We sometimes feel as if we need to travel far to explore new places. However, there are fascinating towns near us that will make you forget you’re only an hour or two away from the city. After all, we don’t need to travel so far to feel like we are on vacation but need to embrace soaking in exploring new spaces around us with an open mind. Whenever I go to Beacon, New York, I feel like I have taken a vacation. Beacon is located in Dutchess County in New York and offers shopping, dining, hiking, and art. Less than two hours from the city, you can explore a mix of new and old as you can still see farmland and factories that once made up the town. I’m happy to share with you what a day in Beacon looks like for me if you’re looking for an idea for a short trip away from home!
Start your day off with a Hike!
There are two great parks to start your day by exploring nature in Beacon. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, then Mount Beacon is the right choice, but if you’re in the mood to grab a coffee and stroll through the park Madam Brett Park will not upset you!
Mount Beacon – 788 Wolcott Ave, Beacon, NY 12508
Mount Beacon is a popular hiking trail along the Hudson River, and it is located just a few minutes from the lovely Main street! Hikers can explore the Beaconcrest Hotel ruins or enjoy a great workout towards the fire tower on the top of the mountain. The fire tower offers incredible views, and you can even spot New York City on a clear day! Check out the various trails found at Mount Beacon Park to see which is best for your skill level.
Madame Brett Park – South Ave, Beacon, NY 12508
This park not only offers a scenic trail along Fishkill Creek but has history and nature built into it. A total of four miles long, you can soak in all of nature by exploring a waterfall, tidal marsh area and woodland trails. Catheryna Brett, the first European settler in the present-day city, operated a gristmill here along Fishkill Creek, which later powered the Tioronda Hat Works. You can see the ruins right next to the park.
Exploring the Main Street
The Main Street of Beacon is the most visited in the Hudson Valley. From specialty shops, and boutiques offering vintage collections, music, and artisan markets, you can spend almost half of the day strolling through it. The small shops are great for finding a unique and memorable gift for someone special in your life. Check out the various businesses on Main Street here.
Have a coffee at Beans Cat Café!
Beans Cat Café – 325 Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
I was excited when I first visited Beacon and saw Beans Cat Café. I love the idea of a cat café where people come together with adoptable shelter cats. What is better than enjoying a cup of coffee and having kitten therapy? The café also serves baked goods, making it an excellent stop for a little pick-me-up during your trip. Their cats are up for adoption through Hudson Valley Animal Rescue & Sanctuary.
Industrial Arts Brewing Company – 511 Fishkill Ave, Beacon, NY 12508
If you love craft beer and want to stop by to visit a brewery with a great environment, then Industrial Arts is less than ten minutes away! A perfect stop before grabbing dinner.
Restaurants for Brunch or Dinner!
Beacon also has a wide selection of restaurants, serving cuisines from the Mediterranean region, soul food, Nicaraguan, and many more. The strip of restaurants offers a diversity of cuisines to select from for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so no matter what mood you’re in, there will be something for you! Some of my favorite restaurants are Ziatun, Beacon Bread Company, and Kitchen Coffee Beacon. If you’re looking to try a new cuisine, check out El Nica, a popular Nicaraguan restaurant.
If you’re heading to Beacon for a day trip, you can stop by Kitchen Coffee Beacon or the Beacon Bread Company for brunch to start your day off! I have listed my favorite below if you’re looking for a few ideas while heading to Beacon.
Kitchen Coffee Beacon – 382 Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
Kitchen Coffee Beacon is a 100% gluten-free, vegetarian café & bakery. They source local and organic ingredients and have a wide selection of delicious and healthy dishes to choose from to get you energized to explore the rest of the day. If you are gluten-free, you’re in for a treat, as their sweets are delicious, and they have a wide selection of cookies, cakes, and muffins for you to pick from!
Ziatun – 244 Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
Ziatun, olive in Arabic, is a cozy Middle Eastern restaurant on the main street. This family-owned restaurant has options for vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers. From their falafel to marinated meat dishes, you will enjoy everything on the menu. My favorite is ending my meal with their incredible Arabic coffee with hints of cardamom in every sip.
Exploring Arts & Culture
Beacon is known for its art culture. There are art galleries throughout the town, each offering a unique experience. From private and public art galleries to historic architecture, you will learn so much about the history of New York. I have highlighted the two main attractions below, but there are many smaller art galleries to stumble upon during your visit to Beacon.
Dia Beacon – 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY 12508
Beacon is best known for this contemporary art museum. It is a world-class museum featuring late-20th-century art housed in a former factory. Dia believes in following and supporting artists’ ideas. You can see this throughout the exhibitions. Many of Dia’s early projects are outside of the museum and are open to the public. They recommend making reservations. Click here for more information on tickets.
Howland Cultural Center – 477 Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
Known as the jewel of Beacon, the Howland Culture Center has been fostering arts and culture since 1979. The center hosts many events, allowing artists to showcase their unique artistic talents. It is located on Main Street and is worth visiting if you’re interested in arts and music!