Love on the Hudson: 7+ Amazing Things To Do In Nyack NY

Nyack, New York, hometown of actress Helen Hayes and American artist, Edward Hopper, has long been known as a haven for artists, with cool shops and restaurants. Combining cultural richness with the natural beauty of scenic hills along the Hudson River, Nyack appeals to art lovers and fans of the Great Outdoors.

Whether it’s kayaking on the river, exploring local art galleries, or enjoying a diverse culinary scene, this village provides a fulfilling experience that goes beyond its small-town charm. Conveniently located near the Tappan Zee Bridge and just a short drive from Manhattan, Nyack is both accessible and worth exploring in its own right.

In this blog post, we will cover a carefully curated list of activities and experiences that aim to capture the essence of Nyack. Stay with us to discover how you can make the most of your time in this inviting riverside community.

Here’s our curated list of all the best things to do in Nyack NY on the Hudson River Getaway near NYC.

Looking for more weekend getaway ideas near New York City? Check out our list of Romantic Getaways In New York State.

Where Is Nyack NY?

Nyack is a village situated along the western shore of the Hudson River in Rockland County, New York. Approximately 25 miles north of Manhattan in the Hudson Valley, Nyack is known for its easy access to both the natural splendor of the river and the Tappan Zee Bridge, which connects it to Westchester County.

The village is a blend of residential, commercial, and waterfront areas, presenting a diverse landscape that ranges from quiet tree-lined streets to a bustling downtown filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries.

The childhood home of Edward Hopper is now open as the Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center

Romantic Things to Do in Nyack NY

VISIT: Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center

Over fifteen percent of the visitors who make a pilgrimage to artist Edward Hopper’s childhood home in Nyack are from abroad. That fact just confirms this iconic American artist’s global and enduring appeal. The modest whitewashed house now serves as an art center, exhibit space (for Hopper-influenced artists), and jazz venue.

Nighthawks, Hopper’s depiction of several lonely night owls through the glass window of a 1940s city diner, is probably his most famous painting. But this theme of human alienation, co-opted by Alfred Hitchcock, who often referenced Hopper’s images in his movie sets, is but one among many.

A latter-day Vermeer, Hopper’s use of concentrated and diffused light figures prominently in his paintings. Natural light is depicted as blades of white in stark juxtaposition to shadowy pigments. While his urban scenes could be depressing, his mood (and palette) lightened considerably when he painted the New England Coast and at his home in Truro on Cape Cod.

Edward Hopper Live Vs Art Turo MA

Hopper, born in 1882, had a remarkably normal upbringing. He wrote letters home to his mother from summer camp, just a few miles up the road. In one, he assured his Mom that he was “feeling well, and “had enough clothes and underwear.”

Hopper biked to shipyards nearby and was a self-taught naval architect. Later on, he married the artist Jo Nivison. He actually made a living as an artist – while alive.

Hopper died in 1967, a couple of years later than his sister who had lived her whole life in Nyack. Local historians and architects rescued the home, originally built by Hopper’s maternal grandfather in the mid-1800s, preserving it “floorboard by floorboard.

Edward Hopper Childhood Bedroom Nyack NY

A tour will take you through three gallery rooms, where you’ll see some of Hopper’s and Nivison’s work and personal artifacts, displays of Hopperesque artists, and upstairs to his Hudson Riverview bedroom.

It’s there you’ll discover the light through his windows that so informed his work. 

The Hopper House is one of the Getaway Maven’s recommended Best Places to Propose in New York State.

DO: NY Bridge Viewing Platform, Memorial Park

Rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge linking Tarrytown NY to Nyack NY on I-287 was a costly endeavor. But it was oh so fascinating to watch. Locals and visitors witnessed the new bridge go up, girder-by-girder, piling by piling, lane-by-lane, from a protected viewing platform that extends into the Hudson River from Nyack’s Memorial Park. Though the bridge is completed, this is still a great place to watch the Hudson flow by.

