Residents of the River House are extremely fortunate as they are never at a loss for “things to see and do.” As the executive director of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in downtown Peekskill, recently asserted in a special letter to the community:
“We are so lucky to be living in the Gateway of the Hudson Valley. With the magnificent Hudson River as our backdrop (not to mention Bear Mountain State Reservation at our doorstep), we enjoy an abundance of parks, recreational activities and festivals; art galleries, museums, fabulous dining and nightlife; world class music and theater, and great shopping. We (also) have plentiful and convenient transportation and are less than an hour from Manhattan (via Metro North’s Hudson Line Division).”
By that, she means the choices are endless and they all begin right here in Peekskill. While we cannot include every cultural and recreational activity, nor every restaurant or nightspot, a convenient sampler of “Things To See & Do” follows on these web pages, beginning with Attractions in Peekskill. As time goes by, we will update the various lists that also include shopping, dining, and more. And if you have any recommendations, let us know.
Welcome to the new River House website. Welcome to Peekskill, the Gateway of the Hudson Valley!
Annsville Creek Paddlesport Center—“Hand-powered” boating facility sells and rents kayaks and canoes, among other water-related activities (www.paddlesportcenter.com).
Business Expo—An annual networking event that offers a chance to meet and greet with business owners from around the area, and features prizes, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and WHUD’s Mike Bennett who traditionally emcees the event (www.hvgatewaychamber.com).
Aaron Copeland House—The famous 20th Century composer’s former home was once a part of Peekskill, but is now a part of Cortlandt Manor. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home is active with musical events and, as a center, both fosters and encourages young musicians (www.coplandhouse.org).
Old Saint Peter’s Church—Built in 1767, the “old red church” was used as a meeting house when General Washington was in town, as well as a hospital by General Rochambeau’s troops during the American Revolution. It features a cemetery of American and French soldiers who served and died for the American cause (www.hudsonriver.com).
Main Street—A short drive up from Peekskill, Cold Spring is an historic 19th Century riverside community that is its own attraction with historic sites, interesting boutiques and antiques shops, as well as a number of restaurants and eateries (www.hvhg.com).
Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School Museum—Features the Hudson River school or artists, as well as a collection of artifacts and documents from the West Point Foundry, among other historical components (845-265-4010).
Stonecrop Gardens—12 acres include gardens, fields and woodlands “at a windswept elevation of 1,100 feet in the Hudson Highlands” (845-265-2000).
Boscobel Restoration Estate—19th Century mansion features guided tours of the estate and annual activities, including an outdoor Shakespeare Festival (www.boscobel.org).
Garrison Art Center—Located at Garrison’s Landing, GAC offers regularly scheduled exhibits and instructive classes in all mediums (www.garrisonartcenter.org).
Russel Wright Design Center—Former home of 20th Century designer Russel Wright offers self-guided tours of house and grounds, among other activities (www.russelwrightcenter.org).
The Katonah Museum of Art—Houses a number of art exhibits and special events (www.katonahmuseum.org).
Caramoor—A popular historic estate that is mostly known as the site of indoor and outdoor concerts, as well as tours, lectures and other activities ( www.caramoor.org).
Spotlight Theatre Productions—Local theater group features popular musicals onsite and offsite, including Caberet Night Under the Stars at the Mahopac Marina (www.stpny.com).
YCP Theaterworks—Local theater group featuring famous dramatic plays and musicals, as performed professional actors and local thespians (www.ycpw.org).
Yorktown Stage—YS produces popular Broadway-style musicals as well as children’s
programs and events (www.yorktownstage.org).
Mohansic Golf Course—An 862-acre championship golf course features 18 holes, a
driving range, practice green and more (www.westchestergov.com).
Yorktown Golf & Baseball Center—14-acre complex includes a driving range, putting
greens, batting cages, pro shop, miniature golf course and more (www.yorktowngolfandbaseball.com).
Jacob Burns Film Center—Dedicated to award-winning foreign movies, independent films and notable documentaries. Lectures and educational activities for adults and children are also available (www.burnsfilmcenter.org).
Wolf Conservation Center—Learn about the conservation’s fascinating wolves and even meet them face-to-face. By appointment only (www.nywolf.org).
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point—With its gothic architecture and strategic views of the Hudson River highlands, West Point is one of the region’s most famous sites. The complex features beautiful grounds, administrative buildings, classrooms, residences, halls, historic sites, museums and Thayer House, an historic hotel located at its entrance. It also features a number of concerts throughout the year at Eisenhower Hall (www.usma.edu).
SHOPPING: PEEKSKILL’S DOWNTOWN & POINTS BEYOND
Peekskill—River House shopaholics with an eye for anything unique or unusual, antique or vintage, or tried and true, will find Peekskill’s downtown core contains a growing number of interesting shops, as well as time honored establishments. Here’s a sampler of possibilities:
- Arozo: Situated in one narrowest 19th Century buildings in the area, Arozo is designer Kevin Brown’s unique furniture showroom and is open mostly by appointment (736-3323).
- Arthur Weeks & Son Jewelers: Since 1896, Arthur Week’s is a downtown icon and the place to go for gold and silver jewelry, watches, estate jewelry, diamonds and gems, and more (737-0505).
- Bruised Apple and Music: An independent book seller that offers aisles of vintage and antique books of every type and description, as well as gently used DVDs, CDs and vintage record albums, among other memorabiliaThe Co-op: Antique shop full of interesting finds and unusual gifts
- Field Library Bookstore: Amazing collection of gently-used books, hardcover and paperback, in a carefully arranged format. And, nothing costs more than $2 Past & Present: Intimate antique shop that’s stuffed with a wide range of treasures and bargainsReSouled: The former site of Sue DeGregorie’s popular Retrovato antiques and consignment shop, ReSouled is equally spirited and outfitted with similar offerings.
Special Note: Down by the river, Dylan’s Wine Cellar recently opened on Hudson Avenue, at the historic Standard House (930-8003), which is an attraction in itself.
PARKS & RECREATION/PEEKSKILL & BEYOND
THE CITY OF PEEKSKILL boasts of a number of popular parks including Depew Park (located inside Blue Mountain Reservation with an entrance on Welcher Avenue). Hiking, horseback riding, ball playing, boating and playing tennis, and other activities are just some of the highlights here (visit www.cityofpeekkskill.org for details and other information).
Blue Mountain Reservation, a county park with more than 1,500-acres, also offers residents a wide range of recreational activities including cross country skiing, mountain biking, birdwatching, sledding and hiking to the top of both Blue and Spitzenberg mountains (www.westchestergov.com).
Briarcliff to Peekskill Trailway State Park is part of the county’s trail system and is strictly for walkers—no bikers allowed. The 12 mile path ends (or starts, depending on your orientation) in Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, and offers beautiful vistas and panoramic views along the way (www.westchestergov.com).
THE TOWN OF CORTLANDT contains approximately one dozen town parks. Some of the most popular include:
Charles J. Cook Recreational Center contains lakes for fishing, picnic grounds, playgrounds, tennis, and a swimming pool, among other facilities and activities.
Mureil H. Morabito Community Center offers a marina, trails, playground and swimming pool.
Sprout Brook Park in Cortlandt Manor has a beach, trails, playground and picnic areas (visit www.townofcortlandt.com for a complete list and other information).
Cortlandt also contains several county parks that include 97-acre Croton Gorge in Cortlandt Manor (highlighted by the awe-inspiring Croton Dam and access to the Old Croton Aqueduct which meanders from all the way down to New York City); and Croton Point Park in Croton (with camping accommodations); and George’s Island Park in Montrose, a 185-acre oasis (www.westchestergov.com).