Which Village on the Hudson River Is Right for You?
The villages along the Hudson River each have a distinct flavor. Tarrytown, for instance, has more five-star restaurants than anywhere else in the area. If memorable meals are a draw for you, you definitely want to check out this riverfront community.
Beacon takes the top spot when it comes to craft beers, although it definitely has a lot of competition these days. And several villages — including Hastings-On-Hudson and Peekskill — compete for the attention of art lovers.
The point is that when you’re considering where to put down roots, you should consider what each village has to offer. Read on to see which of them you should visit when deciding on where to look for your next home.
You’re a serious foodie
Cutting-edge chefs from New York City and even further afield seem to be drawn to the Hudson Valley. That probably not surprising, since the region is known for the remarkably fresh produce grown at farms surrounding every village. If you need convincing, then head to the Cold Spring Farmers’ Market, held on the historic grounds of Boscobel in Garrison.
One of the country’s best restaurants, Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a point of pride for residents Tarrytown. When awarding it two Michelin stars, the judges said the menu “might very well change the way you think about food.” Chef Dan Barber is a champion of sustainability, and he works with more than 60 small farms to make sure everything in dishes like pheasant with a stew of frostbitten carrots or pork with Jerusalem artichokes and preserved apricots comes from the surrounding area.
But that’s not the only reason foodies should venture to Tarrytown. With huge windows overlooking the gleaming Cuomo Bridge, RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen occupies one of the village’s most picturesque spots. And the interior, which features a 200-year-old chevron-patterned maple floor, makes it one of the most beautiful places to dine along the Hudson River Line. But it’s the fabulous food at this farm-to-table eatery that you’ll remember most. The staff can tell you where just about every item on the menu was sourced.
A little closer to New York City, Irvington has a handful of award-winning eateries. If you’re in the mood for elevated Mediterranean fare, take a seat in the mahogany-paneled dining room of MP Taverna. Chef Michael Psilakis does wonders with simple dishes like grilled branzino with cherry tomatoes, olives, and lemon. At the longtime favorite Chutney Masala, Chef Navjot Arora shows off the skills he learned at one of India’s top culinary schools. This is South Asian cooking at its finest.
In nearby Dobbs Ferry, you can’t do better than a meal at The Cookery. Chef David DiBari is a visionary, transforming market-fresh ingredients into unforgettable dishes. If you have a big group, consider the whole suckling pig that he carves himself tableside.
There are very few eateries in Garrison, but the ones that are there are stellar. The venerable Bird and Bottle has been around since 1761, making it 15 years older than the country. It doesn’t look it age at all, because a top-to-bottom renovation in 2020 has made it look better than ever.
In Poughkeepsie, the clean, crisp IPAs from Mill House Brewing Co. have gotten so popular that they’re distributed across the state. But the location — a rustic mill with rough-hewn beams, wide-plank wood floors, and stained-glass windows — is well worth a visit. The elevated pub grub is just as memorable.
You’re an art aficionado
Most of the villages along the Hudson Rail Line have at least one art gallery. But these three standouts are known for attracting artists who have been inspired by the sweeping views over the water.
Considered the “artsiest” of all the villages along the Hudson River, Hastings-On-Hudson has been attracting artists since the 19th-century, when Jasper Francis Cropsey and other members of the Hudson River School painted landscapes that “started viewers with their boldness and brilliance.” Locals are proud to claim him as one of their own, and recommend out-of-towners take in a few of his works in Hastings-On-Hudson’s Newington-Cropsey Foundation Gallery of Art.
One of the Hudson Valley’s highest concentrations of artists can be found in Peekskill. Thanks to a forward-thinking town council that decided to transform empty storefronts into places where artists could live and work, there are more than 100 art studios in Peekskill. Many of them are open to the public. If your time is limited, see works by several of the region’s best-known artists at Hudson Valley MOCA. You might even get the chance to speak to some of the artists showing their works.
The monthly Second Saturday celebration is a great reason to visit Beacon. Practically all of the village’s galleries throw open their doors, allowing art lovers to see works by many of the village’s painters and sculptors. Jot down the names of these don’t-miss galleries before you visit: Analog Diary, Clutter Gallery, and Super Secret Projects. The main reason first-timers come to Beacon is to take in Dia Beacon. The magnificent contemporary art museum, housed in a factory that once manufactured cracker boxes, is definitely well worth the trip.
You’re a craft beer connoisseur
One village stands head-and-shoulders above the rest when it comes to craft beer: Beacon. It has several establishments that pay homage to hops, but it would still top this list if it only had Industrial Arts Brewing Company and the Hudson Valley Brewery. We love the industrial feel of both of these renowned breweries. Lines often span the length of the parking on Saturday mornings when Hudson Valley Brewery releases cans of their latest offerings. Draught Industries is another favorite spot in Beacon, as is 2 Way Brewing Company.
Part of the Factoria at Charles Point, the River Outpost Brewing Co. is one of the most popular dining and drinking destinations in Peekskill. This spot on the waterfront used to produce prodigious quantities of gin and vodka, but now the focus is on small batches of lagers, porters, and other craft beers. Another option here is the Peekskill Brewery, which brews an exemplary selection of IPAs.
Croton-On-Hudson made it onto this list because of a relative newcomer, the Croton Tapsmith. It opened in 2020 and started winning awards right away. The beers on tap come from breweries up and down the Hudson Valley and usually include a lager, an ale, and an IPA. When you hear people speaking fondly of “La Belle Sophia,” they’re referring to the place’s beloved pizza oven.
Wappinger Falls gets high marks for the Obercreek Brewing Company, which uses hops grown on the nearby farm. In Poughkeepsie, Plan Bee Farm Brewery gets high marks for using only ingredients sourced from New York State in its fun and funky farmhouse ales. One favorite, made with locally grown cucumbers and dill, is called Pickle.
You’re a fan of outdoor activities
Honestly, there’s nowhere in the Hudson Valley that puts you too far from nature. In fact, many of our favorite destinations have several trails that run through the center of the village. Even Ossining, big enough to qualify as the region’s major metropolis, is bisected by the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. Surprisingly, this is one of the most unspoiled sections of the 26-mile trail, looking pretty much the same way it did a century ago.
But there are a couple of villages that seem to draw nature lovers because of their proximity to state parks. Sleepy Hollow gives you the most direct access to the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, which includes a 45-mile-long network of carriage roads that take you through woodlands and across streams. The stone bridges along the way are some of the most beautiful sights in the area.
Cold Spring is the gateway to one of the most beloved spots for outdoor enthusiasts, the 8,000-acre Hudson Highlands State Park. The best-known hiking trails through the park include Breakneck Ridge and Bull Hill. Both have challenging sections, but the reward is stellar views of the Hudson River.