17 Cool Things to do in Cold Spring, NY Travel Guide

We are absolutely in love with the Hudson Valley and its charming towns! After checking out some of the amazing things to do in Cold Spring, New York it quickly became one of our favorite towns and day trips from New York City. 

Just over an hour from the bright lights and vibrant energy of New York City is the village of Cold Spring. This cute destination is in the scenic Hudson Highlands, located at the deepest point of the Hudson River.

Cold Spring was in its heyday during the 19th Century, particularly during the Industrial Revolution, and it has preserved buildings and other landmarks from this time.

So what makes Cold Spring a great place to visit? Some of the most notable things to do in Cold Spring include hiking, exploring the scenic vistas, checking out historic exhibits and homes, and cruising Main Street!

There are also some great things to do near Cold Spring that make a trip here worthwhile. If you’re staying in New York City, a day trip to Cold Spring is an awesome getaway.

Or if you want to spend a handful of days here, there’s plenty to do in the area including visiting the nearby towns in the Hudson Valley, great towns in the Catskills, and even the awesome towns in the Berkshires are all within exploring distance!

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What to do in Cold Spring, New York

Explore Main Street

cute dogs on a walk down Main Street in Cold Spring New York in the Hudson Valley

Whether you’re doing a day trip to Cold Spring, or staying for a long weekend and have lots of time to check out all the things to do in Cold Spring, exploring Main Street should be at the top of the list. There are so many great shops and restaurants!

If you had to conjure up the image of a small, cozy American town in your mind, it probably looks like Cold Spring’s Main Street. Cruise up and down the street, while popping in and out of shops.

The dining options include pizza spots, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, and many restaurants with outdoor patios.

For shopping, offerings include upscale boutiques and antique shops. It would be quite easy to spend several hours just popping in and out of the shops, there are so many cool independent shops here. 

And, there’s an area by the river with gazebos and benches for taking a little break and enjoying the atmosphere. Additionally, many of the buildings on Main Street feature Colonial and Victorian architecture from the 19th century, so it really feels like you’ve stepped back in time a little bit.

Go Antique Shopping!

Cold Spring Antiques Center in the Hudson Valley New York

While you’re hitting up Main Street, you have to check out the antique shops! It’s certainly what to do in Cold Spring if you want to scoop up a souvenir to remember your time here. All of these antique stores are on Main Street, and definitely worth a visit to browse the aisles.

Cold Spring Antiques Center is a small shop that is jumbled with this and that, the kind of place where you have to dig and scavenge to find treasures. There are several vendors inside so you can easily get carried away with time in here browsing if you’re like me!

Bijou Galleries has a selection of books, antiques, art, and collectibles, and showcase pop-ups from several dealers.

Once Upon A Time will appeal to your sense of nostalgia, with old-fashioned toys and other various dated items.

Damn Aged Vintage has a curated selection of well-merchandised vintage clothing. 

MANITOGA – The Russel White Design Center

If you enjoy architecture, there’s no question about what to do in Cold Spring. You must visit Manitoga! Also known as the Russel Wright Design Center, this National Historic Landmark was the home of famous industrial designer Russel Wright.

Manitoga was his thoughtfully designed house, studio, and woodland garden. It’s a really cool and unique property that is situated in an old quarry. His house and studio is named Dragon Rock, and the home embraces the natural surroundings of the quarry.

An interesting fact is that Russel Wright used the studio not only for working but also for sleeping. There is lots of glass to meld the outdoors with the interior design, a 30 foot waterfall, and a quarry pool. Japanese architectural influences are noticeable throughout the home.

In addition to the house and studio, there is the woodland garden that spans 75 acres. The woodland trails are open daily, as long as it’s light outside all seasons.

In the fall, the foliage is fantastic, and you’ll feel like you have stepped into a Hudson River School landscape painting. To explore the woodland trails, there are three options for hikes, ranging from easy to moderate.

You can take a tour of Manitoga’s house, studio, and gallery through a 90-minute tour. The tour includes a slightly physical hike, and you will go up and down stone stairs and traverse uneven ground. If it’s raining, bring your raincoat and rainboots, as the tour will go on!

You will need to reserve a ticket for the specific date and time you want to attend.

As a heads up, large items like backpacks and camera equipment are not allowed on the tour, and only children 10 years old and older are allowed to attend the tours. Public tours are available from mid-May through mid-November. The busiest seasons are June, October, and November.

