The best food artisans, farms, and local markets.
Located along the banks of the Byram River in Port Chester, this small-batch distillery specializes in honey-based vodka and gins, as well as high-quality artisanal whiskeys. Why honey? Owner Ed Tiedge says that while it’s more difficult to ferment than traditional ingredients (corn, wheat, and potatoes), honey undeniably pays off in the final sprit’s complexity and flavor. Taste for yourself with their Comb Vodka, featuring a silky palate followed by dried fruit, sweet grass, and spice.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
After making his first beer when he was 17 (17!), Scott Vaccaro went on to get a degree in fermentation science and today is the proud owner of this award-winning Elmsford brewery. Twenty-four taps line the long wooden bar and pour his wide-ranging repertoire of beers, including several aged in barrels he sources from wineries and distilleries.
A cream puff in a Japanese market? Only $1.50 and warm with a crunchy exterior and airy dough, the pastry is a major morning highlight among locals who stop by this White Plains market, selling sushi-grade fish, seaweed, and Asian greens. The sweet treats are only made on the weekends; get there early before they sell out.
John Jay Homestead Farmers’ Market
There are rumors that this is Martha Stewart’s farmers’ market of choice when staying in her Westchester County home. Located on the historic John Hay Homestead site in Katonah, the market features roughly 40 vendors that sell the usual (fruit, veggies, meat, poultry), as well as some of the more unusual: handmade olive oil, kombucha, and more.
G&K Sweet Foods
The signature dessert of this pastry company is its sweet potato pie, a recipe that has been passed down for four generations within one of the owners’ families. Creamy with a caramelized top and a handcrafted butter crust, it will become your staple dessert at Thanksgivings. Order online, or pick one up at Mamaroneck’s Chocolations or White Plains’s Hastings Tea.
Like a Local
Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary
While this 179-acre wildlife sanctuary is less than a mile away from the screaming thrill rides of Rye’s Playland Park, you couldn’t feel further away. Located along a migratory flyway on Long Island Sound, it’s one of the top places for birding in the region, hosting wintering ducks, osprey, loons, owls, and all types of migratory songbirds.
Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens
Whatdoes French sculptor Auguste Rodin have to do with Pepsi? He’s one of the artists whose work studs Pepsi Co.’s 168-acre headquarters in nearby Purchase, New York. Named for the former Pepsi CEO who assembled the outdoor sculpture garden starting in 1965, the public space features some 50 pieces, including works by influential artists like Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg, and Max Ernst.
This low-key neighborhood eatery hidden on a one-way street in Rye brings a bit of the south to Westchester County with New Orleans–themed decor and a Cajun menu. Expect soulful dishes, like pan-seared crawfish in creole sauce, jambalaya, and a signature Bloody Mary rimmed with Old Bay seasoning.
How to spend 36 hours in Rye, with Doral Arrowwood as your base camp.
7:30 p.m. | Dinner & Entertainment at the Boardwalk
Part of Rye’s Playland Park, the quarter-mile-long boardwalk that lines Long Island Sound comes alive on Friday nights in the summer. First grab a seafood dinner at the Pier Restaurant & Tiki Bar that anchors one end of the boardwalk; after, stroll to where the 15-piece Milt Gerver's Playland Park Orchestra plays swing and big band tunes. At 9 p.m., the evening concludes with the weekly fireworks display.
10 a.m. | Play the “Little Blue Monster”
Designed by Robert von Hagge, the creative mind behind the famed Blue Monster course in Miami, this course offers the same bunkering and waterways that characterize its namesake. With water hazards on all but two of the holes, keeping the ball on the fairway is a must here. Finish the round with a sandwich or wrap for lunch at Mulligans Outdoor Café, overlooking the ninth hole.
3 p.m. | See Some Awesome Art
Lyndhurst is the Gothic Revival historic mansion, known for its park-like landscaped grounds and rich architecture (think fanciful turrets, stained glass, and ceiling murals), built by Gilded Era railroad tycoon Jay Gould. But what isn’t as well known is the upstairs art gallery. Gould’s priceless collection – taken out of storage in 2014 – now hangs here, featuring prominent European artists, such as Gustave Courbet and William Bouguereau.
5 p.m. | Dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Just 15 minutes north of Lynhurst in a historic stone building at Stone Barns Center – a working four-season farm – resides a world-renowned dining experience, having placed among the international “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” in 2015. But don’t expect signature dishes, just that day’s multi-taste Grazing, Pecking, Rooting menu dreamed up by James Beard Award–winning Chef Dan Barber that utilizes the immediate farm’s bounty, as well as produce from across the Hudson Valley.
11 a.m. | Brunch at Vintage Lounge & Restaurant
This casual, brick-walled space has one of the most robust brunch buffets in the county. Several stations are positioned throughout the entire restaurant, including made-to-order omelets and pancakes, carved meats, soups and salads, breakfast pastries, sausage, seafood – the list goes on. Select the $23 buffet option ($4 extra), and you get bottomless mimosas, bloody Marys, and draft beer.
1 p.m. | Shop The Westchester
Looking for some upscale shopping outside of 5th Avenue? Less than half-a-mile from your brunch spot is this marble-floored, sculptured-adorned 890,000-square-foot high-end mall. More than 100 stores – the caliber of Tiffany & Co., Burberry, and Gucci – show off their best in the four-story shopping mecca.
When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.
Featured Adventure: Hiking through History
The 190-acre Cranberry Lake Preserve in North White Plains is a wild world of scrubland, swamp, and mixed hardwood forest. But it’s also home to the ruins of an early-twentieth-century quarry, which you can see by taking the History Trail (marked by purple trail makers). Moderate with a few steep grades, it weaves two miles around the perimeter of the park and takes you passed several points of interest. Be on the lookout for large stones with dynamite scars, old pilings from a 35-tall trestle track, and abandoned cars. The cars came later, when locals would launch them off the cliffs into the quarry – either for fun or just easy disposal.
Amusement Park | Rye Playland
FIND YOUR INNER CHILD
Head to Playland, the amusement park where the movie Big was filmed. Kiddyland features 20 rides including the original wooden Kiddy Coaster, Playland Express railroad and costumed characters. But Playland isn’t just for kids. The Gondola Wheel brings you into the sky for a fantastic view of the whole park and Long Island Sound. Don’t miss the Dragon Coaster, a landmarked historic wooden coaster original to the park or the two water rides if you need to cool off in the summer heat.
Kayaking the Hudson River | Hudson River Recreation
Explore the Historic Waterways of New York
Paddle south on the Hudson River with views of The Palisades and Croton Point. Visitors who've never kayaked before are encouraged to get out on the water and experience this magnificent sport. All equipment and instruction are provided to ensure the stress of your adventure is taken care of.
Challenge Your Boundaries | Boundless Adventures Aerial Park
Perfect for outdoor fun-seekers ages seven through adult. Challenge (and surprise) yourself with feats of strength, stamina, agility and bravery as you maneuver through nature in a range of obstacle courses that offer exhilarating, self-esteem building activities for kids and adults alike. There are 4 different levels of difficulty, with 9 courses in total. Conveniently located on the Purchase College campus, Boundless Adventures is a spectacular adventure park with a range of obstacle courses set on eight acres of breathtaking hardwood forests. Against this scenic backdrop, adventurers from all over the tri-state area come to climb, swing, balance, jump and zip through the forest on our thrilling treetop obstacle courses.