Things To Do In Westchester County – Westchester County is a beautiful and diverse region located in the Hudson Valley, just north of New York City. Known for its scenic beauty, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene, Westchester offers visitors and locals alike a wealth of activities to enjoy. From exploring its many trails and natural wonders to savoring its delicious cuisine, shopping its retail therapy destinations, and uncovering its hidden gems, Westchester County will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s a guide to the top things to do in Westchester County.
1. Discover the Best of Westchester County: Top Activities for Visitors and Locals Alike
Visit Historic Sites
- Philipsburg Manor: Step back in time to the 18th-century farm owned by wealthy merchant Frederick Philipse, a major slave trader
- Lyndhurst Mansion: Explore the magnificent Gothic Revival estate of former New York City mayor William Paulding Jr.
- John Jay Homestead: Visit the home of Founding Father John Jay, where he lived from 1801 until his death in 1829.
Have Fun Outdoors
- Playland Amusement Park: A beachfront amusement park with rides, attractions, and a boardwalk.
- Rye Nature Center: This 47-acre nature preserve in the heart of Rye offers hiking trails, gardens, and environmental education programs.
- Kayaking on the Hudson: Rent a kayak and explore the Hudson River for a unique perspective on Westchester’s natural beauty.
2. Unleash Your Inner Foodie: Westchester County’s Culinary Delights and Must-Try Dishes
Westchester County has a thriving culinary scene, with a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines to choose from. Here are some of the best food destinations:
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns: A farm-to-table restaurant that offers a tasting menu with ingredients sourced from its own farm
- X2O Xaviars on the Hudson: Located on the banks of the Hudson River, this restaurant offers a French-American menu with stunning views.
- Tarry Lodge: This Italian eatery boasts homemade pasta, delectable pizzas, and an extensive wine menu.
- Bagels: New York-style bagels are a must-try when in Westchester County, and some of the best can be found at Goldberg’s Famous Bagels.
- Pizza: Joe’s Pizza in Yonkers and Sal’s Pizza in Mamaroneck offer some of the best pizzas in the county.
- Hudson Valley Duck: This regional delicacy can be found at The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry, which offers a unique twist with its Peking duck pizza.
3. Take a Hike: Exploring Westchester’s Scenic Trails and Stunning Natural Wonders
Westchester County is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails and natural wonders in the region. Here are some of the best:
- Catamount Trail: This 3.3-mile trail in Pound Ridge offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a variety of hiking options.
- Cranberry Lake Preserve: This 190-acre preserve in West Harrison offers a network of trails through forests, meadows, and around a serene lake.
- Rockefeller Preserve: This 1,400-acre preserve in Pocantico Hills offers over 45 miles of trails that wind through forests, meadows, and along the Pocantico River, with views of the family’s historic properties and the Hudson River Valley.
4. A Perfect Day Out: Picking the Ideal Westchester County Itinerary for Your Next Adventure
If you’re looking for the perfect day out in Westchester County, here’s an ideal itinerary:
- Start your day with a hike along one of the county’s many trails, such as the Croton Gorge Park Trail.
- Grab breakfast at one of Westchester’s many cafes, such as the Black Cow in Croton.
- Visit historic sites such as the Kykuit Estate or Lyndhurst Mansion, which offer fascinating insights into the history of the region.
- Savor Westchester’s cuisine at one of the county’s many restaurants, such as DiNardo’s Ristorante Italiano in Pound Ridge.
- Take in a show at the Westchester Broadway Theatre or the Tarrytown Music Hall.
- Cap off your day with some retail therapy at one of Westchester’s many shopping destinations, such as the Westchester Mall in White Plains.
5. Arts and Culture Abound: Westchester County’s Vibrant Cultural Scene and Best Museums
Westchester County is home to an impressive range of cultural attractions, from museums to theaters and art galleries. Here are some of the best places to visit:
- The Hudson River Museum: Offers exhibitions on the history and culture of the Hudson River Valley.
- The Neuberger Museum of Art: Features contemporary and modern art exhibitions, as well as a sculpture garden.
- The Katonah Museum of Art: Showcases exhibitions on contemporary art, with a focus on American and local artists.
- The Westchester Broadway Theatre: Offers professional Broadway-style shows and dining experiences.
- The Tarrytown Music Hall: One of the oldest and most prestigious theaters in Westchester, hosting concerts, plays, and films.
- The Jacob Burns Film Center: A nonprofit cultural center and an independent cinema showing movies from around the world.
