A summertime guide to Westchester County
Whether they’re drawn to an outdoor festival, jazz at sunset, kayaking along the Hudson or scenic outdoor dining, travelers will find ample reasons to visit New York’s Westchester County this summer. And, with its idyllic location, set between the enchanting Hudson River and serene Long Island Sound, the County is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Just 30 miles north of New York City and easily accessible by rail via Metro-North, travelers will be pleasantly surprised by the outdoor appeals of Westchester.
Families can enjoy a free concert series – Summer Nights on the Sound – at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck. It kicks off on July 4 and continues through Aug. 3.
Hudson River Museum will host free performances in its Amphitheater on Fridays and Saturdays from July 5 through Aug. 31. Acts include contemporary dance performances, immersive theatrical presentations of Shakespeare’s finest work, jazz, R&B concerts and tango nights.
Sunset Jazz Concerts begin at Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown on July 11. Relax on the great lawn and enjoy cool music by top jazz artists. The concerts continue through Aug. 29.
Caramoor's Jazz Festival is a highly anticipated highlight of Westchester’s summer events schedule. On July 20, jazz is performed by phenomenal talent, including ten-time Grammy Award Winner Eddie Palmieri, amid the lush gardens Katonah’s marquee center for music and art.
Empire City Casino in Yonkers will host special events throughout the summer months including comedy nights, huge prize giveaways and a showcase by Grammy award-winning Kool & The Gang, who will bring funk to the casino on Aug. 16.
The 53rd Annual Moon Viewing Concert takes place at Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden in North Salem on Aug. 10. The Japanese Stroll Garden, lit by paper lanterns, is a magical setting for this ancient custom, which brings together people and traditions of the East and the West.
On Sept. 7, to commemorate the 240th anniversary of Burning of Bedford, the Bedford Historical Society will host a celebratory tribute on the Village Green with re-enactors, musket drills, encampment, colonial games, and more, including a grand finale bonfire on the Green.
One of the most prestigious and iconic equestrian sporting events in the world of international show jumping, the American Gold Cup returns to North Salem from Sept. 11 to 15. Elite equestrian athletes, horse owners, young hopefuls and enthusiastic fans will gather to enjoy the extraordinary show jumping event.
Jazz Fest White Plains is a celebration of jazz for music lovers of all ages. The event, which takes place from Sept. 11 to 15, has become a signature County showcase featuring both free and affordable ticketed performances.
As summer comes to a close, the County has a number of great events to usher in the fall, including the Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst from Sept. 13 to 15 in Tarrytown. Travelers can enjoy shopping for handmade clothing, jewelry, ceramics and art, as well as local gourmet food and drinks with plenty of fun for the little ones as well.
More than just a festival, Yonkers Riverfest is a celebration of community. This free event draws more than 15,000 people to Yonkers Downtown each year and will return this summer on Sept. 14.
EXPLORE WESTCHESTER THIS SUMMER
Take a trip to the famed Playland, in Rye, for endless family fun. Renowned for its historic rides, gorgeous beachside setting and Art Deco architecture, the park offers ample thrill rides as well as calmer, family-friendly options. Its evening fireworks display on Aug. 30 is a wonderous sight, and the park hosts a Laser Light Show every Tuesday – Sunday during the season. For the first time in over a decade, visitors will be among the first to experience the park’s newest ride, which officially opens in July. The new attraction will be named by the people of Westchester County.
Visit the unique Armour-Stiner House in Irvington, which, for the first time in its history, is open for guided tours. The house is open Fridays through Mondays and advanced reservation is required.
Be one with nature in Scarsdale at Greenburgh Nature Center, which offers an extensive platform of nature and environmental education for the benefit and enjoyment of their visitors. The center has a jam-packed schedule of family-friendly events taking place throughout the summer months including a live butterfly exhibit and a family overnight campout.
Hit Westchester County’s beaches, skipping the typical traffic and crowds of nearby shoreline areas. On Long Island Sound, options include Rye Town Park & Beach, and Playland Beach, both of which offer water access from Rye. On the Hudson River, Croton Point Park Beach in Croton-on-Hudson is popular for its scenic views and spacious beach, as well as its water activities including kayaking, boating and stand-up paddle boarding. Adventure seekers can explore the 508-acre Croton Point Park to discover a host of enjoyable activities that summer brings to Westchester County.
Bike, skate, scooter, walk, or jog on this 13.1-mile traffic-free road from White Plains to Yonkers when the Bronx River Parkway closes to cars on Sunday mornings in September. Bicycle Sundays are a beloved Westchester County tradition since 1974.
Explore the well-shaded climbs of Westchester, which feature some of the best hiking trails in the state. For example, Mianus River Gorge Preserve in Bedford is a trail that looms 40 feet above the Mianus River. Despite the exhilarating view, the hike is easy and perfect for the whole family. And at Croton Gorge Park in Cortlandt, an easy two-mile hike includes gorgeous vistas of the New Croton Dam.
Catch a birds-eye view of Westchester’s sunny skies with a Balloons Over Westchester hot air balloon ride.
SUMMERTIME STAYS & ALFRESCO DINING
With firepits for s’mores, a heated pool and a golf course, Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook presents an abundance of fun options for families. And, this summer, the hotel is offering 15% off rooms, golf and dining. The award winning Castle Hotel & Spa, overlooking the Hudson River, is celebrating the summer with “Poolside Pairings” on Thursdays through Sept. 5. For the travelers who love to shop, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Peekskill, just a stroll away from Charles Point Park and the Hudson River, is offering a “Shop & Drop” package to guests this summer. And, coming in September, SpringHill Suites by Marriott will open its door in the peaceful village of Tuckahoe.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford unveiled its new beer hall just in time for a visit by ale-loving summertime travelers. For outdoor dining and stunning views of the Hudson River, travelers will enjoy River Market Bar and Kitchen in Tarrytown, Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry, and French-American bistro, Red Hat on the River in Irvington. Both Dolphin Restaurant and sister restaurant Café Hudson in the heart of the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront development, offer beautiful views of the river. And, for another charming sunset viewing point, travelers should consider a visit to The Boathouse in Ossining.