Magazzino Italian Art

Calling all Italian art aficionados! Magazzino Italian Art is a nonprofit museum and research center dedicated to Italian artists and Italian art. It’s fairly new, having opened in 2017, and sits on 5 acres. The museum includes the original building, designed by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo, as well as a pavilion known as the Robert Olnick Pavillion.

Visitors can explore the permanent Arte Povera exhibition, plus the research center. In addition, there’s a gorgeous pavilion with a gallery, multipurpose room, cafe, and store. 

What’s nice is that the cafe also has a menu of Italian dishes if you’re hungry, no need to leave the museum campus!

And, in a bit of an unexpected twist, one of the more unique things to do in Cold Spring is visit the museum’s donkeys! Located on the property are several Sardinian donkeys which you can visit.

The museum has summer and winter hours, and the basic overview is that the museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and is open 11:00 to 5:00 all other days, and sometimes is open until 6:00 during the summer. If you’re going to visit, the best idea is to make reservations.

West Point Foundry Preserve


One of the most well-known landmarks is being home to West Point Foundry Preserve. This site contributed greatly to the Industrial Revolution and was home to 19th-century ironworks that helped with building cannons during the Civil War.

This industrial site had ironworks that manufactured some of the original steam engines, locomotives, and pipes for the water system in New York City as well! 

The West Point Foundry Archeological Site, and the nearby Foundry Dock Park, was designated a National Historic Landmark. Coming here for a visit means you’ll not only get to enjoy the natural scenery but also learn about the Foundry’s past through preserved historical objects placed around the grounds.

There are hiking trails that go by the Foundry buildings if you’re aching to stay outdoors, as well as interpretative aspects that detail the area’s history and involvement with the Industrial Revolution and Civil War.

A great feature is the ability to tour the grounds through the audiovisual tour. All you need is headphones!

To visit the West Point Foundry Preserve, there is no fee to visit, and it’s open all year long. As far as what to do in Cold Spring from a historical perspective, be sure to check out this incredible landmark.

Little Stony Point


Within the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, there is a little piece of land that extends into the Hudson River that is known as Little Stony Point. This is a great little spot to check out for some scenic riverside views!

There is a brief hike uphill to reach this place, but the reward is an amazing panoramic view of the Hudson River. There is a beach here, called the Hudson River Beach.

To reach it, you will need to head out on a one mile loop trail on the waterfront of the Hudson River. Keep in mind that swimming is not permitted here at any time.

A cool aspect of Little Stony Point is that there is an old mine shaft that you can check out, because this area used to be associated with mining. In addition, there are several hiking trails nearby. Bull Hill is across from Little Stony Point, and Breakneck Ridge and Constitution Marsh are closeby as well. Or if you’re in the mood for shopping and dining, Little Stony Point is walkable to shops and restaurants, plus the MetroNorth station. This is a great place to include in a day trip to Cold Spring.

Foundry Dock Park

Looking for more scenic things to do in Cold Spring? You’re in luck because one of the best views of the Hudson River waterfront is directly off the Cold Spring train station at Foundry Dock Park, which also happens to be next to West Point Foundry Preserve too.

This park used to be a bustling loading dock of the West Point Foundry, and it’s included with the West Point Foundry Archeological Site as a National Historic Landmark.

If you enjoy watching birds, these spots are excellent for watching waterfowl and other migrating birds. The park is part of the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail Site, and to get out on the water you can rent a kayak or canoe through the Hudson River Expeditions. Foundry Dock Park is free to visit, and it’s open all year long.

Hudson Highlands State Park


Hiking in Hudson Highlands State Park is one of the most popular outdoor activities and things to do in Cold Spring. The reason is because there are many hiking trails to choose from with dramatic views of the Hudson River and surrounding ridges.

Hiking Breakneck Ridge is one of the most famous hikes here and arguably one of the most popular things to do in the Hudson Valley, but it’s hard! It’s a 3.2 mile loop, with steep areas where you will need to scramble across rocks. You may also see rock climbers during your hike on this trail. Also, make sure to take the yellow trail back down to find historic ruins dotted throughout Hudson Highlands’ tranquil woodlands.

The Bull Hill Loop is a 5.4 mile trail that is another challenging, popular hike. There are some steep areas, and you can expect to spend a few hours doing this hike. But, a cool aspect of this trail is that you can see views of the NYC skyline!

Please note that for the Bull Hill Loop, you can also start at Lonestar Trailhead.

