one of the more stunning towns around: set on the Hudson River, with Storm King mountain looming in the distance, the views in this quaint little town are surprisingly dramatic, making it the perfect day trip place to escape and feel like you’re “on vacation”.

View of the Hudson River and boats from Cold Spring, NY.

Making our way on windy, leafy Route 9D, we pulled up to Main Street – which continues down a hill to the water – and decided to park at the top and make our way down. I recommend doing this, as parking can be tough the closer you get to the river, and besides, there are too many cute stores and restaurants to dip into, from beginning to end. Note: Metro North goes to Cold Spring (station in the center of town), and the train ride from Manhattan is 1 hour and 10 minutes, if you live in the city and that’s easier than driving. No car necessary!


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My girls remembered some cool toy stores we went to last time and were excited about the prospect of cruising around town. Hurrah to that, because all this mama wanted to do on her day was lazily walk around, window shop, eat, and admire how perfectly darling the setting was. It helped that there were other families there doing the same thing, so the walking part never seemed to affect the girls too much. Seeing other kids around and about is always a motivating factor for mine, no matter where we are.

Exploring Cold Spring, NY

We peeked in several Cold Spring stores, with some of our favorites being: Archipelago at Home (whimsical home accessories and gifts), the Country Goose (a general store type feel, with homey gifts and toys), Cold Spring Antiques Center and Once Upon a Time Antiques (both with quirky, unusual finds) and Kismet at Caryn’s (an everything store, but with a fun kids section). Just to name a few.

Antiquing in Cold Spring, NY.

Shopping for antiques in Cold Spring, NY.

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Before long it was lunchtime, and after going by a bunch of restaurants with long lines (it was Mother’s Day after all, and we hadn’t made any reservations), we wound up at the lovely Hudson House restaurant. To get there, we took the underpass at the train station, which takes you in a tunnel under, and then right up to where land meets water. Main Street essentially ends at the river, where the Hudson House is located, and what an idyllic setting it is. We ate lunch outside with views of the river, and slurped down the freshest pink lemonade my girls have ever had. Hudson House is also a popular inn to stay at, should you ever want to do an overnight.

Cold Spring, NY is known for its restaurants, and some of the ones we couldn’t get into include the ever popular Hudson Hil’s, the charming French Le Bouchon, the uber cool Foundry Café, Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill with its adorable outdoor patio, and the always bustling Cold Spring Depot. We’ve been to the Depot before and it is great for kids – outside tables with umbrellas, live music and special kids ice cream sundaes. It used to be the old train station, and aptly named. It is slightly north of the current station, and you can watch and feel the rumbling of the trains go by.

Lunch at the Depot in Cold Spring, NY.

Cute cafe porch in Cold Spring, NY.

After our meal we made our way over to a large gazebo and park by the water to take in all the magnificent views. The hills of Storm King Mountain with all of its different colors – depending on the lighting – lay ahead, while West Point is across and to the south, and to the north a vast opening of the water, where the river seems to take off to another land. It is a beauty of a site.


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There is a big square for the children to run around, and a grass park with shade to take a break and watch the boats and jet skis go by. And the trains as well, for on the other side of the river lie the freight tracks, with every so often a long, never-ending train chugging by. We lay and played around there for some time, in full r & r mode, like it was vacation. For some homemade ice cream deliciousness to further enhance the experience, Moo Moo’s Creamery is located directly behind the park. Always with a line, the ice cream is amazing.

Watching the jet ski in Cold Spring, NY.

Watching the train go by along the Hudson River in Cold Spring, NY.

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Beyond Cold Spring, NY

Finally, we walked back up to the car, and even though the girls were beat, we drove 5-10 minutes to Cold Spring’s Stonecrop Gardens, which if you have time, or want to go on another visit, it is a must-see. Set in the Hudson Highlands and covering 12 acres, Stonecrop includes interesting gardens such as Wisteria Pavilion, Bamboo Grove, Fern Vista, Lake and Hillside Garden and a Conservatory, among many others. It is its own little adventure land and oasis, and perfect for kids to roam about. Lots of families were there, and despite the long day, the girls thought it was awesome. We’re definitely going back.

Walking through a bamboo forest in Cold Spring, NY.

Sitting by the stream in Cold Spring, NY.

Can’t say enough about Cold Spring, NY – if you’re in the mood for small town charm, with an incredible setting and backdrop, go! The whole family will love it.

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Why Cold Spring, NY is the perfect day trip from New York City

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17 Comments

  1. wscott@mspaper.com
    May 15, 2015 / 4:28 pm

    Thanks for this journey. It was fun to sit in my office after a long week and relax reading and viewing your day trip!

    • Corey
      Author
      May 15, 2015 / 6:47 pm

      So glad! Besides giving info., I always hope to transport. Thanks for reading!

  2. Jenny Jaffe
    May 15, 2015 / 10:43 pm

    We’re so going! Thanks…

    • Corey
      Author
      May 16, 2015 / 12:38 pm

      You guys will love it.

  3. lang cook
    May 16, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Corey- This looks like a beautiful little town that I had never heard of even though I have spent a good deal of time long ago making business calls along the Hudson River. It is now a “must visit”.

    • Corey
      Author
      May 16, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Thanks Dad! We should go together some day.

  4. May 19, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    What a great excursion! I have been but without kids – need to take them if we ever get a weekend without sports! 🙂

    • May 21, 2015 / 1:20 am

      Trust me I know! I think that will be more our scenario next year. I also have one less child, but again, not sure how that will pan out in the fall..:).

  5. Jenny Jaffe
    May 22, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    We went and LOVED it, as did my girls. Thank you!

    • May 22, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      Glad you all had a good trip!

  6. Hillary Collins
    June 8, 2015 / 1:37 am

    We went to croton dam today after reading your great write up. We all had a blast on our “major adventure,” as the kids kept calling it. It was the perfect morning get-away for our gang! Thanks so much. Really love your blog!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • June 8, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      So glad to hear it Hillary! Yes, it’s the perfect spot to go while still trying to fit other things in your day. Thanks for reading!

  7. May 19, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    What a beautiful place! I’ve never heard about it before! Definitely a great destination for a day trip!! Great tips 😀

    Happy to have you on #MondayEscapes

  8. Momma To Go
    May 11, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    Love this! I’ve been to cold spring in my non-kid days (and had moo moo creamery) and have been wanting to take my kids up that way.

    • May 12, 2017 / 11:18 am

      It’s a great spot to go with and without the kids..when my girls are older I’d really like to explore some of the hiking up there. I hear there are beautiful trails :).

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