So, you’re curious about Scarsdale, New York? Well, buckle up, because this isn’t your average town. It’s like New York and Greenwich, Connecticut, had a baby, and that baby grew up to be a millionaire.
The houses in Scarsdale are so big and fancy, they’d make English royalty blush. They’re like the manor houses you’d find scattered across the English countryside, but with a touch more opulence.
But Scarsdale isn’t just about the glitz and the glamour. It’s also a place where history meets culture and recreation.
So, if you’re looking for a place that’s more than just a pretty face, Scarsdale is the town for you. It’s got the charm of a suburban town and the reputation of a high-end fashion boutique. Now, let’s dive into the best things to do in Scarsdale, NY, to make the most of your day trip!
- Explore Scarsdale’s Revolutionary history and unique attractions, from the Cudner-Hyatt House to Saxon Woods Park!
- Indulge in some retail therapy at Harwood Building or a sweet treat at Galloway’s Bakery.
- Take a tour of nearby towns like Mamaroneck, White Plains & Rye for more fun activities!
A Brief History of Scarsdale, New York
Scarsdale, New York, has a national reputation for being a tranquil, and rather snooty, town. It also has a fascinating history dating back to before the American Revolution.
Once upon a time, in the late 17th century, a chap named Caleb Heathcote decided to buy Scarsdale. He then went on to give it a royal upgrade, becoming a royal manor, in 1701. At that time, the town was home to a whopping twelve people, seven of whom were African slaves. When Caleb passed away, his daughters got their hands on the property, though it was eventually split up in 1774. Scarsdale officially became a town in 1788, and the rest, as they say, is history.
When the American Revolution was in full swing, Scarsdale found itself in the midst of a historical ping-pong match between the Continental and British armies. Sir William Howe even made himself at home in a farmhouse on Garden Road. The town’s tumultuous wartime past inspired James Fenimore Cooper’s 1821 novel, The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground. Cooper penned the novel while residing at Angevine Farm in what is now known as the Heathcote section of town.
1800s in Scarsdale
Scarsdale was but a humble hamlet of 281 souls in 1790, and by 1840, it had shrunk to a mere 255. Apparently, farming had lost its charm. Then along came the New York and Harlem Railroad in 1846, and suddenly, Scarsdale was on the map! Commuters flocked to the area, and the Arthur Suburban Home Company saw a golden opportunity. In 1891, they purchased a farm and set about transforming it into a stylish neighborhood of single-family homes. This marked a significant shift for Scarsdale, transitioning it from a quiet farming community to a thriving suburb. As the town expanded, so too did its civic pride, leading to the establishment of institutions such as:
- The Heathcote Association
- Town Club
- Scarsdale Woman’s Club
- Scarsdale League of Women Voters
1900s in Scarsdale
As the 20th century dawned, Scarsdale began to look less like a backdrop for a Jane Austen novel and more like the thriving town we know today. In 1909, the Scarsdale Police Department was established. Following this, Scarsdale High School and Greenacres Elementary School both opened in 1912. That same year, the town’s first store opened, as well. No longer did residents need to hitch the horse and buggy to get to the next town over for shopping. Edgewood Elementary School joined the ranks in 1919. By 1930, the town was teeming with 10,000 residents. A decade later, the town played unwilling host to Nazi agent Gerhardt Alois Westrick. He held clandestine meetings with American business leaders in town. His family was eventually given the boot for activities that were, shall we say, less than friendly towards the United States.
In the year 1951, the town’s public library decided it was time for a change of scenery and moved into its current abode, all thanks to the generosity of S. Spencer Scott. This New York City publisher apparently had a heart of gold. Not to be outdone, the last of the town’s five elementary schools, the Heathcote Elementary School, threw open its doors in 1953. The school was the brainchild of Perkins & Will of Chicago.
Scarsdale, NY, has not been without its controversies on the national stage. Back in the 1950s, it was the center of a communist infiltration scandal in public schools, courtesy of a “Committee of Ten.” The town, however, gave a collective eye-roll, dismissed these claims, and continued about its business.
Then in 1963, the Scarsdale Citizens Committee decided to flex its legal muscles and sued to prevent a Freedom Riders benefit from happening at Scarsdale high school.
The plot thickened in 1961, when the Scarsdale Golf Club, in a rather snooty move, refused to let Michael Cunningham Hernstadt escort a debutante. Hernstadt was a young man who had converted from Judaism to the Episcopal Church. This marked a turning point in the town’s move away from anti-Semitism.
