24 Hours in the Sound Shore this Summer
By Colette Connolly
If you’re in Westchester for a couple of days, you might be tempted to hop on a Metro-North train to New York City, a mere 20-30 minutes away.
And while that’s certainly doable, there’s a lot to see and do right here, and that’s especially true during the summer months.
In fact, the county’s Sound Shore is the ideal place to explore this time of year.
The region, which is a mix of town, city and village, is blessed with having easy access to the Long Island shore, the perfect place for swimming, boating and a whole host of outdoor activities.
The main municipalities of the Sound Shore include Larchmont, Mamaroneck (town and village), New Rochelle, Port Chester, and the City of Rye.
If you’ve got 24 hours to spare, here are some suggested fun activities you might want to consider.
Head to a Sound Shore Beach
There are several public beaches to choose from in the area, from Glen Island Beach to Playland.
Since some of the Sound Shore’s beaches are restricted to town and village residents only (at least part of the time), for out-of-towners, we recommend Oakland Beach, which is part of the Rye Town Park, a historic town and public beach that is open to everyone.
It is also known as Rye Town Beach.
Bigger kids might want to rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak if you’re there on a weekend.
Expect to spend at least a few hours here, with the added bonus of being able to get lunch at the recently opened Barley Beach House, which overlooks the beach.
The eatery serves up Surf ‘n Turf, crab cakes, salads and other goodies.
Parking for non-residents is $10 per car Monday through Thursday (if you’re only staying for 2 hours, expect to pay $5 per car during the week and $10 at weekends and holidays). Parking at the weekends is $20 per car and $25 per car on federal holidays.
Admission to the beach is $10 per person from Monday to Thursday and $15 per person at the weekends. On federal holidays, admission for non-residents is $20 per person.
Kids under 12 are admitted free to the beach.
Make Time for Playland, Westchester’s Favorite Summer Fun Spot
If you’re looking for good, old-fashioned fun, why not spend an afternoon at Playland Park in Rye?
The amusement park, which has been in existence since 1928, is conveniently located next door to Oakland Beach.
While you’ll find all the modern conveniences of the 21st century at Playland, the park still manages to retain an old-time feel about it.
Bumper cars, big swings and go-karts are all here, as well as thrill-seekers like the Dragon Coaster, a wooden coaster unique to the park, and the Derby Racer, an antique steeple chase ride.
Lake cruises, miniature golf and its own beach are some of the additional perks that Playland offers.
Ride wristbands for adults are $20 while junior wristbands are available for $15 and are suitable for kids under 48 inches.
Visit the Playland website at www.playlandpark.org/general-admission for more information.
Learn Some Local History
If you’re one of those people who loves to imagine what Westchester might have looked like 200 years ago, then visiting some historic sites in the Sound Shore region will help.
The Square House Museum on Purchase Street in Rye was built in 1730. During the late 1700s, it was the home of Dr. Ebenezer Haviland, Rye’s town supervisor and clerk.
Prior to the Revolutionary War, John and Samuel Adams stayed at the house-turned-tavern on their way to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
During the war, Haviland served as surgeon general for the Continental Army while his wife ran the property, now on the National List of Historic Places.
Her guests included George Washington and the French Officer General Lafayette.
It is now the home of the Rye Historical Society. You can take a tour of the period rooms and see the museum’s changing exhibits. It is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.
Find out more at www.ryehistory.org
The Thomas Paine Cottage in New Rochelle is another great place to discover local history.
Once the home of Thomas Paine, author of “Common Sense” and a Revolutionary War hero, the cottage was once part of a 300-acre farm that was given to Paine for his military service.
There’s plenty of memorabilia to see here, including the home’s original Franklin stove, presented by its inventor, Benjamin Franklin, to Paine.
It is open most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit the website at www.thomaspainecottage.org/homepage.html for more information.
Time to Chill
If running around the Sound Shore area, especially with kids in tow, has you exhausted, then it’s time for some R&R. Here are some of our favorite places to beautify and relax.
Hand & Stone, 345 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck – everything from deep tissue massage to facials are offered at this popular spa located in the heart of Mamaroneck.
Addison Street Spa, 9 Addison Street, Larchmont – facial and body treatments, massage therapy and a number of wellness and healing treatments are among the services you can expect from this Larchmont spa. www.addisonstreetspa.com
Ellen Marie Spa, 1875 Palmer Avenue, Larchmont – expect a variety of top-class facial treatments as well as massages and more at the Ellen Marie Spa.
