Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Cold Spring, NY

  • Published 2023/03/03

If there’s one phrase that would best describe Cold Spring, it would be “sweet escape.”

From being incorporated in 1846, this village earned its title as the best weekend getaway for New Yorkers.

Located in Philipstown, Putnam County, Cold Spring is a compact village sitting on the famous Hudson River.

This historic river town is just 50 miles away from New York City.

If you are a New Yorker looking to escape from the bustling city life for a day or two, this place is for you!

If you are traveling to New York City and desires to escape the crowd, Cold Spring is the best day-trip destination waiting for you!

Cold Spring is also the best place for you if you are a hiker, a foodie, or a fan of long walks.

With the long list of activities Cold Spring has in store, there is surely one for everyone!

You owe yourself a sweet escape. Check out this list for the most interesting things you can do in Cold Spring.

West Point Foundry Preserve

Aside from all the attractions and naturally perfect views, Cold spring is also known for its historical roots.

Starting this list with West Point Foundry Preserve.

From 1818 to 1911, West Point Foundry was among the four ironworks President James Madison chose to produce and supply artillery for the U.S. military.

It played a vital role during the Civil war by producing the infamous Parrott guns.

The historic West Point Foundry was preserved and is now an outdoor museum and a great tourist attraction, especially if you are in for fascinating and inspiring historical stories.

West Point Foundry Preserve offers a unique audiovisual tour and activities like wildlife watching, picnicking, and dog walking.

Bring your headphones – it’s time to ignore background noises and travel back in time to visit history.

Bannerman Castle

Outside view of Bannerman Castle.

Meagan Marchant /

You can explore another centuries-old attraction on your Cold Spring trip.

With a 30-minute boat ride to the tiny island of Pollepel, or commonly known as the Bannerman Island, you can witness the beauty of the Bannerman Castle.

This is a 19th-century relic and the only structure that can be found on Pollepel Island.

The grounds of Bannerman Castle.

Meagan Marchant /

A castle in the middle of nature – this is the best way to describe Bannerman Castle.

It offers not only beautiful stories but an amazing journey for you before reaching this destination.

If you want to learn more about the island and castle’s history, you can join guided walking tours available on Saturdays and Sundays, lasting for about 20 minutes.

But if you prefer to go for more personal exploration, you can visit the island with your kayak or canoe and go on a self-guided tour.

Foundry Dock Park

If you want to take your history-filled adventure to the next level, you might as well visit the Foundry Dock Park.

Established in 1818, this place used to be a busy loading dock for the West Point Foundry.

It also gained popularity for producing some of the country’s first locomotives, pipes, and steamships for New York City’s water system.

Like the West Point Foundry, this historic place was preserved to be another local attraction.

It is now a mini-park offering majestic views and numerous fun-filled activities to choose from.

Aside from its rich history, the Foundry Dock Park also highlights amazing views of the Hudson Highlands.

While visiting this park, you can also enjoy nature activities like birdwatching, nature study, fishing, dog walking, even kayaking, and canoeing.

You can also go for a picnic or a walk.

From history to nature – Foundry Dock Park will surely surprise you.

Stonecrop Gardens

A pond in Stonecrop Gardens.

Gerda Arendt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a private garden in 1950s, Stonecrop Gardens finally shared its magnificence with the public in 1992.

Covering about 15 acres of land, Stonecrop Gardens is home to more than 50 plant families and display gardens.

Plants and garden enthusiasts are very much welcome to visit this place. There are many features to admire, and there are also many things to learn from as Stonecrop Gardens’ staff are all experts in their distinct fields.

You may visit Stonecrop every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Scenic view of Stonecrop Gardens

Brian Logan Photography /

Hudson House

Exterior of Hudson House

Brian Logan Photography /

Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway, a trip would not be complete without exploring top-rated food places.

In Cold Spring, you will never run out of options.

Starting off with one of Cold Spring’s classics, Hudson House.

Known for its prime, dry-aged, hand-cut steaks and fresh fish, expect a mouthwatering food experience while enjoying the amazing views of the Hudson River.

Open from Monday to Sunday, you can never skip Hudson House on your Cold Spring adventure.

Cold Spring Pizza

If you are the biggest pizza lover, you should definitely try another classic – Cold Spring Pizza.

With about 45 years of service, there is no doubt that this local pizzeria had mastered the art of pizza.

Located along Cold Spring’s Main Street, Cold Spring Pizza is a family-owned small business that will surely satisfy your pizza cravings.

Some even drive to Cold Spring for hours to try this pizzeria.

It is also voted as New York’s best pizza in USAToday’s 10Best contest.

Once you’ve tried their pizza, you will surely agree that it tastes like no other.

Hudson Highlands State Park

A wide view of Hudson Highlands State Park.

