Pleasantville is a village located in the town of Mount Pleasant right in the heart of Westchester County. A population of approximately 7,154 in 2014 resides in this village and holds home to a Pace University campus as well as to the Jacob Burns Film Center. It was also the original domicile of the Reader’s Digest, which until today, still uses a Pleasantville postal address 10570. As petite as the village may be, it does provide a range of interesting activities for both locals and tourists to participate in.
1. Take a hike at Rockefeller State Park Preserve
Rockefeller State Park Preserve is designated by a non-profit organization known as the National Audubon Society to establish as an Important Bird Area with over 180 recorded species of aviary wildlife. It was donated to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation by the Rockefeller Family since 1983 and is situated in Sleepy Hollow in the eastern foothills of the Hudson River in Westchester County.
Visitors can walk, stroll, jog, run, ride horses, bird-watch and even fish in this state park that is well-known for its wildlife, carriage trails, and scenic landscape such as open meadows, dense forest, winding brooks, serene streams, woodlands, and wetlands. During seasons, licensed anglers can enjoy fishing for bass in the tranquil 22-acre Swan Lake and for brown trout in the Pocantico River which flows through the park. There is a Visitor Center which houses a small art gallery that often exhibits paintings and photographic artworks of their local artists.
Rockefeller State Park Preserve
Address: 125 Phelps Way, 10570 Pleasantville, NY
Website: Rockefeller State Park Preserve
2. Watch a movie at Jacob Burns Film Center
The Jacob Burns Film Center is a non-profit cultural arts center which occupies a Spanish mission-style theater known as the Rome Theater which was originally built in 1925. The Rome Theater was named after its owner Granville Rome and was the first movie theater in Westchester County. The theater coordinated the highly-admired movie palace designs such as velvet curtains, leather seats, decorative friezes and an original Photo layer pipe organ, and continued screening movies until it closed in 1987 to serve as an office building.
Subsequently, in 1998, Stephen Apkon and the non-profit Friends of the Rome Theater purchased, redesigned and reconstructed the theater. The center opened its doors to the public in June 2001 and was named in honor of Jacob Burns, a lawyer whose family foundation gave USD1.5 million towards the renovation efforts. Today, the film center is devoted to showcasing the best of independent, documentary, and world cinematography and has since been credited by The New York Times as a significant structure in providing a new lease of life the downtown area of Pleasantville.
Jacob Burns Film Center
Address: 405 Manville Rd, 10570 Pleasantville, NY
Website: Jacob Burns Film Center
3. Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Lil' Chocolate Shoppe
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Established as a brainchild of Annette Colasuonno, this chocolate store has been the staple in the village for more than 30 years. Back in 1986, Colasuonno was looking for a property as an investment but decided to explore in business when her real estate agent told her about a business for sale. She moved the store to its current location on Washington Avenue from its original location in the building that houses Jacob Burns Film Center on Manville Road.
Colasuonno was named by the Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year in 2016. Every chocolate treat in her store are made using Belgian chocolate and she prides herself in making customized one-of-a-kind confectionary gifts such as chocolate treats in the shape of sunflowers, keyboards, musical notes, flip-flops, letters dipped in sprinkles, birthday pops and many other treats that correspond with various themes. At her store, visitors can find a range of mouth-watering confections such as molded chocolate, handmade truffles, and regular candies to choose from.
The Lil' Chocolate Shoppe
Address: 15 Washington Ave, 10570 Pleasantville, NY
Facebook: The Lil’ Chocolate Shoppe
4. Enjoy a drink at Flights Wine and Whiskey Bar
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Formerly known as Battonage Wine Bar, owner Paul Paljevic’s son David decided to reinvent his father’s five-year-old wine bar and reopened it as Flights Wine and Whiskey Bar. Since its establishment in January 2017, Flights soared to new heights as the major nightlife destination in Pleasantville. Their signature flight drink can be served in dozens of different combinations as it comes in seven different types of wine and whiskey flights to choose from: three 3-ounce tastes of white or red wine for 21 USD; sparkling wine for 28 USD; three 1-ounce tastes of scotch or whiskey for 29 USD; Elite whiskey for 49 USD; Family whiskey for 30 USD; and First Class whiskey, which start at 59 USD and can go up to 150 USD. These are delivered with tiny wooden labels beneath each glass in order to help patrons to identify the liquor. Flights also offer build-your-own or pre-designed charcuterie and cheese boards ranging from 19 USD to 32 USD.
Flights Wine and Whiskey Bar
Address: 10 Marble Ave, 10570 Pleasantville, NY
Website: Flights Wine and Whiskey Bar
5. Learn about the ghost town at the Pithole Visitors Center
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
In January 1865, oil strikes at nearby wells in Pithole City prompted a large influx of people of approximately 20,000 inhabitants by December 1865. As a result, it became one of the most famous of oil boomtowns and the site of the first commercial oil well in the United States. However, economic growth and oil production in Pithole City started to slow down in 1866 due to the rapid decline of oil and petroleum supply in the area. Three years since the oil strike, the city became a ghost town in Venango County in Pennsylvania as the inhabitants vanished overnight in 1868.
In 1961, the site was cleared of overgrowth and was donated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The visitor center was erected in 1972 and houses exhibits with reference to the history of Pithole City. Subsequently, in 1973, Pithole City was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The visitor center is free for admission and is a self-guided tour with the relevant information indicated on signboards. Details such as the location of the establishment and what remained of it are clearly stated on the information boards.
Pithole Visitors Center
Address: 14118 Pithole Road, 16341 Pleasantville, NY
6. Stroll along the Saw Mill River
Saw Mill River is referred to as a tributary of the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York, which flows for 38 kilometers (24 miles) from an unnamed pond north of Chappaqua to Getty Square in Yonkers. Take a stroll along the river and admire the floral beauty of non-invasive plants that live along the river such as porcelain berry vine, Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed, purple loosestrife, evening primrose and Oriental bittersweet. If you are lucky, you may spot a white-tailed deer that reside along the highway, as well as beavers, night herons and ducks that are present along the river.
Saw Mill River
Website: Saw Mill River Coalition
There’s more to it than meets the eye in Pleasantville
The next time you set foot in New York, do head to Pleasantville as the local community certainly has a lot of interesting activities to offer. Taste some of the most expensive whiskey in the world at Flights Wine and Whiskey Bar, watch an independent film in Jacob Burns Film Center, indulge in delicious chocolate goodies at The Lil’ Chocolate Shoppe and learn about the historical oil boomtown which became an overnight ghost town at the Pithole Visitors Center.
Get Trip101 in your inbox