If you're visiting, expecting visitors, or just curious about what Beaconites do for fun, here are a few ideas on how to while away a day in our city.
Down By the Riverside: This makes an excellent day trip from the city since the train station is the perfect starting point for this adventure. From historical Denning's Point to art at DIA: Beacon, to the inspiring beauty of the river itself, this stroll will connect you to Beacon's riverfront, past, present, and always. We wrote a more detailed itinerary for you in our feature section. Don't forget to leave time to come into town for a meal and a little shopping.
Second Saturday Night Out: It need not be Saturday, or night, but the second Saturday of every month many of the shops, galleries, and restaurants stay open late, and special events are planned. Whether you start from the east end or the west end, if you're traveling by car, we suggest parking at the train station (west) or one of the municipal lots in town and enjoying Beacon on foot for the day. A typical Second Saturday, whatever the time of year, might include some antique browsing, an apéritif, a fine dinner, a gallery tour, a nightcap and a musical interlude. You'll find useful guides and listings in our feature section.
Hike Mt. Beacon: We have our own mountain in our backyard and we love it! Mt. Beacon has played host to Revolutionary signal fires alerting George Washington of British movements, getaway cottages for silent film star era celebrities, and, at one time, the world's steepest incline railway. Those reaching the top (by foot only these days) are rewarded with views of the town below and sweeping vistas of the valley and river. Many trails are doable by even the casual stroller, and for the more serious hiker, Mt Beacon connects up with Sugarloaf, Breakneck Ridge, Bull Hill and other adjoining peaks and valleys, ponds and lakes.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Come watch our home team Hudson Valley Renegades play at Dutchess Stadium, just a mile north on route 9D. Start a feud: Invite guests to come watch their home team play ours! (Know any fans of the Brooklyn Cyclones? the Staten Island Yankees? The Vermont Lake Monsters?) There is a great picnic area and more often than not fireworks, too.
Farm Fresh Food: Go directly to the source for the best and freshest food. Visit the many farms and farmers markets located throughout the Hudson Valley. Where to start? Check out this list of Dutchess County Farms.
Historic Tour of Beacon: A walk through town will confirm Beacon's role during the Industrial Age, and the city considers these old factory buildings monuments to our heritage, and is actively protecting them. Also right in town is Madam Brett's Homestead, which predates the Revolutionary War. The Howland Cultural Center may be the best-known historic structure in the city. On the outskirts you'll find Mount Gulian, Stony Kill Farm, and the Van Wyck Homestead Museum.
Walking, Driving or Biking Tour of Beacon: The Tioronda Working Group has created a walking, driving or biking tour of Beacon. You can access the tour at www.tiorondaworkinggroup.com. There is a print version, an interactive map and an audio tour.
Day Trips Around Beacon: Sometimes Beaconites do leave Beacon...
- Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island
- Breakneck Ridge and Other Great Hikes
- Springwood: FDR's Estate and Library in Hyde Park and neighboring Vanderbuilt Mansion
- Kykuit: Rockefeller's Estate in Westchester
- Olana: Frederic Church's Estate in Hudson
- Boscobel in Garrison and its Summer Shakespeare Festival
- Storm King Art Center
- Opus 40 and the Quarryman's Museum
- Fahnestock Sate Park (psst: great x-country skiing)
These are some highlights. If you'll be visiting for more than a day, check in to one of the B and B's in town and get ready to explore. Beacon has many hidden gems—ask a shopkeeper or any locals you bump into for their ideas and suggestions.