Peekskill is a city in Westchester County, New York, on a bay on the east side of the Hudson River, right across from Jones Point. The first settlement was established in the early 18th century and by the time of the American Revolution, it became an important manufacturing center based on a number of mills along the several creeks and streams.
Peekskill attracted a number of artists from nearby New York by building artist live/work studios and lofts. Peekskill is home to the Paramount Hudson Valley, once a 1930 movie palace and today a performing arts center.
1. Paramount Hudson Valley
© Paramount Hudson Valley
Paramount Hudson Valley was originally built in 1930 as a 1500-seat movie palace owned by Publix Pictures, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures under the name the Peekskill Paramount Theater. Its inaugural program included an overture by the Paramount Symphony Orchestra, a speech by the village mayor, and The Big Pond, “a Paramount All-Talking Picture”, with Maurice Chevalier and Claudette Colbert. The theatre did well for decades despite the Depression and World War II until 1973 when Paramount sold the building. In 1977 the building was acquired by the City of Peekskill and was restored to its original glory. Today, under the name Paramount Hudson Valley, the theatre is the Westchester County landmark and a popular destination for live music and performing arts. It is operated by the non-profit Paramount Hudson Valley Arts with the mission is to provide high quality performing arts and arts education programs to the Peekskill and northern Westchester County.
1008 Brown St, Peekskill, NY 10566, Phone: 914-739-0039 ext. 2
2. Hudson Valley MOCA
© Hudson Valley MOCA
Hudson Valley MOCA or Museum of Contemporary Art is a registered non-profit arts and education organization founded in Peekskill, New York by Livia and Marc Straus, major collectors of contemporary art. The museum works with a number of international renowned artists as well as local emerging talent. Hudson Valley MOCA has a 12,000 square foot exhibition space in the former home improvement warehouse in Peekskill. It is also the main sponsor of the Peekskill Project, citywide installations by international contemporary artists. Hudson Valley MOCA has installed a number of sculptures throughout the Peekskill business district and the Peekskill riverfront.
1701 Main St, Peekskill, NY 10566, Phone: 914-788-0100
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3. Lincoln Depot Museum, Peekskill, NY
© Lincoln Depot Museum
The Lincoln Depot Museum is located in Peekskill, New York, by Peekskill Bay on the east bank of the Hudson River, inside the 3,000 square foot historic Peekskill Freight Depot. The Museum is managed by the Lincoln Depot Foundation, which was established with a mission to preserve the history of the link between Abraham Lincoln and Peekskill. The museum opened to the public in 2014. President-elect Abraham Lincoln stopped at the depot on February 19, 1861 to greet New Yorkers and give a brief speech during his inaugural ride between Springfield, IL and Washington, DC. After President Lincoln's death in 1865, his funeral train retraced the inaugural route and stopped in Peekskill again, on the way back to Springfield. A memorial stone was erected on South Street, overlooking the depot,
10 S Water St, Peekskill, NY 10566, Phone: 914-402-4318
4. Peekskill Museum
© Peekskill Museum
The Peekskill Museum is a community cultural organization in Peekskill, New York, established in 1946 after the acquisition of the former Herrick family home. The museum’s mission is to collect, preserve and display objects, photographs, documents, and other items related to the history of Peekskill and its surrounding area. The museum tells the story about Peekskill’s history through exhibits, programs and publications. The museum occupies a beautiful Queen Anne Herrick House, designed by William Rutherford Mead . The house was built for Dwight Stiles Herrick and his family, probably in 1877. The building next door to the Museum was the Herrick’s carriage house. The Peekskill Museum was originally part of the Field Library. It moved to the Herrick House and opened its door in 1946.
124 Union Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566, Phone: 914-736-0473
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5. Things to Do Near Me: Homestyle Desserts
© Homestyle Desserts
Homestyle Desserts is a family-run bakery in downtown Peekskill, New York known for its spectacular custom cakes for special occasions, strudel, apple-cider donuts, quiche and more. The bakery has been supplying locals, retail and wholesale, with sweet delights for more than 40 years. Homestyle Desserts started its life in 1970 as the Dutch Mill Donuts, a donut shop in the Village of Buchanan, offering apple dumplings baked in a coal oven. The business, and the choice of sweets they provide, grew significantly since. Homestyle Dessert today specializes in Viennese desserts, cakes, pies, cheesecakes, wedding cakes, special occasion cakes, cookies, macaroons and cupcakes. All their desserts are made from the finest and freshest ingredients. Whether you just need a piece of cake to satisfy your sweet tooth or a special three-tier cake for your daughter’s wedding, Homestyle Desserts is your destination.
