November is a great time to visit Peekskill. You can catch some of the most epic vistas and the fall colors (barring any major wind events) the Hudson Valley has to offer and still take advantage of the city's outdoor spaces and events before things go in hibernation for the winter.
The weekends are always the best time for a visit to Peekskill -- no matter what time of year -- but it's especially true as the weather gets colder. Many businesses in town are closed or have limited hours Monday through Wednesday, so play it safe and plan a weekend venture if you're hoping to do some dining and possibly catch some live music. The good news is, you generally won't find crowds at the riverfront and popular restaurants like you would on a summer weekend.
If you do plan a weekday trip, don't bank on finding any live music, and make sure to call any restaurants you'd like to visit ahead of time to make sure of their hours.
Here's our weekend itinerary for a Peekskill visit in November:
Check in to the newly opened Abbey Inn & Spa perched atop Fort Hill. The Abbey is Peekskill's first luxury hotel and it's brimming with history and epic views of the Hudson Highlands. You'll sleep in the meticulously restored convent of the Episcopal Sisters of Saint Mary -- The Abbey website has a great synopsis of the history.
Bundle up and head down to the Peekskill Riverfront Green Park to catch a Hudson River sunset -- they come nice and early in November! Follow south along the riverwalk and appreciate the sculpture trail presented by Peekskill's Hudson Valley MOCA as you make your way towards Fleischmann's Pier Park. The park and pier are a perfect spot to take in the views of the Hudson Highlands and Bear Mountain Bridge across Peekskill Bay as the sun sets, hopefully with colors that will light your Instagram on fire.
Dinner at Fin & Brew at Factoria. Located at the south end of the riverwalk at Charle's Point, Factoria is an events venue and dining/entertainment experience that opened in 2018 and has since transformed the south side of the Peekskill riverfront. Fin & Brew is the high end dining option, located on the second floor of the complex and offers unique and delicious seafood infused dishes crafted by head chef Mike Anastacio. We're partial to the charred octopus appetizer and crunchy potatoes side. The entrees are always being updated but you really can't go wrong with anything you order. We do recommend that you make reservations ahead of time though.
After dinner and drinks at Fin & Brew head downstairs to Spins Hudson and unleash your inner kid at this arcade/barcade that is fun for both kids and adults. There's video games (new and old school), VR experiences, and new this year, axe throwing! Unfortunately the laser tag and ropes course are currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. You'll also find the River Outpost bar at Spins where you can order craft beer freshly brewed on site. During non-COVID times you'd often find live music here as well, but that's been cancelled for the time being.
After your night out you can hike back to the hotel along the riverwalk or hit up Uber, Lyft or a local taxi company for a ride home.
Hop on one of The Abbey's bicycles for guests (make sure to bring a tote bag or two, you'll need it for what we have planned) and head down to the iconic Peekskill Flatiron Building for breakfast at Peekskill Coffee House. There you can start your day off right with fresh coffee and a pastry at what locals consider "Peekskill's living room." It's unpretentious but cool and the youthful friendly staff will welcome you like a regular.
You can't go wrong with any of their house roasted coffees, and for a bite we suggest this off-menu order: toasted everything bagel with ham and Jarlsberg cheese.
If the weather is right, we recommend taking your order outside to Esther Place, a new pedestrian plaza developed by local walkability group Peekskill Walks that transformed a funny little side street into a vibrant public space -- it's an especially great addition to Peekskill during the time of COVID-19. Also, to use the wi-fi asked the cashier for a wi-fi code (it works out in Esther Place as well).
Take a Saturday Stroll through Peekskill!
Local artisan and friend Geoff Feder (he's a maker of culinary knives and sculptures, many of which you can see around Peekskill) introduced us to this Saturday routine, and we think it's a great way to explore some of Peekskill's destinations on a lively Saturday morning.
After breakfast at the Peekskill Coffee House, head two blocks north to the Peekskill Farmer's Market on Bank Street. The popular outdoor market runs through November 21st, so there's still time to experience one of the best markets in the region.
After stocking up at the farmers market (told you to bring those tote bags!) it's time to explore Peekskill's tiny but proud independent retail scene.
Head one block west to Division Street and head south to Quirkshop Peekskill. This clothing boutique founded by artist Jeorjia Shea features her unique upcycled designs and a curated collection of unique art, jewelry, organic skin care and luxury textile offerings from other local artists.
From there head a block south to The Fern Tree, an African gift shop founded by local artist Lafern Joseph. This store is really special, featuring African American clothing, art, and gifts on offer in a space brimming with personality.
