Although my intention was to have my blog be focused on the UK and all of the travel we do there, we do travel other places too. Last weekend, we took an impromptu trip to Beacon, NY.
Only an hour and a half with no traffic from NYC, Beacon provided the perfect afternoon escape. It is located in Dutchess County, and has a very rich history. Its location is just minutes from West Point (the military academy) and Bannerman Castle, an abandoned military surplus warehouse.
We drove up to Beacon mid-afternoon, leaving NYC at 2pm. After one quick pee stop, (I blame the giant ice tea from Dunkin’ Donuts post pilates for necessitating that) and passing every wedding venue I’ve googled, we made it to Beacon. Our original plan, since we knew we were arriving around 4pm, was to rent bikes until the sun set and then go for dinner. We even googled the bike rental place, which is a kayak rental place in the summer, to make sure it was open. We thought it was, however, when we got up there and parked, we couldn’t find it anywhere, so we called the bike rental place and it turns out they were closed for the winter too.
Although it was a chilly day, we were fairly wrapped up and decided to go for a walk along the river on the trail. Beacon is located across the river from Newburgh, and we had a nice view of the bridge. We also got very lucky with the weather and had a gorgeous sunset.
After chilling our butts off, we drove back into town. There is one main street, but there were a surprising amount of shops open for 6pm on a Sunday. First, we nipped into Artisan Wine Shop, where we both searched for the perfect bottle. I’m not a huge drinker, but I do love a Riesling. I found the perfect bottle from the Hudson Valley region. Dave opted for a red, I think a Cab Sauv or a Merlot, but also from the Hudson Valley region. We’ve been trying to acquire less “stuff”, but it was still nice to bring a small souvenir home.
Another fun stop we made was in the Marion Royael Gallery. We walked over initially because we saw a “Vote Andrew Yang” sign in the window and I said, “Oh, I wonder what he’s running for.” Not my brightest moment. The people I presumed to be the owners of the gallery were walking out for a smoke when we walked in, but in that small town friendly way told us to go inside regardless. We spent a few moments wandering around looking at art work, but the real highlight of the Gallery was the garden. We walked outside to giant metal sculptures of all different kinds of people and creatures. With the sun setting, it was a really cool combination of creepy and intriguing.
Check out the gallery here: http://www.marionroyaelgallery.com/index.html
Our final stop for the day happened to be the busiest place on Main Street, Bank Sq. Coffee House. We went in and could barely get a seat! It was nearly 6pm on a chilly Sunday, so we both found this rather surprising. But I guess in a small town what else do people do!? The coffee shop was made up of what seemed to be a lot of local people. They had a really nice selection of tea and coffees, and I think even food and beer. Would highly recommend the stop if you’re looking for a warm cup of something before (or after) a hike.
On the way down to see my parents before driving back to NYC, we had dinner in Peekskill. It was about 30 minutes from Beacon, and an hour from NYC. Staying true to the theme of the day, I was looking for a farm to table restaurant. This somehow turned to wanting to be water front as well because we were on the nice part of the Hudson River. I think Beacon did have a few cute choices, but not exactly what I was looking for, so we ended up at Fin & Brew in Peekskill.
I really liked the restaurant, overall. We were one of two tables, but the restaurant has really good reviews, so I think it was just the small town Sunday night thing again. Our waitress was very friendly and gave us a lot of recommendations nearby in Tarrytown. We had warm fresh bread and whipped butter, the gnocchi starter, and each ordered an entree. Our gnocchi appetizer had butternut squash and was in some kind of creamy sauce, and was really nice. Dave had short ribs over a risotto type of grain. I went for the vegetarian tofu dish, and was a bit disappointed. It was very spicy, which I wasn’t expecting, and also very heavy and creamy. I had a few bites of Dave’s short rib (I was trying pescatarianism for 2020 but found I was already iron deprived so I am now more flexitarian, eating meat once or twice a week) and was so full from the gnocchi it was perfect. I really liked the restaurant though, the view was pretty and the service and food were really good, I just ordered really wrong for me.
There are so many other things we meant to do in Beacon, such as the Dia-an art gallery in an abandoned factory. We also wanted to try glass blowing, but it’s only offered around Christmastime. You also can actually go out to Bannerman Castle and do a tour. I feel like it would be very easy to spend a full day up in Beacon, and we would highly recommend it!
Tomorrow is a holiday here, and we’re gearing up for a quick London trip this weekend! Not sure how much we’ll do as we’re going for a wedding, but we are staying at some cool places.