One of the best ways to get to know the place is Beacon Arts’ Second Saturday, a citywide celebration held on the second Saturday of each month. Gallery exhibitions, live music, food tasting and more go on all day and into the night, making it one of the Lower Hudson Valley’s most talked about street fairs. Most of Beacon’s countless galleries schedule their exhibition openings to coincide with the event; convenient and fun.
Towne Crier Café
On more than 30 acres (12ha) of land near the banks of the Hudson River, Dia: Beacon houses the Dia Art Foundation’s permanent collection from the 1960s to the present, and curates regular special exhibitions and new commissions. Housed in a former Nabisco box-printing factory, the industrial building features sprawling open spaces and abundant natural light, making the unique 300,000sqft (28,000sqm) brick, steel, concrete, and glass structure a perfect complement to the museum’s exhibitions.
American Gypsy Village
At American Gypsy Vintage, curators Nicole Alyse and Cabot Bramhall carefully select only the finest vintage clothing and denim, ensuring the trendy consignment shop radiates its own fashion flair: casual, edgy, and tastefully worn-in. The shop specializes in denim and tees, but you can also get a wide variety of other bits and bobs, including jewelry, boots, and leather.
Bannerman Island Tours
Bannerman Island, also known as Pollepel, sits on the Hudson River just south of Beacon. Its castle ruins are now part of the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve. Regular walking tours are offered by the Bannerman Castle Trust, which is dedicated to the upkeep of the historic site. The island is only accessible by water, so cast off from Beacon’s Long Dock Park by kayak. Make reservations ahead of time aboard the Estuary Steward, or join a kayak tour sponsored by Beacon’s Mountain Tops Outfitters. Consider joining one of the island’s special tours or events, such as the light show on weekend evenings, or one of the regular outdoor theater productions.
Hudson Beach Glass
At the top of buzzing Main Street, in a restored former firehouse, Hudson Beach Glass casts and sells glass art, both sculptural and functional. Price tags here can be steep, but the glasswork is unique and brilliantly lit. The building’s former fire engine bay, attached to the side of the store, serves as an open-air glassblowing demonstration studio. Sign up for a class, in which participants learn to create their own beautiful ornaments, paperweights, or beads.
Mount Beacon Park
If spectacular views and challenging hiking trails are your thing, consider a trek to the peak of Mount Beacon. This well-maintained site is one of a number of Hudson Valley parks managed by Scenic Hudson, the organization credited with launching the modern grassroots environmental movement. The journey begins at the original access road to the now defunct Mount Beacon Incline Railway which used to deliver passengers to the Beaconcrest Hotel and Casino that once sat at the mountain’s peak. The trail continues sharply uphill via a stairway to the first of many observation decks, followed by a steep hike that ultimately joins the Fishkill Ridge system. Efforts are underway to restore the railway, but for now only the sturdiest hikers are able to enjoy Mount Beacon’s breathtaking vistas.
Drawn to the quirky and offbeat? Then check out Clutter Gallery, highlighting the very best (and worst) of toy design, as well as modern pop and lowbrow art. The gallery and its exhibitions share space with Clutter Magazine which boasts a sizeable collection of eclectic designer toys, including the work of POPaganda artist Ron English. A treasure trove of weirdness.
Beacon Flea Market
What distinguishes the Beacon Flea Market from other large flea markets is a strictly enforced requirement that all merchandise is either handcrafted or authentically vintage: absolutely no knock-offs or new mass-produced items allowed. Every Sunday from April to November (weather permitting) vendors share their crafts and wares on stalls which line the Henry Street parking lot, behind the Main Street Post Office. Sleuths in search of the rare and unusual will revel in the treasures waiting to be discovered among tabletops, bins, and clothing rails. Be warned that most vendors only accept cash.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.