Peekskill is a small city on the Hudson River, just 50 miles north of New York City. Over the past couple years, more and more daytrippers are making the short trek to Peekskill, largely due to Peekskill Brewery and the beautiful waterfront area. A short fifteen minute walk from the waterfront and up the hill will take you into the heart of town, which is very walkable with a few places to pop into a thrift store or a coffee shop. Like many other river towns along the Hudson, Peekskill is going through a bit of a renaissance: new businesses are emerging, and there’s a renewed interest in preserving it’s history. Every time we visit, it seems like there’s a new restaurant or bar, but it’s a good change; where storefronts once stood empty, people are moving in. Whether you’re spending a day in Peekskill, or just passing through, it’s a good little off-the-radar spot in the Hudson Valley.
To get here, take the short ride on the MetroNorth Hudson Line to Peekskill, or rent a car to explore the area for the day.
What to Do in Peekskill: Come for the Brewery, Stay to Explore Around Town
Most daytrippers end up sticking to the waterfront area; partly because it’s really close to the MetroNorth, but also because it’s hard to make it past the Peekskill Brewery. There’s no doubt that sipping craft brews in this beautiful, sunlit space is an awesome way to spend an afternoon in the Hudson Valley. A continuously rotating beer lineup features both Peekskill Brewery’s own craft beers–with some staples, and some seasonal specialties–but also guest brewers as well. And with lunch and dinner offerings, it’s easy to get sucked in here. (We won’t judge you if you don’t make it into town, but make sure to catch the sunset from the park across the brewery!)
But walking up into town is a great option, too. Start your day grabbing a coffee at Peekskill Coffee House and hit the town’s thrift stores, antique shops and boutiques. Our favorite shop here is Bruised Apple, a small new-and-used bookstore has little clippings and signs at every turn. It’s the epitome of an indie book shop, nostalgic for a time when books were all tangible and music was best heard on vinyl. The store is made up of a series of little rooms to explore, has a great collection of local interest books, and a room full of vinyl, CD’s and even cassette tapes. New in 2016, the Marketplace at the Flatz is a new market set right on Main Street, open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The market features some of the best regional goods, crafts, eats, and more.
Last, for those looking to spend some time outdoors, nearby Blue Mountain Reservation is an 1,800-acre site with 22 miles of hiking trails spread across hills and valleys. The easiest trails here are the Dickey Brook and Boundary Trail. A climb on a clear day at Mt. Spitzenburg gives way to sweeping views of the Hudson River all the way to New York City. The trailheads and park entrance is about a 1.5 mile, twenty minute walk through town from the Peekskill train station. To walk the 1.5 miles to the park, head east from the station on Hudson Avenue; turn right on Washington Street; turn left onto Welcher Avenue, and the park entrance is visible straight ahead. From the entrance kiosk, bear left to head up to parking lot 3 for trail access. Check this map to see its trails.
Where to Eat and Drink in Peekskill: A Taco Dive Bar, Restored 1940’s Tavern, and the Brewery
We often stop in Peekskill for the one-two punch of Ramanesque and Peekskill Brewery. While Peekskill has great beer, Ramenesque has our favorite bowl of noodles in New York State. It’s set in the heart of town, totally unpretentious and charming; we’ve always walked right in here and been able to grab a seat and never leave disappointed. For those seeking more of a gastropub atmosphere, Birdsall House is a beautifully restored 1940’s bar serving up craft beer and farm-to-table fare. Their beer list is constantly rotating, and they host fun events like industry and movie night. The same guys also own Gleason’s, serving up farm to table pizza in a similar atmosphere. Last, new to Peekskill is Taco Dive Bar, which is set conveniently right next to the train station and the waterfront. If there’s no space, order takeout and enjoy at the park. Or if you’re catching the train home, we imagine those tacos go down real good with a Peekskill Brewery growler.