“What is a weekend?,” asked the Dowager Countess of Grantham on the wildly popular series, “Downton Abbey.”
Here in Northern Westchester, we know the answer. Weekends in our neck of the woods involve nature walks, sporting competitions, trips to farmers markets, musical performances, swimming, boating, tennis, golf and dining al fresco with our house guests.
In the past year, we’ve seen the number of weekend buyers double from previous years and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing. Our homes with pools and great outdoor spaces continue to see activity from folks who are looking for an easy getaway close to the city and with access to Metro North.
Why battle the Friday or Sunday traffic to the Hamptons or destinations upstate when you can be poolside within an hour of leaving your office? “Weekenders can spend less time in the car and more time relaxing when their destination is Bedford, Pound Ridge, Katonah, North Salem, or Waccabuc,” says Brokerage Manager Brendon DeSimone.
The privacy and low-key vibe of the lower Hudson Valley are what draw plenty of bold-faced names to our community. Here, you’ll find an easy commute, a great selection of homes, both modern and historic, peaceful surroundings, and endless attractions.
Weekends are for relaxing, and you can find your summer Shangri-la right here in northern Westchester.
Nature lovers can take a hike at Bedford’s Arthur Ketchum Preserve where a well-worn path takes you past the Chapel in the Woods and the Beaver Dam River as well as Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, a 4,300-acre park with miles of trails. Or live amid your own natural wonderland on this nearly 90-acre property in Pound Ridge (left). Build your dream home or compound beside the Mill River, surrounded by mountain laurel, pine, and hemlock.
A favorite summer destination on Saturday mornings is the John Jay Farm Market in Katonah where local farmers, bakers, and artisans sell fresh fruit, produce, meats, fish, dairy products, baked goods, prepared foods, and handcrafted products. Bedford Hills and South Salem have their own farmer’s markets, as well.
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts offers outdoor musical performances throughout the summer. The 2018 season opens with Tony-Award winner Audra McDonald singing the American Songbook along with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Copland House at Merestead offers an array of musical programming this spring and summer, including Late Night with Leonard Bernstein, a glittering, intimate journey into the life of the charismatic conductor and composer, hosted by his daughter Jamie Bernstein and featuring acclaimed soprano Amy Burton and pianists John Musto and Michael Boriskin.
Several local restaurants offer live music nights, as well, including North Star in Pound Ridge, The Heights in South Salem, and Winston in Mt. Kisco.
Want to make last-minute reservations for dinner or even just drop in? In Bedford, you can dine en plein air at The Bedford Post Inn, and Bedford 234. Katonah boasts delicious outdoor dining options, as well, including The Whitlock, KR Café, and The Blue Dolphin. Take a drive up route 22 to Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish in North Salem, where you can’t get more local than the food grown on their onsite farm. And the upscale country vibe and reliably palate-pleasing dishes at The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges make it a local destination for anything from brunch to cocktails and dinner.
Top Choices for Second Homes at All Price Points
Gated estate property on 13 private, beautiful acres just moments to town and train. Long drive to perfect, level land with expansive lawns, specimen trees, and flowering gardens. Guesthouse, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis court, and garages for seven cars. Front-to-back entrance foyer, massive chef’s kitchen/family room with fireplace leads to a spectacular sunroom with state-of-the-art indoor pool for year-round fun and entertaining. Classically scaled formal living and dining rooms with fireplaces and terrific billiard room. First-floor guest/nanny suite. Lovely master suite with sitting room, fireplace and dual baths plus five additional bedrooms. An exceptional opportunity for a buyer seeking total privacy and full amenities within walking distance to town.
Perfectly private! A truly captivating country estate in the heart of Pound Ridge. Encompassing more than eleven acres, this very special property captures the essence of country living offering unsurpassed privacy and serenity. Approached by a long graceful driveway, the 4200+square foot farmhouse cape originally built in the late 1930s is surrounded by sweeping lawns, towering trees, and beautiful old stone walls. An oversized in-ground pool, spacious pool house, expansive stone terrace, and regulation-size tennis court complement the residence and offer fabulous venues for living and entertaining.
Classic, immaculate, and updated Colonial with lots of charm. Enchanting perennial gardens and specimen plantings protected by deer fencing surrounding the property. Gorgeous setting with large flagstone patio, stone walls, and heated Gunite pool. Lots of natural light in all rooms with double insulated windows and refinished hardwood floors. Front to back living room with French doors to patio and delightful screened porch for entertaining family and friends. The formal dining room has a raised hearth fireplace (can also be family room) and custom detailed wainscoting. Spacious kitchen with tin ceiling, recent appliances, custom glass door cabinetry and a wood burning stove is the heart of the home! A recent addition includes a ground level master suite with private entrance. The master bath is complete with claw foot tub, radiant heated floors, and towel warmer! Close to shopping and Metro North station.
Not sure about taking the plunge? Try a summer rental to test the waters. This French country-style summer rental–with the incredible provenance of hosting the well-publicized celebrity wedding of Marilyn Monroe to playwright Arthur Miller–is a delight. Gated and set on one of the most idyllic country roads with a far-reaching treetop vista, just across from the 16th hole of the Waccabuc Country Club, it’s the perfect retreat for sophisticated country living. Retaining the original details of parquet floors, French doors, leaded windows, and European-style fireplaces, the light-filled residence is highlighted by a living room with walls of glass and terrace exit, a private master suite, and a first-floor guest suite with its own side entrance. Outside, a crescent-shaped lawn terrace steps down to a 22′ x 48′ sparkling pool and pool house with summer kitchen and cabana, and all surrounded by light woodlands, specimen landscaping, and gardens creating sought-after privacy. Also available for purchase.