15 Best Things to Do in Croton-on-Hudson, NY

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Croton-on-Hudson is on the shores of the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York.

It’s a village in the town of Cortlandt, in the northern suburbs of New York City.

The Croton River and the Hudson River converge to form the Village’s limits to the East, West, and South.

Croton-on-Hudson was formally established in 1898, but its history dates back much earlier.

The colonial history of Croton-on-Hudson began in the 17th century; according to archeological findings, Native American Indians may have lived there since 4,950 BC.

The Kitchawanc tribe, natives of the region and a member of the Wappinger Confederacy of the Algonquin Nation, named some of the places in the village.

Explore what this village can offer with this list of the best things to do in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Enjoy Fun Activities at Croton Point Park

Scenic view at Croton Point Park
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Spanning 508 acres, Croton Point Park is on a peninsula on the eastern bank of the Hudson River.

The park is rich in human and natural history, as the Croton Point Nature Center location and the oldest wine cellars in the state.

The park offers several public attractions.

Scenic view at Croton Point Park
Saleh Razick, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out the boat launch, a small airport, a campground, cross-country skiing, picnicking, trails for hiking and walking, a playground, pavilions, and a beach with swimming and fishing opportunities.

The Underhill family originally owned the land that became Croton Point Park in the 1800s.

Scenic view at Croton Point Park
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Back then, they cultivated apples, grapes, and watermelons.

A brickyard also stood on the property; some of the structures made with these bricks still stand today.

Croton Point Park holds various events yearly, including the Hudson River EagleFest and the Clearwater Festival.

Visit the Croton Point Nature Center

The Croton Point Nature Center is at the northern tip of Croton Point Park.

The museum features displays of local animals and plants, including specimens from the Hudson River, the history of locals and Native Americans, and interactive exhibits.

Visitors can explore four miles of the Hudson River’s beachfront.

The park is an Important Bird Area (IBA), which draws bald eagles during winter.

Authorities also developed a large meadow supporting different bird and butterfly species out of a covered landfill.

Likewise, the park’s historic buildings have received a Historic District status.

Information, maps, and restrooms are accessible at the Croton Nature Center.

Tour the Van Cortlandt Manor

Van Cortlandt Manor is a home and property built in the 17th century by the Van Cortland family near the Croton River.

The manor offers a clear glimpse of the life of the Van Cortlandt family in its most colorful and prosperous era.

It also shows the pinnacles of the family’s historical eminence and contribution to the estate's growth.

As the house and surrounding lands were acquired, occupied, and developed, the significant economic, political, and social role of the Van Cortlandt family became apparent.

The estate remained in the family until 1945, when they sold it to a non-relative, after which the property began to lose its luster.

In 1953, John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought the estate and began restoring it to its previous splendor.

The Van Cortlandt Manor hosts the popular Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze event every fall, attracting thousands of tourists yearly.

This colonial-era stone and brick house is now a museum and a National Historic Landmark.

Take a Stroll at Croton Landing Park

Croton Landing Park is a popular tourist attraction and destination even with the local community.

It’s approximately a mile long, situated on the Hudson River just past Croton Yacht Club and Senasqua Park.

The paved route runs alongside the river, part of the 51-mile Westchester RiverWalk.

It has a footbridge, benches, and plaques that provide information about the river.

The park also features an athletic field, a 9/11 memorial, and a restroom.

Croton Landing Park is open to all residents of New York State.

Explore Jane E. Lytle Memorial Croton Arboretum

The Jane E. Lytle Memorial Croton Arboretum offers many walking trails, including disabled-accessible ones.

It also passes through wildlife areas on over 20 acres of forests and wetlands.

You can reach the arboretum by driving or walking across the Hudson National Golf Course at the end of Fox Road.

The Croton Arboretum and Sanctuary Inc., founded in 1994, oversees the management of the arboretum, which offers activities for pleasure, education, and conservation.

They foster environmental education and ecological literacy initiatives in wetland restoration, water quality monitoring, and wildlife habitat development.

It also collaborates with nearby schools, companies, and other civic organizations.

Jane E. Lytle Memorial Croton Arboretum opens every day of the week throughout the year.

Celebrate the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

View of Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
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Come and celebrate “New York’s Original Halloween Spectacular” in Croton-on-Hudson, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze!

Explore the 17th-century estate of the Van Cortlandt Manor to find a stunning display of over 7,000 lighted jack o’ lanterns.

A group of artisans hand-carved and designed the lanterns on-site.

View of Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
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Grab fall-themed treats and refreshments at the cafe, and browse the store’s quirky items and souvenirs.

With thousands of handcrafted pumpkins in creative arrangements, this walk-through attraction has delighted more than two million people since it opened in 2005.

Don’t miss the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, synchronized lights, and an original soundtrack!

View of Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
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Grab a Bite at Croton Colonial Diner

Visit the Croton Colonial Diner, a renowned local diner!

Croton Colonial Diner serves over 50 years of popular home-style cooking to the residents and visitors of Croton-on-Hudson.

This local favorite serves mainstays like open-faced sandwiches, homemade soups, hamburgers, paninis, and Greek and Italian entrees daily.

The classic diner vibe and the diverse menu options invite you to dine here several times without getting the same food twice.

With so many diners around, Croton Colonial Diner is undoubtedly one of the standouts with its quality and great value for food.

Follow the Trail at the Brinton Brook Sanctuary

Brinton Brook Sanctuary is the biggest sanctuary on Saw Mill River Audubon.

It spans 156 acres and provides more than four miles of hiking paths through various ecosystems.

