An hour’s drive north of New York City, Beacon can be visited either as a day trip or as part of a larger, multi-day trip in the Hudson Valley Region, of which it’s part. The town plays host to numerous events, like the Second Saturday Night Out, which is where shops, galleries and restaurants stay open late and special events are set up. But no matter when they visit, travelers can browse through some interesting antiques, grab a bite to eat or listen to some live music. On Sundays there’s the Beacon Farmers Market where you can pick up some great, local produce. A walk along the riverside allows you to take in the beautiful scenery and see some historical sites of interest. Beacon is also home to the baseball team Hudson Valley Renegades, who play at the local stadium, Dutchess Stadium.

A view of Beacon Falls.

Photo by Dexter Miranda via Flickr

Take a hike up Mount Beacon

The town of Beacon as seen from the top of Mount Beacon.

Photo by bacover via Flickr

The highest peak in the Hudson Highlands, Mount Beacon is the perfect spot to hike to your heart’s content. You can roam freely for hours on end, starting with a quarter mile trail to see the old lower railhead. Following that, take 200 stairs to the lower section, which in itself offers a great view. After that, continue on to enjoy the increasingly stunning views over the town and river.

What the travel blogs have to say:

A foggy morning hiking on Mount Beacon.
Morning Hike up Mount Beacon
Paul – March 17, 2012

Paul shares some photos from his foggy, morning hike up Mount Beacon.


A wintertime hike in Beacon.
Hiking Mt. Beacon
February 24, 2011

An urban New York couple venture to Beacon in the winter to climb the mountains snowy slopes.


A great view of the Hudson River while hiking near Beacon.
From the top of Mount Beacon
Jason – May 16, 2007

Just a cool photo of the Hudson River from the top of Mount Beacon.


Some more hiking trails in Beacon and other ways to enjoy nature

Kayaking on the Hudson River near Beacon.
Mountain Tops Outdoors

A tour operator offering guided kayaking tours on the Hudson River right from Beacon.

The leaves of the Breakneck Ridge Trail in the Hudson Valley.
Breakneck Ridge Trail

A ten-mile loop for advanced hikers that travels through some great scenery.

Some info on hiking trails in the Beacon area.
Beacon Hiking Trails

The city of Beacon has a nice list of all the hiking trails in and near the town.

A refuge of art at Dia:Beacon

The Dia:Beacon art museum.

Photo by David Malantic via Flickr

The Dia:Beacon hosts collections of work from the 1960s to now, along with a variety of new commissions and special exhibitions. The gallery also holds a number of educational art programs. Founded in 1974, the mission of the Dia Art Foundation is to provide individual artists with a long-term, expansive exhibition space within its impressive 300,000 square feet. Its result has been to turn the small town of Beacon into a regional hub of the arts.

What the travel/art blogs have to say:

Modern art inside the Dia:Beacon.
Dia:Beacon with Colleen
Jacinda Russel – October 20, 2011

An artist/blogger hits up Dia:Beacon and shares her photos and thoughts on the artwork.


A day trip to Beacon to see its famed art museum.
A day-trip to Dia:Beacon
HG – August 14, 2010

This travel blogger shows what’s possible on a day trip to Beacon from New York City.


Bannerman’s Castle is a secret hideaway, waiting to be explored

Photo by Kilgub/Flickr.

Unexpected finds: castle ruins in upstate New York. However, the decaying stone and brick skeleton on Pollepel Island, located on the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring, is just as mysterious and storied as the ones in the hills of Scotland. Frank Bannerman built his castle on a piece of land devoid of life and energy except for patchy foliage and swirling whispers of ghosts. He housed ammunition and military surplus in this elaborate fortress and studded its towers with cannons. It was the Gilded Age – one could do things like that, if they had the money. That was a century ago, and all that remains is a brick and mortar shell, sunken bridges and some hiking trails. Tours are available from the Bannerman Castle Trust, the current proprietors of the land, with passenger ferries departing from Beacon, NY, and kayaking tours to the castle leaving from both Beacon and Cold Spring.

What the blogs have to say:

Bannerman’s Island
Beau Stanton – June 22, 2011

A visitor shares his photos of the beautiful ruins on a dark and gloomy day.


Bannerman’s Castle: History on the Hudson
Louis Santiago – August 29, 2010

A blogger gets out of NYC and into the woods and explains all of the reasons why Frank Bannerman is the man.


Exploring the Ruins of Bannerman Castle
Allison C. Meier – July 29, 2012

Photos from a tour of Bannerman Castle and some cool historical information from a visiting writer.


See the beautiful glasswork at Hudson Beach Glass

The storefront of Hudson Beach Glass.