SHOP LOCAL: Downtown Nyack

Abigail Rose and Lily Too Nyack NY

An alternative to the big box shops of Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, shop local abounds in Downtown Nyack. Hippy dippy co-exists with comfy-boomer clothing and accessories on Broadway (N. and S.) and Main Street. My favorite boutiques include the new Brooklyn-ish Abigail Rose and Lily Too, Gina Lisa Lingerie, and Maria Luisa.  All offer a range of clothing for women whose days of stilettos and spandex are way behind them. (Think soft cotton and relaxed fit.)

Hickory Dickory Dock Shop interior

One of the most eclectic finds is the Hickory Dickory Dock shop. The store captures the imagination the moment you walk in, thanks to its intriguing array of merchandise. With walls adorned with clocks of various shapes and sizes—from traditional pendulum clocks to modern digital designs—the shop feels like a temporal playground. In addition to its signature timepieces, Hickory Dickory Dock also features a variety of classic toys and games, making it a destination that appeals to both the young and the young-at-heart.

Tree of Life shop interior

If you have a sweet tooth, and even if you don’t, the Tree of Chocolate is a mandatory stop. From hand-painted truffles to gourmet chocolate bars sourced from around the world, the store specializes in high-quality, unique treats that make for perfect gifts or indulgent personal snacks. The staff are knowledgeable and passionate about their offerings, often providing insightful background on the flavors, origins, and crafting methods of their products. Whether you’re a casual chocolate lover or a dedicated connoisseur, Tree of Chocolate provides an indulgent experience that tantalizes the senses.

GO: Cuomo Bridge Path

The Cuomo Bridge Path is a specialized route designed for pedestrians and cyclists that takes you across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. It connects Nyack to Sleepy Hollow NY, offering unparalleled views of the Hudson River along the way.

The path stretches about 3.6 miles from South Nyack to Sleepy Hollow and includes six strategically placed overlooks where you can pause and enjoy sweeping vistas of both the Hudson Valley and the Manhattan skyline. Enhanced with LED lighting, seating areas, and informative displays, the Cuomo Bridge Path embodies a seamless fusion of modern engineering and thoughtful planning, providing a unique and enriching experience for all who traverse it.

GO: Nyack Beach State Park

Nyack Beach is a tranquil yet engaging outdoor area situated along the Hudson River in Upper Nyack. Known for its expansive riverfront and scenic trails, this locale provides a peaceful retreat that attracts hikers, cyclists, and nature lovers alike. The shoreline offers an idyllic setting for a leisurely walk or a family picnic, while the adjacent Hook Mountain provides opportunities for more challenging hikes with rewarding views.

A popular feature of the park is the multi-use path that connects to the larger Hudson River Valley Greenway, allowing for extended cycling or hiking excursions. Whether you’re interested in bird-watching, casting a fishing line, or simply soaking in the serene views of the river and the Palisades cliffs across the way, Nyack Beach offers a variety of experiences to enjoy nature’s bounty.

BIKE: Explore the Cycling Routes Around Nyack

Nyack is a favored starting point for cyclists interested in exploring the scenic landscapes of Rockland County and the lower Hudson Valley. One popular route is the dedicated multi-use path that leads from Nyack Beach State Park to Hook Mountain, offering stunning views of the Hudson River and Palisades cliffs.

For those interested in a longer ride, the trail connects to the broader Hudson River Valley Greenway system, allowing for extended excursions that reach as far north as Haverstraw and beyond. Additionally, the Cuomo Bridge Path gives cyclists a unique way to cross the Hudson, connecting Nyack to Tarrytown and Westchester County. Equipped with overlooks and informational displays, this path offers both exercise and education.

Rent a bike from Crankworks Cycles, or bring your own and tackle any (or all) of the following routes:

  • Old Croton Aqueduct Trail Loop (26.5 miles)
  • Haverstraw River Trail – Rockland Lake State Park Loop from Upper Nyack (11.4 miles)
  • Grassy Point – Nyack Beach MUP Loop from Nyack (25.6 miles)

With a mix of flat, rolling, and challenging terrains, the bike routes around Nyack cater to riders of all levels, making it a versatile destination for cycling enthusiasts.

