A Hudson Valley day trip is a great way to experience the area without a large time commitment, making it especially appealing to those weekending in New York City. Each of these trips start at Grand Central Station, so don’t worry about renting a car.

Tarrytown and the Rockefeller Estate

Plan ahead for this trip by prebooking your preferred Kykuit tour online. Start your day at Grand Central Station and catch an early morning train on the Hudson Line north to Tarrytown.

Walk up Main Street and grab a cup of coffee at Coffee Labs. Take a cab or shuttle to the Kykuit Visitor Center in neighboring Sleepy Hollow. Check in for your tour of the Rockefeller Estate at Pocantico Hills.

After the tour, head to Stone Barns to see a working, sustainable farm in action. The next stop is Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s romantic-era estate on the border between Tarrytown and Irvington. After the house tour, browse the museum shop and pick up one of Irving’s books for the train ride home.

Waterwheel at a mill in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Visit Sleepy Hollow on an easy day trip from New York City. Photo © Cathy Kovarik/123rf.

Boscobel and Cold Spring Village

If you want to browse antiques shops, tour a neoclassical mansion, or paddle around the river, stay on the train until it arrives at Cold Spring Station in Putnam County. Exit the station and stop at the visitors booth on Main Street to pick up a map and inquire about the shuttle to Boscobel, the site of the annual Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

Grab a freshly baked scone at the Foundry Café just up the street, then walk down to the riverside gazebo to take in the view of West Point and the surrounding cliffs across the river.

Hop on the shuttle to Boscobel and admire the apple trees, river views, and collections of silver, china, and glassware inside. Later, head down to the river’s edge to explore the Constitution Marsh Center & Sanctuary, run by the National Audubon Society.

Catch the shuttle back to Cold Spring Village to browse the antiques shops along Main Street. Stay for dinner at Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill or the Cold Spring Depot, or walk a few blocks north along Fair Street to enjoy views of the Hudson at Riverview. When the sun has set, it’s time to catch the return train south to Grand Central.

Putnam County

Putnam County

Dia:Beacon

River views and the innovative restoration of an old factory make for an enjoyable day of modern art at this Dutchess County museum. An added plus is the location within walking distance of the Beacon Metro-North train station. Catch an early morning train from Grand Central to Beacon and allow a few hours to explore the galleries. Plan ahead to time your visit with a museum event, such as a gallery talk or film screening. A café on-site serves light breakfast and lunch fare, or you can walk or take a cab over to Main Street for a more substantial lunch and more art galleries.


Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Hudson Valley & the Catskills.