Scarsdale had its fifteen minutes of fame in the landmark United States Supreme Court decision, ACLU v. Scarsdale (1985). This case introduced the world to the “reindeer rule” – a festive yet quirky term – which pertains to public nativity scenes. It reinforced the right of local religious groups to set up their crèches on public property. They just need enough reindeer to make it passable as not too religious.
Modern Era in Scarsdale
Fast forward to the present day, Scarsdale is sitting pretty as the second-richest town in the United States. Just a breezy 35-minute express train ride from the hustle and bustle of New York City, it’s like a wealthy suburb with an air of prestige. And some of the best public schools in the country. So, if you’re looking for a town that’s got history, charm, and a whole lot of cash, then Scarsdale is your go-to place.
The Best Things to do in Scarsdale, NY
Scarsdale, darling, is not just a pretty face with a fat wallet. This town is a smorgasbord of experiences. For history nerds, nature lovers, or foodies, Scarsdale rolls out the red carpet for all. It’s an eclectic mix of old-world charm and gastronomic adventures that will leave you smitten.
Here’s a rundown of the best attractions and activities in Scarsdale, NY.
Village of Scarsdale
Scarsdale’s very own heartbeat, the Village of Scarsdale, is a Tudor-style architectural wonderland. It boasts a collection of independent shops that add a dash of charm and a sprinkle of sophistication to every Scarsdale abode.
Picture this: a quaint, walkable town lined with the kind of mom-and-pop shops that would make any urban planner swoon. For example: Bronx River Books, an indie bookstore so hip, it probably wears skinny jeans. This literary haven hosts readings twice a week. But don’t expect to paint the town red when the sun goes down. The town’s 2010 comprehensive plan quipped that Scarsdale had “too many jewelers, banks and real estate offices” and not enough nightlife. Over a decade later, it seems the town is still hitting the snooze button.
But don’t let that deter you. Take a leisurely stroll, window-shop till your heart’s content, and soak up the quaint atmosphere that makes Scarsdale a hidden treasure in the heart of Westchester County.
Architecture fans will love Scarsdale High School, seated with dignity on Post Road. It’s an architectural gem from the early 20th century. And it’s not too long of a walk away from the center of the Village, near Fox Meadow.
Bronx River Parkway
Get ready for an outdoor adventure at the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. This 807-acre linear park is so big it practically has its own zip code! And get this, it even has a section, Garth Woods, that brushes up against the western edge of Scarsdale. Fancy a stroll over an Adirondack-style footbridge? Of course, you do! And wait till you see the waterfall – it’s like the cherry on top of this natural sundae.
Step back in time and visit the Cudner-Hyatt House, a 19th-century home-turned-museum that showcases Scarsdale’s rich history. Curated by the Scarsdale Historical Society, this historic gem provides a glimpse into the town’s past and the lives of its early residents.
At the Cudner-Hyatt House, you can explore Scarsdale’s rich history. This museum is filled with historical artifacts and exhibits that provide a glimpse into the early life in Scarsdale. From antique furniture to old photographs, each item tells a unique story.
Behold the Harwood Building! This architectural masterpiece stands tall in the heart of Scarsdale, like a Tudor castle that took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and ended up in suburban Westchester. Its gables and turret and Tudor-style architecture are a nod to Elizabethan grandeur. It’s a sight for sore eyes and a magnet for history buffs and architecture aficionados alike.
More than just a pretty face, the Harwood Building is a bustling hub of commerce, housing a variety of stores. It’s a perfect blend of shopping spree and history lesson, all wrapped up in a package of architectural charm.
So, if you’re in Scarsdale, don’t just pass by this Elizabethan castle in disguise. Pop in, shop around, and soak in the rich history and culture that the Harwood Building has to offer. It’s a trip back in time, with a side of retail therapy.
Weinberg Nature Center
Nature lovers, rejoice! The Weinberg Nature Center offers:
- School programs
- Animal rehabilitation
- Gardening classes
- Forest Preschool
- A variety of educational programs
The center, often visited by elementary schools, is a fantastic way for families to connect with nature and learn about the importance of preserving our environment.
Greenburgh Nature Center
The Greenburgh Nature Center is a 33-acre nature reserve where you can enjoy nature trails, live animal exhibits, and a Native American Village. Ideal for a family outing, the center offers a variety of activities and educational programs that cater to all ages and interests.
