The height of fall color is one of the best times to visit the Hudson Valley. But if you can’t make it when the foliage is at its peak, the region still has more than enough natural and cultural treasures to offer to fill a three-day weekend.
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The trip begins and ends in New York City and follows mainly smaller, scenic roads north about 130 miles on the east side of the Hudson River. (See sidebar for driving directions and for Web sites listing accommodations, restaurants and other information.)
Dutchess County, Beacon, NY. Dia:Beacon.
The Dia:Beacon museum, inaugurated in 2003, features the Dia Foundation’s renowned art collection from the 1960s and ’70s. The spectacular 300,000-square-foot glass, steel and concrete building, on 31 acres on the Hudson, was donated by International Paper —and is a great example of early 20th-century industrial architecture. Among the 24 artists whose works are on permanent display here are Joseph Beuys, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol and Robert Irwin. Allow at least two hours to see this exquisite space.
The Hudson Valley abounds in historic estates. Springwood in Hyde Park, the birthplace and home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is one. Tour the large yet modest Colonial Revival-style home. Afterward, take in the Hudson on a stroll through the grounds, a 300-acre arborist’s dream.
Village of Rhinebeck
The charming town of Rhinebeck boasts the oldest hotel in America, the Beekman Arms, operating since 1766, as well as some of the best antiquing around—note the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair on Columbus Day Weekend. The village was founded in the late 17th century and is on the National Register of Historic Places.