The hipster hangout for those wanting city coolness without the city, Beacon, New York offers art lovers and foodies plenty to choose from. About 80 miles north of NYC and accessible via Metro North, Beacon is an easy weekend get-away for New York City residents. My pre-travel research revealed glowing reviews of local restaurants, galleries and antiques shops from New York lifestyle publications. I had to know if Beacon was all that.
A friend suggested we take a trip to Beacon during the fall so that we could enjoy the foliage. And though the prediction was rain, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we drove north up the scenic Taconic Parkway Saturday morning.
We arrived mid-morning and parked along Main Street, eager to take in Beacon’s flavor. First we went into Alps Sweet Shop, which has been hand crafting fine confections since 1922.
After fortifying ourselves with chocolate, we ventured into a few of Beacon’s boutiques, finding treasures at my now-favorite Beacon clothing store, Lauren & Riley. I saw cute frocks at every turn as well as shoes, accessories and even children’s clothes.
Growling tummies motivated us to lunch at Homespun Foods, which offers in-season food sourced locally when possible and also serves beer and wine. Perfect! We took advantage of the amazing fall sunshine and ate outside in the flower-filled patio. After lunch and a little more shopping we ducked into The Hop, a craft beer and artisanal fare tasting room. Despite the wall-to-wall hipsters, we managed to get a table and enjoy seasonal beer and a snack of almonds and olives. Comfort foods like Grilled Cheese, Maple Braised Pork Belly, and Rabbit & Raisin Terrine were tempting, but we didn’t want to ruin our appetites for dinner. After a couple of beers we went to our hotel near the Hudson for a rest before heading out again in the evening for dinner at Café Amarcord, which proved delicious despite our too-young-to-be-this-dour waitress trying to spoil the mood.
Food: yes, ma’am.
By coincidence my travel companion and I planned our visit to on a “Second Saturday,” when galleries and shops host art openings and stay open until 9pm on the second Saturday of each month. Locals and visitors walk Main Street from one end to the other, stopping in the galleries and shops for art openings, helping themselves to drinks and bites to eat along the way. The most interesting glass art was found at Hudson Beach Glass, a huge space which includes a glass blowing demonstration space.
The next day we awoke and went to the Dia:Beacon, a modern art museum housed in a huge light-filled space.
My favorite artist at the Dia was Sol LeWitt. As a graphic designer I related to his large-scale work executed directly on the walls with mathematical precision. Some day I will try to duplicate his Wall Drawing #118: Fifty randomly placed points connected by straight lines on a wall in my own house or office. Someday… sigh.
Art: for sure.
After the Dia we went to the Beacon Farmers Market, located right on the Beacon waterfront.
Before leaving Beacon we went to the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, a boutique hotel and restaurant where we imbibed (again!) cocktails and ate a few tasty bites al fresco. The atmosphere is laid back and easy at their patio restaurant, and the view and sounds of the waterfall thoroughly relaxing.
Beacon was totally all that and more. Here are a few more pics from the weekend: