15 Best Things to Do in Westchester

15 Best Things to Do in Westchester

Welcome to the second most populated county on the mainland of New York, the Westchester County. With some great tourist spots and things to do, it stands among the list of top tourist places in New York.

There's also a relatively rich economy, which gets hugely reflected in its beautiful alleys and roadworks and beautiful structures all around.
Blessed with woodlands and water bodies, it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Moreover, it is blessed with a humid and subtropical climate almost throughout the year, which ensures that travel is not affected and you can tour the city comfortably.

Visit the historically important Kykuit

Kykuit
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Kykuit is a historic house converted into a museum located in the beautiful Pocantico Hills, and is also known by the name John D. Rockefeller estate, since that was the house which was built by the Rockefeller family.

Made for the famous oil tycoon john D. Rockefeller and his family, it has been enriched by various art collections through the various generations that have passed and lived here.

It was also home to Nelson Rockefeller who served as the governor of New York and was also the Vice President of the United States.

Today, the house is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and finds a place mentioned for itself on the National Historic Landmarks list.

The word Kykuit used for the house has been derived from a Dutch word which means look out since the house was situated on the Pocantico Hills and at its highest point, it was used to look out on the Hudson River.

The view from the top is really pretty and you can view as much as 25 miles worth of the New York City skyline. The gardens and landscaping around the house is also very well maintained and well-manicured and make for beautiful spots to visit.

Some of the terraced gardens also include those in the Japanese style, those in the Italian style and some even dedicated to a Greek goddess.
The art collections on display are also very quaint and fine, and find a mention for art connoisseurs all around the world.

There are works by Picasso, Henry Moore and David Smith. Also do not forget to visit many of the notable outbuildings such as the Playhouse, the brewer guest house, and the Rockefeller archive center.

Have fun at Playland

Playland
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Also called as the rye Playland is the Playland amusement park. This fun, family oriented place, is amazing and amusing and spread over a huge area of 280 acres.

It is owned by the Westchester County government and is very well maintained with many awesome rides and attractions. The Playland offers a wristband policy, wherein you pay for a wristband that allows you access to all the attractions which are located inside.

The plan itself is divided into three major components. For those who are water babies, they'll definitely enjoy the first component which consists of swimming parks, beaches and boardwalks.

Playland, Rye
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

The second component is then an amusement park, which has some really thrilling and fun rides. There is also an ice rink available. Under the third component, is a boating Lake, where you can relax and have some peaceful rides boating around in nature.

For those who wish for an adrenaline rush, and can handle going on roller coasters, there are as many as five rides available. The best among those according to us will definitely be the dragon coaster which is approximately running at 45 miles per hour.

This is an especially fun ride if you have some teens along with you since the coaster itself goes through a tunnel which resembles the body of a dragon and then you leave the tunnel through the dragon's mouth. Dragon coaster is definitely thus classified as one of the seven classic rides that you must definitely take part in.

Coming next for the thrill rides, one definite recommendation is the Grand Carousel. This merry go round will definitely be enjoyed by kiddos and adults alike.

It also has a derby racer that rotates at a huge speed of 40 kilometer per hour. The sky flyer, the plunge and the Wipeout are some other must try rides.

What makes Playland even more interesting is that it has an entire section dedicated to kids and children called the Kiddyland. These are all very safe and secure and your kids will definitely have fun sitting in them.

Some of the rides that can be enjoyed here include the fun slide, the Slime Bucket, the Playland Express, boat rides, and more.

Other than this, they also have an ice casino which has a fine restaurant and a cafe. Moreover, fireworks are also displayed on Friday night so if you are lucky enough do drop in on these nights, then they are really worth looking at.

Dancing and singing shows are also staged throughout the day from time to time. Every summer they also host a free concert series. So just enjoy yourself and get lost in the music.

The Park is so famous and so magnificent that it has also been featured in various films and televisions, including fatal attraction, the movie Big starring Tom Hanks and even How I Met Your Mother.

Take a walk through the Broadway

A very important and famous road of New York, The Broadway runs from State Street through the Bronx and terminates in Sleepy Hollow.

It is most important for the theatrical industry and you will definitely enjoy taking a walk through the various film posters on display.

As you pass through the segment of the Broadway in Times Square, you will feel at once everything that everyone speaks about vibing in New York. It's definitely one of the most busy and most wonderful streets to walk on in NYC.

See the Lyndhurst Mansion

Lyndhurst Mansion
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Also called the Jay Gould estate, this is a country house set in a gothic theme and a very important part of the historic homes of New York.

Located just beside the Hudson River, its architecture is really beautiful and worth a peek at. A proud member of the National Historic Landmark list since 1966, it is definitely a great place to visit.

Spread over a huge land area of 67 acres, it was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838 and was then owned by many influential persons before finally being bought by the railroad tycoon Jay Gould.

What makes it very important is that it is having some really intricate architectural work and is definitely a great place to visit and study for those from this field.

