A beacon for Manhattan antique hunters and outdoor adventurers, the bucolic village of Cold Spring, New York, sits on the sloping eastern bank of the Hudson River, just over an hour north of New York City. With the river to the west and the forested expanse of Clarence Fahnestock State Park to the east, Cold Spring is perfectly poised to offer numerous activities for daytrippers or long-term visitors. Vintage shops, historic homes and museums, farm-to-table dining and outdoor pursuits lure weekend warriors from New York City as well as Connecticut and New Jersey.
Cold Spring is almost synonymous with world-class antique shops. Many mom-and-pop galleries line picturesque Main Street and specialize in various eras. Visitors will encounter 19th-century artifacts and household tools, salvaged tin ceiling panels and barnwood planks, Art Deco and Art Nouveau treasures, and Atomic Age accessories. A few years ago, when Cold Spring was less well-known as an antiques mecca, shoppers could easily find bargains. Today prices are more in line with New York City’s top stores, but the selection of sui generis goods remain unparalleled.
A few minutes’ drive south of Cold Spring brings history buffs to Boscobel, a beautifully restored Federal-style mansion completed in 1808. Set amid landscaped grounds overlooking the Hudson, Boscobel houses a museum of early American decorative arts and temporary exhibitions of Hudson Valley artists. A popular farmer’s market takes place on the grounds from May through mid-November. In town, the Putnam History Museum preserves a collection of local art and artifacts that demonstrates the Cold Spring area’s role in American history. The museum is partnered with the West Point Foundry Preserve, a heritage park that cares for the remains of an historical ironworks company that manufactured cannons for the Civil War.
Surrounded by water, forest and ancient mountains, Cold Spring serves as a base camp for hikers, kayakers and climbers. Wooded hiking trails blanket Clarence Fahnestock State Park, a 14,000-acre preserve just east of Cold Spring. The park also features a lake beach, picnic areas, and good spots for swimming, fishing, hunting and birdwatching. Several boathouses on the Hudson River rent canoes and kayaks by the hour for individual paddles or group tours along the river’s banks. Constitution Marsh, south of Cold Spring, is a top locale for beginning kayakers. On weekends, climbers from all over the Hudson Valley head to Breakneck Ridge for a strenuous and steep 2.8-mile hike. They’re rewarded with panoramic views of the Hudson at the summit.
Cold Spring’s dining options run the gamut from pub grub to haute cuisine. The Cold Spring Depot, housed in a converted vintage train station, serves bar snacks, burgers and seafood. Cathryn’s Tucson Grill, a local favorite, offers deliciously rich pasta and Italian specialties. Riverview Restaurant, perhaps Cold Spring’s finest dining establishment, puts innovative touches on new American standards like New England clam and mussel chowder with poblano peppers, or Berkshire pork chops with cider sauce.