6. Something for Everyone: Westchester County’s Range of Family-Friendly Activities and Attractions
Westchester County is a great place for families, with a wide range of activities and attractions that will keep everyone entertained. Here are some of the best:
Zoos and Aquariums:
- The Bronx Zoo: One of the largest zoos in the world, with thousands of animals and exhibits to explore.
- The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk: Offers hands-on experiences with marine life, including sharks, seals, and sea turtles.
- The Greenburgh Nature Center: A nature preserve with exhibits and live animals, including birds of prey and reptiles.
Farms and Markets:
- The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture: A working farm that offers tours and educational programs for all ages.
- The Pleasantville Farmers Market: A thriving outdoor market with fresh produce, artisanal foods, and live music.
- The Muscoot Farm: A historic farm in Katonah that offers tours and programs on farming, ecology, and local history.
7. A Shopper’s Paradise: Uncovering Westchester County’s Best Retail Therapy Destinations
Westchester County offers shoppers a wide range of options, from high-end boutiques to bargain outlets. Here are some of the best shopping destinations:
- The Westchester Mall: A luxurious shopping mall featuring high-end designer stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Louis Vuitton.
- The Cross County Shopping Center: A large outdoor shopping center with department stores, such as Macy’s and Sears, and many smaller shops.
- The Galleria White Plains: A large indoor shopping mall with over 130 stores and restaurants.
Boutiques and Specialty Stores:
- City Center: A mixed-use development in White Plains with a range of specialty stores, such as L’Occitane and Eileen Fisher.
- Katonah Avenue: A charming street in the village of Katonah with a variety of boutiques and galleries.
- North Broadway: A street in the heart of the city of Yonkers with antique stores, thrift shops, and unique boutiques.
8. Don’t Forget Your Camera: Capturing Westchester County’s Most Stunning Views and Scenery
Westchester County is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the region, with many opportunities for stunning photography. Here are some of the best places to capture the moment:
Parks and Gardens:
- The Rockefeller Preserve: With its miles of trails and stunning vistas, this preserve offers many opportunities for beautiful photographs.
- The Untermeyer Gardens: A beautiful garden in Yonkers featuring a wide variety of flowers, sculptures, and fountains.
- The Kensico Dam: A beautiful park in Valhalla with views of the Kensico Reservoir and the surrounding countryside.
- The Old Croton Aqueduct: A beautiful walkway along the historic aqueduct, with views of the Hudson River and the surrounding countryside.
- The Hudson River Museum: With its stunning views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, the museum is a perfect spot for photography.
- The Untermyer Performing Arts Center: With its beautiful gardens and historic architecture, this site offers many opportunities for stunning photographs.
9. Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Gems and Secret Spots to Explore in Westchester County
Westchester County has many hidden gems and secret spots that are worth exploring. Here are some of the best places to discover:
The Kensico Dam Plaza:
A hidden oasis in Valhalla, the Kensico Dam Plaza offers a beautiful park and lake, as well as a hidden art exhibit with over 70 sculptures.
The H.W. Hunter House:
A hidden gem in New Rochelle, the H.W. Hunter House is a beautifully preserved Victorian mansion that serves as the headquarters of the New Rochelle Historical Society.
The Muscoot Reservoir:
A hidden spot in Somers, the Muscoot Reservoir offers peaceful walking paths, scenic views, and great opportunities for birdwatching.
10. The Ultimate Guide to Westchester County: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting
Before visiting Westchester County, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Westchester County is easily accessible by car, train, and bus. Major airports, such as JFK and LaGuardia, are also nearby.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Westchester is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the foliage is at its most beautiful.
Where to Stay:
Westchester County offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to bed and breakfasts. Some popular options include The Ritz-Carlton Westchester and the Castle Hotel & Spa.
Westchester has a well-connected public transportation system, with trains and buses connecting most towns and cities. Taxis, Uber, and Lyft are also widely available.
The weather in Westchester County can be extreme at times, with hot summers and cold winters. It’s important to check the forecast before visiting and pack accordingly.
Westchester County is generally a safe place to visit, but it’s still important to take precautions, such as locking car doors and avoiding unfamiliar areas at night.
Westchester County is a beautiful and exciting destination that offers visitors and locals alike a wealth of activities and attractions. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventures, Westchester has something for everyone. With its vibrant culinary scene, stunning natural beauty, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered, Westchester County is a destination that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.