The last stop on the retail tour is Bruised Apple Books on Central Avenue. Like Peekskill Coffee House, Bruised Apple seems like it's pulled from another era -- a cramped and cozy book and record store with whimsical surprises found at every corner. We really love the local section where we can always count on finding gems about our beloved Hudson Valley.
Walk west down Central Avenue -- on your way take note of the small McGregor Brook waterfall on the north side (we hope one day it's better revealed and cleaned up) -- until you reach Journeyman Bakery, Peekskill's newest culinary delight. Owner/baker Michael Sellers opened what was first meant to be a primarily a commercial bakery, butas the pandemic hit, and he quickly pivoted to retail sales and online orders and has found that to be a runaway success. His selections of freshly baked breads and pastries will make you understand why this is a weekly stop for locals.
Continue down Central and take a left turn at Water Street to head south towards Dylan's Wine Cellar.
Before entering Dylan's you'll notice a short yellow brick road -- local lore says this is the yellow brick road that inspired L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz. Local historians dispute the fable, but Baum did indeed spend some time in Peekskill during his youth.
Inside Dylan's you'll find a great selection of wines and spirits, including a great selection of regional choices. You can also spy some pictures of the Peekskill riverfront's more industrial past on the walls of the shop.
For brunch we recommend visiting Iron Vine on Main Street. We've reviewed Iron Vine previously, and it still remains one of our favorite places for a boozy brunch in town. It's the only place in Peekskill that offers a bottomless brunch, and if you combine that with the cozy chic ambience and the excellent Spanish infused cuisine, you've got yourself a pretty perfect midday pit stop.
Last night you ventured down to the south end of Peekskill along the riverwalk, this afternoon you'll head north to Annsville Preserve Park. This park is definitely a bit off-the-radar and could hopefully one day see some updating, but it's worth a visit for a unique experience and some beautiful alternative views of the Hudson.
To get there you head north on Water Street. You'll pass by Peekskill icon Dain's Lumber (it's be there since 1848), the quirky/cool antique lighting store/collection Early Electrics, and the new-to-Peekskill-by-way-of-Berkley tech company Bantam Tools.
Water Street then narrows and becomes Old Pemart Avenue. Continue north and you'll pass by Caring For The Homeless and Hungry of Peekskill, an important community organization looking out for the needy in the community, as well as Be First Boxing, a non-profit boxing gym dedicated to teaching children the discipline of the sport.
You'll then pass through an arched sign announcing Annsville Creek Preserve and walk along a one way street with the train tracks and the Hudson River to the west of you and sheer rocks to the east. At the end of the street you'll find the Annsville Preserve Park and the calm waters of Annsville Creek. After exploring, head back the way you came and watch the sunset over the Hudson.
For dinner and a show we recommend heading back to Division Street, which is typically closed off to vehicle traffic on weekend afternoons, and take a seat at Peekskill's newest gastropub, Whiskey River. They've got a constantly shifting menu of delicious and descendant elevated takes on bar classics, and on most Saturday evenings when the weather is nice you'll find live music on Division Street.
Today's breakfast and coffee will be provided by Peekskill's other excellent independent coffee shop, Kurzhals Coffee. Quainter --and maybe a tad hipper --than Peekskill Coffee, Kurzhals offers equally great caffeinated beverages and some truly great quick service food.
Time for a hike through Peekskill's backyard, Depew Park. Depew offers 192 acres of outdoor space including sports facilities and plenty of trails. It also connects to the larger Blue Mountain Reservation which spans 1,583 acres and offers 23 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.
Take a few hours and explore the woodlands. You'll be amazed at how quickly you'll feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, save for the occasional train horn reminding you that you're just an hour from NYC.
Head over to Birdsall House on Main Street to experience brunch at Peekskill's original gastropub. As we've mentioned in our previous review, Birdsall House remains one of our favorite spots to eat and drink in all of Peekskill.
Just like Peekskill, it's a little bit city, a little bit country, and we love it so. Enjoy brunch in the Beer Garden -- for the colder months they've just added outdoor gas heaters and wood burning fire pits for maxium cozy. Another way they're keeping you warm? Sunday's often feature live bossa nova music in the garden.
Before heading back to the city, we suggest you grab a 4-pack of freshly canned Peekskill Brewery beer as a souvenir from their location on Water Street near the Metro North station. If you have time, maybe get something fresh off the tap before bidding adieu to Peekskill.