We have made this trip a couple of times during the summer, and I feel compelled to take the 1.5 hour car ride to Beacon again this summer for some art, waterfalls, and of course, good food.
We like to start our morning at Dia:Beacon, which is an immersive experience that art lovers and non art lovers alike will enjoy. The grounds are so tranquil and exquisite, making you feel instantly grounded. The gardens surrounding the museum, designed by Robert Irwin, will invite you to gaze up at the towering Hornbeams and admire the formation of cherry trees. Stay awhile to stare up at the open sky or look down and find a fuzzy caterpillar come to a detente with a big spider, like we did. The symmetry of the trees, along with the layout and other materials present throughout the garden, echo the artwork inside the museum.
Large scale works from contemporary artists including Richard Serra and Dan Flavin can be explored up close. The lines of Sol Lewitt are spread out across walls that tower over you. Each section of the Dia offers a unique presentation of sculptures, paintings, works on paper, photography, and other installations; the expansive space of this former Nabisco box printing factory perfectly showcases the monumental works of art composed of glass, neon, sand, steel, and other awe-inspiring materials.
As a side note, as you amble through each space in the museum you will be struck by the grand scale of the ceilings and the natural light and artificial light in some of the rooms (as a former model, I know a thing or two about good light, and you will find a full spectrum of it in here). Forget about Facetune and filters, snap a few selfies here and you will have yourself a library of headshots. I'm not joking. #vain
After spending a few hours in the museum, drive 5 minutes to Main Street for an array of antique shops, clothing, houseware, and toy boutiques. A stroll along the main strip will take less than an hour, and you will encounter a nice mix of restaurants. We like Beacon Falls for sandwiches and burgers. Grab a seat outside and enjoy the small town feel. While waiting for our food, Curious G got antsy so I took her next door to Echo, and discovered some cute local women’s clothing designers. The store is actually a combination of two stores; a women’s clothing store and a children’s toy store. The children’s section includes old school wooden and wind up toys, organic baby clothes, and other staples from Melissa and Doug.
Beacon Breads is a great stop for pastries, homemade jams, and a nice brunch. We had the most custardy and delicious French toast here. I will return to have it again. Beacon Creamery serves locally made ice cream in classic flavors, as well as more adventurous flavors such as Merlot and gingersnap maple.
The Roundhouse Hotel seems like a lovely option for an overnight trip, and the restaurant features a patio that overlooks the resplendent waterfalls of Fishkill Creek.
This summer, we will be more adventurous and explore the Bannerman Castle with a kayak tour.