ScubaBear68; color-correcting and cropping done 2009-02-04 by Daniel Case, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another thing that Cold Spring is popular for is having great destinations for those who love hiking.

Among these great destinations is the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve.

With over 8,000 acres dedicated for outdoor recreation activities – this is undoubtedly a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

Hudson Highlands State Park is also home to extensive hiking trails. Among these is Breakneck Ridge Trail.

A hiking trail at Hudson Highlands State Park

James Andrews1 /

Known as one of the hardest trails to hike, Breakneck Ridge serves as a challenge because of its steep rock ledges.

However, the awe-inspiring views featuring the Hudson River await after a long, challenging hike are definitely worth the risk and the effort.

Aside from hiking, other activities can also be enjoyed on a day trip to Hudson Highlands State Park, such as fishing, hunting, and birding.

If you are into water adventures, you can also try renting canoes and kayaks.

Hikers at Hudson Highlands State Park


Buster Levi Gallery

Another popular visual arts spot in Cold Spring is Buster Levi Gallery.

This gallery presents artworks of different genres from talented local and international artists.

If you are a visual arts enthusiast, this gallery should definitely be on your itinerary.

It is open during weekends from 12 pm to 5 pm but setting an appointment for your visit is also needed.

Once Upon a Time Antiques

Cold Spring also has a lot to offer to antique fans.

One of these is the famous shop, Once Upon a Time Antiques.

True to its name, be ready to travel back in time once you set foot in this shop.

With its extensive collection of unique antiques, you can certainly find the one you are looking for.

They also have unique dolls and toys that will take you on a trip down memory lane.

All this stuff is well organized and still in good condition.

Once Upon a Time, Antiques is also commended for treating everyone that walks into their store like a family.

Good finds and warm welcomes – all these are in Once Upon a Time Antiques.

Bull Hill

People at Bull Hill

Eileen_10 /

One more great destination for hiking enthusiasts is Bull Hill.

Hikers often visit Cold Spring for the popular Breakneck Ridge, but Bull Hill is also something that should not be ignored.

If you are starting as a hiker and still not ready to unleash your inner daredevil with Breakneck Ridge’s challenging rock formation, Bull Hill got you covered.

Known as Breakneck Ridge’s “close sibling,” Bull Hill can also offer breathtaking views – minus the extra risk and challenge.

Signage of Bull Hill in New York.


After climbing Bull Hill, you can also enjoy the fascinating show of how the sun meets the Hudson River during sunrise and sunset.

Hiking Bull Hill is also a perfect fit for your day-trip itinerary. It will only take 2 to 3 hours to hike, leaving you with many more hours to explore other beautiful places in Cold Spring.

View of hudson river from Bull Hill


Tiny Tots Park

Aside from being a great idea for day trips, Cold Spring is also a go-to weekend getaway destination for New Yorkers.

This is why many families visit this beautiful place, and still, nothing beats traveling together with your family, so Cold Spring made sure that this trip would also be memorable for people of all ages.

It is now time to treat the kids to an adventure. Tiny Tots Park surely got your back on this one.

It is an outdoor recreation area for kids six years old and below.

Here your kids can enjoy a cute playscape and a large grassy area where they can run or walk around.

This park is made even better by its naturally beautiful views.

Magazzino Italian Art

After all the nature-filled activities, it is now time to explore the other side of Cold Spring.

As much as it is known for having world-famous hiking destinations, Cold Spring is also popular for its arts and antiques.

It has a wide variety of arts and antique shops and museums to discover.

Among these is the famous Magazzino Italian Art.

Magazzino Italian Art is a 20,000 square-foot museum and research center in one.

It is dedicated to those who are studying or simply into postwar and contemporary Italian art.

This nonprofit museum is open to the public on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

Little Stony Point

River in Little Stony Point in New York.

TheArtistTree /

Hiking Bull Hill may not be as challenging, but it can also be tiring.

Just right across this hill, the Little Stony Point is waiting for you – a perfect spot where you can rest and relax after a hike.

Little Stony Point is popular as one of the best beaches in all of the Hudson Valley.

Most tourists who pass by this place are hikers looking to boost their energy after a challenging hike from the Breakneck Ridge or a chill one from Bull Hill.

Little Stony Point’s natural beauty and peaceful aura never disappoint, especially if you’re visiting on a summer afternoon.

A fallen tree at Little Stony Point

James Andrews1 /

Also, if you are not into hiking and wants a less exhausting way of securing a spot to watch the Hudson River, Little Stony Point is the answer!

It is peaceful yet lively at the same time. It will make you feel as if you have a paradise all to yourself.

When the sun finally sets, this beach turns into a fantastic backdrop where you can take Instagram-worthy photos!

Not crowded, nor modernized. Little Stony Point is simply beautiful on its own.

