Cold Spring Day Trip From New York City

Cold Spring is a great day trip from New York City and this guide shows you the best things to do in Cold Spring.

Most people come to visit New York for New York City, but what if you want to escape the bustling and hustling of New York City just for a day? There are many day trip (or even weekend trip) options to get away from New York City, but I think the cutest one so far has been my Cold Spring day trip from New York City during the MLK weekend.

Cold Spring is an idyllic town about 1.5 hours drive from Manhattan. It is a popular destination during the summer due to its proximity to the Hudson River. Cold Spring is a small town but it has a lot of cute restaurants, cafes and shops. What’s even more note worthy are all the hikes around this area that attracts thousands of visitors.

There are many ways you can spend a day in Cold Spring NY depends on your interest. You can spend the day walking around town, try different restaurants and cafes, hop into antique shops and relax by the waterfront. Or you can do something more adventurous in Cold Spring, which involves some light hiking to see beautiful places you didn’t even know that existed in New York!

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Cornish Ruin Cold Spring NY

How to Get to Cold Spring from New York

There are a couple of different ways to get to Cold Spring from New York City whether you have a car or not.

Taking the train to Cold Spring: From Grand Central in NYC, take the Hudson Line on Metro North and get off at Cold Spring (or Breakneck Ridge Station for hiking the Breakneck Trail on the weekend).

Driving to Cold Spring: Cold Spring is about 1.5 hour drive from Manhattan. When I visited there was plenty of street parking once we arrived at Cold Spring.

What to do in Cold Spring NY for a day

Explore Cold Spring Main Street

Cold Spring is a very walkable town (since it’s quite small). Most of the restaurants, cafes and shops are on Main Street in Cold Spring. When you first arrive, walk around Main Street and check out the stores.

Cold Spring Winter New York

We visited Cold Spring in the winter and it was still very fun. On Main Street we walked by some really cute stores selling signs and souvenirs. Cold Spring is actually known for its arty stores and many shops sell antiques.

Cold Spring Winter New York

You will also see many cafes and restaurants on Main Street. Maybe because we visited in the winter, there weren’t many people in the morning and most of the stores open at noon. I imagine there would be a lot more visitors in the summer.

Cold Spring Day Trip From New York

Get Brunch in Cold Spring

We stopped by a brunch place called Hudson Hil’s Cafe (probably one of the only restaurants that was open before noon in Cold Spring). NO surprise it was packed but food was really delicious.

Hudson Hils Cold Spring Menu

Only after I visited that I realized Hudson Hil’s is one of the most popular brunch restaurants in Cold Spring. The restaurant mostly sources local and organic food and it’s since become one of the best restaurants in Cold Spring.

Hudson Hils Brunch Cold Spring

At Hudson Hil’s, you will find all day breakfast menu and lunch menu with all sorts of delicious food. My personal favorite is the Chocolate Babka French Toast, which was rich and delicious.

Hudson Hils Cold Spring Brunch

If you don’t like to hike…

There are two types of people that visit Cold Spring, the people that like to hike and the people that don’t like to hike.

If you are not interested in hiking on your day trip to Cold Spring, don’t worry, there are plenty of other things to do in Cold Spring!

cold Spring in the fall

West Point Foundry Preserve

West Point Foundry Preserve is the abandoned site of a Civil War artillery foundry and ironworks. It was one of the most famous machine shops that produced Parrott riffle artillery and other weapons during the Civil War.

It is now a National Historic Landmark and an open air museum as well as a park. You can walk around the park (although there is a half-mile “hiking” trail), take the unique audiovisual tour, see the abandoned buildings and two waterfalls!

You can also visit the nearby Putnam History Museum, a local museum with artifacts and stories of the history of the West Point Foundry.

The Chapel Restoration

The Chapel Restoration is an historical Greek style church originally built for the European workers that worked at West Point Foundry. Now the Chapel is not affiliated with any particular religion.

During the day you can visit the Chapel. The Chapel can also be rented out for events and weddings and is the event place for many free concerts, lectures and music series.

Cold Spring Farmers’ Market

If you are visiting Cold Spring on a Saturday, then you are in luck! The Cold Spring Farmers market is open only on Saturdays from 8:30 to 1pm.

At the farmers’ market you will find fresh produce and seasonal vegetables as well as baked goods, meat and dairy. It is located in the Boscobel House and Gardens (see below).

Boscobel House and Gardens

Boscobel House and Gardens is a 19th century historical Georgian mansion. It has beautiful gardens, orchards and a sweeping view of the Hudson with the Marsh below.

Be sure to check the schedule online before you visit since they are closed a few days of the week!

If you like to hike…

There are several beautiful and famous hikes around Cold Spring. The most popular hike near Cold Spring is Breakneck Ridge.

Breakneck Ridge is a relatively short hike (depending on the trail you choose) with a short but steep scramble at the beginning of the trail. There is a rewarding view of the Hudson River at the top of the trail. Generally people hike it in the fall due to beautiful foliage color changing.

During this winter Cold Spring day trip from New York City, we tried some short hikes near Cold Spring that were both short but with nice views.

Constitution Marsh & Indian Brooks Fall

Constitution Marsh Hike Cold Spring

One hike you can do on your Cold Spring day trip from New York City is the Constitution Marsh & Indian Brooks Fall (you can see the Marsh from Boscobel House and Gardens). The trailhead of Constitution Marsh a short drive (~10 minute) from Cold Spring Main Street.

