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Named after the beacon fires on the summit of Fishkill Mountains to warn the Continental Army of British troop movements, Beacon sits in the Dutchess County about 1.5 hours north of New York City. Once cheekily nicknamed "the armpit of the Hudson Valley", the town has grown from a sleepy working-class urbanscape to a hot spot for weekend getaways. It is the perfect town to leisurely stroll or bicycle around for a bit of sightseeing.
The Main Street stretch is overflowing with cute farm-to-table restaurants, plenty of art galleries and a glass blowing studio to while away numerous hours. The Museum for the Dia Art Foundation sitting in an historical factory on the riverfront actually includes work by Andy Warhol amongst its contemporary collection of modern art. You can join a tour of the Mount Gulian Historical Site and listen to tales and gossip of the Verplanck family, one of the original settlers. The oldest standing building, Madam Brett Homestead, dates back to pre-revolutionary war times. The railroad tracks or the trail around the falls taking you to the Beacon Falls, is worth investigating especially on a sunny afternoon. It's possible to rent a canoe or a kayak and float around on the Hudson River, but don't get in the way of the ships and barges that frequent the water around this area or you may end up swimming. The Walkway Over The Hudson is the pedestrian bridge that is one of the must do items for the agenda. The historical neighborhoods of Byrnsville or Tioronda are worth a look as is the Lower Main Street Historic District, to check out the Italianate and Victorian Gothic style buildings.
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