Westchester County is a county of New York (state). It lies to the immediate north of the New York city borough of the Bronx. A number of its villages and towns serve as bedroom communities for commuters to New York City, but Westchester itself is also open for business. Pepsico, IBM, MasterCard, Reader's Digest and other prominent corporations have their headquarters here. But it's not all work and no play. There's plenty to see and do in the county. Westchester County Office of Tourism  is the official provider of visitor information.
New Rochelle - On Long Island Sound. Home of Iona College and the College of New Rochelle.
Peekskill - northern-most city in Westchester with scenic views of the Hudson Highlands.
Rye - upscale city on the Long Island Sound; home of Playland amusement park. Smallest and least city-like of the cities in Westchester; has a small central area with one main street (Purchase Street) and feels much more like a village than anything else.
White Plains - the seat of government for Westchester County, its downtown has recently been redeveloped with upscale housing and retail.
Yonkers - 4th largest city in New York state, located on the Hudson River. Undergoing major development along Hudson River, but Getty Square, its traditional center only a few blocks to the east of the River, is down-scale.
Westchester County Airport, . The biggest airport of the lower Hudson Valley, other than the New York City/New Jersey airports. Tickets can be pricey, but it's oh-so-convenient to arrive smack in the middle of your destination and bypass the traffic around the three major international airports. Rental cars are available.
Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, , John F. Kennedy International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport: The three major international airports in the New York City area offer service to just about anywhere. Westchester-based taxi and livery cars offer regular service to and from the three internationals from most areas of the county. New York City yellow cabs will take to you Westchester in a pinch, but the fares can be exorbitant. If staying in Westchester, ask if your hotel offers shuttle service.
Metro-North Railroad, . Three branches of Metro-North Commuter Railroad serve the county, all from Grand Central Terminal. The Hudson Line travels the far west flank of the county along the bank of the river (on trains departing from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, get a seat on the left side of the train: opposite Yonkers and Hastings-on-Hudson you will be treated to great views of the sheer cliffs of the Palisades). The Harlem line drives up the middle, and the New Haven line follows the shore of Long Island Sound.
New York City Subway, . You can take it to the southern edge of Westchester County and bus up further.
It's possible to plan around public transportation (county bus system, commuter rail), but to make the most of your visit a car is necessary.
Lyndhurst in Tarrytown. A Gothic-styled mansion, formerly home of railroad baron Jay Gould.
Sunnyside, in Tarrytown. The home of Washington Irving, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle.
Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills in Sleepy Hollow. Historic Dutch manor and mill restored to its appearance in the late 17th/early 18th century. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane saunters beside the manor's millpond with the "country damsels" of the neighborhood. This is also the departure point for tours of Kykuit.
Visit the Rockefeller estate in the hamlet of Pocantico Hills on the outskirts of Sleepy Hollow.
Admire stained glass windows by Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall at Union Church of Pocantico Hills, Sleepy Hollow.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Final resting place of Washington Irving, Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, and Elizabeth Arden. Also the Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground, the churchyard from Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
The Hudson River Museum, in Yonkers. Exhibitions on regional history, Hudson Valley art, planetarium.
Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase. Features modern, contemporary, and African art.
Donald M Kendall Sculpture Gardens in Purchase. Corporate collection of PepisiCo of more than 40 major sculptures among 12 gardens.
Old Croton Aqueduct, . Go hiking or biking on the trailway that tops the original (now defunct) water supply to New York City. The trail runs on the western side of the county, passing through Yonkers, Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Briarcliff Manor, Ossining, and Croton-on-Hudson.
Visit a farmer's market or farmstand. Farms are scarce in this mostly suburban county, but agriculture is alive and well in the form of farmers markets. Find markets in places like Pleasantville, Tarrytown, Larchmont, Lewisboro, and Ossining. You can still find a few orchards and farms in the northern end of the county that offer pick-your-own fruit and vegetables in season: Wilkens Farm, 1335 White Hill Rd, Yorktown Heights, +1 914 245-5111, , pick your own apples, pumpkins, and Christmas trees; Outhouse Orchards, Hardscrabble Rd, Croton Falls, +1 914 277-3188, year round farm stand, pick your own apples in season; Salinger's Orchards, Guinea Rd, Croton Falls, +1 914 277-3521; Stuart's Farm, 62 Granite Spring Rd, Granite Springs, +1 914 245-2784, , nearly 200 acres of fruit and vegetables.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, in Sleepy Hollow's Pocantico Hills village, promotes regional agriculture through its educational programs and its demonstration gardens and greenhouses.
Taste local vintages. There are two wineries in the county. See Pleasantville.
Ride the Dragon Coaster at Playland. Enjoy the historic amusement park (circa 1928) and ice casino (public skating). Yes, the board walk is the very same from the 1980s movie Big. Playland Park, Playland Parkway, Rye, +1 914 813-7000, . Seasonal. Admission to the park is free (it is a county park, after all) but rides and parking do cost a bit, yet very reasonable compared to the big-name theme parks. Free concerts and fireworks in season; first come, first served in the picnic and barbecue area.
Take sailing lessons at the Croton Sailing School, Senasqua Rd, Croton-on-Hudson, +1 800 859-SAIL, .
Rent a kayak, take a guided tour, or launch your own kayak/canoe. Annsville Creek Paddlesport Center, Route 6 & 202, Annsville Circle, Cortlandt Manor, +1 914 739-2588, . Good starting point for paddling the scenic Hudson Highlands.
Caramoor, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, +1 914 232-5035, . Take afternoon tea and tour or attend one of their evening concerts. Mediterranean villa set on an 80 acre estate. Museum, gardens, concerts.
Take in a show at the Paramount Center for the Arts, 1008 Brown St, Peekskill, +1 914 739-2333, . Features stage productions, live performances of music and dance, classic films and recent major releases, and visual arts exhibitions.
Take in a show at the Tarrytown Music Hall, 13 Main St, Tarrytown, +1 914 631-3390, . Nonprofit venue regularly hosts jazz concerts, classic movies, and cultural events. Show dates are posted outside the music hall's main entrance and on its web site.
Follow Ichabod Crane's route, . Fans of Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow can follow the route of Ichabod Crane from the center of Tarrytown north into Sleepy Hollow. But don't expect to find the "Western Woods" or anything else from the 1999 movie Sleepy Hollow. Tim Burton's production is only loosely based on Irving's story, and was filmed largely in Hertfordshire, England.
Explore the county from the perch of a bicycle seat. Moab it isn't, but if you've got a mountain bike you've got your pick of three county parks that sport mountain bike trails. For flatlanders, the Old Croton Aqueduct is a mostly level dirt trail, and the paved North and South County Trailways follow the relatively gentle grades of the old Putnam Line railway. There is presently a gap between the North and South County Trailways in Elmsford that requires a connection via local streets.
Blue Mountain Reservation,Peekskill. Seven miles of trails in 1,600 acre county park. Trails are marked for level of experience.
Graham Hills Park,Pleasantville. Five miles of trails through 431 acre county park, geared toward riders with some experience. Park is located in the middle of the county at the junction of the Saw Mill River, Taconic, and Sprain Brook Parkways.
Sprain Ridge Park, in Yonkers. On 278 acres of wooded terrain located in the southern end of the county offers trails for beginners as well as advanced.
Hybrid or road bike
North County Trailway,+1 914 864-7275, . Multi-use paved trail runs 22 miles from Eastview in the town of Greenburgh to Somers. The former railroad bridge over the New Croton Reservoir is especially scenic.
South County Trailway,+1 914 864-7275, . Multi-use paved trail runs from Eastview in the town of Greenburgh to just over the Yonkers border. Enjoy a rest stop at one of the benches around Woodland Lake.
Imperial Wok, 736 North Broadway, White Plains, +1 914 686-2700. Right of New York Route 22 there is an amazing Chinese food place called Imperial Wok. It has an amazing and inexpensive lunch box. Its dinner menu is very delicious.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, 630 Bedford Rd, Sleepy Hollow, 914 366-9600, . A working farm and tantalizing restaurant with an on-site 22,000 sq ft greenhouse in Pocantico Hills. There are also hiking trails and an informal cafe on the grounds. This is the primary restaurant to the NYC sister restaurant, Blue Hill in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
Le Château, Route 35 (junction of 123), South Salem, +1 914 533-6631, . French cuisine in a historic 20 room mansion built by J.P. Morgan in 1907. Surrounded by over 30 acres of landscaped grounds. Dinner: Tu-F, 5:30PM-9PM. Saturday seatings 6PM-6:30PM or 9PM-9:30PM. Sunday dinner: 4PM-8:30PM. Closed Monday. Entrées $33-$40.
Sunset Cove, 238 Green St at the Washington Irving Boat Club, +1 914 366-7889, . Waterfront restaurant and bar with superb views of the Tappan Zee bridge. Indoor restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Outdoor tiki bar (seasonal) is very popular with a usually young crowd. Like Striped Bass, Sunset Cove is a great spot to watch the sun set over the Hudson River.
High Street Roadhouse, 12 High St, Rye, +1 914 967-4855, . Cajun restaurant and bar features live blues year round Friday night, and in the warmer months also on Saturday night.
Pete's Saloon & Restaurant, 8 Main St, Elmsford, +1 914 592-9849, . American style pub is a popular night spot.
The Bayou, 580 Gramatan Ave, Mt Vernon, +1 914 668-2634, . Lively cajun has live music Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights.
Coffee & Tea
There is no shortage of chain coffee in Westchester, but since you can get the same old Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts coffee just about anywhere, you may as well sample the local brews.
Black Cow Coffee Company, 51 Maple St, Croton-on-Hudson, +1 914 271-7544, . M 6AM-6PM, Tu-F 6AM-9PM, Sa 7AM-9PM & Su 8AM-3PM. Independent coffee house often features indie performer on Friday and Saturday nights. They roast their own beans on premises. Excellent coffee drinks. Their bulletin board usually lists local off-beat and alternative events.
County wide 911 system for summoning emergency assistance.
Telephone area code 914.
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