Best Things to do in Garrison New York 2024 1
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Best Things to do in Garrison New York 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to the best things to do in Garrison New York. Are you the sort of person who enjoys hidden gems? Do you like to get off the beaten track? Do you also like hiking, eating seafood by a spectacular view, and seeing mysterious old buildings that are possibly inhabited by Gnome Kings?

Then I’m pretty sure that this day of the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station is a destination that you will absolutely love. This is a special secret I am only sharing with you and the entire Internet because many New Yorkers don’t know about Garrison’s charm. But it’s an extremely easy day trip from New York City.

All you have to do is take the Metro-North train from Grand Central Station, and you’ll be in Garrison in about an hour and a half. You can also rent a car, if you know how to drive, and head up that way. That will be plenty of time for you to enjoy all the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

I’m so excited to show you one of New York State’s hidden gems. Let’s not waste any more time!

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

Morning: Explore Garrison’s Cultural Attractions

Stepping out of your train to find the the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station, you might be a little confused. Garrison is a pretty small town, so you perhaps think it doesn’t have a ton of cultural attractions. And indeed, if this blog were about how to spend a perfect 1000 hours in a place, I think we would run out of things to do in Garrison NY.

However, there’s definitely exactly enough of the the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station to fill 24 hours, and I’m going to take you to all of them. We’ll be spending the morning exploring the cultural attractions, and in the afternoon we’re going to hit up some nature.

Best things to do in Garrison New York

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
1) Garrison Art Center

The Garrison Art Center is free to visit, very small, and conveniently located just a short walk away from the train station. If you like supporting local artists and occasionally seeing some giant piles of fabric that look like a terrifying monster that could swallow you whole in one bite, this is the place for you.

When I visited Garrison, they were featuring an artist named Patricia Miranda, and most of her works were made out of red and white textiles, including that beast above that I am dubbing the Lace Monster.

I found her work to be an interesting opportunity to reflect on women’s work, femininity, and being slowly smothered by a giant apparition whilst its giant folds of fabric covered my screams of terror.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
2) Antipodean Books

Do you like to read? I feel like you must like to read if you’re still reading this post, Internet Stranger, because otherwise you would have gotten bored by now. I sure do use a lot of words.

Well, anyone who likes books would love to stop by Antipodean Books and meet the charming owners. They specialize in books relating to the sea, but they have a large number of used tomes on pretty much every subject. The last time I was here, I bought a book on vintage cocktails and a book by Teddy Roosevelt about adventuring. See, pretty much everything.

Most Fridays, they also have a wine and cheese evening completely for free. Everyone is invited! Just show up and make some Garrison friends. Check their website to make double sure that the soiree is happening the Friday you are in Garrison.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
3) St Philip’s Church in the Highlands

So we’re going to need to go on a weird little walk to get from the Antipodean bookstore to St. Philip’s Church in the Highlands. The reason I say this walk is weird is that there aren’t any actual pedestrian streets for part of the way. But I don’t know how to drive, so I didn’t have any choice.

The walk was quite scenic in parts, though a little awkward, and I saw a few other people walking on the Not Street with me, so I think it’s doable. Once you make the trek, you’ll find yourself at the historic St. Philip’s Church in the Highlands.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

This church has been around since before the American Revolution. That means it was given a royal charter by that meanie, King George III. OK, if you have a royal charter, you are definitely quite antique by American standards.

However, the current building only dates back to the Civil War. The original church was made of wood. One of the most interesting features of St. Philip’s is the cemetery, where you can pay your respects to the awesomely dubbed Hamilton Fish, who was Secretary of State under President Ulysses S. Grant.

He was apparently such a good Secretary of State that he prevented the United States from getting in a war with Spain. When was the last time that you worried about going to war with Spain? I have personally never worried about such a thing. Life was very different in the 19th century, and not just because of the lack of polio vaccine.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
4) Lunch

As far as I could tell, there is no place to have lunch in Garrison, except for Dolly’s, which is where we are going for dinner. So bring a nice picnic lunch with you from wherever you are staying and get ready to go!

