If you’re anything like most of the folks who flock to Beacon for the weekend, you’re here just as much for the art as for the hiking, and one thing that the lower Hudson Valley is not lacking in is both manmade and natural beauty. We took a look at some of the best destinations in and around Beacon to enjoy immersive art experiences and spend a rainy day (or a sunny one!):
3 Beekman St, Beacon
Opened in 2003 in a refurbished cracker factory and boasting 160,000sqft of space, Dia: Beacon is one of the largest exhibition spaces in the country for contemporary and modern art. Dia was one of the first to convert an industrial building for the installation of contemporary art, which has become a widely adopted practice for large art institutions, and Dia’s expansive spaces are well suited to the needs of large-scale installations, paintings, and sculptures. Dia is comprised of a main gallery, courtyard, gift shop and cafe situated on 31 riverfront acres. A 5-minute walk from Beacon Metro North station.
1 Museum Rd, New Windsor
Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor museum located in New York’s Hudson Valley, where visitors experience large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions under open sky. Since 1960, Storm King has been dedicated to stewarding the hills, meadows, and forests of its site and surrounding landscape. Building on the visionary thinking of its founders, Storm King supports artists and some of their most ambitious works. Changing exhibitions, programming, and seasons offer discoveries with every visit.
362 Tyrrel Rd, Millbrook
Recognized as one of the “world’s ten best gardens,”* Innisfree is a powerful icon of mid-twentieth century design. Over fifty years in the making, it is the work of landscape architect Lester Collins, FASLA (1914 – 1993), with important contributions by his clients, artist and teacher Walter Beck and gardener and heiress Marion Burt Beck. At its core, Innisfree is about the individual’s experience in nature. Inviting exploration and even contemplation, Collins’ sweeping landscape merges the essence of Modernist and Romantic ideas with traditional Chinese and Japanese garden design principles in a form that evolved through subtle handling of the site and slow manipulation of its ecology. The result is a distinctly American stroll garden — a composition of rock, water, wood, and sky achieved with remarkable economy and grace.
18 Stonecrop Lane, Cold Spring
A visit to Stonecrop is a serious immersion in plants and design ideas. Plan to spend several hours with a plant list in hand. Some of the highlights include raised alpine stone beds and a cliff rock garden; woodland and water gardens; an enclosed English-style flower garden and systematic order beds representing over 50 plant families. A 2,000 square-foot conservatory housing tender specimens floats on a pond near the entry. Display greenhouses of alpines, tropicals, and succulents are backed up by a new T-Range Greenhouse used to over-winter half-hardy plants.
50 Fite Rd, Saugerties
A lovely outdoor landscape and sculpture park and museum. Imagined and built by sculpture artist Harvey Fite, a pioneering American sculptor, painter and earth artist. The outdoor masterpiece took Fite almost 40 years to construct in its current form; sadly, he passed away in a fall during the final phases of its construction.
1601 Rt 9D, Cold Spring
Built between 1804 and 1808, Boscobel was originally the dream house of wealthy Loyalists. By the 1950s, after falling into disrepair, it was demolished. Preservationists saved as many architectural fragments as possible and reassembled them fifteen miles north, where the Neoclassical mansion was restored back to—and even beyond—its original grandeur. Boscobel was saved as a beautiful piece of art.
Now an esteemed Historic House Museum containing one of the finest collections of decorative arts from the Federal period, Boscobel offers tours of the Neoclassical mansion and access to 68 acres of grounds, featuring lush gardens and a woodland trail.
2700 Rt. 9, Cold Spring
Magazzino Italian Art Magazzino Italian Art Foundation is a museum located in Cold Spring, New York, devoted to Postwar and Contemporary Italian art. Magazzino, meaning warehouse in Italian, was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu. Designed by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo, the 20,000 square-foot structure was completed in June 2017. Magazzino serves as a resource for scholars and students and offers an extensive library and archive of Italian Art. In addition, Magazzino has become a cultural hub for the vibrant Hudson Valley community thanks to the joint programs with local organizations.