Things to Do
Westchester County is the heart of New York, with a variety of amazing destinations that includes grand Rockefeller properties, well-preserved 18th-century homesteads and picturesque farming villages that dot the countryside. Plus, our shows, fairs and festivals are second to none – from the annual Riverfest summertime celebration showcasing Yonkers' redone waterfront to top productions staged throughout the year at a variety of performing arts centers.
The county offers year-round fun, but with a serious side that lets you get down to business. After all, Westchester is New York's Intellectual Capital®, where a highly educated workforce resides and constant inspiration comes from world-renowned colleges, universities and research centers. Here, among our variety of attractions, meeting spaces and accommodations, you can be productive and still play hard, too!
Although "the city" often refers to New York, Westchester boasts "the cities" – New Rochelle, Yonkers and especially White Plains, the county's commercial and cultural hub. They each offer their own urban vibe, with culture and nightlife in abundance.
For the kid in all of us, Westchester is home to Playland, a Long Island Sound amusement park with family-friendly entertainment. Fun for LEGO fans young and old, LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Yonkers is an interactive world where kids can let their imagination run wild with creative inspiration at every turn. At the other end of the county – and the energy spectrum – Westchester is also home to Bedford, a picturesque Colonial town set amid rolling estates with celebrity residents like Meryl Streep and Richard Gere.
Here are some big attractions you'll enjoy learning about:
Surrounded by History
Visit the home of Thomas Paine, father of the American Revolution, furnished with original 18th-century artifacts. Stroll among the gravestones in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the final resting place for Washington Irving, William Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Imagine yourself arguing the finer points of Colonial law in the Bedford 1798 Court House. Westchester County is home to more than 200 properties on the National Register of Historic Places, and many have ties to African-American heritage and the Revolutionary War.
In White Plains, The Westchester satisfies even the most discerning fashionista, with more than 150 upscale stores, including Neiman Marcus, Burberry, Gucci and Brooks Brothers. Westchester's Ridge Hill is a sophisticated outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Yonkers, and nearby, the Cross County Shopping Center offers favorites such as H&M, Macy's and Victoria's Secret.
Several other shopping destinations are located within the county, and its downtowns offer boutiques, art galleries and specialty shops. Even the rural countryside entices shoppers with antiques shops, locally owned stores, artisan products and fresh produce from roadside stands.
Outdoor Adventure and Splendor
Westchester County is graced with natural beauty. This backdrop is ideal for the active person looking for a place to hike, bike and explore. Explore treasures like Teatown Lake Reservation and Thompson's Cider Mill and be sure to check out Westchester's online Outdoor Adventure Brochure and keep a copy of the Apple Orchards and Farm guide handy. Westchester County is easy to get to and a great place to spend the day.
Helicopter Adventures over Westchester
Explore hidden gems and well-known landmarks from the air with Wings Air's scenic helicopter tours departing from Westchester County Airport. Helicopters seat two to six passengers and are available seven days a week, weather permitting. 30- and 45-minute tours are offered year round, all ages welcome. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can try piloting your own helicopter under the supervision of a certified flight instructor. For more information, visit wingsair.net or call (914) 202-3440.
What's a little winter when it brings with it crisp starry nights, invigorating cross-country ski trails, hiking, snowshoeing, ice sailing or just relaxing by a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book? See a hockey game, practice your own skating at a public ice rink or use those chilly months to visit the Hudson River Museum, attend a golf expo and take in a musical at the Westchester Broadway Theatre.
Water, Water Everywhere
Westchester is a paddler's paradise and boater's bliss, bordered by the Hudson River and Long Island Sound and bisected by large, scenic lakes. George's Island and Croton Point parks are just two of many places providing access to the Hudson, but some people prefer the ambiance of the pristine, 900-acre, three-mile-long Cross River Reservoir.
Along Long Island Sound, rent an umbrella and beach chair at Playland's beach or cool off in the pool. The city of New Rochelle is home to the county's second busiest park, Glen Island Park, which boasts a beautiful crescent-shaped beach.
Festivals, Fairs and Fun
Westchester's calendar is packed with plenty of enticing events. The Lyndhurst Crafts Fair, Yonkers Riverfest, Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze and Frosty the Snowman Parade are just a few of the offerings throughout the year. And of course, nobody should miss Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival, an annual summer treat inspired by the environmental efforts of folk legend Pete Seeger.
In the hamlet of Cortlandt Manor, beautiful ensemble music can be heard wafting from the rustic Copland House, former residence of influential composer Aaron Copland. Come to their acclaimed concert series at Mount Kisco's majestic Merestead estate. Elsewhere, the Westchester Philharmonic and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts enjoy an international reputation for high-quality classical music and other entertainment, while the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck often welcomes more contemporary pop and rock stars, such as Aimee Mann and Commander Cody.
Throughout the county, smaller art centers and theaters provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy quality entertainment.