In The County
By Kristina Berlin
Yes, it is possible to save on gas for your car. Put on your sensible shoes and try one of these walking tours packed with interesting pit stops.
For the Foodie
Total Distance: 2.2 miles
First Stop (.7 miles)
Kam Sen Foods
22 Barker Ave (on the lower level of the White Plains Mall) (914) 428-4500
Hours: Every day, 10 am to 8 pm
Park at The Westchester, located at 125 Westchester Avenue; you’ll pay between $3 and $8, depending on how long you stay. Then head east on Westchester Avenue, turn right on North Broadway, and make a left onto Barker Avenue to find Kam Sen foods. Four years ago, this grocer began providing Westchester with a taste of Cantonese barbequed duck or pork, but there is so much more to explore. Inside, there’s a Chinese bakery offering lotus-seed pastry, a large fish section stuffed with fresh filets and whole fish, and an aisle devoted entirely to teas. Try the green tea with Chinese grapefruit (pommelo). (Bonus: the price is right.) And don’t forget to sample the chewy White Rabbit cane sugar candy wrapped in edible “paper” on your way out.
Second Stop (.5 miles)
Schakolad Chocolate Factory
50 Main St, White Plains (914) 948-2900
Hours: Mon to Sat, 11 am to 8 pm; closed Sun
Head southwest on Barker Avenue, make a left onto Cottage Place, make a right onto Hamilton Avenue, and make a left onto North Lexington to arrive at Schakolad (near the intersection of North Lexington and Main Street), where the in-store kitchen churns out European-style sweets while you watch. Delicious fresh chocolate is poured on everything from Oreo cookies to pretzels, but don’t forget the vast variety of truffles. The most popular flavor is raspberry, but for about 50 cents, you can pop any one of 70 different flavors in your mouth.
Third Stop (.3 miles)
Peniche Tapas Restaurant
175 Main St, White Plains (914) 421-5012
Hours: Mon to Wed 4 pm to 12 am; Thurs and Fri 4 pm to 1 am;
Sat 5 pm to 1 am; Sun 5 pm to 10 pm
Head east on Main Street to find Peniche, where Chef Anthony Goncalves channels his Portuguese roots for the concept of his new restaurant, which offers 47 Portuguese- and Spanish-style tapas and all-Iberian wine list. This is the destination for fine cheeses, Spanish dry-cured ham and sausages—you select three, five, or nine tasty portions, which all come served on a wooden board.
Fourth Stop (.7 miles)
125 Westchester Ave, White Plains
Williams-Sonoma (914) 644-8360; Crate & Barrel (914) 682-0900
Hours: Mon to Sat, 10 am to 9 pm; Sun, 11 am to 6 pm
Head east on Main Street and bear right to get back onto Westchester Avenue, where you will reach The Westchester. Here- you can visit Williams-Sonoma or Crate & Barrel (which are, incidentally, located at opposite ends of the mall) for the “must haves” you need when concocting your own culinary delights. Crate & Barrel not only has a huge selection of dinnerware, cookware, bakeware, flatware, furniture, and accessories, it also has some neat little gadgets, like a recipe divider with a dial that spins and divides recipes in half and converts from the metric system. Or pick up a Rub Away Bar that removes odors from your hands. And check out some of the other stores—or run up and down the four flights of escalators—to work off some calories.
For the Environmentalist
Total Distance: variable mileage
Rockefeller State Park Preserve
Entrance on Rte 117, Pocantico Hills; (914) 631-1470
Hours: Mon to Sun, 7 am to 5 pm
A system of carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., network the entire 1,100-acre area. This expansive acreage includes peaceful river- and lake-front views, meadows, and a chance to explore the foundation of William Rockefeller’s home. Before you hit the trails, map out your route from the hike of your choosing to Stone Barns at the
Stone Barns Center for
Food and Agriculture
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
(914) 366-6200; www.bluehillfarm.com
Hours: Sun, Wed, and Thurs 5 pm to 10 pm; Fri and Sat, 5 pm to 11 pm
We all know about the world-class restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, but have you explored the rest of the 80-acre property? Continue your walk with one of Stone Barns’ educational tours to learn about community-based farming (visit www.stonebarnscenter.org for info). Kids will love the pigs and sheep, and the greenhouse filled with all sorts of veggies is a thrill to behold.
Blue Hill CafÃ©
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
(914) 366-9600; www.bluehillfarm.com
Hours: Wed to Sun, 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
Head to the Blue Hill CafÃ©, where the farm’s spoils are prepared for those eager to sample. Sweet treats balance a popular farm-fresh egg-salad sandwich, a salad bar, and soup served cafeteria-style. Fresh ingredients make everything taste a whole lot better. When you’ve had your fill, hike back to your car through the Rockefeller Preserve.