Constitution Marsh Hike Cold Spring

Once you park the car, it is about an hour hike (round trip) to the marsh. The Constitution Marsh trail is extremely easy but if you go in the winter it could occasionally get slipper before you get to the boardwalk.

Cold Spring day trip from New York City

Constitution Marsh Hike Cold Spring

Indian Brooks Fall hike Cold Spring

After coming back from the marsh, you can walk down towards the bridge to start your “hike” to the Indian Brooks Fall. It was a little confusing to find the train at first but to access the trail you will need to walk under the bridge. The bridge should be behind you during your hike and the stream should be on your left.

Indian Brooks Fall hike Cold Spring
Stream should be on your left
Indian Brooks Fall hike Cold Spring

Little Stony Point

After hiking Constitutional Marsh and Indian Brooks Falls, you can do another short hike during your Cold Spring day trip from New york City. This short hike is called Little Stony Point.

Little Stony Point is closer to the city called Beacon (discussed more below) than Cold Spring; it is only a 6 mile drive from Beacon. The Little Stony Point sometimes is missed by visitors who go to the better known “bigger” hikes such as Bull Hill (right across the street) or Breakneck Ridge (1 mile from the Breakneck Ridge trail head).

Little Stony Point is more of a walk rather than a hike. It is a great place to walk on the beach, swim (when it’s not cold although not recommended), and see the sunset.

Little Stony Point Hudson Valley Hikes
Beach at Little Stony Point

You probably will first stop by the beach before heading uphill (very short uphill) for a better view of the Hudson River and the sunset.

Little Stony Point Hudson Valley Hikes
Sunset from the top

Other Things to Do Near Beacon

Explore Beacon

Beacon is a town very close to Cold Spring; it is a slightly bigger town about 10 minutes north of Cold Spring. Beacon is famous for its museum called Dia: Beacon, RM from BTS once went to visit Dia: Beacon when he was on holiday in the US.

There are even more shops and restaurants in Beacon than in Cold Spring. If you have time, definitely explore Beacon and walk along the waterfront in the summer! For more information on things to do in Beacon, visit their official website.

Beacon itself can be a nice day trip from New York City or you can combine it with a hike.

Bannerman Castle

Bannerman-Castle new york from Beacon

Another awesome thing you can do near Cold Spring and Beacon is to tour Bannerman Castle. Bannerman Castle is an abandoned military surplus warehouse on Pollepel Island (now known as Bannerman’s Island), a small uninhabited island on the Hudson River near Cold Spring and Beacon.

You can do a ferry tour of Bannerman Castle from Beacon or you can also kayak/canoe with your own Kayak/Canoe from Cold Spring or Beacon then enjoy a walking self-guided tour around the Bannerman Island.

Chuang Yen Monastery

If you don’t mind driving a bit, the Chuang Yen Monastery is a nice Buddhist monastery about 20 minutes away from Cold Spring.

Chuang Yen Monastery near Beacon; hidden gem in upstate New York

It is free to enter and the Monastery houses the largest Buddha Vairocana statue in the US. The Buddha statue is surrounded by about 10000 smaller Buddha statues in the main pavilion of the monastery.

The area is large, with 100+ acres of land, with a lake, different statues and various buildings. The architectural style is from the Tang Dynasty.

Although free, you can donate to the monastery. They do offer lunch from 11am to 1pm but you can also bring food to picnic.

You have to dress appropriately to visit the monastery and no filming or videos allowed. The monastery is open daily from 10am to 3pm.

Stonecrop Gardens

If you are looking for a beautiful place with some tranquility, then don’t miss Stonecrop Gardens, a public garden in Cold Spring. Stonecrop Gardens used to be a private home owned by Anne and Frank Cabot but became a public garden in 1992.

The garden covers about 15 acres of land and there is a collection of various gardens and plants including woodland and water garden, grass garden, cliff rock gardens, conservatories and others.

The garden is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It is also open one Sunday every month. You need a reservation to visit during the weekends but no reservations are needed during the week. The garden is open from April through October.

Fishkill Farm

Fishkill Apple Orchard best apple picking in New York City

If you are thinking about picking fruits then you are in luck. Fishkill Farm is about 20 minutes away from Cold Spring and they offer all sorts of fruit picking from summer to the end of fall.

You can find berries in the summer and Asian pear and apple during the fall. The grounds are large and there is also a corn maze and a free hayride.

Is Cold Spring worth visiting for a day?

Cold Spring NY

There are a lot of great things to do on a Cold Spring day trip from New York City any time of the year especially if you are active. If you like to hike you can definitely spend a weekend in Cold Spring or Beacon to hike some of the bigger hikes with amazing views of the Hudson Valley.

If you don’t like to hike but you enjoy exploring small towns or you love art and antiques, then you can spend the day walking around Cold Spring, check out all the cute little shops, see art at Buster Levi Gallery, chill at a cafe, and enjoy some great views of the Hudson River.

If you are adventurous, you can venture outside of Cold Spring, see the abandoned Bannerman Castle, or go to Magazzino Italian Art center and Stonecrop Gardens.

So yes Cold Spring is definitely worth at least a day trip (if not a weekend trip) from New York City.

Additional New York Resources

If you are interested in other things to do in New York, whether itโ€™s exploring more farms or find the best places to go for Christmas, see my other New York City blogs.

New York City Seasonal and Family Friendly Articles

Christmas and Holiday Season in New York City

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Cold Spring Day Trip from NYC
Cold Spring Day Trip from NYC