Things to Do in Beacon, New York

Beacon, New York, is a fun and exciting place to visit. It’s less than an hour and a half from New York City and is home to fantastic museums, boutique shopping, and great food. Beacon is a great weekend getaway. The town is close to Fishkill and the Hudson Highlands State Park Reserve. There are plenty of things to do in Beacon, including hiking, shopping, and enjoying the outdoors.

Things to Do in Beacon, New York

Dia Beacon

If you’re an art lover, you’ll be captivated by Dia Beacon in Beacon, NY. This museum on the Hudson River is home to much modern art from the 1960s to the present. In addition, it has a unique building design.

The museum has many different exhibitions, including temporary and traveling ones. There are also permanent pieces of art that you can see.

Best places to visit in Beacon - John Chamberlain Installation at Dia Beacon
Best places to visit in Beacon – John Chamberlain Installation at Dia Beacon

While in the area, you’ll want to check out Beacon House, which is just a short walk from the Dia Beacon. There are several restaurants and wine bars at this lovely house. They have traditional American cuisine as well as rustic family-style eateries. You’ll also find a great dessert menu.

Another exciting place to visit in the Beacon area is the Beacon Museum. This 300,000-square-foot facility is located in the heart of town. It’s accessible to the public, and exhibits on various topics can be seen. However, it can get crowded, especially on weekends.

SplashDown Beach

The SplashDown Beach in Beacon, New York, is the newest and most exciting water park in the Hudson Valley. It features state-of-the-art rides and attractions and is a harbinger of summer fun and family time. In addition, the waterpark’s location on Old Route 9 West makes it a convenient destination for locals and visitors alike.

Things to do in Beacon

With more than a dozen slides and attractions, SplashDown Beach promises an unforgettable waterpark experience. In addition, a dedicated parking lot and a central location make it easy for family and friends to make the most of their day.

Besides, SplashDown Beach is a short 15-minute drive from Beacon, making it a convenient destination for those looking to take in some sun and sand. Those searching for a full day of fun should note that SplashDown Beach also offers a nightly package with a discounted ticket price.

Hudson Highlands State Park

Hudson Highlands State Park is one of New York’s most popular attractions. It is situated along the eastern shore of the Hudson River, between Peekskill and Beacon, in Dutchess County. This park offers various activities, from fishing to camping, and has breathtaking river views.

Places to go in Beacon - Hudson Highlands State Park
Places to go in Beacon – Hudson Highlands State Park

Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are just a few of the activities you can enjoy at Hudson Highlands State Park. The park is comprised of numerous trails and mountain summits.

The southern part of the park is home to a section of the Appalachian Trail. This trail is the most popular hike in the area. You can also take a trip to Mount Beacon, considered the highest peak in the Hudson Highlands. Depending on your route, you can get great views of the Catskill Mountains, the Shawangunks, and the Hudson River.

Melzingah Tap House

Melzingah Tap House isn’t precisely a new establishment. It’s been around for the better part of a century, but it isn’t the only local beer palaver in the Hudson Valley. Those looking for a drink or two can get their fill at the Beacon Barking Frog or the Madam Brett Homestead, both of which feature several worthy craft beers.

Places to visit in Beacon

Of course, you can’t expect to get a slew of fancy schmooties in this part of upstate New York, but the quality of libations is more than palatable when you’re out in the sticks. The menu is also more than a bit light on the budget.

It’s also worth noting that the restaurant is a member of the Beacon Chamber of Commerce, a well-run organization dedicated to keeping this small town in tip-top shape. Indeed, the tap house is an ideal venue for an evening cappuccino or a leisurely lunch.

Bannerman Castle

Bannerman Castle is a historic castle located on Pollepel Island in New York. The castle’s history dates back to the early 1900s. Frank Bannerman VI was a Scotsman who migrated to the United States and founded a successful business in the military surplus industry.

Best tourist attractions in Beacon - Bannerman's Castle
Best tourist attractions in Beacon – Bannerman’s Castle

After the Civil War, Bannerman purchased surplus military equipment from the government and outfitted volunteers in the Spanish-American War. He also scoured auctions for military supplies. Finally, in 1865, he opened an army surplus store in Brooklyn.

He later purchased an island near the Hudson River. Finally, he built a Scottish-style castle as a warehouse for his arms and ammunition.

Francis Bannerman’s family eventually moved their business to a rope factory on Atlantic Avenue. In the late 1890s, Bannerman’s son discovered the island. It was about the size of five football fields. At that time, the island was a remote place. In 1900, the Bannerman family bought the island. Although it was far from the city, the Bannermans considered it an ideal storage facility.

Bannerman's Island, NY - Bannerman's Castle
Bannerman’s Castle

However, in 1918, a fire broke out. The resulting explosion destroyed most of the structure. This left the castle in ruins. With the death of Francis Bannerman in 1918, construction was suspended.

The remaining portion of the castle has been abandoned since then. However, tours and mini-hikes are conducted on the island. Guests can also enjoy special events and movie nights.

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