Day Trip: A Fall change of leaves with a side of Art

8am I left NYC and head toward the George Washington Bridge, up the Palisades Parkway through Bear Mountain until it ends in Fort Montgomery (if you want a really scenic route take 9W to 202 North).  If you are interested in military history the West Point Museum or the West Point grounds tour are great first stops.  

From here I continued onto 9W North toward Newburgh and crossed the Hudson River toward Beacon. 

At 10:30am I stopped for a coffee at Bank Square Coffee House on Main Street in Beacon, NY.  They where serving a special cold brewed fizzy coffee; a mix of regular cold brew coffee and seltzer water.  It was a very unique flavor.  (I rate it a 8/10).

From there I headed to the DIA Beacon a short drive from the coffee shop.  This 150,000 SF former Nabisco factory building was built in the 1920’s and produced boxes and packaging for Nabisco products.  The building was fully restored and opened in 2003.

dia beacon

The museum entrance faces north and is flanked by a beautifully landscaped tree garden- it has a feel of a Japanese meditation garden and by a bookstore and coffee shop on the other.


Long bays are ideal for large art installations and the large open factory floors allows for maximum flexibility. The buildings themselves are not unique with the saw tooth roof probably being the most distinguishing factor.  In saw-tooth roof the open windows face away from the equator and let in large amounts of natural light, while the closed slopes facing the equator block direct sunlight. They were used before electric artificial lighting was common to light factories and other large buildings.

dia 2

An interior picture with a view of a sawtooth roof 

Sol Lewitt and Serra where my favorite and where well worth the hike.  Like most museums, the remaining artwork is alsovmodern and there is a mix of great art and some art I can’t make sense of.

Allow for 1 ½-2 hours to experience DIA Beacon.

MIS (mise en scene-what was it like) Crisp and clear Fall day, 65F.

At 1PM I decided to hike 30 minutes for lunch to McKinney & Doyle in Charles Coleman Blvd. Pawling, NY.  This Culinary Institute of America graduate serves comfort american food and has an amazing bakery next door with an amazing expresso. The walls are covered with adages and quotes from famous people that will entertain you while waiting for your meal.  I ordered fish and chips with water. Comfort food served with good service in a cozy restaurant made it worth the detour.  I can’t tell you what I had for desert next door because my wife will kill me!   A 7/10 rating.


McKinney & Doyle small dining area

On the way back I took Route 22 South to 684 South and made it back to Manhattan in approx. 1:30 hs.



Alternative:  You can also take Metro North to Beacon Station (approx. 90 minutes).  This beautiful train ride offers beautiful views of the Hudson River.  The Beacon Station is only a short walk to the museum.


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