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Staycation in Peekskill

Discover, enjoy, spend the day!

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One of my family's most favorite things to do is explore a nearby place and pretend we are tourists. We pick a spot, take the whole day and explore; in other words a staycation! Peekskill is the perfect place to plan a staycation, there is so much to explore and discover. With a vibrant artist community, the whole city is full of  cool art installations. Everywhere you look is a feast for the eyes, old historic buildings mixed with the hip and modern! Your family will also love how walkable the city is. We love to take the train down which drops you off right on the waterfront, close to everything there is!

Our first stop in Peekskill is the sprawling waterfront, known as Riverfront Green Park. If your family decides to take the train down, the Peekskill train station is located right in this gorgeous park. There is so much to do at this waterfront you could literally spend the whole day here! There is a whole art trail, that is full of interesting sculptures made by local artists. The 2 mile, waterfront portion of this trail, actually connects 4 parks: Peekskill Landing, Riverfront Green Park, Peekskill Bay Greenway and Charles Point Park. It is truly one of the best waterfronts on the Hudson River. You can also find a large playground, watch the trains go by or just have a picnic watching the boats on the Hudson!

One of our favorite places in the park is the 911 memorial. It's a wonderful place to pay respect and it even has a piece of the twin towers.

After you have perused the trails and art at the waterfront, your family is ready to explore a little of downtown Peekskill. Right across the street from the park is a great walkable area with lots of places to explore, or for a bite to eat! One of our favorite stops is the Lincoln Depot. This little museum is the perfect spot to check out some of the rich history of the Hudson Valley. Housed in the old rail and freight depot, this is the actual spot that Lincoln stopped to greet New Yorkers. The museum is open on Sat and Sun from 1-4pm and there is a suggested donation to enter.

Another favorite stop in this part of town is Peekskill Brewery. This is the perfect place to grab a local brew, tour the facility or get some amazing food! After you have had your fill of beer and grub, head across the street to check out some amazing local history! The yellow brick road, yes the same one that Dorothy skipped down is located right across the street! An unassuming parking lot is the only remaining inspiration for Frank L. Baum's, The Wizard of Oz. Historians believe that during his time here in Peekskill, he would have walked this road daily and it, ultimately, became the inspiration for the first American fairy tale!

After exploring this downtown area, it's time to explore the upper part of Peekskill. Coffee shops full of live music, historic buildings turned into unique shopping and more colorful street art. We love sitting down with a local cup of coffee, listening to some local artist sing or strum a guitar and just relaxing. It feels like you are on a hip street in NYC. I suggest parking on Brown Street and walking to Esther and Division streets, to explore.

After you have gotten your fill of walking, window shopping and the hip urban scene our next stop is the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. The HVCCA is very family friendly and one of our most favorite museums to visit with our young daughter. It is 2 floors of rich, contemporary art that is definitely worth the stop! The museum is open Friday 11-5, Sat and Sun 12-6. Admission is 10$ for adults, 5$ for children over 8 and children under 8 are free.

We end our trip to Peekskill getting out of the urban setting and entering the Trailside Museums and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park. This park is home to a carousel, trailside zoo, public pool, picnic areas and a large playground. The zoo is full of indigenous animals all house along beautiful hiking trails. You can see wolves, bears and eagles safely managed in their natural habitats. The trail also has lots of outlook spots, that afford wonderful views of the Bear Mountain bridge and Hudson River. At the end of the trail are a few small museums that house taxidermy, fossils and other artifacts. Once you return back to the parking area, you can end your day at the park by taking a ride on the carousel and grabbing something at their small cafe. The park is open year-round from 10-4:30, parking is 10$ a car, for the whole day and the zoo is a suggested donation of 1$ per person.

Peekskill is a destination that your family could easily spend a whole day or even a weekend. It is the perfect place to plan your next staycation! Full of rich history, art and culture there is no shortage of things to explore!

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