One of our favorite things to do is whisk Daisy and the dogs away for a short weekend getaway somewhere new. This past weekend, we explored Beacon, New York and found it was a terrific destination for families. The drive (three hours from Boston, two from Philly and an hour and a half from NYC) winds through the breathtaking mountains and creeks of the Hudson Valley and takes you past some of the magnificent homesteads of Duchess County – truly a feast for the eyes. The town itself is packed to the brim with great shopping, local art, live music and incredible food, all walkable and stroller-friendly.
What to Do
Hudson Valley Brewery
What initially drew us to Beacon was the beer – for my sweet husband who has recently become a craft beer collector and connoisseur. The HVB tasting room is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and they offer special can releases (32-oz “crowlers”) on select Saturdays. The team behind the beer describes their offering as “somewhere between the rural and the urban, the traditional and the modern, the rustic and the industrial”, producing a mixed-culture blended “farmhouse-style” sour beer. What sets these guys apart from the dozens of emerging craft brewers in NY State is their process, which employs 30 barrels for a “solaris-style process” more commonly found on vineyards, in which a slurry from each previous batch is combined with fresh beer to create a continuity of flavor. If you’re there for a can release, be prepared to wait. Our time in line was about two hours, all-in.
There are hundreds of hiking trails within a short drive from Hudson, ranging in difficulty, distance and altitude. We did not come prepared to hike on this trip, but I wish we had after seeing some of the stunning vistas along our drive into Beacon. Everything you need to know about hiking the Hudson Valley can be found here.
Beacon offers a long list of great places to dine which is no surprise given this has become a destination for sophisticated Manhattanites looking to “get out of dodge”. What’s nice about the vibe in Beacon is it’s super family-friendly. Every time I walked into a restaurant, the first thing I saw was someone’s stroller which always puts me at ease when we have Daisy in tow. There’s great international fare, from Thai to Mexican, and the farm-to-table nod to local agriculture that you might expect.
This sweet local blog does a terrific job of outlining all of the amazing shops in Beacon. We particularly enjoyed Waddle and Swaddle, where I picked up some maternity dresses and toys for Daisy, and Howling at the Edge of Chaos (all-female artists!) where I snagged a gorgeous colorful nude that I can’t wait to spotlight in my bathroom. We picked up some culinary treats like champagne vinegar and gourmet chips at the Beacon Pantry – great spot for fresh bread and charcuterie. There is something for every shopper in Beacon... and then some!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Beacon Hotel, a boutique spot nestled right in the middle of all the activity downtown, primarily because they allowed us to bring the dogs. They offer twelve newly renovated rooms which include 6 King Suites, 5 Queen Rooms and a 4-bunk bedroom for those traveling in groups (think college 😊) called “Hiker’s Haven”. We chose a King Suite and were pleased with the spacious footprint, modern design and deliciously soft bed linens. Each stay comes with two glasses of complementary prosecco and an appetizer at the restaurant downstairs. We put Daisy to sleep in her pack’n’play and set up our iPad to monitor her while we went downstairs for a romantic dinner a deux by the fireplace. Full disclosure: the food wasn’t great, but, it was almost worth it just to enjoy a meal alone with Daisy a floor away. King Suites start at $230/night.
Next time we visit Beacon, I’d love to stay at Roundhouse, a historic collection of gorgeously restored mill buildings situated by the Beacon Falls and Fishkill Creek. The 23 rooms incorporate wood from the original construction of the property and spotlight metal work and lighting design from local artisans. Aside from the stunning design, the restaurant is reason enough to choose this hotel: a farm-to-table concept lauded by the New York Times, Roundhouse by TB serves dishes like braised pork cheese with goat cheese polenta, dried fruit and stout hay-smoked Long Island duck breast with huckleberry, turnips and pears. Minimum two night stay, Queens starting at $215/night.
If you're experiencing some cabin fever this winter and need a quick trip somewhere fun, check out Beacon and let me know what you think!