10+ Can’t Miss Things to do in Rockland County

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Are you looking for things to do in Rockland County? Join the club.

In my Facebook group, there are always a few people that are specifically looking for things to do in Rockland County, NY and they are often frustrated.

They are frustrated because they think that there is ‘not much’ in Rockland County.

Do you feel that way?

Although some of these locations are open to the public, please follow these guidelines:
Please be safe.
Practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands thoroughly and follow all mandates and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and NY State and local Governments.

Statue of Walt Whitman at the Trailside Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Rockland County NY?

> The first thing I think about is the Palisades Center Mall.
> The second thing is the ‘Old’ Tappan Zee Bridge that is now the ‘New’ Gov Cuomo Bridge.

How about Bear Mountain State Park? I have fond memories of going there as a kid.

Those are just a FEW things that make Rockland County, NY such a special place in New York State.

Let me show you a few more…

Driving along the Gov Mario Cuomo Bridge

If you’re in the planning stages and are looking for things to do in Rockland County, make sure to check out some of these Rockland County posts that will help you choose what to do during your adventure:

The Best Entertainment at the Palisades Center Mall

Bear Mountain Activities that Everyone will Enjoy!

The Different ways to enjoy the Rockland Center for the Arts

> Rockland County is located along several busy sections of parkways and thruways. Lots of people are often traveling into and out of New Jersey through Rockland County, so expect periods of heavy traffic.

> The NY State Thruway runs through Rockland County and is usually full of people ‘passing through’, so plan accordingly.

> The Palisades Center Mall sits right along the NY State Thruway and can produce unusual amounts of traffic on the weekends.

> Rockland County is a popular weekend destination for those who love the outdoors. To avoid excessive crowds, then visit these places during the week.

Where is Rockland County, NY?

Map of Rockland County, NY
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Rockland County is the most southern county, left of the Hudson River, in the Hudson Valley region.

It borders both New York City and New Jersey, as well as, Westchester County to the East. It is also located directly south of Orange County, NY.

Many people love Rockland County’s close proximity to New York City and it is in a perfect location for day trips from NYC or New Jersey.

Driving along the Taconic State Parkway

Rockland County, NY Towns & Cities

Rockland County has 5 towns, 19 villages, but no cities. It is approximately 15 miles from NYC at its closest point.

These include: Airmont, Chestnut Ridge, Clarkstown, Grand View-on-Hudson, Haverstraw, Hillburn, Kaser, Montebello, New Hempstead, New Square, Nyack, Orangetown, Piermont, Pomona, Ramapo, Sloatsburg, South Nyack, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern, Upper Nyack, Wesley Hills, West Haverstraw.

How Can You Get to Rockland County? 

Rockland County is easily accessible by car using:

  • The New York State Thruway (Interstate-87)
  • Palisades Parkway
  • Garden State Parkway
  • Route 17 in New Jersey

The Hudson Link Bus System takes you into Rockland County, NY from Westchester County, NY. You can also have the convenience of traveling with your bicycle, as the buses are equipped with bike racks.

Lake Hessian at Bear Mountain

In addition, the Metro-North Railroad and NJ Transit have stops in Rockland County.

> Pascack Line: Pearl River, Nanuet, & Spring Valley
> Port Jervis Line: Suffern

If you’d like to get to Rockland County by water, then the NY Waterway can take you from Ossining, NY (Westchester County) to Haverstraw, NY and vice versa.

Things to do in Rockland County

According to Wikipedia:

“Rockland County is designated as a Preserve America Community, and roughly one-third of the county is parkland.”

Given that information, you can just imagine all the great things that one can explore when looking for things to do in Rockland County.

Things to do in Rockland County for Nature Lovers

Bear Mountain State Park

*Currently OPEN with some Restrictions

Open year-round
7 days a week; sunrise to sunset
Parking Fee: $10 (collected weekends & holidays: 4/1 – 6/21)
Parking Fee collected daily beginning 6/22 – Labor Day

Located on over 5,000 acres between Rockland and Orange Counties, Bear Mountain State Park offers an abundance of activities throughout the year.

Entrance of Trailside Museums and zoo

Some popular things to do in the summer include:

  • Swimming in the Bear Mountain Pool
  • Fishing
  • Row-boating
  • Picnicking
  • Biking
  • Climbing or driving to Perkins Memorial Tower

Some popular things to do there in the winter include:

  • Cross country skiing
  • Ice skating
  • Sledding

Things you can do year-round include:

  • Eating at the Bear Mountain Inn
  • Visiting the Trailside Museums & Zoo
  • Hiking
  • Riding the Bear Mountain Carousel

Read my blog post highlighting Bear Mountain Activities that everyone will enjoy.

Harriman State Park

*Currently OPEN with some restrictions in place

Open daily: sunrise to sunset
Varies during time of year and location visiting

As the second-largest state park, Harriman State Park also sits between Rockland and Orange Counties and encompasses over 45,000 acres of land.

A view from the parking lot at the bear mountain state park

This impressive amount of land lends to hiking and with over 200 miles of trails, this is a hikers’ paradise.

This state park is home to 31 lakes and multiple streams. It is a favorite for campers.

The Appalachian Trail runs through Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park, making this a favorite for those avid hikers.

