A Tank Away

Cold Spring offers a serene upstate N.Y. getaway

Boscobel House and Gardens, home of collections of furniture and decorative arts from the early-19th-century Federalist period, overlooks the Hudson River.
Boscobel House and Gardens, home of collections of furniture and decorative arts from the early-19th-century Federalist period, overlooks the Hudson River.

Craving a comforting, get-away-from-it-all weekend? Tucked along the banks of the scenic Hudson River, this serene rural village, surrounded by rolling hills and farmlands, is a delightful option. A longtime favorite haunt of American artists and painters, Cold Spring sits across the river from the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., with commanding views. Main Street is lined with shops and restaurants, and there’s plenty of hiking and biking in the area, and boating on the Hudson. Or, grab a seat on a waterfront bench and watch the river run.

Cold Spring’s exposure onto the Hudson River landscape was a magnet for artists.


Housed in a finely restored 1832 building, the Hudson House River Inn (2 Main St., 865-265-9355, www; $165-$210) has 11 cozy rooms and two suites, and most have views of the Hudson River. Splurge for a private balcony or a room with a walkout terrace. Down the street, the oh-so-romantic Pig Hill Inn (73 Main St., 865-265-9247, www.pighill; $150-$230) has nine intimate rooms, some with king beds and working fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. Housed in a three-story historic, 1825 brick structure, the inn is loaded with antiques and fine period reproductions.


Start your day at a local fave — which is also easy on the wallet — Foundry Cafe (55 Main St., 845-265-4504; $9-$15), serving delicious French toast, homemade muffins and scones, overstuffed omelets, and multigrain pancakes. For lunch, snag a spot at Silver Spoon (124 Main St., 845-265-2525, www.silverspooncold; $8.95-$12.95) for a bowl of homemade chili and a hefty Big Daddy burger. There’s a nice selection of salads and sandwiches, too. Plan at least one dinner at the lively and color-splashed Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill (91 Main St., 845-265-5582, www.tuscangrill
.com; $16-$36). It features a large antipasti selection, including the popular polenta with sautéed sausages and pan-seared scallops with a pancetta and fava bean salad. The house-made pasta dishes really shine here. Try the fresh pappardelle with pulled rabbit meat or the potato gnocchi with lamb ragu. Casual and cozy Le Bouchon (76 Main St., 845-265-7676; $15-$25) looks as if it was plucked from the French countryside, and serves homey classics, like steak frites, bouillabaisse, wine-steamed mussels, and garlicky escargots. The straightforward fare at the Riverview (45 Fair St., 845-265-5555,; $14.75-
$24.50) is consistently good. This cash-or-check-only joint has been around since 1941 and remains a local dining hot spot. Start with the crispy fried calamari, followed with a grilled rib eye steak or the signature seafood stew. The specialty pizzas ($9.95-$11.75) are fabulous.

The 1804 Federal mansion at Boscobel was moved to Cold Spring and restored when it faced demolition in the 1950s.



Visit the Boscobel House and Gardens (1601 Route 9D, 845-265-4405, www.boscobel
.org; $16, children ages 6-14 $8, under 6 free, closed January-March), where you can meander the 1.25-mile Woodland Trail, with sweeping views of the Hudson River, and tour the restored 1804 Federal style mansion. Paddle a canoe through the Hudson River flats on a naturalist-led tour at the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary (127 Warren Landing Road, 845-265-2601, www.constitution; guided canoe tours $25, children ages 7-15 $15, under 7 not permitted.) Several hiking trails also crisscross the 270-acre tidal marsh (pick up a trail map at the visitors center.) Garden lovers will not want to miss a visit to the 63-acre Stonecrop Gardens (81 Stone-crop Lake, 845-265-2000, www; $5, children 11 and under free, closed November-March), with rolling fields and woodlands, a conservatory, and 12 acres of displays, including water gardens, alpine stone beds, cliff rock gardens, and an enclosed English-style flower garden. Poke into the Putnam History Museum (63 Chestnut St., 845-265-4010, www.pchs-; $5), housed in a historic 1830 building, to learn a bit of local history and to check out the collection of paintings from the 19th-century Hudson River School. The museum also conducts free Heritage Way Walking Tours of the landmark Main Street District every Sunday. It’s easy to spend a few hours browsing Main Street shops. You’ll find a fun selection of handcrafted signs and folk art at the Country Touch (97 Main St., 845-265-5210, and all things Irish at Back in Ireland (167 Main St., 845-265-4570, www.backin, including vintage walking caps. Reigning Dogs and Cats, Too (169 Main St., 845-265-3239, www has everything your four-legged pals want or need.


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Stop by McGuire’s On Main (54 Main St., 845-265-6181,, a come-as-you-are neighborhood pub, for a pint of Guinness and late-night noshing. The Cold Spring Depot Restaurant (1 Depot Square, 845-265-5000, www.coldspring, in the original 1893 Cold Spring train station, has Dixieland music on weekends. The Philipstown Depot Theatre in nearby Garrison (Garrisons Landing, 845-424-3900, www.philipstown is housed in the 1892 Garrison train station, and features a wide array of community theater productions, concerts, and events.

Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at bair