15 Best Things to Do in Garrison, NY

Garrison, NY
Nancy Kennedy / shutterstock.com

If you're eyeing a trip to the beautiful, diverse, and dynamic state of New York, there is a stunning spot you shouldn't miss.

Next to the majestic Hudson River in Putnam County, you'll find the remarkable hamlet of Philipstown, Garrison.

Even for a small town, it is home to many stunning historic sites, nature preserves, and cultural hubs.

According to the Hudson Valley Magazine, it is also one of the country's top ten places to settle down.

Packed with exciting locations to visit, prepare for the best things to do in Garrison, NY!

Fall in Love with the Beauty of Boscobel House and Gardens

Exterior of the Boscobel House
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Are you a fan of visiting great architectural houses from the past?

You'll find yourself in the essence of the early 19th century in the historic Boscobel House and Gardens.

It is located on Route 9D, a nonprofit house museum featuring the finest collections of decorative arts in the Federal period.

It overlooks the banks of the Hudson River, stretching for 68 acres of beautiful grounds with natural woodland trails and lush gardens.

Built in the 1800s, the house was the original dream house of wealthy loyalists, though it fell into disrepair in the 1950s.

Water fountain at Boscobel House and Gardens
Linda Harms / Shutterstock.com

Thanks to the efforts of preservationists, the house was restored to its original grandeur.

It offers exciting tours of the neoclassical mansion and hosts many lively events.

It includes innovative exhibitions, engaging programs for families, and talks with the top design experts worldwide.

Visiting the Boscobel House and Gardens shows how to save a beautiful piece of art.

Pathway at Boscobel House and Gardens
Linda Harms / Shutterstock.com

Dine in Italian and Latin Style in Garrison Restaurant and Pizzeria

You can experience Italian and Latin cuisine in the hamlet of Garrison as you head to the Garrison Restaurant and Pizzeria.

Established in 2006, it is a local family pizza restaurant on US Route 9.

As a family-owned business, it reflects the family's pride and confidence in its food and service to its customers.

Its diversified menu has served various gourmet oven pizzas, pizza rolls, calzones, Latin foods, wraps, pasta, seafood, and burgers.

The Garrison Restaurant and Pizzeria is the perfect restaurant to stop by after an adventurous hike or a tiring trip.

Get Creative at Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center

Building one's home has become the natural way of settling down.

However, building your home aesthetically and in union with nature is something else.

The Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center, located on Route 9D, comprises a modern-designed house, a studio, and a spectacular 75-acre woodland garden.

It was the home sweet home of American industrial designer Russel Wright.

Today, the house is a National Historic Landmark, a World Monuments Watch Site, and an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Upon visiting the dramatic modernist home, you'll witness its masterful and unique interplay of nature and design.

As Wright's respite from the busy city, it has a relaxing atmosphere with its woodland garden featuring a 30-foot waterfall cascading to its majestic pool.

Visiting Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center gives you an idea of how modern homes can be integrated with nature.

Walk with Nature at the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary

Boardwalk at Constitution Marsh Audubon Center
Juliancolton, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Only when they visit Mother Nature can people truly see the beauty of life.

You'll experience more of life in the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary.

It is on Warren Landing Road, a 270-acre tidal wetland along the glistening waters of the Hudson River.

It is also a New York State Bird Conservation Area, an Audubon New York Important Bird Area, and a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat.

The Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary conducts different nature education programs such as invasive species management, bird studies, and habitat restoration efforts.

You'll hike on a 700-foot boardwalk to view the spectacular marsh.

You might even see those glorious eagles circling the skies if you're lucky.

Take a Hike at Arden Point and Glenclyffe

If you're in for an exciting trail adventure, Arden Point and Glenclyffe will certainly not disappoint.

Situated on Lower Station Road, it is a 6.1-kilometer trail along the abundant forest of deciduous trees and white pines.

It provides the perfect hiking activity for all ages with its easy terrain.

Its well-marked path gives a lot of shade as you pass by many mysterious abandoned houses, wooden bridges, and breathtaking views of the Hudson River.

You'll also encounter Governor Hamilton's home and its green bamboo forest at Arden Point and Glenclyffe.

What's more interesting is that it's rumored to be where Benedict Arnold escaped after the discovery of his treason during the Revolutionary War.

Enjoy the Act of Creation at Garrison Art Center

Exterior of the Garrison Art Center
​English Wikipedia user Daniel Case, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The process of making art sparks great curiosity among art lovers.

Built in 1964 on Garrisons Landing, the Garrison Art Center promotes the local community's creation, enjoyment, and exhibition of art.

The center is divided into two galleries where the works of highly recognized artists are exhibited and four unique art-making studios.

The studios include a painting or drawing room, a print shop, a sculpture studio, and a pottery studio.

It got the alluring view of the Hudson River as its backyard, where artists inspire and make their art.

If you or your family wants to try making art, the Garrison Art Center conducts art classes to teach the basics.

Through this center, the essence of art connects every visitor.

Wine and Dine in Valley Restaurant

Are you looking for the perfect dining place to celebrate your special occasions?

You can experience dining unlike any other at Valley Restaurant on Route 9.

It is a top-tier dining venue serving all-seasonal American cuisine, showcasing locally produced ingredients within the region.

It was a worthy tribute to the restaurant's incomparable efforts to grow and raise the prepared food products.

One fun fact is that they change their menu regularly every season depending on the availability of ingredients.

Aside from its food, the venue has a cozy room and an exquisite terrace that offers breathtaking river valley vistas and hilly terrain.