The access road to the sanctuary has a sign so that you can find it easily.

Brinton Brook Sanctuary’s trails, overlooking the Hudson River, connect to the Highland Trail, a segment of the Croton-on-Hudson trail system.

The organization manages the Brinton Brook Sanctuary and other sanctuaries, which are open seven days a week from dawn until dusk and are free for all visitors.

No other facilities, including restrooms, are available in the sanctuary.

Dock at the Half Moon Bay Marina

Half Moon Bay Marina is one of Hudson Valley’s top marinas in a prime location featuring boat slips available for transitory overnight stays, seasonal rentals, or for purchase.

Strategically positioned on the east coast of the Hudson River, about 25 miles from New York City, Half Moon Bay Marina is an excellent homeport for numerous boating excursions.

Sail and dock for the entire evening, a week or longer, and experience the city's busyness and the Hudson River's tranquility.

With over 170 boat slips, Half Moon Bay Marina can house vessels up to 165 feet in length.

The unsinkable dock system, with its carefully treated woods and top-notch workmanship, is renowned for its exceptional resistance to weather extremes.

See the Croton Dam at Croton Gorge Park

Croton Gorge Park sits on 97 acres at the foot of the Croton Dam, allowing visitors breathtaking views of the dam, the waterfalls, and the reservoir.

The Croton Dam is the third greatest hand-hewn construction in the entire world, following the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Wall of China!

The park, which has direct path access to the Old Croton Aqueduct, is a popular location for fishing, picnics, and hiking.

Likewise, this park is also a favorite place for sledding and cross-country skiing in the winter.

The Croton River and the Old Croton Trail, which feature a baseball field and a grand fountain that occasionally uses the reservoir’s high-pressure water, start here.

The Croton Dam has long become a favorite among photographers, making Croton Gorge Park a must-visit when you’re in Croton-on-Hudson!

Grab Homemade Ice Cream at the Blue Pig

Satisfy your sweet cravings with delicious homemade ice cream at The Blue Pig!

The Blue Pig takes pride in serving ice cream free of artificial ingredients such as antibiotics, steroids, gums, and high fructose corn syrup, created from a unique blend of cream and milk from Hudson Valley Fresh.

Acquired in 2010, Blue Pig’s significant priorities are local dairy, fresh and seasonal produce, and eco-friendly practices.

Indulge in their delectable flavors, including brown sugar cinnamon, coffee toffee, Really Good Chocolate, salted caramel, and more!

For those sensitive to gluten, the Blue Pig also offers gluten-free choices!

Drop by this charming blue-painted store on Maple Street and enjoy a cold treat outdoors in the patio garden.

Join a Kayak Tour with Hudson River Recreation

Hudson River Recreation is your trusted experience provider for your upcoming paddling adventure!

Just a short distance from the city, Hudson River Recreation provides guided tours, classes, and rentals for canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) all around Westchester County.

Hudson River Recreation will lead you on a kayak tour around their favorite riverside locations, which include historic and fabled landmarks, scenic landscapes, and wildlife sightings around Southern New York’s waterways.

Since 1998, Hudson River Recreation has aimed to provide New York with sustainable and environmentally-friendly water recreation opportunities.

Hudson River Recreation has several locations, but if you’re in Croton-on-Hudson, you may find them in Croton Point Park!

Ride a Horse with Westchester Trail Rides

Take a break from the norm and go horseback riding with Westchester Trail Rides.

Westchester Trail Rides provides horseback trail riding activities to Westchester County, other areas in New York, and as far as Connecticut and New Jersey!

Established in 1999, Westchester Trail Rides makes exploring local trails in the area easier.

There’s always something different to discover and see within 7,000 acres of the stunning, undeveloped countryside.

The trail-riding services employ skilled guides and feature three very friendly horses.

Buy Apple Cider at Thompson’s Cider Mill

Thompson’s Cider Mill is near Westchester County’s Teatown Lake Reservation Nature Preserve, sitting on land that was once an 1870s apple orchard.

The red barn that serves as the mill sits on top of a sloped driveway that overlooks the orchard, Swope’s Pond, and Leslie Rickert’s old farmhouse.

Thompson’s Cider Mill makes ciders in small batches using a variety of apples, including heirloom and rare varieties, to create authentic and old-fashioned hard and sweet ciders.

You’ll also find specialty foods at the mill, including cider donuts, apple wine, muffins, pies, Hudson Valley Honey, White Oak Farm’s maple syrup, several pear varieties, and more!

Thompson’s Cider Mill welcomes visitors on the weekends from mid-September until Thanksgiving weekend.

Hang Out at the Green Growler

The Green Growler, located along Croton Point Avenue, is a craft beer shop and taproom serving drafts, beers, wines, and ciders.

They offer products from all independent breweries, concentrating on beverages from the Greater Hudson Valley and New York State.

The Green Growler is within walking distance from the Croton-Harmon railway station and Croton Point Park, making it a great location to stop by for some small bites and drinks!

Hang out with friends and sample their unique beers or beers from other breweries, such as Arrowood Farms Cicada, Captain Lawrence Clearwater, Hudson North Standard, and more!

The Green Growler also has occasional food trucks and hosts live music during weekends.

Final Thoughts

Whether you stay for a day, a whole weekend, or longer, Croton-on-Hudson’s beauty and history will captivate you.

The plethora of natural attractions and outdoor activities make the Village a fantastic destination for the entire family or friends!

Explore this incredible Lower Hudson Valley village, breathe fresh air, and recharge from the bustling city life by discovering the best things to do in Croton-on-Hudson.

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