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Staycation in Beacon



Discover, enjoy, spend the day!

beacon, dutchess county, mt beacon, shopping, main street, hiking, family friendly, kid friendly, things to do, places to go, staycation, weekend getaway, holistay, hudson valley, road trip, locavore

My family loves to travel, but we don't always have the money to go on an extravagant vacation. Staycations are the perfect solution to this, pretending we are tourists in our favorite local towns! Beacon, in the lower Hudson Valley is one of my most favorite places to play tourist. There is so much to do that you could spend a whole weekend and still not do everything!

 
First stop on our adventure is Main Street! Beacon is a great city for walking, and that is exactly how my family loves to spend a day here. We grab a coffee at Bank Square, hot chocolate for my daughter, and then we walk all of Main Street. Window shopping all the eclectic stores, perusing art galleries and people watching are always on the agenda. Hudson Beach Glass is a must stop. Artists who work here can be seen blowing one of a kind art, always fun to watch. You can also shop in their beautiful store, look at their art gallery on the second floor or you can even try your hand at making something yourself. Right across the street are two of my family's most favorite toy stores: Play and Dream in Plastic. These toy stores are different and that is apparent the moment you walk in. They both carry a very interesting inventory of toys that you can spend hours browsing. We always leave buying a little something, because who can resist!



You can walk Main Street as far as your family is comfortable, it stretches about a mile so it's definitely walkable on a nice day. Our next stops are all about the stomach! Glazed Over Donuts, makes everything to order and your kids will love watching the donuts float in the fryer right before they go in their bellies. They have a very unique system allowing you to custom order any flavor combination that you can dream up; my family loves the maple bacon! Another must stop is Ella's Bellas. This gluten-free bake shop is amazing, even if you are not gluten-free. Full of mismatched farm tables and a large chalkboard in the back that keeps the kids busy, it's a very hip place to grab a snack. Lastly, if you are looking for something a little more savory, Beacon Bagel is my go to. The owners do amazing things in the community, offering up a "pay what you can" soup, and the homemade bagels are made fresh daily! This joint also has a large magnet wall for the littles, full of fun magnets.



One of the biggest reasons that I love Beacon is that you never know what you are going to see or find while you are walking around. Art is very prevalent in this city and it is everywhere. It adorns buildings and vacant lots all over Main Street. My daughter absolutely loves all of the cool art installations, ever changing, Beacon is different every time you visit.





Our last stop on Main Street is Overlook Falls. This oasis is the last thing a person expects when walking along a very urban shopping area. At the end of Main Street, however, is this hidden gem. A reward for all the walking and shopping you just finished. There is a small path and some benches in the woods past the waterfall, that feel like you have completely left the city behind. It is definitely a welcome retreat!



The next stop on our adventure in Beacon is the city's Hudson River waterfront. Just past the train station is Long Dock Park, that offers 15 acres of hiking, water views, cruises and a huge gorgeous green space with playground. Your family can check out the park's "long dock" for which it's named, watch ducks and barges float by or picnic on the "playground peninsula." We love packing a lunch, or grabbing food on Main Street and heading down for some much needed relaxing. There is plenty of parking and the park is stroller friendly. We like to park at the Long Dock, parking lot and walk over to the playground which can be seen off to the right from the dock area.



Still have energy after all of that, there is still plenty more to do in Beacon. One of the most beautiful and popular hikes is right outside the city center. Mount Beacon is a long, steep hike that can be family friendly; if you take your time. You will be out of breath after this mile long hike, but the views are absolutely worth the effort. My family has been doing it for years and my daughter has been doing it since the age of 4! At the top there are the remains of the old incline railway to explore and a panoramic view of the Hudson Highlands and Catskill Mountains. You will absolutely need to wear proper walking shoes on this hike and make sure to bring lots of water. I recommend a hiking backpack carrier if you are hiking with babies or very small children.




There are so many places to discover and enjoy when you take in a city as if you are a tourist. Beacon has so much to offer with a lively downtown, art galleries, locally owned stores, great green spaces and amazing hikes. It's a staycation that will appeal to everyone!

*I have in no way covered all the wonderful places in Beacon, feel free to let me know about your favorite places!



Other articles by Katie's Hudson Valley Travel Journal