24 S Water St, Peekskill, NY 10566, Phone: 914-737-4659
6. Blue Mountain Reservation
From skiing to horseback riding, cycling to trekking, the Blue Mountain Reservation has it all. Featuring 1,583 acres of land, the Blue Mountain Reservation was once part of the Van Cortlandt Manor until it was purchased by the county in 1926. Since then, the reservation’s gorgeous woodlands, massive granite boulders, rock outcrops, and glacial features have been enjoyed by the outdoor-loving public. There are a total of 23 trail miles in Blue Mountain which wind up and down its hills and valleys. Meanwhile there are also single-track trails on wood roads available for mountain bike enthusiasts. The reservation is also home to a five-mile trail includes portions of Blue Mountain and Mount Spitzenberg and also connects to the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway.
Blue Mountain Reservation, Cortlandt, New York 10567
7. Things to Do in Peekskill, NY: Kurzhals Coffee
© Kurzhals Coffee
Located in Peekskill Central Market, Kurzhals Coffee is a cozy cafe located in a historic building that was at different times a hardware store, telegraph office, gunsmith’s factory, a theater and recruitment office during the Civil War. Beautifully renovated place has exposed brick walls, high ceiling and many original materials such as white tiles at the entrance. The bar is made from an oak tree trunk and antique lighting fixtures were found at Early Electrics. The café offers the usual: salads, soups, sandwiches and baked goods, coffee made with locally roasted beans, teas bottled in Dutchess County and milk from a Kingston-based dairy cooperative.
44 N Division St, Peekskill, NY 10566, Phone: 914-930-7914
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8. Peekskill Farmers Market
Located on Bank Street, the Peekskill Farmers Market is a weekly market that operates June through November and has been run by the Peekskill Business Improvement District for 30 years. The market, which is a mainstay of the downtown area come rain or shine, offers visitors an alternative source of fresh produce from dozens of small businesses and farmers. While the produce, cooked treats, and other local finds are reason enough to go, visitors are bound to enjoy the friendly neighborhood vibe of the market along with the talented musicians and skilled artists that come to entertain and showcase their work.
1 Bank Street, Peekskill, New York, Phone: 914-734-5192
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9. Peekskill Sculpture Park
The Hudson River Trail has always been a beautiful and romantic path to stroll and get inspired. At the Peekskill Sculpture Park, travelers will find nearly 30 gorgeous sculptures that were born out of that inspiration. The park covers several streets in the downtown area and is home to iconic sculptures from various artists that are backdropped by the picturesque vistas of the Hudson Valley. See magnificent works of art like Carol Feuerman’s ‘The Golden Mean’, which weighs a whopping 1,500 pounds and depicts a male diver, or William Logan’s ‘ARC’, which is a structure that moves with the wind. In addition to the sculptures, visitors can also see artwork along the streets like the ‘Garden Passage’ Mural of Karen Allen and the ‘What Matters’ piece of Lana Yu.
Hudson Valley MOCA, 1701 Main Street, Peekskill, New York 10566, Phone: 914-788-0100
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10. Birdsall House
Find great food and great craft beer at Peekskill’s premier gastropub, Birdsall House. Located on Main Street, Birdsall House was opened in 2011 by Tim Reike and John Sharp. Soon after its opening, it became a beacon of incredible craft beer and delicious locally sourced meals with Chef Sturgess Spanos running the kitchen. Sample any of the 20 beers that the Birdsall House has on draught, and pair it with delightful menu offerings like their Grilled Lamb Sliders, Smoked BBQ Wings, or the Blackened Salmon. For guests who prefer hard liquor, Birdsall House also offers a variety of cocktails and whiskey as well as wine. Walk-ins and reservations are welcome at Birdsall House, which is seven days a week for lunch and dinner service.
970 Main Street, Peekskill, New York, Phone: 914-930-1880
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