The rooms are small and modestly laid with a strong emphasis on the gothic theme. The windows are narrow and the ceilings are tall. This gives it a very gloomy, yet romantic feel.

The path and landscaping is also very beautiful and there is also a conservatory located on site. The park is also set in an ancient landscaping of the 19th century and you can also find various shrubs, lawns and specimen trees that have been grown here.

The house is really very famous and was featured in various movies and shows like The Winter's Tale, the Halloween that almost wasn't and more.

Take a tour of the Phillipsburg Manor

Phillipsburg Manor
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The best tour that you can opt for when here is the haunted house tour and you will definitely have a blast. It is dedicated to the Headless Horseman.

The Phillipsburg manor gives you the complete chills and you can also visit the haunted house on the tour. They also hold fun family events throughout the year.

Focusing a little on the history, it was one of the most important and huge Manors of Westchester County and was built by Frederick Phillips and two of his partners.

Have a peaceful stroll through the Untermyer Park and Gardens

Untermyer Park and Gardens
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A huge 43 acre city public park, it's one of the most beautiful parks of Westchester and inspired by Indo Persian themes. It also has a small amphitheater that has two sphynxes facing each other on tall, iconic columns.

This amphitheater and the walled garden is one of the main features of the park and a great place to click some really pretty pictures.

The walled garden is also called as the Paradise Garden or char bagh. It is based on the concept that there are four gardens in Paradise, which has been mentioned in many holy books. Similarly, four waterways have been constructed at this garden which merge and meet at a pool in the center.

Though the main theme is Persian, there are also Greek elements such as a temple dedicated to the sky, usage of special marble and more.

Untermyer Park and Gardens Persian architecture
Yingna Cai / shutterstock.com

After this, take a long walk on the descending staircase of the vista which will lead you to the overlook, which has two ancient Roman marble columns.

You can next visit the Lion and Unicorn gate entrance which leads you to the world of the ruined gardens. After this, there is also a beautiful and colorful patch of rhododendrons titled The Rhododendron walk.

Finally, end your tour at the temple of love which is a beautiful garden designed with features from fantasy.

Birdwatching at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Rockefeller State Park Preserve
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Located in Mount Pleasant, this state park preserve is very beautiful with great views. With the Pocantico River flowing through it and lush green forests on both sides of the roads, it’s a scene straight out of paradise.

You can look at various species of birds that visit during various seasons here.

Pay a visit to the Washington Irving's Sunnyside

Washington Irving's Sunnyside
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Another historic house located near the Hudson River, this was the home of the great American writer Washington Irving and for any fan of his stories like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle then this place is a must visit.

It is also important from an architectural point of view since it has a Scottish and Gothic appeal along with having revival influences.

Enjoy a 4D cinema show at LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Another great family entertainment place is the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Here you can enjoy Lego rides, a play area and also a 4D cinema show. They also have a quaint little gift shop where you can buy a cute souvenirs to take back home for your friends and family.

Fishing at Croton Point Park

Croton Point Park
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Located in the village of Croton, on the Hudson River, this park is famous for the various water based activities that you can carry out here including fishing and Riverside camping.

They also have an RV camping site. Some other activities that you can enjoy include cross country ski, group picnicking, hiking, trekking, and walking trails. There's also a small playground where kids can play and have fun.

Hiking at the Croton Gorge Park

Croton Gorge Park
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The Croton gorge Park is a magnificent park in Cortlandt. It is spread over a huge area of 97 acres near the new Croton dam and is a great place to visit for outdoor activities like sledding, hiking, trekking, and cross country skiing.

Fishing is also allowed on its waters and you can fish for tasty local species. The picnic spots are also well maintained and have barbecue stands for the perfect dinner or lunch plan.

View wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center

As interesting as it sounds, this Conservation Center is definitely one of the best Places to Visit while in Westchester, you will get to learn about these critically endangered species and also look at them in their natural habitats. The kids will also enjoy visiting this place.

Try your luck at the Empire City Casino

This huge casino has many slot machines and is a great place to visit on those Friday nights or on the weekends when you're in the mood for some gambling.

They also have roulette and blackjack machines. Horse racing and live entertainment is also available. The restaurant is also great and the menu is extensive and the food is tasty.

Art connoisseurs should rush to the Neuberger Museum of Art

Situated on the Purchase College campus, this museum houses really fine pieces of contemporary art collections.

They have a treasure trove of art pieces which are a mixture of modern and contemporary themes. The cute gift shop is also available on site where you can buy some pieces of art for your house.

Picnicking at Willson's Woods Park

Located in Mount Vernon, it is one of the oldest parks of Westchester County. Though old it is still well maintained and a great summer park to visit with various waterways activities in swimming pools.

You will enjoy having fun and frolicking about in the waters. Other than this activities like fishing, ice, skating, picnicking, and bowling can also be enjoyed here.