Now, for those looking for an easy hike at Hudson Highlands State Park, check out the Cornish Estate Trail. It’s primarily on Stern-Cornish estate, which has a concrete driveway. You’ll be able to check out the ruins of the estate, which are pretty cool! The hike is 1.8 miles, and takes under an hour to do. A fun day trip to Cold Spring could be getting here early to do a hike, then spending the afternoon or evening relaxing on Main Street.

Boscobel House and Gardens

Editorial credit: James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

Just like most towns in New York, there are plenty of fascinating historic sites to explore and one of the best things to do in Cold Spring for history buffs is check out The Boscobel House and Gardens. This Historic House Museum that has a collection of decorative arts from the Federal Period, abundant gardens and a woodland path, plus views of the Hudson River.

The Neoclassical home was constructed between 1804 and 1808, and was built as the ideal home for rich Loyalists during this period.

Fast forward over a century later, and the home was actually torn down in the 1950s. In an attempt to preserve as much of the home as possible, pieces were scooped up and saved, and then reassembled at a different site about 15 miles away from the home’s original location.

Now sitting on almost 70 acres, you can visit the house and gardens. Guided house tours are available, and the one hour tour lets you see the amazing furniture collection of the home, with incredible pieces by famous cabinet maker Duncan Phyfe.

It’s best to book a reservation to ensure you are able to do the guided tour. Tour times vary, but typical tour times are between 10:00 and 3:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, and there is a fee for adults and children 4 years old and up.

If you’re just looking to check out the grounds and gardens, visiting hours are Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:00 to sunset. Things to see include an apple orchard, herb garden, formal garden, and easy one mile scenic hike on the Frances Stevens Reese Woodland Trail of Discovery. You can even picnic on the Great Lawn! There is a slightly lower fee than the guided tour fee to visit the grounds and gardens.

Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary

Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Cold Spring NY

Whether you’re a birdwatcher or not, you don’t want to miss the stunning views from the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Phillipstown. 

Located on the east shore of the Hudson River, this tidal marsh and wildlife preserve is part of the Hudson River Estuary, and it’s designated as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat.

Additionally, it has the distinction of being a New York State Bird Conservation Area, which is why this is what to do in Cold Spring if you’re into bird watching.

The Sanctuary engages in nature education programs, bird studies, invasive species management, and habitat restoration efforts. There is a path you can take to explore the area, the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Trail, and it’s open every day from sunrise to sunset. It’s a one mile round trip hike, and please note that some parts of the trail are steep and rough.

But, once you’ve done the hard work, you will come to a boardwalk where you can relax for a few minutes and take in views of the Hudson River Highlands. To visit the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary, your best bet is probably from the Boscobel House and Gardens, as there is access to the sanctuary’s trail system.

Otherwise, you can take the Cold Spring Trolley, or get dropped off via rideshare. Trying to get here by driving your own car is rather tricky, because of restrictions with parking.

Putnam History Museum

On the more educational side of things to do in Cold Spring is to check out the Putnam History Museum. It showcases the history of Putnam County, the West Point Foundry, and the Hudson Highlands. If you really enjoyed the West Point Foundry Preserve and are looking for more historical information about it, this museum is the place to go.

They have a permanent exhibition on the West Point Foundry that includes photos, artifacts, paintings, maps, films, and even a 10-pounder Parrott rifle. The Putnam History Museum also has indoor and outdoor exhibitions that change out from year to year.

Plus, a research library on site that you can visit by appointment only. Before leaving, make sure you stop by the museum shop to browse their selection of prints, books, pottery, toys, and other various items.

Indian Brook Falls

We love the waterfalls in New York and Cold Spring has easy access to one! Check out Indian Brook Falls, accessible by a brief hike takes you to the base of a waterfall, and you will really feel like you’re going through the wilderness because the trail isn’t as maintained as compared to the other hiking paths in the area.

Expect to be stepping over fallen tree branches, tree roots, streams, and other similar obstacles. Also note, there are not any markers to indicate or direct you where to go, so we recommend following a guide.

Your best bet for parking is probably to get dropped off near Indian Brook Road, or pay to park at Boscobel House and Gardens and walk to the trail as there is no designated area for parking.

Stonecrop Gardens

Editorial credit: Nancy Kennedy / Shutterstock

There are several things to do in Cold Spring that are relaxing and peaceful, but this next place has the added bonus of gathering inspiration for your home garden! Stonecrop Gardens is visually beautiful and is an amazing showcase of horticultural excellence.

