Things To Do In North Salem, NY: Top 15 Most Unique Spots | Stanton House Inn

Fox hunting in North Salem, New York

North Salem, New York, is known for its A-list celebrities and well-to-do pastimes. That said, it’s also a farm-to-table paradise. It is the county’s least dense suburb, with a population of around 5,200 people and the Titicus Reservoir at its heart. The town is well-known for equestrian competitions and fox hunting, speaking of fancy hobbies. And yet in October, it’s the quintessential fall getaway, with apple picking, leaf peeping, and cozy autumnal cuisine. The town consists of 24 square miles of rolling hills and farmland interspersed with meandering stone walls that once delineated cow pastures.


A typical New England rural town, tucked away in Westchester County.


Read on for the best things to do in North Salem, NY:



A Brief History of North Salem, New York

Historic photo of the North Salem town hall

North and South Salem were a single municipality prior to the Colonial Period. Residents supported the revolutionary cause during the American Revolutionary War of 1776.


John Paulding and Isaac Van Wart left the Yerkes Tavern on September 22, 1780. Major John André, a British spy, was apprehended during their expedition. The foundation of this historic building at the intersection of Yerkes Road and Bogtown Road is all that remains. The tavern’s lustrous past is commemorated by a historic plaque on the site.


Salem was divided into two towns in 1784. The northern area was called Upper Salem until the New York State Legislature gave it its modern name in 1788. Purdys, Croton Falls, Salem Center, and North Salem east of the reservoir are the charming hamlets that make up North Salem.


Several hundred enslaved people were recorded in North Salem, New York, according to the 1800 US Census. Slavery was abolished in North Salem between 1800 and 1827.


The Great Blizzard of 1888 halted agricultural production and halted train travel. It took more than a week to restore roads and trains.


The Best Things to do in North Salem, NY

Natural beauty surrounding a lake in North Salem, NY

North Salem is a rural area 55 miles from Manhattan with no downtown. That means no:

  • Drugstores
  • Supermarkets
  • Movie theaters
  • Or bowling alleys


Instead, it has thousands of acres of horse farms, over 100 miles of riding trails, and 1,222 acres of protected land.


Old Salem Farm

The North Salem countryside offers scenic views on horseback. Locals will drily inform you that North Salem, NY, has more horses than people. That would appear to be the definition of horse country. Former pasturelands are now dominated by horses and equestrian pursuits. Old Salem Farm (OSF) is a nationally renowned equestrian facility here. The annual Summer Jumper Classic show at OSF attracts Olympians, locals, weekenders, and people from neighboring towns. Riding lessons are available for all ages at OSF and other equestrian facilities in the area.


Golden’s Bridge Hounds

Golden’s Bridge Hounds (GBH) is a 45-minute drive from beautiful bridle paths and is part of a community that includes:

  • Masters of Foxhounds Association & Foundation

  • North Salem Bridle Trails Association

  • And North Salem Open Land Foundation


Established in 1924 by hotelman John McEntee Bowman, the farm is located between Golden’s Bridge and Brewster, NY. The farm features diverse terrain, including woodlands, hills, farmlands, waterways, and open fields. So there are plenty of opportunities to witness the hounds’ work. The farm is home to a pack of award-winning Penn Marydel Foxhounds, known for their beautiful voice.


Say what you will about the practice, it’s hard to argue that fox hunting isn’t unique, at this point.


Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock, a 60-ton granite boulder, is one of the most unique landmarks here, on Route 116. The boulder is believed to be a “glacial erratic” dropped by the last receding ice sheet from about 10,000 years ago. Others believe it is a dolmen, a Stone Age tomb left by the Druids. Still others claim the Vikings or local Native Americans set it there. The boulder is perched on five smaller stones of limestone, a configuration known as Balanced Rock. The placement has sparked debate in the town. No one argues someone put it there intentionally. The real question is how the boulder got up on the pedestals and why.


Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard

Travelers carrying apples to market

North Salem is a popular apple-picking destination. And Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard hosts a variety of seasonal and locally grown fruits, vegetables, eggs, turkeys, and apple cider from their own mill. A gift shop, concessions, picnic area, face painting, pony rides, a petting zoo with farm animals, and a bounce house for kids are available to visitors from Labor Day to Halloween. Call 914-485-1210 to see what’s available. At Hardscrabble Cider, the farm also sells pies, apple butter, and local hard cider.


