I’d been feeling a little cooped up after all the snow and cold weather we’ve been having, and I was itching to get a little further out of the city. On a tip from a friend, I decided to take a day trip to Beacon, a small town about 60 miles north of Manhattan accessible via the Metro North’s Poughkeepsie line.
Dia:Beacon, a contemporary art museum, is probably the town’s most well-known attraction. Located on the banks of the Hudson River in a building that used to be a Nabisco box-printing factory, the museum features works by Andy Warhol, Blinky Palermo, Sol LeWitt and others. Beacon has a growing art scene, and although I’m not exactly an art aficionado, reading through a few New York Times articles provided interesting background (“Beacon: A City Reborn as a Haven for Art” and “Art and Calm Just Up the Hudson“).
The ride up was super convenient and very scenic. Metro North has a “Getaway” package deal: a round-trip train ticket to Beacon and museum admission for $35. It was about an 80-minute ride with some pretty nice views to boot.
The town’s population is 15,000, and walking up and down Main Street made the idea of living in small-town America seem pretty appealing: being overwhelmed with options isn’t possible because there is exactly one grocery store, one dentist, and one of each type of ethnic food restaurant, and a three-bedroom house goes for about the same price as a 300-square foot studio apartment on 5th Avenue. The views of the Hudson and Mt. Beacon in the backdrop didn’t hurt either. I got lunch at Homespun Foods, popped into a used bookstore and bought two old issues of National Geographic for 25 cents a piece, and ended the day at Bank Square Coffeehouse.
Overall, a nice mini excursion with some indoor alternatives when it’s a little too cold to go hiking or running outside.