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It's possible to plan around public transportation (county bus system, [http://
beelinebus.com/] commuter rail), but to make the most of your visit a car is necessary. |+|
It's possible to plan around public transportation (county bus system, [http://.com/] commuter rail), but to make the most of your visit a car is necessary.
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Revision as of 00:58, 24 November 2013
Westchester County  is a county of New York (state) in the New York metro area. 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.
- Mount Vernon
- 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.
Villages and Towns
- Bedford (New York) - yes, Martha Stewart still lives here
- Briarcliff Manor
- Bronxville - affluent square-mile community that is part of the Town of Eastchester
- Chappaqua - home of Bill and Hillary Clinton
- Cortlandt - township in the northwest corner of the county, borders the Hudson River and Putnam County
- Croton-on-Hudson - Hudson River village is the location of popular Croton Point Park, which juts nearly a mile into the river
- Dobbs Ferry - quaint Hudson River village
- Hastings-on-Hudson - Hudson River village has stunning views of the cliffs of the Palisades
- Irvington - riverfront village named for Washington Irving, who lived nearby
- Katonah - original town was located a mile or so north; it was moved to make way for one of New York City's reservoirs
- Larchmont - Affluent square-mile community on Long Island Sound; part of Town of Mamaroneck
- Mamaroneck - name of both a town and a village on Long Island Sound
- Mount Kisco - ostensibly named after local Native American chief Kisco
- North Salem - mostly rural; rolling hills, horse farms, apple orchards
- Pelham - on Long Island Sound and along Route 1, bordering the Bronx. Consists of Villages of Pelham and Pelham Manor
- Pleasantville - no, we didn't make this up; longtime address of Reader's Digest
- Port Chester
- Purchase - home of a state university of fine art as well as headquarters for several major American corporations
- Sleepy Hollow - the very one from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
- Tarrytown - Hudson River village is home to several significant historic sites as well as a quaint business district featuring restaurants and antique shops
- Tuckahoe - part of the Town of Eastchester.
- Valhalla - reputedly named by a devoted fan of Wagner
- Yorktown Heights
- West Harrison
- 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.
- Amtrak, . Some trains make stops at Yonkers and Croton-on-Hudson and in New Rochelle. However, if you are coming from New York City, keep in mind that Amtrak trains from there are much more expensive than Metro-North to these stops.
- 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.
- Visit Art Galleries, in the heart of Tarrytown, Main Street is home to a few fine art galleries worth experiencing. Tappan Z Gallery  features all American artists, many of whom are located in the Hudson Valley region.
- 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.
Oakland beach – Westchester’s own small beach on the long island sound, with restaurant Seaside Johnny’s right on the property.
Rye Play Land Open since 1928 provides fun rides, food vendors, an ice skating rink, mini golf and fireworks on selected Fridays in the summer.
Ride the trolley around Tuckahoe. It picks up and drops off at various locations around the community. Schedules are available.
Yonkers Raceway Casino and racetrack.
Winter fest, celebrated in village square in Tuckahoe in front of The Generoso Pope Foundation building. Winter fest consists of live music, local food vendors and a small ice-skating rink made special for the occasion right in Village Square. The firework show on the fourth is also amazing.
Street Fair – Bronxville’s annual sidewalk fair includes tables set up outside each shop or restaurant for unbelievable sales on clothing, jewelry, home goods, food tasting and even animal adoption.
Manor Park – located in Larchmont, a park overlooking the long island sound. Beautiful in the summer to walk, picnic or sit and watch the sailboats race.
Immaculate Conception Annual Carnival Held in May each year at the ICS Elementary School in Eastchester. Rides, Attractions and Food.
Bicycle Sundays Every Sunday in the summers, the Bronx River Parkway is closed during the morning to provide bikers with a several mile stretch from Bronxville to White Plains.
The county has a wide variety of cuisines and restaurants. There is also a large number of farmers markets and farm stands from which to get your own ingredients.
Westchester has plenty of dining options for many types of cuisine. In particular, Westchester has traditionally been known for its Italian-American food in restaurants and pizzerias, and its diners. Bagels and other foods associated with New York are also widely available.
White Plains contains a number of popular bars and dance clubs located on Mamaroneck Ave.
The Westchester Mall Located in White Plains, upscale shopping mall.
The Galleria Located in White Plains.
Cross County Shopping Center Newly renovated outdoor mall located in Yonkers.
Jefferson Valley Mall Located in Yorktown Heights (very northern Westchester).
County wide 911 system for summoning emergency assistance.
Telephone area code 914.
If you are based in Westchester County, the obvious place to get out to is New York City to the south.
Another option is to drive or take a train further north along the Hudson River, to explore the beauty of the Hudson Valley.
Going east will take you to Connecticut.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!