Outhouse Orchards

Outhouse Orchards across the street from Harvest Moon, is another pick-your-own orchard worth visiting. While you’re there, you can also visit the pumpkin patch and corn maze.


Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden

The Hammond Museum offers a serene retreat with stunning Japanese art and a seven-acre Japanese stroll garden. Visitors can appreciate Eastern and Western culture through art exhibitions, concerts, special events, and educational programs. The garden, designed based on Japanese horticultural principles, provides a calming walk through the natural beauty of the gardens. The museum and stroll garden are located 28 Deveau Rd and offer exhibitions and programs.


Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park

Fishing in Titicus Reservoir

Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park spans 1,082-acres and includes five lakes as well as Bailey Mountain, Westchester County’s highest point. The park has a rugged terrain with native hardwood forests, rock outcroppings, meandering streams, scenic views, and quiet trails. The park also has a beautiful overlook, making it an excellent hiking destination. Hiking around Spruce or Hemlock Lakes is a great way for visitors to capture stunning landscape photos.


Lift Truck Project

Tom Christopher’s paintings of Manhattan cityscapes are on display in a one-of-a-kind art gallery. CBS, the Museum of the City of New York, and Time Warner all hold his work. Lift Trucks Project’s Drive-By Gallery is where art-savvy drivers can experience local culture without leaving their vehicles.


School House Theater

The oldest and longest running Professional Theater in Westchester County is here at the Schoolhouse Theater.


Pehquenakonck Golf Course

The 9-hole Pehquenakonck Country Club course was built in 1923 and spans 2,012 yards with a par of 33. It features elevation changes and two sets of tees, allowing players to play twice with different views of fairways and greens. The fairways vary in width, and the greens are well-kept and protected by sand traps. This is a semi-public golf course, by the way.


Titicus Reservoir

Part of New York City’s drinking water system, the Titicus Reservoir is popular for fishing and ice fishing.


Shopping in North Salem, New York

Asparagus for sale

North Salem offers limited shopping options, but BB Abode in the historic Union Hall building offers eclectic home décor, furniture, fine art, nautically-inspired wares, and unique equestrian finds.


You can also find alternatives nearby, including Ridgefield, CT, and Danbury, Connecticut.


Restaurants in North Salem, NY

North Salem is home to several top chefs, including Beck Bolender’s One Twenty One. One Twenty One is a popular dining spot for families and friends, offering a unique children’s menu.


The Blazer Pub offers burgers, beef chili, and steak fries that haven’t changed in over 40 years. Hayfields Market is a cafe, farmstand, and gathering spot that offers lighter options like sandwiches, salads, and wraps with fresh-baked scones. Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish offers seafood and produce-heavy dishes that revolve around what’s growing on its surrounding four-acre farm.


If you’re missing Jean Georges Vongerichten’s VOX, head down to the Inn at Pound Ridge in the nearby town of Pound Ridge, NY.


Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay in North Salem, New York

Pathways through the woods are the domain of summer camps in the warmer months

Considering the low population density, it’s no surprise you won’t find any hotels in North Salem.


A few nearby options that are more unique places to stay include:


The Bedford Post Inn is located a few miles away, in Bedford, NY. This opulent hotel offers three distinct dining experiences as well as a renowned yoga studio with daily classes, workshops, and more. With only eight rooms, you can expect excellent customer service.


Or drive back through Pound Ridge to our Greenwich, CT, bed and breakfast. Constructed in 1843, Stanton House Inn became a bed and breakfast in 1985. This inn has 21 lovely rooms and suites, as well as a complimentary breakfast and a seasonal outdoor pool. Our CT shoreline B&B is one of the most romantic weekend getaways in the New York Tri-State area, according to Westchester Magazine.


Directions to North Salem, NY

North Salem, located in the northeast corner of Westchester, is only 55 miles from Manhattan. North Salem travelers can access Metro-North Railroad stations at Purdy’s or Croton Falls. The trip to Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan takes approximately an hour and 20 minutes. North Salem is about an hour’s drive from Manhattan.


You can also take Interstate 684 from Manhattan or Greenwich, CT.


More Towns and Cities to Explore Near North Salem, New York

Horseback riding through rural Westchester County or apple picking in orchards here could take all day. But if you need more to do while you’re here, some personal favorites among the towns nearby include:




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