For the Bibliophile
Total Distance: 2.74 miles
The Warner Library
121 N Broadway, Tarrytown (914) 631-7734
Hours: Mon and Thurs, 1 to 9 pm; Tues and Wed,
10 am to 6 pm; Fri, 10 am to 5 pm; Sat 10 am to
5 pm; Sun 1 pm to 5 pm
Digest the works of the literary greats while enjoying several notable pieces of historic value, including a 1,000-pound door from Florence, Italy, and panels from the local Detmer estate. Informational pamphlets are available.
Second Stop (.64 miles)
Philipsburg Manor & Mint CafÃ©
381 N Broadway/Rte 9, Sleepy Hollow
(914) 631-3992. Call for seasonal hours.
Mint CafÃ©: (914) 631-2120
Hours: Mon, Wed through Fri, 10 am to 4 pm; Sat and Sun, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Head north on North Broadway to Philipsburg Manor, the restored 300-year-old Philipse family home. The Philipse family were Anglo-Dutch merchants who used this land in the 1750s. They lived their own exciting page in local history. You can read all about it after touring their gristmill and home; just swing by the museum shop. Then rest your feet at the manor’s Mint CafÃ©, a picturesque place for a panini, an espresso, and a rest.
Third Stop (.13 miles)
Old Dutch Church Burying Ground
430 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow
Just a bit further down the road is a location to inspire your own fiction. This churchyard houses the spooky cemetery to which Ichabod Crane ran to save himself from the headless horseman who chased him in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Fourth Stop (.71 miles)
Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
300 Riverside Dr, Sleepy Hollow (914) 332-5953
www.writerscenter.org Hours: Vary
Head south and make a left onto Bellwood Avenue. Make another left onto Palmer Avenue and bear right at the end onto Riverside Drive. Put all your new literary thoughts down on paper at the Writers’ Center, located in the old Philipse Manor railroad station. It offers classes for all levels, as well as readings and lectures. When you are finished, head south on Riverside Drive, bear left onto Palmer Avenue, and turn right to follow North Broadway back to your car.
For the Serious Shopper
Total Distance: 1.35 miles
NoKa Joe’s and NoKa
25 Katonah Ave, Katonah; (914) 232-7278
Hours: Mon to Fri, 5:50 am to 5 pm;
Sat, 8 am to 5 pm; Sun, 9 am to 3 pm
NoKa Joe’s is a cheery place to start a shopping day with a baked goodie and a cup of coffee. Upstairs, there is a quirky gift shop called NoKa, short for “North Katonah.” Besides loads of whimsical gifts, you can find vintage furniture to add that funky feel to your home. Spend more than $20 and one dollar will be donated to one of three local charities.
Second Stop (.5 miles)
Katonah Yarn Company
120 Bedford Rd, Katonah (914) 977-3145
Hours: Tues, 9:30 am to 8 pm; Wed through Fri,
9:30 am to 5:30 pm; Sat, 10 am to 5 pm;
Sun, 11 am to 4 pm
Go south on Katonah Avenue to find this homey store that understands the role fashion plays in knitting. Glamorous yarns are sold here. There’s a Japanese self-striping variety, and the softest merino yarns to craft that cozy sweater just in time for winter. Don’t know how? The knowledgeable staff offers private lessons for about $40 and workshops for $20.
Third Stop (.3 miles)
The Eclectic Collector
215 Katonah Ave, Katonah (914) 232-8700
Hours: Mon to Sat, 10 am to 6 pm;
Sun, 12 to 5 pm
There are 400 different artists represented in this shop offering a variety of glass, jewelry, wood, furniture, and wearable art. The place is packed with handmade creative gifts. As shopkeeper Ellie Kimelman warns, “You have to look in every direction!”
Fourth Stop (.1 miles)
Charles Department Store
113 Katonah Ave
, Katonah (914) 232-5200
Hours: Mon to Fri, 9 am to 6 pm;
Sat, 9 am to 5 pm
This family-run historic storefront is a mainstay in Katonah. Besides a lovely old-fashioned atmosphere, you can find Jura Capresso automatic coffee and espresso machines, All-Clad Cookware, and Vita-Mix professional blenders.
Kristina Berlin is a Greenwich-based freelance writer and nature enthusiast, but she also believes in the power of a hike through downtown Katonah or White Plains.