Things to do in Beacon NY – a perfect NYC getaway (with dog friendly activities!)

There are tons of places and activities around New York City, easily accessible by a short drive or even a train ride – and Beacon is definitely an excellent choice for a day trip or an extended weekend. Nestled along the scenic banks of the Hudson River, Beacon is a charming small town with a nice food scene, interesting boutiques, cultural richness and outdoor adventures. Honestly, I can’t believe it took us so long to visit! On this post, I’m gonna share everything we did there during our long weekend – plus, these activities are dog friendly.

Make sure to check the opening hours on Google – especially if you are not visiting during the weekend!

How to get to Beacon and get around there

You can either rent a car or take the MetroNorth train. Honestly, since we live so close by the MetroNorth 125th St Station, it’s really convenient for us to take the train. At the end of the day, it depends on how many days you will spend there – and I’d say that the train may be the best convenient choice if you are going to spend the day or even two days. Of course, if you are planning to rent a car and drive, you have more freedom to explore other places on the way and around the area. So here are your choices:

  • MetroNorth Hudson Line – in NYC, the trains depart from Grand Central and 125th St in Harlem. The fare will depend on the day and time – but weekends are considered off peak and you will spend $35 on average, round trip. It takes around 1h30 to get there. We had a little surprise at this time: when the train arrived at Harlem station, it was packed, and we were standing for a while during the trip, until I decided to check the other carts. Make sure to download the MTA Train Time to check the departures and to purchase your tickets, it’s very convenient.
  • Dogs on MetroNorth trains – Dalbit is a medium size dog and I had read that dogs were allowed on the train in carriers – so we brought his Wild One carrier. There were a lot of people with dogs on the train – and most of them were not on carriers. So, I’m not sure how that rule is reinforced. But everybody looked cool about the dogs – and honestly, all of them were good boys/girls.
  • Rent a car – you can either rent a car at the traditional rental car companies, or you can also rent from Turo, which is like an Airbnb for cars. What I like about Turo is how easy it is to pick up the car and the fact that the cars are not located in one single place. In fact, another thing you could do to avoid the hassle of leaving NYC by car and all the traffic is actually renting a car in Beacon – I saw some cars on Turo available there!
  • Uber & Lyft – Uber & Lyft also work well in Beacon – although we didn’t use it, but I opened the apps to simulate some rides and the cars are like 5-7 min away. Use my code PERUCHI93715 to get a discount on your first rides with Lyft.
  • Public Transportation in Beacon – I was positively surprised to discover that there is a a free bus in Beacon! You can ride the Beacon Free Loop for free Monday through Saturday all day (6:00a – 9:00p). This route is free to riders – we used two times and we brought Dalbit with us with no issues! The bus departs from the the Beacon Metro-North Station with stops at Dia Beacon, Main Street and even the hike Mount Beacon! This was so convenient! Make sure to download the NEW DCPT app from DoubleMap to check the routes and the stops – you can see the bus location in real time. Info and schedule here.

Where to stay in Beacon

We stayed at Beacon Bed & Breakfast, right near Main Street. They allow pets – which is a plus! – and the room was spacious and comfortable, with private bathroom. There was also a simple breakfast included; pancakes were on the menu while we were there. They allowed us to check-in earlier – at noon – for a $30 fee and they also kept our bags after check-out for a $25 fee. Nothing to complain about it – except for the fact the room didn’t have a TV, lol, which was fine for one night.

There are also a lot of Airbnb options – but I don’t think it’s the most convenient choice when you are staying for one night only.

Things to do in Beacon

Again, I don’t know why it took me so long to visit Beacon – I was so impressed with the amount of businesses there and how walkable the city is! Here are some things we did – by categories.


Dia – Beacon

Dia Beacon, Riggio Galleries, Beacon, New York. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York

Ok, ok,  we didn’t visit Dia – Beacon – because we were there with our dog – but I couldn’t let this place out of the blog post since it’s such an important museum! Dia Beacon is housed in a former Nabisco factory and offers a transformative experience, showcasing a remarkable collection of modern and contemporary art from the 1960s to the present day.

Outdoor activities

Mount Beacon Scenic

There are some hiking trails in the area and this is probably one of the most popular ones. When we first explored Upstate NY, back in 2018, we did this trail. There is free parking at the entrance of the trail and also restrooms. We did the Casino Trail, to the ruins of the casino. Turns out you can continue the ascent until you reach the Beacon fire tower – but I didn’t know about that, lol. The Casino Trail is a challenging one – depending on your resistance. In 2018, it took us 50 min to complete and we were dying, lol. At this time, we finished in 30 minutes. I read that the whole trail – up to the tower – can take more than 2 hours, so I don’t regret the fact that I didn’t know about that, cause we wouldn’t have the time. The views are beautiful! And dogs are welcome!

