Cold Spring, NY is one of our favorite daytrips from NYC. An hour on the MetroNorth puts you right in the heart of town and its scenic, walkable Main Street.
Though it’s only about half a mile long, Cold Spring’s Main Street packs a punch, with its cute boutiques and restaurants nearly packed in a row, made extra special by the scenic backdrop of its surrounding mountain landscape. Cold Spring is also home to one of the best and most famous Hudson Valley hikes, Breakneck Ridge. The combination makes it the perfect day trip: spend the morning hiking, then indulge in the shops, restaurants, and services that Cold Spring has to offer.
To get to Cold Spring, NY take the Hudson Line on the MetroNorth. If you’re going straight to town, get off at Cold Spring station; hikers can continue on to the Breakneck Ridge stop, which drops steps from the trailhead. (Note that you’ll need to catch specific trains for this stop, which only run on weekends and holidays. If not, you can rent a bike, or catch a cab.)
What to Do in Cold Spring, NY: Shop Main Street, Hike a Mountain, Visit a Design Legend’s Home
The Cornish Estate Ruins are incredibly accessible, just a 1.8 mile round-trip trek from the parking lot. All photos by Erin Lindsey/Escape Brooklyn.
One of Cold Spring’s biggest draws is Breakneck Ridge. The very popular trail, named for its short but steep scramble at the beginning, gives way to incredible views of the Hudson Valley. Despite its 10/10 difficulty rating, the trail is always crowded on weekends, though if you continue past the overlook it clears out considerably. Take the time to continue along the trail instead of heading back down — the views are totally worth it. (2021 update: new trails have been built this year to make the ridge’s peak ascents easier to access!)
Another nearby trail of interest is the Cornish Estate Trail, only 2 miles long and one of the coolest, most interesting hikes in the Hudson Valley. The short trail leads hikers to the ruins of a massive stone estate dating to 1910. Areas to explore include the house’s dramatic stone and brick remains (including stacks of fireplaces), and various structures including a swimming pool, greenhouse, a laundry facility, and a pump house.
For a more leisurely way to take in Mother Nature, visit Manitoga, the home, studio, and woodland garden of design legend Russel Wright. After the 90-minute tour, visitors are free to roam the three trails on the 75-acre property. All the outdoor spaces were designed by Wright himself, from the tree and boulder placements to the mossy forest floor. It’s a ten minute cab ride from Cold Spring, and tours are $20.
Cold Springs’ very attractive Main Street – easily accessed from the MetroNorth – offers boutiques, restaurants and more with a beautiful mountain backdrop.
With its many shops lining Main Street, it’s just as easy to spend the afternoon shopping in Cold Spring, NY. We’re big fans of Old Souls, an outdoor-themed shop carrying items for field, stream, camp and home. Taxidermy and historic flags line its walls, and the shop carries its own affordable graphic tees alongside high-end brands like Filson and Topo. Cold Spring General Store has a little bit of everything, from beer and cider to books and apparel. The shop features many local artisans and focuses on selling American, handmade goods with stories behind them. Right next door is Poor George, a perfectly curated shop featuring both vintage and new apparel, jewelry, fun housewares and stationary, and apothecary goods. For the nature lover in your life, get your plant fix at Wyld (weekdays only), or its annex inside Poor George; then stock up at Understory, a market offering low-waste dry goods and bulk refills.
Wynono & Company has some incredible vintage finds and handmade millinery made by the shop’s owner. Split Rock Books is a gem of a bookshop, with well-stocked fiction and an excellent kids’ section, plus a wonderful shop cat named Georgie. For all artists and aspiring artists, Supplies for Creative Living is well worth the visit, guaranteed to whet your creativity with its top art supplies. Speaking of art, Reservoir, which moved to Cold Spring from Beacon, is a great place to buy some. Prices run the gamut, but there are some very affordable items for the amateur collector. It also has the sweetest selection of kids’ apparel. Pink Olive, the go-to gift shop, also has some excellent things for baby, alongside delightful home and desk goods.
Cold Spring Apothecary is a stunner, with lovely beauty products, a salon, and a bulk goods shop for plastic-free living. Book a facial to add some luxury to your daytrip, or stop in to fill your medicine cabinet with the best of the best. For visitors with a car, The Parcel Flower Co. — a five-minute drive from the village — is a great stop for the perfect bouquet.
Where to Eat & Drink: the Best Restaurants in Cold Spring, NY
No hiking date Upstate is complete without an indulgent meal. Check out our Cold Spring, NY restaurant picks below.
For lighter breakfasts, Cold Spring Coffeehouse has dynamite pastries made fresh every day, alongside good coffee and lots of vegan and gluten-free items, and Sweet Harvest has smoothies, acai bowls, and to-go items like parfaits and chia puddings. For something heartier, Hudson Hil’s is the destination breakfast and lunch spot, with locally-sourced ingredients and some great gluten-free options. Put your name in early because there is usually a wait—or if short on time, duck into their market (to the left of the restaurant) and take a sandwich or coffee to go. They even sell “hikers lunches” with a sandwich, fruit, cookie and bottle of water. The Foundry is another solid breakfast option, though the weekend rush can get a little crazy. We save their famous pancakes for the weekdays when we know we can walk right in.
Aside from Hudson Hil’s, Cold Spring Cheese Shop has delicious sandwiches and offers to-go charcuterie boards, which make for an ideal riverside lunch or picnic. For an afternoon snack, get some empanadas from Rincon Argentino to eat as you walk, or reward the end of your Main Street stroll with ice cream from Moomoo’s Creamery, enjoyed best by the river.
For dinner, check out Brasserie Le Bouchon. Though the restaurant has plenty of outdoor seating, its interior decor makes for an imaginary trip to the French countryside. Order the Moules Frites and some great French wine and pretend you’re in a Godard movie. It’s a bit on the pricier side, but worth it for the ambiance. Also on the higher end are Riverview, which features a rotating menu filled with fresh and local fare and incredible pizza, and Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill, a delicious Italian spot with the cutest outdoor garden. For a more casual dinner, head to Cold Spring Depot for great burgers and pub fare alongside a strong beer and cocktail list. It also has the biggest outdoor space in town and is right by the train tracks, which makes for a fun dining attraction. A slightly more upscale pub option is J Murphy’s on Main, which serves a little bit of everything, food-wise, and has an impressive beer list.