Stonecrop became a public garden in 1992, sits at an elevation of 1,100 feet, and spans 15 acres. Among the things to see are vibrant woodland and water gardens, a lush grass garden, raised alpine stone beds, interesting cliff rock gardens, and a lovely English-style flower garden.

Additionally, there is a conservatory, an Alpine House on display, a Pit House where you can see select dwarf bulbs, and an array of beds showcasing dozens of plant families. It’s incredibly easy to spend several hours here, slowly making your way through the natural splendor.

To visit, self-guided tours are offered. There is a fee to get in for adults and older children, but kids under 3 get in free. Stonecrop Gardens is open in the warm months, and the visiting days and times may change from year to year. Based on prior years, it is open a few days during the week, plus Saturdays and one Sunday per month.

Take a Kayak Tour

If you love being out on the open water, consider taking a kayak or paddleboard tour through Hudson River Expeditions. They offer a variety of tours to appeal to different interests and activities.

From slow-paced and fast-paced excursions to trips that take you to a gorgeous waterfall, as well as outings to other places on this list like Hudson Highlands and Constitution Marsh, there’s a good bit to choose from. 

Things to do Near Cold Spring

Bannerman Castle on the Hudson River near the town of Beacon New York in the Hudson Valley in the fall

There are a few things to do near Cold Spring that are absolutely worth checking out! As mentioned before, if you’re coming here for a few days then you will want to take advantage of the surrounding towns, natural areas, and exploring up and down the Hudson River Valley.

Check out Beacon

Main Street in Beacon New York in the fall in the Hudson Valley

This is one of the closest things to do near Cold Spring that is a must (especially if you loved the town of Cold Spring!). Another charming places to visit is the town of Beacon, just 7 miles away from Cold Spring and less than 15 minutes by car.

Beacon is on the MetroNorth line as well in case you’re traveling by train. In the main part of town, there are shops, art galleries, museums, and nice restaurants. You can also stroll the waterfront, and look at all the cool Victorian architecture around town.

If you’re in the mood for physical activity, check out the hiking trails on Mount Beacon. Another one of the things to do near Cold Spring is tour Bannerman Castle. You will take a 30 minute boat ride to the castle, and the boat leaves from Long Dock Park in Beacon. Once you reach the castle, there is a 45 minute guided walking tour, where you will see the Bannerman Castle ruins and gardens.

Last but not least, Storm King Art Center is one of the things to do near Cold Spring that is pretty cool. Named after Storm King Mountain, this open-air outdoor museum collects and showcases modern sculptures. The museum sits on 500 acres, and it’s a nice way to get fresh air while enjoying the large and interesting objects on display.

Also, the natural backdrop of the museum’s setting is lovely. Please note that the museum is closed during winter months, and they have a shuttle but it goes to Beacon, not Cold Spring so you’ll want to have a car for this attraction.

How to Get to Cold Spring, NY


Now that we’ve gone over all the awesome things to do in Cold Spring NY, how do you get there? By driving or taking the MetroNorth! Cold Spring is about 1.25 hours away from New York City, and clocks in at just under 60 miles.

And whether you drive or take the train, you can expect a travel time of a little over an hour to reach your destination. If you decide to take the MetroNorth, it departs from Grand Central Terminal in NYC, and you will need to take the Hudson Line. And if you’re interested in things to do near Cold Spring, taking the MetroNorth can be a good option as well.

Where to Stay in Cold Spring

Pig Hill Inn in Cold Spring New York

If you plan to do more than just a day trip to Cold Spring, some terrific accommodations put you in the middle of all the action.

Pig Hill Inn dates back to 1825, and is located on Main Street. It’s three stories and offers nine rooms, each decorated in a different style. But no matter what room you stay in, there’s a cozy, cottage-y feel throughout all the bedrooms. And, you can even book a massage in your room!

A full breakfast is included with your stay, which you can enjoy on the glass Victorian Conservatory or the garden terrace. The Pig Hill Inn allows children 7 and older to stay, and pets are not allowed.

Another fantastic option is the Hudson House River Inn, a waterfront hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed in 1832, and it opened as a hotel, and is still a hotel to this day. Enjoy the scenery of West Point, Storm King Mountain, and the Hudson River.

This Inn has 11 rooms and 2 suites, many of which have river views, and some even have balconies or terraces. Additionally, there are some great dining options here. The River Room, named because of the restaurant’s view of the Hudson, is known for steaks and fish.

And the Tavern Room has offerings on the lighter side, making it a good lunch spot. And if you like wine, be sure to check out the wine selections at both restaurants.

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