What to Do in Garrison: A 24-Hour Guide to the Riverside Hamlet
The cozy waterfront community packs historic locales, serene nature retreats, and cozy comfort food into a few square blocks.
Front facade of Boscobel in Garrison, New York
Wikimedia Commons / Zeete
For such a small town (it’s technically a hamlet), Garrison tucks quite a lot into its quiet streets. That’s not to say it’s bustling, though. On the contrary, the space between the Hudson River and Cold Spring forgoes lively city centers in favor of nature preserves, historic sites, and cultural hubs. There may not be a real Main Street, but there are quite a few hidden shops and restaurants that make a trip to the area well worth the visit.
Intrigued? You should be. The next time you find yourself in Cold Spring or West Point, take a jaunt over to nearby Garrison to explore all the cozy locale has to offer. The naturescapes in town are something else, so don’t forget to snap a few shots as you wander through the region. Tag us @hudsonvalleymag on Instagram if you capture any stellar Hudson Valley scenes!
9 a.m. – Munch on local treats at Dolly’s Restaurant
Nestled on the shores of the Hudson, Dolly’s is a hidden jewel in Putnam County. Views from the patio, which is literally right next to the water, are incredible throughout the year. Although the space is open for all three square meals, breakfast, which is served until 10:30 a.m., is the low-key shining star. The early hours are when the café dishes out egg and cheese sandwiches made with sausage and bacon from Marbled Meat Shop in Cold Spring. For sweet teeth, the café does scones very, very well. Want that cranberry walnut confection with a feathered latte in a cup that’s bigger than your face? Dolly’s has you covered.
7 Garrison’s Landing, Garrison
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10:30 a.m. – Hike your way around Constitution Marsh Audubon Center
Once you power up with a local egg and cheese, work it off at the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center. With scenic hiking paths and a number of onsite education programs, the outdoor preserve is a nature lover’s paradise. Visitors can walk and photograph their way around the multifaceted landscape, which offers ample opportunity for birdwatching and wildflower spotting. Canoeing is available, weather permitting, but call ahead to ask if and when the center accepts outside canoes.
127 Warren Landing Rd, Garrison
12 p.m. – Score a slice at Garrison Restaurant & Pizzeria
Don’t let the straightforward appearance of this Garrison eatery deceive you into thinking it’s your standard, run-of-the-mill pizzeria. Yes, there is pizza, which comes decked out with “Lasagna,” “Philly Steak,” and “Taco” toppings. Yet the restaurant also impresses with traditional Latin American dishes like arroz con camarones, or rice with shrimp, and carne asada in honor of the owner’s Ecuadorian heritage. Keep an eye out for the weekly specials, which could be anything from beef tacos to shrimp fra diavolo, before you place your order.
2534 Rte 9, Garrison
Sun-Thurs 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – Explore local history at Boscobel House and Gardens
Maybe it’s cliché to say that history comes alive at Boscobel House and Gardens. Yet that doesn’t mean it’s anything less than true. The former Loyalist home has an incredible local history that includes a demolition and reconstruction 15 miles north of its original location. Nowadays, visitors to the grounds can tour the lush gardens, local trails, and even the interior of the Neoclassical mansion. From the top of the hilly expanse, guests can look out over the rolling Hudson River to the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point across the way. Stop by during the holidays for the candlelit Twilight Tours and during the summer for the famous Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.
1601 Rte 9D, Garrison
2:45 p.m. – Experience modern design at its finest at The Russel Wright Design Center
While sites like Dia:Beacon and Storm King take centerstage when it comes to art in the Hudson Valley, The Russel Wright Design Center in Garrison remains somewhat off the grid. On a day trip to town, do yourself a favor and venture into Manitoga, the home and studio of industrial designer Russel Wright. Guests can tour the interior and surrounding landscape of Wright’s innovative abode, which sits on the rock ledge of an old quarry. Part of the tour includes a short film about Wright’s life, while the remainder features an exploratory walk through the eye-catching terrain.
584 Rte 9D, Garrison
4:15 p.m. – Embrace your inner bookworm at Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints
Bibliophiles and weekend readers alike will fall head over heels for Antipodean Books, the antiquarian storefront near the Garrison riverfront. The charming shop sells old and rare books alongside historic maps, prints, and photography. Stop in for a while to browse the wares, which range in subject matter from Hudson Valley geography to Australian topography. By the time you step outside the storefront, you’ll feel like you just returned from an impromptu world tour.
29-31 Garrison’s Landing, Garrison
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5:30 p.m. – Wine and dine yourself at Valley Restaurant at The Garrison
Since 2004, The Garrison’s Valley Restaurant has delighted diners with decadent meals that fuse world flavors and local ingredients. The menu changes often based on the seasons, but always achieves a balance between delectable small plates and indulgent main courses. Depending on the day, visitors can sample anything from Berkshire pork belly tacos and Davoren Farm shishito peppers to house-made kale pappardelle and Long Island duck breast. P.S. The restaurant makes a very good choice for anniversary dinners in the Hudson Valley.
2015 Rte 9, Garrison
Dinner Thurs, Fri, Sat 5-9 p.m.
Brunch Sat-Sun 11:30-2:30 p.m.
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7 p.m. – Sip a drink and watch the sunset at World’s End Bar
You don’t need to dart to the car to find the finest cocktails in Garrison. Instead, mosey over to World’s End Bar, which is conveniently situated alongside Valley Restaurant. With breathtaking views of the Valley and the Hudson River, World’s End makes visitors feel as though they’ve found their way to the very edge of the globe. As far as what to drink, opt for something herbal. Anything flavored with mint, basil, or lavender likely contains ingredients sourced straight from the kitchen gardens.
2015 Rte 9, Garrison
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8:30 p.m. – Call it a night at The Garrison
When decadent eats and handcrafted drinks get the best of you, retreat to one of The Garrison’s four cozy rooms for a tranquil overnight that will make you feel worlds away from home. All of the spaces feature a plush king-sized bed that harmonizes with a creamy neutral color scheme. Kick back with a book for a low-key evening or, if the explorations of the day have thoroughly tuckered you out, dive straight under the covers and let the sandman do his thing.
2015 Rte 9, Garrison
Did we miss a spot? Let us know where to go to find the best of Garrison in the comments or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.