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Beacon | © Adam Moss/Flickr
Beacon | © Adam Moss/Flickr |

How to Spend a Day in Beacon, New York

Picture of Elizabeth Nicholas
Updated: 25 February 2018

Many New Yorkers only know of Beacon, a town in upstate New York, because of its famous art museum, Dia: Beacon. Here’s how to spend a day in the town.

Along with its sister gallery in Chelsea, Dia: Beacon has one of the best-known collections of modern and contemporary art in New York. The museum is in a former Nabisco factory, and is spread out over thirty acres. With masterpieces from the likes of Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra, and Agnes Martin, the museum is an absolute must-stop for those with even the mildest enthusiasm for modern and contemporary art.

As it’s only a short ride up the Hudson River, New Yorkers can easily make a day trip out of Beacon. But what is there to do besides wander the grounds marveling at Dia: Beacon’s marquee collection?

Plenty. First, for post-museum sustenance, you have many options. For something more casual, head to local favorite The Beacon Bagel, where a variety of bagels are made fresh every day. Another casual option is Tito Santana Taqueria, on Main Street, with outstanding tacos for $2.99 per taco.

For something a little more upscale, check out the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, which is housed in a former brick factory overlooking a waterfall. It turns out hyper-local dishes with ingredients from the many farms in the area surrounding Beacon.

To work that meal off, take a hike through Mount Beacon Park, which has stunning views of the surrounding Hudson River Valley. Be warned, the trails are steep, but the views are killer.

Reclaimed items are the order of the day when it comes to shopping in Beacon. Standout vintage is available at American Gypsy Vintage, and wood from old barns is available for any home improvement or sculptural projects you may be undertaking in your Brooklyn loft. And the Beacon Flea Market, held on Sundays between April and November, ensures that all merchandise is one-of-a-kind vintage or antique, rather than mass-produced.

If you’ve been inspired to flex your own artistic muscles, take a glass blowing class at Hudson Beach Glass. Here, glass from the beaches by the banks of the river can be turned into masterpieces of your own.