Photo by John via Flickr

Visitors to Hudson Beach Glass can come to see glass cast into both functional and sculptural objects. The center has been open for 25 years, offering a gallery, blowing demonstration studio and gift store. The building is actually an old, restored firehouse, located on Main Street. If you’re looking for a gift for a family member you’ll find all sorts here to impress, including custom jewelry.

What the travel/art blogs have to say:

A look at some glasswork in Beacon.
Small @ Hudson Beach Glass
Christopher Albert – February 20, 2011

A look at a glasswork exhibition at Hudson Beach Glass.


More glasswork from Hudson Beach Glass.
Shiny Little Things
Laura Facchin – May 7, 2010

The Hudson Valley Echo, a local news site, blogs about Hudson Beach Glass.


An art exhibition at Beacon's Hudson Beach Glass.
Van Brunt openings and Catherine Welshman at bau
Christopher Albert – March 22, 2009

Photos and tales from an exhibition of artwork at Hudson Beach Glass.


The hard to explain School of Jellyfish

Photo by arthur hash via Flickr

Before you think it, this place has nothing to do with jellyfish. It’s actually a design house committed to the advancement of sustainable living and renewable energy – go figure! To complement the sustainable initiatives of the school, there’s also an organic café/chocolate bar on site. This artsy eatery serves great local, fair trade and organic food and drink.

What the travel blogs have to say:

Dia Beacon
The NY Escapist – July 10, 2010

A visitor on a day trip from New York stops in at the School of Jellyfish.


We all scream for Beacon Creamery

The Beacon Creamery is the place to go for ice cream in Beacon.

Photo by Chris Goldberg via Flickr

Using the exceedingly popular Jane’s Ice Cream, this small ice cream business is getting a lot of positive feedback from its customers. Jane actually makes unique flavors just for Beacon Creamery, including “nirvana bacon” and “coffee and cookies.” They also sell a number of other unique and classic flavors. Some of their most sold flavors include cappuccino, killer chocolate and coconut almond joy. The shop is conveniently located on Beacon’s Main Street, and is a perfect place to stop for families with children traveling to Beacon.

What the travel blogs have to say:

Inside the Beacon Creamery.
The Scoop on Beacon Creamery: One Name for Two Different Shops
May 7, 2013 - Alison Rooney

A local newspaper runs a feature on the Creamery and talks about its history and offerings.


A hiker stops for ice cream at the Beacon Creamery.

Hiking Mt. Beacon
February 24, 2011

The same couple that climbed Mount Beacon in the snow stop in at the Beacon Creamery for some ice cream.


Beacon, NY Photo Set

This photostream of Beacon includes some shots of the Beacon Creamery.


Every meal can’t be ice cream alone, so check out these restaurants in Beacon:

A cool cafe in Beacon with al fresco dining.
Beacon Falls Cafe

A nice all-American restaurant on Main Street with some tables on the sidewalk.

Classic diner fare is on offer here.
Max’s on Main

Beacon isn’t a town known for its fancy restaurants, but quality diners like Max’s don’t disappoint.

Homespun Foods offers organic options to diners in Beacon.
Homespun Foods

Homespun Foods offers great brunch food and sandwiches and has a nice outdoor sitting area for when the weather’s nice.

An innovative design hotel: The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls

A newly built boutique hotel in Beacon.

Photo by The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls via their Facebook page

With views over Fishkill Creek, this historic inn is the place to stay in Beacon Falls. An award-winning architect and design firm, Rockwell Group, designed the rooms. There are only 14 rooms in total, including two stunning penthouses with their very own roof decks and a river view. Conveniently, the inn is close to Beacon’s shops, markets, galleries and restaurants.

What the travel blogs have to say:

The view from the restaurant at the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls.
The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls ~ Swift Restaurant, Beacon, NY
Joe Steiniger – August 2, 2012

A blogger reviews the Swift Restaurant at The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls.


Dining on the patio at the Roundhouse.
Beacon, NY in the New York Times!
Fourteen Countess – August 6, 2011

A local blogger stops by the newly opened Roundhouse at Beacon Falls for drinks on its waterfront terrace.


See some other inns and bed and breakfasts in Beacon:

A nice bed and breakfast near Beacon.
Chrystie House Bed and Breakfast

A small bed and breakfast housed in a historic mansion situated on four acres.

Another bed and breafkast in Beacon.
Botsford Briar Bed and Brekfast

A B&B with a river view and within easy walking distance to Main Street and Dia:Beacon.

The Hyatt House is in a town near Beacon called Fishkill.
Hyatt House Fishkill

Though not in Beacon itself, this luxury hotel is a short drive away in the nearby town of Fishkill.

See Beacon on the map:

Christina Wylie

Christina Wylie

Christina is a globe-trotting journalist born and raised in Hong Kong, though a former resident of Thailand and London, who loves traveling and currently calls Sydney home. Find her on Google+.