Al Roker is a funny man. 70 degrees in New York City this week? Ha! Wait… for real? Al’s telling the truth? What are we supposed to do? How do we enjoy 70 degrees again? Has a ridiculously awesome weather forecast really thrusted this much confusion upon us?
Fortunately, our friends over at Escape Brooklyn know a thing or two about taking Al’s forecasts to heart + making the best of the beautiful days to come. The New York-based travel destination maestros recently offered us 3 considerably worthy day-trips that will take you and yours on a lovely voyage outside of the concrete jungle: Tarrytown, Beacon and Cold Spring, NY.
Get the scoop on each and every town’s unique and sizable offerings below — all just a Metro-North ticket away from your 48 sq ft cubicle and/or apartment.
1. Tarrytown, NY
Tarrytown is a great day trip. Accessible by a 40-ish minute ride on Metro-North, it’s one of the quickest and cheapest options you have of escaping Brooklyn.
Start your day off at Coffee Labs Roasters, serving up great coffee alongside Balthazar pastries. The baristas are true “latte artists,” drawing cats, dogs, pumpkins, and even portraits in drinks.
For lunch, a truly unique experience is Lubins-n-Links, a hot dog joint offering over 50 hot dog combinations–including vegetarian options. The space is tiny, so take your dog to-go or hang out in their back yard, decorated with vintage hot dog stand stuff. New to town is The Taco Project, a small Mexican restaurant with really great food and everything is under ten dollars. Craft beer drinkers will enjoy The Oath Craft Beer Sanctuary and The Tapp, both gastropubs right on Main Street.
We also enjoyed Horsefeathers, a historic pub with an impressive 20+ burger selection. If you’re just in the mood for a snack, belly up to bar and graze on their free spicy house croutons. Points off for no beers on tap, but to counter that, there’s a great bottle selection. Also noteable is the Setback Inn, which is more of a locals place dimly lit with neon signs. Perhaps the most special thing about this place is that it it’s a bit divey; Tarrytown can feel very “Pleasantville” and we were relieved to see a little grime.
Last, the Bridge View Tavern offers your standard pub fare but has a nice view of the Hudson River, perfect for watching the sunset. It is also very close to the train, so we always come here before heading back home.
2. Beacon, NY
Beacon has solidified itself as the “hippest” city in the Hudson Valley. Aside from all the great stuff to do (shopping, dining, bar-hopping, hiking, museum-ing), it’s a beautiful and picturesque place too; Main Street is set at the foot of Mt. Beacon, the highest summit in the Hudson Valley, which you can climb in about a two hour round trip to old casino ruins. Beacon also has a very active arts community, which is anchored by one of the greatest contemporary museums out there–the Dia:Beacon.
The town is about an hour and a half ride on MetroNorth, but once you get here, cabs and the shuttle will get you anywhere you need to go (it’s very walkable, though, even to hiking spots!).
Start the day off with some culture: There are many art galleries and events in town (check out BeaconArts for listings). Then, shop around the small boutiques and antique shops that line Main Street, including Reservoir & Wood and American Gypsy Vintage, where you’ll swear you’re right back in Brooklyn.
When you get hungry, check out The Hop. This place is a must for beer drinkers, with a great bottle selection (both local and national, including #1 stunner Heady Topper!), great tap selection, a cheese counter, and an awesome food menu. It’s perfect for day-drinking and grazing on cheese and appetizers. Another cool option is Harry’s Hot Sandwiches, offering up sandwiches, salads, and even empanadas.
3. Cold Spring, NY
Cold Spring is one our favorite day trips from NYC. Just an hour and a half on MetroNorth puts you in the heart of town, whose Main Street is lined with cute boutiques and restaurants. You can easily kill the day just shopping, but Cold Spring is also home to one of the best and probably most famous Hudson Valley hike, called Breakneck Ridge.
It’s a very popular trail, due to its short (but steep!) scramble at the beginning, giving way to some really incredible views of the Hudson Valley. (If you plan to hike, get off at the Breakneck Ridge stop on MetroNorth, which only runs at 7:47 or 8:47 on weekends and holidays.)
For a more leisurely way to take in Mother Nature, visit Manitoga, the home, studio, and woodland garden of design legend Russel Wright. Tours run May through November, cost $20, and include free roaming of the three trails on the 75-acre property. Then, head to Main Street to shop at Old Souls, an outdoor-themed shop that carries their own line of affordable graphic tees alongside high-end brands like Filson and Topo. For lunch, Hudson Hil’s uses fresh local (!) ingredients and is probably the most popular in town.
Sometimes there’s a line out the door, but you can always duck into their “market” (on the left side of the restaurant) and take a sandwich or coffee to go. They even sell “hikers lunches” with a sandwich, fruit, a cookie and bottle of water to-go.
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Guide and photos Escape Brooklyn.