Ideal and Enhancement Foot Spa, 142 5th Avenue, Pelham – enjoy the benefits of reflexology and more at this popular spa located in the heart of Pelham.
Touche Moi Massage, 271 North Avenue, Ste 401, New Rochelle – stress relief, deep body and lymphatic drainage massages are just some of the specialties at this New Rochelle spa. www.newrochellemassage.com
After Dark in the Sound Shore
Once the sun goes down, there’s plenty to see and do around this area of Westchester.
If you’re a whiskey lover, why not check out the Sound Shore Distillery located on 360 Mount Pleasant Avenue in Mamaroneck?
This relatively young distillery makes the Sound Shore single malt, a small-batch single-barrel American whiskey that is sure to satisfy.
The distillery is also the producer of the Sound Shore Distillery craft vodka as well as a recently released rose vodka.
Tastings are available Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 9 p.m., Friday from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 12 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m.
Find out more at www.soundshoredistillery.com
The Emelin Theatre is a Westchester hallmark that is known for its excellent music and dance performances, everything from rock, jazz, bluegrass, family theater and independent films.
The theater, which is located in the heart of Mamaroneck, is hosting two free outdoor concerts this summer at the beautiful Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck.
Bring your own seating, take in the beauty of the Long Island Sound and listen to some Broadway favorites courtesy of Melanie Farrow Kraut and Ryan K. Bailer.
The Latin GRAMMY-winning, all-female Mariachi band “Flor de Toloache” will entertain August 18th.
Both shows begin at 7 p.m.
To reserve your tickets, go to the Emelin Theatre website at www.emelin.org/concerts-in-the-park. Capacity is limited to 500 people.
Grab a Bite
There are plenty of great restaurants and other eateries to enjoy while visiting the Sound Shore area. Here are some of our favorites:
Modern Restaurant & Lounge, 310 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle – this is a staple in New Rochelle known for its homemade Italian dinners and pasta dishes, as well as old-fashioned brick oven pizza. www.modernrestaurant.com
Modern on the Rails, One Station Plaza, Mamaroneck – providing delicious, made-from-scratch dishes in a unique setting, once the home of the old Mamaroneck Metro-North train station. www.modernontherails.com
Pizza Gourmet, 599 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck – don’t expect just pizza in this Mamaroneck favorite. As the name suggests, Pizza Gourmet serves up a diverse menu that includes gourmet pizzas, pasta, entrees, appetizers and more. www.pgnyonline.com
Maria Restaurant, 11 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle – this award-winning Michelin Guide restaurant is among the city’s most popular eateries. The restaurant specializes in new Italian cuisine but what you’ll find on the menu is based on what Giovanni and Peter Cucullo’s mom Maria used to make. www.marianewrochelle.com
Alvin & Friends, 14 Memorial Highway, New Rochelle – owned by supermodel and talent agency owner Adam Clayton, this popular restaurant is known for its Southern and Caribbean cuisine. www.alvinandfriendsrestaurant.com
In addition to the above-named restaurants, here are some of the other great places to eat in the area that we recommend:
Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse, 77 Purchase Street, Rye; www.frankieandjohnnies.com
Saltaire Oyster Bar & Fish House, 55 Abendroth Avenue, Port Chester; www.saltaireoysterbar.com
Billy & Pete’s Social, 121 Myrtle Boulevard, Larchmont; www.billyandpetes.com
Christopher’s by Chef Joe, 2382 Boston Post Road, Larchmont; www.christophersbychefjoe.com
Durian Thai Food, 147 Chatsworth Avenue, Larchmont; www.durianthaifood.com
La La Taqueria (takeout), 150 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont; www.lalataquerialarchmont.com
Sonora, 179 Rectory Street, Port Chester; www.sonorarestaurant.net
Vintage 1891 Kitchen, 2098 Boston Post Road, Larchmont; www.vintage1891kitchen.com
Il Castello, 576 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck; www.ilcastello.us
Le Provençal Bistro, 436 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck; www.provencalbistro.com
Maple & Rose, 690 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck; www.maplerosecafe.com
Telly’s Taverna, 108 Abendroth Avenue, Port Chester; www.tellystaverna.com
La Panetière, 530 Milton Road, Rye; www.lapanetiere.com
Rafele Rye, 26 Purchase Street, Rye; www.rafelerye.com
Next time you’re looking for a fun day out here in Westchester, be sure to consider the Sound Shore, an area of the county that really does offer something for everyone.