Designed by the renowned architect Tony Chi, it exudes relaxed country elegance.

What better way to celebrate your anniversaries than dining at the Valley Restaurant?

Complete Your Day with a Tasty Desert in Dolly's Restaurant

A good meal nearby on the picturesque edge of the Hudson River Banks while seeing the lovely sunset is the best way to finish your day in Garrison.

Located in Garrisons Landing, Dolly's Restaurant offers a wide selection of desserts, candy, snacks, and drop-off meals.

It has a superb bar fully stocked with craft beers, inventive cocktails, and fine wines from New York State, France, and Italy.

Its best seating is on its outdoor patio with a lovely courtyard where the Hudson River becomes your ultimate backdrop.

If you're a fan of chocolate, you should try cocoa pudding and dark chocolate at Dolly's Restaurant.

Go for a Climbing Adventure in the Castle Rock Unique Area

Castle Rock at Castle Rock Unique Area
HarryShuldman, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you want to upgrade your usual hiking adventure?

Located near Wind Road, the Castle Rock Unique Area brings your hike with nature to a whole new level.

Stretching for about 129 acres, it consists of steeper woodlands and beautiful, gently sloping fields.

Including Sugarloaf Hill, the Castle Rock Unique Area is the private estate of William H. Osborn, a respected president of the Illinois Central Railroad.

Built in 1881, the castle served as a vacation house for the Osborn family, which they passed down to succeeding generations.

Though they donated a large fraction to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the castle remains private property.

Recreational activities around the area include hiking, camping, wildlife watching, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.

It poses a significant challenge to many hikers with an elevation of 760 to 3,215 feet.

It truly is a worthwhile trip with its exciting journey and magnificent views.

Play Golf at Highlands Country Club

If you fancy a game of golf, you should not miss the challenging fields of Highlands Country Club.

Located on Route 9D, the Highlands Country Club features a nine-hole golf course, offering challenging play and terrific views of the West Point, Hudson River, and several national historic buildings.

Its tennis area has four Har-Tru courts and one hard court with a dedicated shaded pavilion for spectators during matches and leagues.

You can also dip in its splendid pool area, with a space to enjoy the sun and a 15-meter lap pool.

It is the best place to enjoy golfing with friends while the children have fun in the pool.

Marvel at the Outstanding Performances at the Philipstown Depot Theatre

Exterior of Philipstown Depot Theatre
​English Wikipedia user Daniel Case, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you miss seeing live theater performances?

You can see one in Garrison at the Philipstown Depot Theatre in Garrisons Landing.

It is a community-based performing theater center with a mission to connect the locals and visitors with art.

Founded in 1996, the theater resulted from the eagerness of visionary residents to create a permanent home for the performing arts.

Over 25 years of theater production, it has dedicated itself to giving unique presentations.

Equipped with superb acoustics and magnificent views of the Hudson River, the Philipstown Depot Theatre is a once-in-a-lifetime presentation you shouldn't miss.

Unleash Your Inner Bookworm with Antipodean Books, Maps, and Prints

Breathing new life into old pieces is a common habit among antique lovers.

The Antipodean Books, Maps, and Prints shop in Garrison Landing is an exciting place to browse old and rare maps, books, and prints.

With an enticing interior, you'll step back in time.

Its extensive collection of books specializes in local history and its fine selection of old antique French art cards.

You'll also meet its friendly and knowledgeable bookstore owner, who can give you more tips on the town.

Indeed, the Antipodean Books, Maps, and Prints is a precious gem within the community that you should visit.

Hike Back in Time at North and South Redoubt Trailhead

Hiking while stepping back in time is another way of spending a good day.

You'll find the North and South Redoubt Trailhead on Avery Road, a moderately strenuous three-mile hike.

It was a small fortification during the American Revolution, visited by Commander in Chief George Washington in 1780.

Today, it is a famous hiking journey featuring great panoramic views of the Hudson River.

The exciting North and South Redoubt Trail poses a challenge as you'll pass through a highly grassy area.

This is the relaxing hike you need with a slight tinge of history.

Catch Exquisite Performances at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Theatre tent during the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Hvshakespeare, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you visit in the right month, you might see the much-awaited annual theater event.

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is a one-festival performance presenting a combination of Shakespeare plays, Hudson River beauty, and an evening of wholesome fun.

Founded in 1987, the nonprofit professional theater company debuted with a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Manitoga.

It runs for roughly twelve weeks and stages its beautiful presentations in a large open-air theater tent.

Known for its great backdrop, you'll also have a lovely view of the Hudson River and West Point.

Enjoy Shakespeare at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival!

Refresh your Mind and Body with Massage Therapy + Healing Arts

If the trip has wearied you, you can restore, refresh, and renew yourself in Massage Therapy + Healing Arts.

Located on Route 9D, it features the finest healing arts and massage therapy in the community.

Its relaxing setting and interior space provide the perfect place to unwind, together with its excellent quality of services.

Owner Bradford Teasdale has dedicated over 20 years of practice to understanding the art of massage therapy to provide you with the best experience.

Inspired by the elements of nature surrounding the peaceful sanctuary, Massage Therapy + Healing Arts restores peace, health, and balance to every individual.

Final Thoughts

The charismatic essence of Garrison will never fail to give you a trip of a lifetime.

Adventurous hiking areas, unique presentations of art, delicious restaurants, and a secret door to the past make it worthwhile to visit.

Plan your trip today and check out the best things to do in Garrison, New York!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.