Just south of Nyack  is the village of Piermont, which in its heyday was a bustling commercial center at the terminus of the Erie Railroad. Today it’s a quieter, less touristy version of Nyack. Woody Allen filmed much of The Purple Rose of Cairo here in the early 1980s.
Most of the village’s shops and art galleries are located on or just off Piermont Avenue. Among them are Boondocks (490 Piermont Ave., 845/365-2221), an “environmental marketplace” selling rainforest kits and the like, and Piermont Flywheel Gallery (220 Ash St., 845/365-6411, www.piermontflywheel.com , 1–6 p.m. Thurs. and Sun., 1–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat., free), which features the work of its 24 co-owners, all artists and sculptors.
In the center of town is Piermont Pier, which extends out into the river about a mile. Built by Chinese immigrants to allow the railroad easier access to Hudson River ships, the pier today is delightfully overgrown with cottonwoods, poplars, and goldenrod. From along its length you’ll have unobstructed views of the Tappan Zee Bridge and Piermont Marsh, a 950-acre wetland and bird sanctuary.
If you’re interested in actually visiting Piermont Marsh, enter Tallman Mountain State Park (off Rte. 9W, 845/359-0544, dawn–dusk daily, parking $6 June–Sept.) just south of the pier and follow the bike path to the shore. The preserve, covered with wildflowers in the spring, is one of the most important fish-breeding areas along the Hudson and an excellent bird-watching spot.
One of the Hudson Valley ’s oldest and best-loved music clubs is the Turning Point (468 Piermont Ave., 845/359-1089, www.turningpointcafe.com , tickets $12–25) in Piermont. With low ceilings and filled with dark wood, the club presents mostly folk and folk-rock, along with some jazz and blues. The club also serves a moderately priced lunch and dinner (average dinner entrée $15).
A number of restaurants are located along Piermont Avenue. Classiest among them is Xaviar’s at Piermont (506 Piermont Ave., 845/359-7007), a highly acclaimed fine dining establishment serving contemporary American fare. A prix fixe lunch costs $40, prix fixe dinner $60, and the chef’s tasting menu $80.
Next door is a less-expensive sister restaurant, the informal yet sophisticated Freelance Cafe and Wine Bar (506 Piermont Ave., 845/365-3250, $20), serving an eclectic cuisine with Asian, French, and Italian influences.
For a simpler meal, head over to Pasta Amore (200 Ash St., 845/365-1911, $15), where you’ll find a wide variety of Northern Italian dishes, as well as glorious views of the Hudson.