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Planning Your Trip

Just 40 minutes north of Manhattan and at the gateway to New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley, historic Westchester County offers diverse pleasures in its own right. From riverfront dining to outdoor expeditions, strategize your suitcase for a well-rounded getaway.

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Winter Vacation

Winter is one of the most magical times of year to visit, but be ready for the cold! Pack a few strategic items to ensure your Westchester time is warm and toasty.

 

  • Ice skating, winter hiking and cozy dining are just some of our favorite things to do in the cold months. Pack versatile layer pieces like jeans, long-sleeve shirts and sweaters to wear with winter essentials: your coat, boots, gloves, scarf and hat.
  • Pack a couple of dressy extras — a favorite purse, jewelry, a dressy tie and pocket square — for dinner or a Broadway show in Manhattan.
  • Pack some nourishing moisturizer, lip balm and hand cream to keep skin soft and supple in the chill.
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Summer Escape

Westchester is gloriously alive in summer as outdoor festivals, farmers markets, open-air cafés and locavore restaurants are abloom with the season’s bounty.

 

  • Plan to have plenty of sunscreen and water along with you as you’re out exploring. Westchester can be very hot during the daytime in summer. A light jacket is a smart choice for evenings.
  • Be sure to have activewear such as sneakers, leggings, shorts, T-shirts and sturdy sandals for both working out and outdoor adventures.
  • Sunglasses are a summer essential that do double duty as sun protection and fashion statement. A hands-free tote bag for carrying your valuables, as well as farmers market finds and impromptu souvenirs, is another must.
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Outdoor Adventures

The natural beauty of the lower Hudson Valley offers myriad opportunities to adventure and explore. Here’s how to pack for the elements.

 

  • The natural beauty of the lower Hudson Valley offers myriad opportunities to adventure and explore. Here’s how to pack for the elements.
  • Sunscreen, a sunhat and sunglasses are necessities in the warmer months, particularly if you’ll be hiking, fishing, swimming, boating or just strolling outdoors.
  • Bring comfortable, sturdy shoes you don’t mind getting less than pristine for exploring the area’s many farms, orchards, vineyards and hiking trails.
  • Lyme disease, which is transmitted by tick bites, is a risk in the Northeastern U.S., especially in spring and summer. If you’ll be in woods, wear pants and socks, apply repellent with at least 20 percent DEET and perform a thorough check — and, if possible, shower — as soon as you return to the hotel.
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Don’t Forget:

If you equate New York with the big city, you might be surprised to find so many pristine natural areas — and so many birds. If you’re interested in bird-watching, pack your binoculars and notebook because there are some fine birding sites in and around Westchester. Marshlands Conservancy in Rye is the county’s only extensive saltwater marsh, where 300 species have been found. Near JFK International Airport (really!) is the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, one of the Northeast’s most significant bird sanctuaries, offering excellent birding year-round. During spring migration, head to Central Park in Manhattan to spot warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks and more.


You’ll find the pace of life in elegant, outdoorsy Westchester much more easygoing than that of nearby New York City. But you’ll still want to plan ahead — just a little — to get the most out of your trip to this destination.

Dining Reservations

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Great restaurants abound, but the top three dining experiences must be reserved well in advance: Chef Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns is one of the country’s most esteemed restaurants and the ultimate farm-to-table pioneer, set on the grounds of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agricultural in Pocantico Hills. BLT Steak at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester has been a star in the region’s culinary firmament since 2008, when Chef Laurent Tourondel’s haute bistro became the area’s defining steakhouse with intuitive service, more than 200 wines and, of course, breathtaking steaks. And in Irvington, the lively Red Hat on the River is booked weeks in advance for its seasonal French fare and astonishing river views.

Spa Appointments

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Westchester enjoys four beautiful, distinctive seasons, which are celebrated throughout the county’s farms, restaurants and even its premier spa. Ask your Ritz-Carlton concierge or spa aesthetician about seasonal spa services at the hotel’s luxurious, 10,000-square-foot retreat. If you’re in Westchester for the holidays, reserve the Winter Solstice, which restores your skin from the chill and helps you reclaim balance during this hectic season, leaving you rejuvenated and shimmering for festive holiday occasions. Also in keeping with local culture is the Organic Facial, which harvests nature’s purest ingredients to leave your skin balanced and radiant.

Day Trips

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The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester is ideally suited to exploring the area’s cultural and natural gems. From White Plains, it’s just a 40-minute train ride via Metro North to Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal, the perfect gateway to your Big Apple adventure. Spend a day tooling around the towns of the historic Hudson Valley — like Sleepy Hollow, home to the Rockefeller family’s mansion, Kykuit, and Irvington, where you’ll find author Washington Irving’s estate as well as eclectic cafés and shopping. Or drive two hours north to the city of Hudson: Its elegant reinvention boasts rich history and a vibrant population of NYC transplants, who’ve brought sophisticated dining, shopping and arts while maintaining the city’s abundant character and charm.

Outdoor Excursions

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White Plains is the perfect base from which to discover Westchester’s natural beauty. Drive half an hour north to Bear Mountain State Park for easygoing trails and gorgeous views. For a more challenging hike, ascend the 900-foot elevation of Anthony’s Nose in Peekskill, a 6-mile loop that’s part of the Appalachian Trail. It pays off in spectacular views of Bear Mountain Bridge and Hudson River — and afterward, a well-deserved craft beer at Peekskill Brewery. And do reserve advance tickets to the renowned Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills. From April through November, visitors can meet animals, take educational tours and enjoy kid-friendly farm activities.

Surrounded by charming small towns but only a stone’s throw from the dynamic buzz of Manhattan, Westchester offers the best of both worlds. The suburban destination is in prime position for exploring the quaint main streets and sandy beaches of waterfront Connecticut, the art galleries and farm-to-table restaurants of the Hudson Valley, and the unparalleled culture and nightlife of New York City. Or opt to unwind at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester, with exceptional shopping and dining options, plus a world-class spa that — with 10,000 square feet of treatment rooms, sauna, relaxation lounges and an indoor pool — could easily absorb an entire day. 


The Perfect Weekend, 2 Days

Just 30 miles north of bustling midtown Manhattan, the less-hurried haven of Westchester, New York, makes for a perfect weekend retreat. 

 

 

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Winter Adventures

With its proximity to the bustling energy of Manhattan and the picturesque landscapes of the Hudson Valley, White Plains, New York, is the perfect destination for a winter retreat.

 

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