Fall is here, and it’s a great time to get away from urban life. Take a long weekend and breathe the crisp air of fall, before winter weather and the holiday season keep you nesting indoors. The Hudson River valley is just a couple hours from the bustle of Manhattan, and boasts charming towns and gorgeous scenery, as well as thriving art communities and ample outdoor recreation. Here’s how to make the most of an autumn excursion, while avoiding the worst of the tourist traps:
The Roundhouse Hotel Beacon
Beacon sits nestled between the Hudson River and Mount Beacon; a charming town just minutes from Pollepel Island and West Point. Beacon has a growing community of artists and designers, with galleries and workshops year round. Mount Beacon’s many trails offer hiking opportunities and spectacular views. On a clear day, you can see all the way to New York City from the summit. Beacon Cycles rents road bikes or mountain bikes, and even delivers them to your hotel, to make the most of your time in the scenic town.
While in Beacon, stay at the historic Roundhouse Hotel. The 200 year old site was a center of manufacturing and industry, and had long fallen into disrepair, when a local family bought the building and sought to save and salvage as much of the original construction as possible. Original windows, bricks, and wooden beams were salvaged and repurposed in the new design. Undertaken with a commitment to the artists and designers of Beacon, the Roundhouse used local artisans to make everything from tables and chairs to custom tiles and the art on the walls. The result is a unique homage to Beacon history and modern design, with spacious comfortable rooms and stunning common spaces.
Art lovers must visit Dia:Beacon. A former Nabisco factory, Dia collaborated with artist Robert Irwin to convert the 300,000 square feet into a stunning site showcasing contemporary art and exhibitions. The collection features large-scale pieces focusing on the 60s and 70s, including works by Richard Serra, Louise, Bourgeois, and Sol LeWitt.
Walkway over the Hudson
Travel further north to Poughkeepsie and take the Walkway over the Hudson. This pedestrian bridge spanning the Hudson river is itself a state park and the tallest pedestrian bridge in the world, offering stunning views of the river surrounded by the colors of fall.
Minnewaska State Park
Continuing west to Minnewaska State Park will not disappoint the nature lover. The preserve boasts 3 lakes, numerous waterfalls, and is home to rare native species. The park invites hiking, biking, swimming, rock climbing, scuba diving, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing, making it a prime destination all year long. Campers love the sensational scenery, diverse activities, and excellent camping facilities.