Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Hudson Valley: 10+ Artsy & Cool Things To Do in Beacon, New York

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Hudson River from Beacon (photo: JCarnegie)

Art and nature lovers, Beacon, NY--overlooking the magnificent Hudson River--is a great spot for a day trip or weekend get-away. Located in the Hudson Valley's Dutchess County, it's an easy train ride from New York City.

ARTSY BEACON 

Dia:Beacon
Dia: Beacon (photo: Laura Asaibene)

3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY; Tel: 845 440 0100; www.diaart.org
In a beautifully-renovated, 1920's factory building, the Dia Art Foundation’s minimalist art collection, from the 1960's to the present, takes center stage in wide-open galleries with huge, beautiful windows and skylights. On display are works by such renowned modern artists as Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, and Louise Bourgeois. There are changing exhibitions, gallery talks, and other special events (also a café).


Kunsthalle Beacon (KuBe)

Isaac Aden, Rm 300, KuBe
211 Fishkill Ave; https://bit.ly/2Mr0dxi (Open: Thurs-Sun, 12pm-7pm & 2nd Saturday) - The galerist Ethan Cohen has turned a huge, former high school into a wonderful space to promote art and culture with galleries and studio spaces for local and international artists. There are also occasional lectures, performances, and film screenings.

Second Saturday (https://bit.ly/2MpCkX4) - Each month on the 2nd Saturday, art galleries and shops stay open until 9pm. There are gallery openings, artist receptions, tastings, and other special events. Beacon Open Studios (April) - Check out all the local talent.

DINE & EXPLORE
Any day of the week, stroll along Main Street to check out the selection of really nice cafés, shops, and galleries
Homespun
 
Dining: Try some of Ethan Cohen's favorites: Kitchen Sink (157 Main St; www.kitchensinkny.com) - Creative gourmet food; Meyer's Old Dutch (184 Main St; www.meyersoldedutch.com) - Sophisticated comfort food; Homespun Foods (232 Main St; homespunfoods.com) - Wonderful, organic comfort food, also the café at Dia; Isamu (240 Main St; isamubeaconny.com) - Great Japanese & Chinese food. 
Shopping: Ethan recommends starting at RiverWinds Gallery (172 Main St; www.riverwindsgallery.com) - Featuring the work of Hudson Valley artists: paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry, fiber arts, etc. Next, pop into Scarborough Fare for gourmet specialties. Then, stroll leisurely along Main Street to browse in antiques and vintage shops such as Blackbird Attic, Dickinson's Antiques & Vintage:Beacon.
Farmer's Market

Weekend Extras: Beacon gets even livelier on weekends with a Sunday Farmer's Market (on Veterans Place next to the post office) and a Flea Market (April-Nov; behind the post office in the Henry St parking lot).
Festivals: Strawberry Festival (June), Corn Festival (Aug), & Pumpkin Festival (Oct).
Music: Towne Crier Cafe (379 Main St; townecrier.com) - Renowned for presenting American roots, jazz, and world music, plus great food. Quinn's (330 Main St; https://bit.ly/2LdkReL) - Live music & good Japanese food.

ART WITH A SPLASH OF NATURE
The late-great, legendary folk singer, activist, and Beacon resident Pete Seeger, led the charge to clean up the polluted waters of the Hudson River. Here are some ways to enjoy the results. The pier and these riverfront parks are right by Beacon's Metro-North train station:

Clearwater sloop (photo:Anthony Pepitone)
Clearwater (https://bit.ly/1LQFeZY
April thru October) - Go for a sail on the Clearwater sloop or the schooner Mystic Whaler.
Scenic Hudson's Long Dock Park (https://bit.ly/2hnZIkc) - Go kayaking, paddleboarding, or rent a bike in this lovely spot.
Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park - Dare to take a dip in the Hudson (River Pool) or just play volleyball or tennis.

Bannerman’s Castle
Bannerman's Island; Tel: 800/979-3370; www.bannermancastle.org
While in Beacon, explore a picturesque island in the Hudson River. In 1901, Frank Bannerman, a zany Scottish-American munitions dealer, built a quasi-castle and residence for his family on Pollepel Island. Today, thanks to the Bannerman Castle Trust, you can check out the ruins. Pack a picnic and enjoy great views of the Hudson as well as the 20-minute ferry ride there & back. On some Sundays, there's also music. (Reservations required for all tours & special events. The ferry dock for Bannerman's Island is a 5-minute walk from the Beacon train station.) 


Bannerman's (photo: JCarnegie)
Stay: There are a handful of lovely inns and boutique hotels such as The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls (2 East Main St; www.roundhousebeacon.com) - An historic property overlooking a waterfall, plus a nice restaurant with patio dining.
Getting Around: The Beacon Free Loop (https://bit.ly/2Mpm7Rq; Mon-Sat, 6am-9pm) - Free rides from the Beacon train station to popular cultural sites such as Dia:Beacon, Main St., and the Mt Beacon trailhead.
Getting There: Drive or train from New York (Grand Central), take Metro-North (Hudson line) train to Beacon, about an hour and a half. (The museum, ferry dock, riverside parks & Main St. are all in easy walking distance of the train station.)

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