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A Kids-Free To-Do List For Westchester's Sound Shore

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Adult-geared options—ranging from live rock concerts and jazz performances to fine cuisine and serene stretches of waterfront—abound in the Sound Shore communities. 

Enjoy dinner and live music at Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle (14 Memorial Hwy 914-654-6549; www.alvinandfriendsrestaurant.com); the trifecta of stylish yet warm ambience, outstanding food, and excellent performances by jazz and other musicians makes this spot a must-visit.  Chosen by Westchester Magazine as one of the Best of Westchester restaurants for 2014, Alvin & Friends offers superb Southern and Caribbean-influenced cuisine in a handsome space featuring the Matisse-like oil paintings of its engaging owner/host Alvin Clayton. Enjoy a full lineup of excellent live music in the main dining room and the more intimate Roscoe’s Room.

Alvin & Friends is one of New Rochelle’s finer dining destinations.

Tired of charmless mega-malls and strip shopping centers filled with cookie cutter-chain stores? The Sound Shore is blessed with exceedingly charming main streets in Rye and Larchmont. Strolling along Purchase Street in Rye (www.ryechamberofcommerce.com) and Palmer Avenue in Larchmont (www.larchmontchamber.org) and their various little side streets offers a delightful mix of enticing, independently owned fashion boutiques, gift and home shops, and other fun-to-browse stores plus lots of both casual snack and more leisurely dining options. Be sure to pop into Twinkle Toes Baby (88 Purchase St 914-921-4860) for gorgeous children’s clothing and accessories, Wish (3 Purdy Ave 914-967-2910; www.welcometowish.com) for thoughtful personal and home gifts, and Angela’s (24 Purchase St 914-481-5894; www.angelasinrye.com) for high-end women’s fashions in Rye. In Larchmont, stop by Pink on Palmer (1907 Palmer Ave 914-833-8955; www.pinkonpalmer.com) for beauty goodies and cosmetics, Wendy Gee Home Accessories (1949 Palmer Ave 914-834-8507; www.wendygee.com) for fun home products, and E.B. Barrett (1875 Palmer Ave 914-834-7000; www.ebbarrett.com) for trendy clothing for women and teens. 

Check out the bar lounge scene at Vintage 1891 Kitchen in Larchmont (2098 Boston Post Rd 914-834-9463; www.vintage1891kitchen.com). Yes, the New American cuisine at this eatery is excellent (try the Cabernet-braised beef short ribs) but it’s the stylish, sophisticated décor with comfy couches, the welcoming ambience, and the impressive wine list that make this destination a favorite for date nights, girls’ nights out, and other groupings. Live music is often on tap, too. 

Manor Park in Larchmont (Park Ave 914-834-4309; www.larchmontmanorpark.org) is a tranquil shoreline jewel, a stunning 12-plus acre park with a 5,000-foot shoreline along the Sound. Established in 1892, this quiet oasis offers sweeping, unobstructed views of the water, the dramatic rocky shoreline, and sailboats in the distance from three promontories. Stroll across its broad lawn and along the meandering pathways or settle onto a bench or in one of three charming gazebos to contemplate the unparalleled views. One of the county’s loveliest parks—and a very special afternoon’s destination. 

If you like to sit and leisurely dine for lunch, take your taste buds to Lusardi’s in Larchmont (1885 Palmer Ave 914-834-5555; www.lusardislarchmont.com). Sibling to Moscato in Scarsdale as well as a restaurant in Manhattan, some of our gourmand pals—who rave that it’s just like a city restaurant—won’t go anywhere else to dine in the county for fresh Mediterranean cuisine, including lots of well-prepared Italian classics. The cuisine is reliably excellent, the wine list impressive, and the ambience warm and stylish. If you’re looking for a quick slice on the run, serious pizza connoisseurs swear that Sal’s Pizzeria in Mamaroneck (316 Mamaroneck Ave 914-381-2022; www.salsmamaroneck.com) is the best on the Sound Shore. A favorite of Joe Torre’s when he’s in town, with a devoted following of famous and regular folks, there’s no atmosphere other than basic pizzeria—just plenty of delicious New York and Sicilian-style slices and pies.

Looking for a bar activity that doesn’t involve beer pong? Channel your inner Picasso and “drink creatively” during a PaintNite (www.paintnite.com) at a participating eatery. Lubricated with some alcohol—or not—you and a small group of new pals will each make an acrylic painting under the guidance of an artist acting as a “social painting instructor;” everything you need—paints, brushes, and even smocks—is provided. In the past, the activity has been held on the Sound Shore at Molly Spillane’s Pub in Mamaroneck (211 Mamaroneck Ave 914-899-3130; www.mollyspillanespub.com).  

If you love the thrill of the antique hunt, don’t miss Chatsworth Auction Rooms & Furniture Studios in Mamaroneck (151 Mamaroneck Ave 914-698-1001; www.chatsworthauction.com). Family-owned for more than 75 years, Chatsworth is reputed to be “the largest buyer and seller of estate furniture, antiques, quality used furniture, and accessories in Westchester County.” You never know what treasure you might uncover at its five-level, 20,000-square-foot showroom, but chances are excellent that you will find just what you didn’t know you were looking for, thanks to its vast collection of ever-changing furnishings and accessories, all from local homes and estates.

Generations of local families have frolicked at Rye Town Park & Beach in Rye (95 Dearborn Ave, Rye 914-967-0965; www.townofryeny.com/rye-town-park–beach) for more than a century. During the summers, there’s a 34-acre beachfront. The rest of the year, the park has much to recommend it; with breathtaking water views, 28 acres of lawn, a duck pond, and beautiful plantings, it’s a magnet for families—and their dogs. Off-season, you’ll find lots of canine friends running around on the grass, as it becomes an unofficial dog park. And walking the boardwalk, liberally dotted with benches, is a delight in any kind of weather.

Oakland Beach is part of Rye Town Park.

Rock out at Port Chester’s storied Capitol Theatre (149 Westchester Ave 914-937-4126; www.thecapitoltheatre.com), relaunched in 2012 after a lavish refurbishment. Dubbed one of the best music halls in the country by Rolling Stone and a favorite of The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, a “who’s who” of legendary musicians from Pat Benatar and Elvis Costello to Alice Cooper and B.B. King played this famous rock palace back in the day. And now The Cap is back in the groove with a full schedule of live performances that kicked off with a sold-out debut concert by Bob Dylan. Enjoy a drink before the concert and check out the vintage Dead paraphernalia in the theatre’s own lobby bar, Garcia’s.  

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