In addition to the hiking trails, there are also several horse trails and mountain biking trails.

Nyack Beach State Park

*Currently OPEN with some restrictions in place

Open daily: Sunrise to Sunset
Parking Fee: $6

Located in Upper Nyack, Nyack Beach State Park is best known for its riverfront pathway.

This pathway is on the southernmost section of the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

With the views of the river on one side and the cliffs of the Palisades on the other, this state park is enjoyed by many.

The park offers picnicking, hiking, bicycling and fishing. The pathway itself runs for about 2 miles.

Rockland Lake State Park

*Currently OPEN with some restrictions in place

Open daily: Sunrise to Sunset
Parking fee: $8

Located in Valley Cottage, Rockland State Park is a little over 1,000 acres.

The park is located on a ridge of Hook Mountain and has views of the Hudson River.

Visitors enjoy Rockland Lake, which is an enormous 256 acres, a favorite for fishermen and walkers, bikers and joggers who enjoy the paved trail that surrounds the lake equalling over 3 miles.

Rockland Lake State Park also has a large pool, children’s pool, picnic tables, grills, tennis courts, and many hiking trails.

Do you love golf? Rockland Lake State Park has two 18-hole golf courses.

Fun Fact: The second oldest fire department, Knickerbocker Engine Company, is located in the park and continues to operate.

Things to do in Rockland County for Art Lovers

Edward Hopper House

*Currently CLOSED

Wed – Sun: 12pm – 5pm
Adults $8 | Seniors $6 | Students (17yrs & above) $3 | 16yrs & under FREE

Also known as the Edward Hopper House Art Center, this art center and historic home is located in Nyack, NY.

As the childhood home of artist Edward Hopper and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Edward Hopper House features one gallery dedicated to Hopper’s life and work. Other galleries have changing exhibits.

Rockland Center for the Arts

*Gallery is CLOSED | Sculpture Park is OPEN

SCULPTURE PARK: Open daily – Sunrise to Sunset

Located in West Nyack, NY, the Rockland Center for the Arts is a wonderful place to visit.

Things to do in Rockland County, New York.
Rockland Center for the Arts

In addition to constant premier exhibitions, the Rockland Center for the Arts also has the Catherine Konner Sculpture Park. This wonderful sculpture park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

If you’re more of a hands-on person, the School for the Arts is perfect. They offer classes for kids, teens, and adults.

Read my blog post highlighting the Rockland Center for the Arts.

Garner Arts Center

*Gallery is CLOSED | Sculpture Trail is OPEN

Sculpture Trail: Open Daily – Sunrise to Sunset

Located in Garnerville, Garner Arts Center is a hub for contemporary and experiential art.

Located on 14 acres, the Garner Arts Center is a vibrant artist community set among a Pre-Civil War factory, where artists live, create and work.

Garner Arts Center is open year-round and hosts art exhibitions & installations, film screenings, & live performances. A visit to the Creekside Sculpture Trail is also a must.

Things to do in Rockland County for History Lovers

Bricks from the Hudson Valley

Haverstraw Brick Museum

*Currently CLOSED

Sat & Sun 1pm – 4pm

As the name suggests, this museum is located in Haverstraw.

Open year-round, on Saturday & Sunday afternoons (1 pm – 4 pm), the Haverstraw Brick Museum provides community activities, classes, tours, and events.

The Museum is committed to educating visitors regarding the brick industry and the important part it played in building America.

Experience Nyack Walking Tour

For a suggested donation of $5, you can take a lovely walking tour through Nyack hosted by the Historical Society of Nyacks.

A self-guided option is also available for free where maps can be downloaded online or picked up at the front desk of the Edward Hopper House Museum.

People walking down a street together during a walking tour

Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site & the Stony Point Lighthouse

*Currently CLOSED on the Weekends

Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm

Located in Stony Point, NY, this is the site of General Anthony Wayne’s brilliant midnight assault on the British fort situated at the entry to the highlands. 

Housing artifacts from the battle, the museum is important as it showcases one of the most important victories in the American Revolution. It’s open seasonally.

Things to do in Rockland County with the whole family

Palisades Center Mall

*Select locations open for curbside pickup ONLY

Check individual sites for hours

Located in West Nyack, NY, the Palisades Mall is not just for shopping. It is an entertainment hub.

Side view of the Double Carousel at the Palisades Mall

With a movie theater, ice skating rink, carousel, Ferris wheel, bowling alley and so much more, this place is your one-stop for all your entertainment and shopping needs.

Read my blog post highlighting the Things to do at the Palisades Center Mall.

>Many places listed here are open seasonally. Check each individual location for days/times they are open to the public.

>Some places charge an entrance, admission and/or tour fee. Check each individual location for more detailed information regarding prices.

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When visiting local attractions, be sure to tell them that you found them on Hudson Valley Exposed

Explore my Hudson Valley Map

My interactive map features all of the attractions, parks, museums and businesses I’ve personally visited and written about to date. The blog posts written about each location are linked within the corresponding pin. 

Be sure to zoom in and/or out in order to see all the locations and see my blog post related to the location.

Map Key for the Hudson Valley Exploring Map

Until the Next Adventure…


Learn all about things to do and see in Rockland County, NY. This Hudson Valley Family friendly location is full