If you spend a day in one Westchester town this summer, it should be Croton-on-Hudson. This little enclave along the Hudson has everything you could want to escape the season’s swelter, from great coffee (iced, of course) and verdant parks with sweeping views and space for swimming to historic homes and homemade ice cream cones.
Start your Saturday with a jolt of caffeine at The Black Cow Coffee Company (4 Old Post Rd S; 914.271.7544). This cozy coffeehouse stocks beans from around the world (earthy Bali Blue Moon, aromatic Tanzania Peaberry, and splurge-worthy Jamaica Blue Mountain) alongside its French-style house blend. Coffee in hand, take a short drive to Bagels on Hudson (171 S Riverside Ave; 914.271.5412), where bagels get a heavy-handed coating of everything spice. Have the kids with you? Last year, Bagels on Hudson introduced Hot Dippity Donuts, where fried-to-order donuts can be dipped in more than 30 glazes and toppings.
Don’t be late: The first tour of Van Cortlandt Manor (525 S Riverside Ave; 914.366.6900), the Revolutionary War-era home of the prominent Van Cortlandt family, starts now. The 90-minute guided visit delves into the family’s social life (including the house’s Federal-period furnishings and 18th-century kitchen) and the political landscape of the period, then ends with a stroll through the manicured gardens.
Nothing screams summer quite like plump chunks of lobster, simply dressed and piled into a buttered bun. Few places in Westchester do traditional lobster rolls better (or have a better view) than The Tavern at Croton Landing (41 N Riverside Ave; 914.271.8020). If you’re more of a carnivore, head to Memphis Mae’s (173 S Riverside Ave; 914.271.0125) for Carolina pulled pork, smoked Hudson Valley sausages, and Memphis-style ribs.
Pop into 3rd Universe Comics (35 N Riverside Ave; 914.827.3600) to check out the staff picks and peruse the selection of board games. Then head back to Grand Street, to swing by Sunshine & Clover (122 Grand St; 914.862.0755), a quirky flower shop that also stocks an eclectic mix of colorful gifts, jewelry, home accessories, and items made by local artists and artisans.
Treat yourself to something sweet. It’s a hard choice between a slice of summer-fruit pie at Baked by Susan (163 Grand St; 914.862.0874) and some of the county’s best scoops, at The Blue Pig (121 Maple St; 914.271.3850), where superb iterations of the classics — garden mint chip, salted caramel, and the Really Good Chocolate, made with bittersweet Callebaut — share freezer space with fruity flavors like strawberry or August peach.
Take advantage of the (hopefully) warm, sunny weather with a visit to Croton Point Park (1 Croton Point Ave; 914.862.5290). Snap an Instagram-worthy shot of the view as you stroll along the RiverWalk, catch some rays at the beach, go for a quick dip, or just find a patch of grass under a shady tree and relax. Want to get out on the water? Hudson River Recreation (914.682.5135) offers hourly kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals from the park until 5 p.m.
On your way out of town, make a stop at The Green Growler (4 Croton Point Ave). The taproom’s new location boasts a dozen drafts (all available to take home in growlers), an extensive bottle list, a handful of beer-friendly plates, and a new lounge area, where you can relax with a cold flight.