When you work, play, breathe, and live in the middle of a bustling city, you’ll find that from time to time, you need a serious break from it all. You’ll do anything to escape to a place where life moves at a slower pace—a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself, eat good food, indulge in a little shopping, and relish in the surrounding nature and art, sans an influx of tourists.
That place is exactly what Beacon, New York, is for New York City dwellers like myself. This gem of a Hudson Valley town, only an hour and a half ride on the Metro North out of Grand Central Station, makes for quite the easy getaway from the city when you're in a dire need of nature and/or calm. Beyond the mountain trails with breathtaking views and the incredible contemporary art museum, Dia:Beacon, you'll find Main Street filled with restaurants, galleries, and some of the best vintage shopping in the Hudson Valley.
While Beacon is a great destination for pretty much everyone, it certainly makes for an ideal day trip from New York because of its close proximity and easy travel to and from Manhattan. I often find myself traveling here post-New York Fashion Week for a little R&R (and homemade ice cream). If you are planning to stay overnight, The Roundhouse—a 23-room hotel built out of a former factory—is an excellent option. Still, I find that booking an Airbnb, either in town or walking distance from the mountain trails, or taking the last train back is the easiest (and cheapest!) way to go.
Should you find yourself hopping on the next train to Beacon, check out some of the best destinations to stop by in the gallery below.
Where to go: Dia:Beacon
When you’re looking to get in your dose of contemporary art without the hassle of tourists, Dia:Beacon is the place to be. Located just a five-minute walk from the Beacon train station, you can peruse the larger-than-life sculptures by Richard Serra and find yourself captivated by the fluorescent light works of Dan Flavin.
Pop by at 1pm on a Saturday or Sunday for a free (with $15 general admission ticket) public tour.