Boulder Brook Equestrian Center
Saddle up and experience the thrill of horse riding at the Boulder Brook Equestrian Center. Offering lessons for all ages and skill levels, the center provides a unique opportunity to learn and enjoy the beauty of equestrian sports in a welcoming environment.
Chase Park is a small, landscaped green space located in the town center, near East Parkway. During the summer months, the park comes alive with free outdoor summer concerts.
Scarsdale Municipal Pool
Cool off during the summer months at the Scarsdale Municipal Pool. This popular spot offers swimming, special events, and private birthday parties for all ages, making it a fantastic place to beat the heat and enjoy some aquatic fun.
Quaker Ridge Golf Club
For golf enthusiasts, the Quaker Ridge Golf Club offers exceptional amenities, including:
The club has hosted prestigious tournaments such as the Walker Cup, Metropolitan PGA Championships, and the Metropolitan Open, making it a top destination for golfers in the area.
Saxon Woods Golf Course
Looking for a place to tee off? Saxon Woods Golf Course is your hole-in-one! This public 18-hole course, on the border with White Plains, is more than just a golfer’s paradise. It’s got a driving range to test your swing, a practice green to perfect your putt, and a pro shop to spoil you with golf goodies.
This is one of the best golf courses for golfers of all skill levels. It offers a challenging yet enjoyable day on the greens. And let’s not forget about the meticulously maintained fairways and strategically placed tee boxes and bunkers.
Saxon Woods Park
Ready to let Mother Nature show off? Then Saxon Woods Park is your jam. This massive 700-acre park is packed with hiking trails, picnic spots, and a big old swimming pool. This is the perfect place for a family day out or a friendly gathering. And with a slew of activities from fishing and boating to bird watching and nature walks, there’s always something to make your day a little more adventurous.
Scarsdale Woman’s Club
Back in 1858, William Bailey Lang, an iron merchant with a flair for the dramatic, constructed Rowsley. This veranda-draped house was modeled after a beauty he’d seen in Derbyshire, England. Since 1928, this architectural stunner across the street from Drake Road Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And it has long been the headquarters of the Scarsdale Woman’s Club. This club, born from the embers of the suffrage movement, now hosts book readings, wine tastings, and jazz concerts. They’re clearly women of many talents! And did we mention the ancient white oak gracing their front lawn? This gnarled beauty is estimated to be nearly 500 years old, according to the New York Times.
Restaurants in Scarsdale, NY
Scarsdale boasts a diverse culinary scene, with plenty of delicious options to satisfy any craving. From bakeries and delis to ice cream shops, the town offers a variety of eateries to suit every taste.
Here are some of the top dining options in Scarsdale, NY.
Galloway’s Bakery is a local favorite, serving up scrumptious baked goods for over 60 years. Known for their top crust pies, this bakery is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Be sure to visit on weekends when the selection of treats is at its freshest.
Get ready to be charmed by the last farm standing in the suburban jungle of Scarsdale – the Ramsey Farm. Tucked away on Ramsey Road, this farm is a delightful collision of residential life and good old farming. The farm’s produce stand, cozily nestled in the yard of the house, blends into the neighborhood like a chameleon, but stands out with its sprawling fields and hard-at-work tractors. It also sells Scarsdale honey, sourced from Stonwin Farm where Ramsey’s grows flowers and some of its produce. While some of the produce is home-grown, a good chunk hails from their farm in New Paltz, though mostly non-organic. An unexpected sight at the farm is the family’s 1915 Ford Model T, parked at the back like a time traveler. And rumor has it, their corn is so good, people smuggle it across state lines.
Buon Amici Delicatessen
For those craving a taste of New York-style sandwiches, Buon Amici Delicatessen has you covered. This family-owned business has been serving delicious:
You’ll find classic Italian favorites on their menu, including the Italian Combo, which features salami and capicola.
The Scoop Shop
Cool down with a visit to The Scoop Shop, where you can indulge in a wide variety of frozen yogurt and ice cream flavors. With an array of toppings and candy to choose from, this sweet spot is the perfect destination for a refreshing treat on a hot day.
Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay in Scarsdale, NY
Our Greenwich, CT, bed and breakfast is a hop, skip, and a 20-minute drive from Scarsdale, New York. It’s perfect for those looking to add a dash of charm to their summer day trip. If you’re planning to stay the weekend, though, Scarsdale might leave you scratching your head, wondering where all the hotels have gone.
In fact, if you’re looking for a bed and breakfast near Scarsdale, New York, Stanton House Inn in Greenwich, CT, is your best option. Not even a sales push, just stating facts.
You can head to nearby White Plains, New York, or New Rochelle, NY, if you’d prefer a hotel.
Directions to Scarsdale, New York
Reaching Scarsdale, New York, is straightforward, whether by car or public transportation.
To get to Scarsdale, NY, from Greenwich, CT, and points north, you can embark on a scenic drive that takes you through the heart of Westchester County. Begin by heading south on I-95, also known as the New England Thruway. Follow signs once you cross into New York State for the Cross Westchester Expressway.
Continue on this road until you reach exit 8 for NY-127 towards Harrison. At the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto Anderson Hill Road, and then take a left onto Purchase Street. Continue on Purchase Street until you reach Popham Road, where you’ll take a right. Follow Popham Road until you reach Scarsdale Avenue, in the heart of Scarsdale, NY.
To get to Scarsdale, NY, from NYC and points further south via car, get onto the Major Deegan Expressway/I-87. Continue north on I-87 until you reach the Cross County Parkway. Head east on the Cross County Parkway until you reach the Hutchinson River Parkway. Head north on the Hutchinson River Parkway until you reach Exit 22 for Mamaroneck Road. Take the exit and turn right onto Mamaroneck Road. Follow Mamaroneck Road until you reach the heart of Scarsdale.
You can conveniently access Scarsdale via the Harlem Line of the Metro-North Railroad from NYC.
More Towns and Cities Near Scarsdale, NY
Scarsdale’s location makes it a great base for exploring nearby towns and cities in Westchester County. Some of the closest neighbors include:
- White Plains
- Dobbs Ferry
- Rye Brook
- Port Chester
Each of these destinations offers its own unique attractions and experiences, making them perfect for day trips and extended exploration.
Mamaroneck, known as “The Friendly Village,” is a charming town in Westchester County. With a bustling downtown area filled with antique stores and delicious restaurants, as well as a stunning harbor, Mamaroneck is a great destination for a leisurely day trip. And the next-door village of Larchmont, NY, has its own charm.
Yonkers, the third-largest city in New York State, is a bustling hub located on the banks of the Hudson River. With attractions like the Hudson River Museum, the Yonkers Raceway, and the Untermyer Gardens, Yonkers offers a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy.
White Plains is a thriving city in Westchester County that offers a variety of attractions for visitors. Some of the key venues in White Plains include:
- Westchester County Center
- White Plains Performing Arts Center
- White Plains Public Library
- White Plains Farmers Market
With these attractions, there’s always something happening in this bustling city.
Rye, New York, is a picturesque town that offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities. From the Rye Nature Center to the Rye Arts Center, there’s something for everyone in this charming community.
Be sure to schedule a stop at the renowned Rye Playland amusement park for a delightful family day out. Or pop over to see a show at the historic Capitol Theatre in the nearby village of Port Chester, NY.
Or do both.
Scarsdale, New York, is a town with a rich history, unique attractions, and a vibrant community. With its charming village, historic sites, recreational activities, and delicious dining options, Scarsdale can be pretty delightful.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Scarsdale NY famous for?
Scarsdale is known for its high-end boutiques, fine dining and Zachys wine and spirits emporium, making it a top spot for luxury shopping and dining in Westchester. It’s also famous for being one of the most expensive towns in America, where a Scarsdale home costs on average $1.8 million.
What is the richest neighborhood in Scarsdale?
Heathcote in Scarsdale is the richest neighborhood, boasting an income higher than 99.9% of neighborhoods across America.
Is Scarsdale NY a nice area?
Scarsdale, NY is an affluent village with high-rated schools, an array of recreational facilities, boutique shopping and restaurants, a short commute to New York City, and a quiet suburban atmosphere – it’s the perfect place for businesspeople and families alike!
What is the best time of year to visit Scarsdale?
The best time to visit Scarsdale is during the summer months, when you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and events.
Are there any historic sites to visit in Scarsdale?
If you’re a history buff, then Scarsdale is the place to be! Here, you can explore sites such as the Cudner-Hyatt House and the Harwood Building.