Photo by David Brooks
Hop off the Metro-North at the Beacon Station, or take a drive down Route 9, and you’re in for a day of beautiful sights and artistic encounters that only Beacon can provide. Located in Dutchess County, this Hudson River-side city is home to an abundance of treasures, such as Dia:Beacon, one of the country’s largest contemporary art museums, and the historic Howland Cultural Center, where you might be lucky enough to catch local musicians for a spell or two. Rich with history and jiving with local artists and makers, the charm of Beacon leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re interested in seeing the sights (of which there are many), or feasting your way down Main Street, this post-industrial landscape has a little something for everyone. Be like a local and walk a mile (or 4.9) in their shoes with this extensive itinerary we have planned.
Whether you’re interested in seeing the sights (of which there are many), or feasting your way down Main Street, this post-industrial landscape has a little something for everyone.
Looking for the perfect Instagram shot from your trip to Beacon? You better stop over at Mountain Tops Outfitters before going hiking at nearby Mount Beacon or Breakneck Ridge. Get decked out in everything you need for your adventure: boots, rain gear, protective clothing, insect repellant... this place has it all. Be sure to check out the Mount Beacon Fire Tower where, if you catch it on a clear day, you can see all the way to NYC and Albany.
If getting out on the water is how you prefer to sightsee, Mountain Tops is a one-stop-shop for a jaunt on the Hudson River, too. Kayak rentals are available seven days a week for only $20 an hour. Enjoy a lovely guided tour with friends beginning at Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park.
If getting out on the water is how you prefer to sightsee, Mountain Tops is a one-stop-shop for a jaunt on the Hudson River, too.
Take a load off at Giannetta Salon & Spa, where brides hail all the way from NYC to get their perfect wedding look. From acupuncture to microneedling to deep tissue massage, their spa services will have you feeling as though Beacon is located at Heaven’s gate. Be your most beautiful self with the help of the staff who will perform facials, hair transformations, and makeovers in the high-end, boutique-style atmosphere. You’ll be ready to walk down the runway when you leave.
Doctor Who fans rejoice! The Pandorica invites Whovians and non-Whovians alike to choose from an extensive menu that pays homage to the long-running show. Start with some “Spoilers” like Satan’s Pit of Perogies, or a hearty entrée like Are You My Mummy Bacon Bound Meatloaf. Top it off with something from their “Sweeties” and a glass from their wine list. Take note of the subtle but clever nods to the BBC’s brainchild.
If you’re in more of a celebratory, happy hour mood, head down to Baja 328 Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill where the tequila flows generously (over 130 top-shelf varieties are available) and live entertainment gets everyone off their feet. Get some starters to share, like Baja wings, or dive right into their large taco and quesadilla selection. Their extensive menu aims to please, and Baja prides themselves on using the freshest ingredients. Keep an eye out for their spicy food and drink specials.
For a more romantic and cozy vibe with old-world charm, take a trip to the Italian countryside at Brother’s Trattoria, where you can try cuisine found throughout northern and southern Italy. For a quick bite, grab a slice of fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza at the entrance, or for a more relaxing experience, have lunch or dinner for two in the dining room, and enjoy a cocktail in front of the fireplace.
Don’t forget to take something home with you to remember your travels: Sanctuary Home Furnishings is a haven of beautiful, fair trade wares from around the world. Gorgeous textiles, eclectic home décor, luciously scented soaps and candles, and so much more fill this globally inspired and eco-conscious shop that will make you wonder just how much you can carry home with you.
Then stop and smell the roses, or houseplants, or succulents; Raven Rose is something out of your greatest Pinterest fantasies. This floral and gift boutique specializes in wedding design and handcrafted, decorative items made by artisans in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
You can easily spend a day or more just roving Beacon’s waterfront. Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park is a revitalized riverfront destination where you can rent a kayak or explore wetlands and then take an easy hike to Denning’s Point State Park. Just up the road is Dia:Beacon, the globally important contemporary art museum in a repurposed box factory that many credit with fueling Beacon’s resurgence as a destination. A quick walk upriver from the train station takes you to Pete And Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, where you can cool your heels wading in the River Pool. The Newburgh-Beacon Ferry run by Metro-North offers a brief, inexpensive cruise across the Newburgh Bay and back, with or without a stop for a drink at one of the bars along Newburgh’s revitalized waterfront.
Towering over the city of Beacon, Mount Beacon is the highest peak of the entire Hudson Highlands. Hike the steep mile to the summit. You’ll get a workout, and the indescribable reward is a view that stretches, on a clear day, all the way from Manhattan Island to the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge—pretty much the most Hudson Valley that can be seen at once without an airplane.
Metro-North trains from Grand Central make Beacon easy to reach. Once you get to the station, you can explore the waterfront, grab a taxi, or walk a mile up the hill to town.