Nature trail at Little Stony Point

James Andrews1 /

Moo-Moo’s Creamery

For every food trip, there must be an unforgettable dessert experience.

They say there should always be a room for dessert, Moo-Moo’s Creamery is ready to fill that room up for you.

As the most recommended food place by the locals, Moo-Moo’s Creamery will surely live up to your expectations.

With the combination of a secret family recipe and the freshest ingredients, this ice cream shop grew to be one of the go-to shops for locals and tourists.

Moo-Moo’s Creamery offers 16 delicious ice cream flavors with generous servings.

Do not miss the best ice cream for the best trip!

Buy Fresh Ingredients at Vera’s Marketplace & Garden Center

Vera’s Marketplace & Garden is the premier destination for fresh, local products in Cold Spring.

Vera’s Marketplace & Garden Center offers a diverse range of locally grown, high-quality produce that changes with the seasons!

Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and specialty items, such as heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms, kale, and more.

The marketplace also features a selection of artisanal cheeses, homemade dips, baked goods, and other gourmet products.

The marketplace also features a garden where vendors grow plants and vegetables.

Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, Vera’s produce market is a great place to find fresh, flavorful ingredients to take home and elevate your meals.

Enrich Your Knowledge at Julia L Butterfield Library

The Julia L Butterfield Library is a charming historic library located in the heart of Cold Spring, New York.

Founded in 1913, the library was named after Julia L. Butterfield, a prominent local philanthropist and social reformer.

This beautiful library features a wide range of books and media resources for all ages, as well as computer access and a free Wi-Fi connection.

Visitors can enjoy the library’s peaceful study spaces, reading rooms, and a special collections section, which includes local history archives and rare books about New York state.

The library also hosts various cultural events and children’s programs yearly.

Some of these events include author talks, book clubs, and much more.

The Julia L Butterfield Library is a beautiful place to relax, learn, and connect with the community.

Be sure to check out the library’s special exhibits and events during your visit!

Enjoy a Hot Cup at Cold Spring Coffeehouse

There’s nothing like starting your day with your favorite coffee.

At Cold Springs the best way to get your coffee fix is at Cold Spring Coffeehouse.

Located in the heart of town, the Cold Spring Coffeehouse is a cozy and welcoming coffee shop that serves up various delicious caffeinated drinks and snacks.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic latte, a refreshing iced coffee, or a specialty drink like a lavender honey latte, this place has something for every coffee lover.

Cold Spring Coffeehouse also offers a selection of baked goods, including muffins, croissants, and scones—all made fresh daily.

The Cold Spring Coffeehouse is a popular spot for locals and tourists with its relaxing atmosphere and convenient amenities like free Wi-Fi.

Browse Different Kinds of Books at Split Rock Books

A good book is one of the best souvenirs you can bring home after your trip.

That’s why Split Rock Books is a must-visit destination for book lovers in Cold Spring.

This independent bookstore features a curated selection of bestsellers, new releases, and unique finds, with a special emphasis on local authors and New York history.

The knowledgeable staff at Split Rock Books are like you—they’re passionate about books and are happy to recommend a great read or help whenever you drop by.

In addition to books, the store also offers a selection of literary-themed gifts and merchandise, such as mugs, bookmarks, tote bags, and candles.

So, whether you’re looking for a spine-tingling thriller, a children’s classic, or a thought-provoking non-fiction book, Split Rock Books has something for every reader.

Make sure to stop by and browse their book-filled shelves during your visit to Cold Spring!

Pamper Yourself at Cold Spring Apothecary

Take a break from your Cold Spring Escapade and spend some time taking care of yourself during your visit!

At Cold Spring Apothecary, your needs are met with professionalism and care.

Cold Spring Apothecary is a natural health and beauty shop located in the heart of Cold Spring.

This charming boutique offers a wide range of products, including skincare, haircare, aromatherapy, and wellness supplements, all made with natural and organic ingredients.

The knowledgeable staff at Cold Spring Apothecary can help you find the perfect products for your individual needs and offer advice on creating a holistic self-care routine.

In addition to its retail offerings, the shop offers various holistic services, including facials, massages, and energy healing.

Whether you’re a health and beauty enthusiast or simply looking to pamper yourself, Cold Spring Apothecary is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking natural and effective products that promote wellness inside and out.

Final Thoughts

If you want to treat yourself to a day or weekend you will never forget, Cold Spring will make that happen.

With its naturally amazing sceneries, world-famous hiking destinations, rich history, amazing artworks, unique antiques, and exquisite food places – this is surely the sweet escape you deserve.

Opposite to its name, Cold Spring will make you feel its warmth no matter what the season is.

Pack your bags. It’s time to escape the bustling city life with Cold Spring.

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