Exterior of Strawberry Place in Nyack

Nyack Restaurants

BRUNCH: Strawberry Place

Located in the heart of the village, Strawberry Place is adorned with whimsical decor, from antique mirrors to nostalgic wall hangings, which add to its inviting atmosphere. The menu features an array of delectable options ranging from classic pancakes and omelets to unique specials that often incorporate seasonal ingredients. The food is not only comforting but also beautifully presented, making each dish feel like a small celebration.

Known for its generous portions and warm service, Strawberry Place has become a staple for both locals and visitors seeking a homestyle meal in an environment that feels like a step back in time.

Art Cafe exterior

EAT: Art Café

Procure the best artisanal coffees, teas and Middle Eastern fare at this ultra-casual breakfast, lunch and dinner spot inside an old Victorian home right next door to the Nyack Library.

EAT: Locals also like

The Greekish for fine Mediterranean cuisine and Hudson House for fun dining in the old village hall and jailhouse.

Hotels In Nyack NY

STAY: Hotel Nyack, Hyatt Hotel

The Hotel Nyack (Hyatt) turned this artsy but sleepy burg, 20 miles north of Manhattan up the Hudson River, into a “beautiful people” destination.

This big-dog-friendly, 133-room Industrial-chic inn sits hard by busy I-287. By virtue of its edgy decor, it wouldn’t be a fit for the average Best Western fan.

You have to be the kind of traveler who appreciates Damien Hirst-esque glittery (and woven) skulls, purposely unfinished concrete walls, dangly crystal lamps, and recurring-Rorschach-inkblot wallpaper – all together, a kind of Baroque-meets-Modern motif. Luckily, I am.

Mick Jagger with Red Lips, Russell Young, Time Hotel Nyack NY

Location is everything, and in this case it can be good or not so good depending on your perception. The Hotel Nyack is right off the second exit on I-287 after crossing the Hudson River from Westchester NY. And I mean, right off, as in, take a left from the exit ramp into the parking lot.

On the one hand, this is the most convenient spot to place a hotel, especially now when you can see the new Tappan Zee Bridge from certain hotel balconies. On the other hand, The Hotel Nyack is right on the interstate, complete with incumbent whizzing and humming traffic noise.

First Impressions

Walk through red castle-like doors into a dark lobby. The black polished concrete floor is offset by colorful tufted seating, “Oriental rugs” woven with skulls, and Rock and Roll portraits like “Mick Jagger With Red Lips” (artist, Russell Young) shot through with diamond dust.

Lobby, Time Hotel, Nyack NY

Though brilliantly and luxuriously repurposed, it’s not a cushy place. Raw brick walls and exposed ductwork hark back to when this building was a plastics factory and warehouse.  That cool vibe extends to the reception staff who are friendly and efficient, but not overly fawning.

I have great appreciation for out-of-mainstream contemporary design, as long as it comes with a dreamy bed (check), large flat-screen TV (check), large bathroom with shower, stand-alone bathtub, and ample lighting (triple check). Loft-like rooms on the (highest) 4th floor feature 20-foot steel beam ceilings.

Suite, Time Hotel Nyack NY

The sparkle of crystal lighting and the punch of teal curtains warm up what once was a piece of the factory floor. Rooms on the 4th floor also feature balconies, some with Hudson River and Tappan Zee Bridge views.

In-house restaurant, The Grill at Nyack does what a good steakhouse should do.

Outdoor Pool, Time Hotel, Nyack NY

The outdoor pool is the most Hollywood thing about The Hotel Nyack. Though very small (more like a lap pool), it’s surrounded by upholstered ottomans, cushioned lounge chairs, and mid-century modern tables. Thronging on weekends, you can catch up on sleep – or on a summer read – during weekday lulls.

There’s a fitness room, a Tesla charging station, shuttle into town (about a mile away) and bikes for rent.

Romantic Getaways Near NYC In Westchester

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  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt

    Travel experts Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt share all-in-one destination guides for the best romantic getaways. Although they generally publish independent articles, this is their collection of collaborative posts. Malerie’s focus and specialty is the Northeastern USA, and she is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. Originally from the Caribbean, but based in New York's Capital Region for over twenty years, Sandra specializes in warm-climate destinations.

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