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

Afternoon: Garrison Nature

Garrison has a beautiful setting right on the Hudson River. If you know anything about the Hudson River Valley, you know that it’s famous for its beautiful nature and hiking grounds. We’re going to have an amazing time getting away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, wandering through some hiking trails, sitting by a gazebo, and watching the Hudson River flow by.

Garrison isn’t a large town, so you could probably find some pretty places to hike on your own. But you’ll get there faster if you have me to guide you. That’s why I’m setting you up with…

Three Fun Facts: Nature in Garrison

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
1) Where is the best place to go hiking in Garrison?

I think it’s clearly Arden Park, which is part of the Hudson Highlands State Park. You have to walk from the pizza cafe back to the train station, remembering to navigate the some time lack of sidewalks.

The entrance to the Arden Point hiking is right past the parking lot in the train station. It’s a little hard to find, but if the weather is nice, you should be able to spot other people with or without dogs heading there.

This walk is both pretty easy and historically significant. Apparently Benedict Arnold, the famous American traitor during the American Revolution, used this road to escape. Ooh, was he running away from George Washington? Probably not, but let’s pretend he was! That will make this itinerary even more exciting.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
2) Where Should I Stop Hiking?

I suggest walking all the way to the Garrison Institute, which you can see in my photo above. This Institute claims to teach contemplative practices, but I think you have to register in advance for their events or services if you want to go inside because it didn’t seem to be open to the public.

I’ll be honest, when I took a look at this place, it looked like that creepy institution in Return to Oz where the Gnome King gives Dorothy electroshock therapy because Aunt Em and Uncle Henry think she’s crazy to talk about Oz. But I’ve done some research, and I’m pretty sure they’re kind folks who want to help people, and there are no gnome kings performing electroshock therapy on little girls from Kansas here.

But the point of heading this way is not to check out the Garrison Institute, which was definitely probably not featured in Return to Oz. The point is to sit on one of the benches overlooking the Hudson River and take in these spectacular views. Can you believe that we are so close to New York City? And yet there’s not a skyscraper or a Pizza Rat in sight.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
3) What if I don’t wanna walk? What if I just wanna sit? What about meeee?

I gotcha covered, Internet Stranger! Head back to Garrison Landing, near the Garrison Art Center we visited this morning.

This is a fantastic spot for sitting back and enjoying the views of the Hudson River, as well as this charming gazebo. Really, I think any adorable Hudson River Valley town is required by law to have an adorable gazebo. They have one in Cold Spring too.

Just keep in mind that this view is very romantic, so you might run across a few schmoopy couples schmooping it up by the gazebo. Just do what I do–bring a mystery novel and tune them out. Unless you have someone you want to schmoop with–in which case, schmoop away.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

Evening: Dinner at Dolly’s

Well, we can’t conclude our day of the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station without some dinner.

Now, you might not know this, but one of Garrison’s claims to fame is that the Yonkers scenes in the Barbra Streisand movie musical Hello, Dolly! were shot here in Garrison. Usually on film, the role of New York City is played by Toronto, but in this case, Yonkers was played by Garrison.

That’s why there’s a great restaurant called Dolly’s right by the train station. You can enjoy your delicious dinner with stunning views of West Point Military Academy, and then you can bop along to your train and head back home.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

For my appetizer, I selected the clam toast with sunchokes. This was such a massive serving for an appetizer! I most certainly didn’t feel cheated. In fact, though the white wine, garlic, parsley, and butter sauce was delicious, I couldn’t quite finish all the bread.

One of the interesting things about this dish is that the clams and sunchokes look similar, but they don’t taste similar. I didn’t know what I was eating until I popped it into my mouth. A true culinary adventure!

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

I’m sorry, were we talking about giant portion sizes? Then get ready to meet this pork chop with squash.

