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Had the pleasure of a very quick trip up to the cute little town of Beacon, in Dutchess County, upstate New York. With the Hudson River flowing and a horizon undulating with mountains, it’s a picturesque town even with its trees naked in chilly late fall; I can only imagine how pretty it must be with the colours of early autumn or budding spring growth. The days are short here now, with the sun setting around 5pm, so we only had time for a quick hike around Madam Brett Mill Park. We skirted Fishkill Creek and followed an old railway line as a cloak of mist steadily settled over everything. It was so lovely though to have a little nature ramble, and only the beginning of the hiking you can do in the area.

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Likewise, the town of Beacon has a charming main street full of artfully lit cafes and artisan boutiques. I fell instantly in love when, in search of beer, we grabbed a growler from The Hop. It’s the kind of joint that fetes craft beer and serves posh nosh to match, and that I immediately want to teleport my dad to.  My first impressions of the town somehow reminded me of Bangalow, or some other cashed-up-hippie-hinterland town back in Australia. That feel of a town full of artists in hiding; scratch the surface and you know you’d turn up a quiver of folk musicians and a handful of super 8 filmmakers and leadlighters and wood turners. In fact, the town is home to Dia:Beacon, a gallery that nearly sounds worth the hour or so train ride from New York.

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Back in Madam Brett Park, scratch the surface and you could dig up some seriously vintage buttons and fabric scraps – relics of now-dormant factories that still stand nearby. Beacon, once a hub for this kind of production, was even known as the “New York’s Hat-Making Capital” in the 1800s. Yep, it’s only a couple of hours from the city on the Metro North train and I am definitely keen to head back and see what other treasures I can dig up in Beacon.

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