Part of the MTA + James Beard Foundation DineAWAY series
Garrison, New York — heard of it? It's one cool place for a day trip, or even a weekend away. And you just need to jump on the Metro-North Hudson Line for a scenic 75-minute journey along the Hudson River from Grand Central Terminal (and just 30 minutes from Poughkeepsie).
Under 75 minutes from Grand Central or 30 minutes from Poughkeepsie
Be sure to grab a coffee and a bite to eat for your ride! From NYC, drop into Zaro’s Family Bakery on the main level of Grand Central, or in Poughkeepsie, you can dash into The Poughkeepsie Grind on your way to the station.
Sit back and enjoy the scenic trip — the train stops at Garrison’s Landing, and there's a postcard-cute park and shops in the hamlet of Philipstown. Stroll around the park and get some selfies at the gazebo with the river and its west bank behind you. All this historic quaintness gains two new attractions this year — the renaissance of a historic inn, The Bird & Bottle, and an epic old world weekend party, Kingdom Faire.
Below, find some suggestions to help you plan your trip — some are walkable from Garrison Landing Station, but for a longer visit, grab a cab at the station or arrange a Zipcar.
Before you leave home, download the map for Arden Point - Hudson Highlands State Park. A short walk south (just a couple of minutes) from the station you’ll see two pillars and a sign marking the trailhead. This is a beautiful, easy stroll down to the water’s edge, in any weather condition. Follow the blue trail under the tracks to the right and wind up at a peninsula, Arden Point, a rocky bluff overlooking the Hudson River. At water’s edge there's a sweeping vista, this is the best place to see West Point. Major major photo op!
The short loop can be walked in less than an hour. In addition to an easy, pleasant hike along the river, you’ll come across some building ruins and a quaint wooden footbridge.
If you’re up for a longer hike, head south to follow the red blaze trail. This hike through Glenclyffe, a 93-acre historic preserve in the Hudson River Highlands (on the same map), is a 3.7-mile loop. It has some ungroomed footpaths but it's worth it. Keep the river to your right and you won’t get lost. You’ll come to a rustic wooden gazebo — a good rest stop or picnic place — then a large red brick building, once home to New York Governor Hamilton Fish.
Right by the tracks is the Philipstown Depot Theater (yep, the building once housed the ticket booth and waiting area). It had been closed due to Covid but reopened on a limited schedule this March. Concerts, plays and workshops are mostly weekends now. This marks its 25th year of showcasing all kinds of music and arts, so expect fab events to be added.
Quaint. Cute. Antipodean is a serious stop for booklovers just a few steps from the station! Set up like a wonderful old library, it is especially appealing to those who collect antique volumes, first editions or relish reading serious history. Pick up a few gifts, including old maps, prints and postcards.
Art lovers must stop: Garrison Art Center. In 1964, art-minded residents organized shows of local artists which then blossomed into a full-blown Art Center for all the Hudson Valley. Perched on the east bank of the Hudson, just a short walk north of the Metro-North stop, is Riverside Galleries, featuring works by known and up-and-coming artists.
Love a little Hudson River beauty, an evening of fun and Shakespeare all rolled into one? You must attend one festival performance at the new Garrison location of Hudson Valley Shakespeare (HVSF). Actors will perform under HVSF’s seasonal tent while construction gets underway on their new permanent outdoor theater. 2022 season performances include reimagining the bard’s “Romeo & Juliet” as well as a totally outrageous new work “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” by Anne Washburn, featuring the unlikely hero, Bart Simpson (yes, of The Simpsons TV fame). Ticket sales begin April 14. Click on our link to see the latest schedule and become a member.
Kicking off April 30 and running weekends through Memorial Day Monday, Kingdom Faire is one big, day-long party with music, performances, crafts and eats designed to bring out your inner damsel or knight. Whether you ID as royalty or rouge, the medieval event packed party rocks old world. Enjoy shows such as The Pirate Queen: An Original Theatrical Production; Circus Siren Pod, a sexy water performance by “mermaids”; and Floor Obsession, a dynamic break dance crew from NYC. Want thrills and chills? See The Old World Danger Show, the breathtaking duo of Kita St. Cyr and Romeno the Dapper Daredevil with their knife-throwing, fire-breathing and whip-cracking act.
A must-visit while here is Dolly's, a comfy, James Beard Foundation-recommended restaurant just a short stroll north of the station. Whether dining on the dockside patio or inside the cozy eatery you get spectacular views of the Hudson River. Pop in or order takeout after 4 pm Wednesday through Sunday. From soups, salads and sandwiches to charbroiled burgers and steaks, you’ll be one full and happy traveler.
For a more elegant option, try The Garrison’s Valley Restaurant, a short cab ride from the station. With its season changing menu, diners delight in the melding of local ingredients into international cuisine. The menu changes daily with such tasty small plates as white sweet potato soup and yellowfin tuna sashimi and main courses as Berkshire pork belly tacos to Long Island duck breast. Executive Chef Vinny Macarski is a Hudson Valley native who graduated from the acclaimed HV Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
Extend your visit with an overnight at The Garrison, an intimate seven-room inn, that is oh so indulgent. The rooms are modern and bright. But it’s the epic view of the Hudson River and nearby mountains that will leave you breathless. With 300-acres and an 18-hole golf course, there’s plenty of space to stroll and dream. Want to really, really relax? Swim in one of the pools, soak in the jacuzzi, or get a fabulous facial or massage at the spa.
If you plan a trip later in the year, watch for the newest old venue near Garrison - The Bird & Bottle Inn, opening late Spring 2022. This sunny yellow inn began in 1761 as a stagecoach stop, grew into a tavern, then blossomed into an inn… but sadly, it closed in 2019. Now under the ownership of Marjorie Tarter, it’s coming back to life with the team behind the Roundhouse in Beacon. The inn, restaurant and event space is being lovingly restored. The restaurant seats 50 with an old-fashioned taproom and lounge sipping cocktails. In an email to HVH, Tarter wrote: “Taking the lead as the new stewards of this amazing 260-year-old property has been a bit of a challenge but most of all a true labor of love. An honor.” So keep checking their website and make reservations as soon as you can!
For more DineAWAY ideas:
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Rockville Centre: Village Vibe on Long Island's South Shore
Guide To A Perfect Day In Crown Heights
A Local's Guide to the Bustling Neighborhood of Astoria
Staten Island Might Just Be the Next Great Culinary Destination
A Local’s Guide to Park Slope
A Delicious Walking Tour of Arthur Ave in the Bronx