I spent this day with the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station in the fall, as you can probably tell from my photos of fall foliage, and this was as seasonal as a pumpkin dressed up as Freddy Kreuger for Halloween. (Also, I’m very impressed that my spellcheck recognizes Freddy Kreuger.)

Often when I go to restaurants, I feel guilty about not being able to finish my food when the portions are giant. It’s so tasty, and I don’t like to waste anything. But I do try to stop eating when I am full. The waiter won’t be offended! They didn’t even make the food.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

However, what I won’t do is skip dessert. I need to report on whether or not the dessert is worth ordering. Everything I do is for you, Internet Strangers!

So I made the sacrifice and ordered this chocolate souffle cake, which the waiter said was their most popular dessert. Even though I was stuffed to my hairline with clams and pork, my dessert stomach still had room for this decadent treat.

I know that the red stain in my photo makes it look like the chocolate souffle is bleeding to death, but I promise it’s just raspberry sauce.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

Where to Stay?

If you’re a tourist in New York City, you’ll probably need a hotel to be your home base for your daytrip to see the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station. I mean, maybe you have a kind relative who will let you crash in their spare room, but that kind of space is rare in Manhattan.

I recommend staying in the Artezen Hotel in Lower Manhattan. It’s very easy to get to Grand Central Station and the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station from here. Plus, the rooms are affordable and cozy, and there’s free snacks, coffee, and fancy bath products in your room.

If you’d like a convenient and affordable hotel in NYC, click here. And if low prices and a great location scare you, just click here. This search engine will help you find the best deals and location on a room during your day exploring the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

However, if you’d rather stay in Cold Spring NY, and use that as your base for seeing the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station, I have a different suggestion.

The food in Cold Spring and the surrounding Hudson Valley area is uniformly excellent. I’ve been told that this is because the CIA is in the area, which confuses me. I thought the CIA was based in Langley, Virginia! Also I don’t really understand why spies would make the food better. Are spies notoriously demanding customers or something?

So since the food is so good, and the houses are so historic, there must be some sweet B & Bs in the area, yes? And no B and B is action is sweeter than the action at the Pig Hill Inn. The chef is CIA-trained, which means that he will be able to protect you in the night if ninjas attack. Also, he makes a mean omelet, which 9 out of 10 doctors say is the best way to start the day.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

You can also get pancakes if that’s more to your liking.

There is also always a baked good of some sort to accompany the breakfast, like a muffin or scone or crumpet or whatnot.

On top of these breakfasting wonders, the Pig Hill has the best amenity of any hotel I have ever stayed at. Some hotels have free cookies, some have free breakfast, and one hotel I’ve stayed at had free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which was very nice. But The Pig Hill has the best freebie of all.

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station
24 Hour Treat: Pie

They give you free PIE. That’s right, every day there’s a new free PIE and if you are staying there, you can just take some. If you have friends, they can come and take some. I’ve had pecan, pumpkin, apple, lemon meringue…it was all amazing and cost me zero dollars.

You can’t have the pie WITH your breakfast though. Save it to enjoy with a cup of tea after dinner after you’ve seen all the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

best things to do near the Garrison New York train station

That’s the best things to do in Garrison New York!

What do you think are the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station? Does Hamilton Fish have the best name of any Secretary of State ever? Please email at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. If you have more time in the Hudson River Valley than just the best things to do near the Garrison New York train station, try spending 24 hours in Tarrytown as well. Or you could make time for 24 hours in Beacon. I’ve got you covered either way!

We’ve also got the best things to do in Hyde Park NY! Add on a day of the best Tarrytown NY things to do. You can also try the best things to do in Beacon NY. Check out the best things to do in the New York Renaissance Faire. Enjoy the best things to do in Cold Spring New York. Get to know the best things to do in Ossining NY. Experience the best attractions in Cooperstown NY.

Best Things to do in Garrison New York 2024 2

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