50 miles north of New York City lies the beautiful town of North Salem, not to be confused with Salem, where many witches were burned at the stake. If you’re a fan of music/tv/cinema you may already know about North Salem, as it is the birthplace of 8-time Academy Award-winning film composer Alan Menken, who wrote many moving and memorable songs in Disney films such as Aladdin, Pocahontas, and The Little Mermaid. Also, talk show host David Letterman currently lives there. North Salem is also the fictional birthplace of Professor Charles Xavier, played by Sir Patrick Stewart, in the original X Men series.
Getting to North Salem
The best way to reach North Salem from New York City is via car, but you can also travel by train.
Car: driving is roughly, a 90-minute journey from New York City to North Salem via I-684 N route. But it may vary greatly depending on traffic congestion out of the city. When you get to Harrison you arhalfwayay there.
Train: A single ticket from Grand Central to Croton Falls costs $14.50 (off-peak) and takes 80 minutes each way. You can then take a local bus or taxi from Croton Falls train station to North Salem for $5-$10.
North Salem Highlights
The small town of North Salem is home to just over 5,000 people. So, you can imagine it is not a lively place with lots to do. Instead, it is a peaceful town that appreciates the community spirit and the great outdoors. When you visit North Salem, these are the attractions not to be missed:
The Balancing Rock of North Salem
Another highlight of North Salem is the balancing rock, located on the outskirts of the town. The gigantic granite rock is a sight to see and nobody quite knows why it is the way it is. Possible theories include it is thereby natures will, whilst others believe it’s a man-made rock that was placed there as a marker. For more theories, make sure you visit it and read the information poster.
This store hits the tri-fector, with food, entertainment and flowers. Hayfields Markets is a great resting stop and place to hang out in the evenings, as it’s a café/florist/bar. Their fresh in-house bakery has some awesome tasty treats, the petal department provide exquisite bouquets and educational workshops and every Friday a live music band performs from 6:30-9:00pm. For the band list, click here.
Harvest Moon Orchard
One of the best things to do in the area is to visit Harvests Moon: Farm and Orchard. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon picking apples. The family run business grows other fruits, vegetables and flowers, all ready to take home. Plus, they raise antibiotic and hormone-free, organic animals. So, you can take home some super healthy and fresh goods like eggs, honey cheese and other dairy products. Before you leave you can order their famous apple cider donut, from their bakery.
The only downside is it is only open from April until Christmas. Check times and events before departing from NYC.
When you return to New York, finish your weekend trip with a tasty dinner in a great restaurant: Delicious Restaurants of NYC.
Mountain Lakes Park Trail
A tranquil 3.9-mile child friendly loop is available for everyone at Mountain Lakes Park. On your walk around, you will see the natural wildlife of the area, a great contrast to the city of New York.
Hotels in North Salem
As North Salem is so small, hotels are limited. Neighbouring Danbury is a little bigger and offers 3+ starred hotels. We suggest you check out Crowne Plaza Danbury, Ethan Allen Hotel and Maron Hotel & Suites. Room rates range from $94 – $120 per night, for a double room.
If you love sleeping in hotels, like us, check our most recent how to. It can completely change how you feel about your bedroom at home: How to Make your Bedroom Feel Like a Hotel Room.