Easy Escapes

Nyack, New York: The Hudson Valley's Best-Kept Secret

by  Lauren Dana Ellman | Oct 7, 2019
The Time Nyack lobby
The Time Nyack lobby / Photo courtesy of the property

Just 30 miles from New York City — about an hour by car — Nyack, located in Rockland County, offers an affordable experience for city dwellers in search of an easy autumn escape. Featuring a charming downtown, a slew of up-and-coming eateries, an array of festivals and events, plus unbeatable river views (best enjoyed as you bike, hike, or walk), this cute-as-can-be Hudson Valley village is the farthest thing from ordinary. Here’s everything to see, do, explore, and eat in Nyack. 

Where to Stay

The Time Nyack serves as the ideal homebase for your weekend away. The 133-room property is housed in former factor and features edgy interiors and industrial-inspired design (think patterned black-and-white wallpaper, brightly colored rugs, and zebra-patterned chairs). For added convenience, the hotel offers free parking and bike rentals (additional charge). Other on-site amenities include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a lobby bar, and an all-day restaurant. Rates from $120 per night.

What to See and Do 

Visit the Edward Hopper House Museum

Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Edward Hopper’s childhood home, where he lived for nearly three decades. The ground floor serves as the main exhibition space, but you’ll also find an exhibit dedicated to Hopper’s early work, along with memorabilia. Today, the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It frequently serves as a venue for concerts, lectures, and special events throughout the year. Before you go, be sure to stop by the gift shop and pick up a t-shirt.

Cruise Along the Hudson

Enjoy a sunset cruise along the Hudson River. Nyack Boat Charter offers both public and private charters. which include beer and wine. As you sit back and enjoy the ride, you’ll get a great view of the surrounding Hudson Valley and the remarkable fall foliage. $100 for a public sailing; $500 per hour for a private charter; $2,200 for a four-hour (half-day) sail; $3,400 for an eight-hour (full-day) sail; family package from $1,800 for a three-hour sail. 

Stroll Along Downtown Nyack 

Downtown Nyack is home to plenty of mom-and-pop shops and charming restaurants (but more on that later). Pop culture fanatics will love Funny Business. The store sells Legos, comic books, action figures, and other mementos. Book lovers should pop into Pickwick Bookshop, a locally owned bookstore that opened back in 1945. Fashionistas and interior design aficionados need to make their way to Pied à Terre. The Instagram-worthy boutique sells home decor and furnishing (both new and vintage), along with clothing, accessories, jewelry, and artwork, among other one-of-a-kind finds. 

Go Apple Picking and Look Out for Seasonal Activities

With amazing fall foliage and lots of fall-themed events and festivals within the Hudson Valley region, autumn is the perfect time to visit Nyack. Another must-do when in town? Go apple picking. The Orchards of Concklin is a 15-minute drive from The Time Nyack. Here, visitors can pick their own apples on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Varieties include Fuji, Granny Smith, Ida Red, Pink Lady, Macs, Red Delicious, Empire, Cortland, Gala, and Honeycrisp, among several others. 

Each year, more than 20,000 people head to Main Street to watch the Nyack Chamber of Commerce Halloween Parade — the biggest parade outside of New York City. The festive event is great for families of all ages, and takes place on Sunday, October 26. 

Explore the Outdoors 

Nyack is home to several hiking and biking trails. Nyack Beach State Park —which spans 61 acres — features a riverfront trail that’s perfect for walking, running, or biking. Craving more adventure? Check out Mountainview Nature Park, where you’ll find steep and hilly hiking trails. You'll be rewarded with sweeping mountain and river views. Additionally, the  sprawling Hook Mountain State Park features a 728-foot-high summit, a fine option for thrill-seekers. 

Where to Eat

In the morning, fuel up on a cup of Joe and a doughnut (or two) at Boxer Donut and Espresso Bar. Here, you can choose from yeast-raised (light and airy) or cake donuts (sweet and dense). Fall flavors include salted brown butter, pumpkin cream, and apple cider. There’s also blueberry pancake, dulce de leche, and a cracked pepper donut filled with strawberry jam. 

For brunch or lunch, visit Art Cafe. The cozy eatery, which is housed in an old Victorian complete with a garden, serves up to-die-for Middle Eastern dishes, like shakshuka, borekas, pita, and hummus. All the salads are named after artists. And since you’re in Nyack, it’s only fitting to order the Hopper Salad (arugula, carrot, cucumber, tomato, onion, and parsley). 

8 North Broadway specializes in excellent Mediterranean cuisine made with local ingredients. While the seafood-heavy menu changes daily, some staples remain: oysters, hand-rolled pita, and traditional Mediterranean small plates. 

For an afternoon pick-me-up, stop into Pie Lady and Son. Here, pies are available by the slice or sold as a whole. Do yourself a favor and order up a piece of apple crumb topped with ice cream. Other flavors include blueberry, cherry walnut crumb, and key lime. 

Located in a former village hall and jail, Hudson House offers authentic American eats. The rustic yet intimate ambiance makes for a great (and albeit eccentric) date night spot. You can’t go wrong with the burrata (to start) and the roasted hanger steak (for your main). Before you get the check, be sure to order up a side of the crabmeat tater tots.

Getting There

Nyack is about 45-minutes to one-hour from NYC by car. Alternatively, from Grand Central Station, you can take a 45-minute train to Tarrytown. From Tarrytown, it’s about a 15-minute Uber or Lyft across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (formerly known as the Tappan Zee Bridge).

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