Remember that the Beacon Free Loop has a stop at the parking lot, so it’s very convenient!

Fishkill Falls or Beacon Falls

These beautiful waterfalls almost like in the middle of the town. There are abandoned rail tracks and a small park on one side and you will also see the famous Roundhouse, hotel and restaurant overlooking the falls. At night, it provides a magical vibe thanks to the recently installed lights.

Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park

When you leave the train, you will notice the views to the Hudson River from this area. Don’t skip it, this waterfront area is gorgeous – especially on a sunny day – and really calm and quiet. There is a playground and some benches as well. You can also take the ferry to Newburgh from there.

Memorial Park

Nice park in Beacon with sports area, barbecue spots and playground. I know there’s a dog park nearby – but since it’s for members only, we didn’t even check.


Beacon Bread Company

Very popular and famous spot in Beacon – they have a full-service private dining room and also a takeout service – with tables outside, which was great for us that had our dog with us the entire time. They serve brunch all day and also have a lot of pastries and coffee. We had the burger – which was delicious – and also the tofu scramble – which unfortunately was not good. I heard the French Toast here is a must – but we decided to have dessert at another place. Maybe next time!

Kitchen & Coffee

Amazing vegetarian/vegan spot with bowls, salads, soups and sandwiches plus a lot of vegan pastries. I had one of the most delicious salads I ever tried – the Joulie Salad. Everything is so fresh! They also have coffee and tea and the place features two outdoor areas where you can have your dog with you.

Peaceful Provisions

I’ve had heard amazing things about this vegan donut place in Beacon and honestly? It exceeded our expectations. I’m not like a huge donut fan – don’t get me wrong, I like it, but it’s not something I usually buy, I’m more like a cookies girl but since we heard so many things about this spot, we had to try. And I will probably never forget, lol. They offer different flavors and even some options with feeling. We got the Canolli, Coconut and also the Banana Crunch. The dough is so light – if I can use that word to describe – and the toppings/fillings are delicious! We ate the three donuts in minutes and honestly I could have had more lol.

HÅKAN Chocolatier

This Chocolate and coffee shop was founded by Håkan Mårtensson, a renowned chocolatier from Sweden. The spot in Beacon offers a wide selection of stunning bonbons made with uniquely sourced ingredients, such as lotus seeds, lingonberries, and Hawthorn. Besides beautifully made, the chocolate are delicious. So many different flavors! We also got a capuccino and a pastry here. The place has a seating area and they allow dogs inside!

Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile

Charming coffee shop with spacious seating area, a great variety of coffee and some food options!

Hudson Valley Brewery

Another favorite spot of this trip! This brewery was open in 2017 and they have not only a tasting room but also an event space plus 3 different outdoor areas where dogs are allowed. Hudson Valley Brewery makes Sour Farmhouse Ales using only New York State ingredients with a focus on local terroir. Besides that, you will also find lagers and hoppy beers. We loved it! And they also feature seasonal food vendors – we had a delicious pizza while there.

The Vault

Restaurant serving tapas style dishes that features an outdoor dining area where we had some tapas with our dog. We were not that hungry, so we didn’t order a lot of food – but I can definitely recommend the pork belly and the brussels sprout.

  • More food recs – I heard great things about Happy Valley Arcade Bar and Homespun Foods (they have a backyard that was not open yet). And if you are in Beacon on a Sunday, you can also check the Farmers Market.


Beacon has so many stores! I was very impressed! Didn’t check a lot of them but here are some recs:

  • Miss Tea – this brand was founded by two friends in 2008, in New York City, with a vision to bring awareness of the precious tea culture, to the people who live in the busiest city in the world. The tea shop features types of teas and herbal infusions.
  • Witch Hazel – florist and multi-brand beauty and wellness store featuring eco-conscious and cruelty-free apothecary.
  • Little King – Homewares and decor store.
  • Beacon Bath & Bubble – this store is so unique! It features a 1950s-inspired storefront that sells not only body butters, sugar scrubs, lip balms, and lotions in more than 60 different scents but also 70 different flavors of soda.

And that’s a wrap! We loved Beacon and I strongly recommend it as a day trip or a weekend trip for anyone living in NYC or in the area. Please let me know if you have more recs on things to do!

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