UPDATE: If this Indian summer is giving you the itch to get away, we've got three perfect road (or train!) trip options for you. This story was originally published on August 31.
If your life is as hectic as ours, then long weekends are the stuff your dreams are made of. There's nothing better than letting loose for three whole days, so why not truly get away from it all, road-trip style? While we'd love to hop in a convertible and cruise up and down the coast, our budgets and schedules call for something a little more, well, convenient. Enter the Hudson Valley — our neighbors to the north know a thing or two about easy livin', and the scenery and fresh air can't be beat. Since we consider ourselves regulars when it comes to escaping upstate, we thought we'd share our three favorite spots to unwind with you, dear reader. However, if your LDW is already chock full of plans, don't fret — these activities are all perfect for a fall getaway, too. Can you say foliage?
This art gallery in oh-so-quaint Beacon, NY houses an awe-inspiring collection of works from the '60s straight through the present. You can browse the cutting edge sculptures and paintings, and take in the unique architecture of the space — the building is a former Nabisco printing factory. Plus, after you've had your culture fix, the surrounding town boasts tons of adorable restaurants and vintage shops to fit your fancy.
Dia: Beacon, 3 Beekman Street (at Red Flynn Drive); Beacon; 845-440-0100.
Photo: Courtesy of Dia: Beacon
Hudson Highlands State Park
For those looking to get a little adventure (and cardio!), this section of hiking trails is just the ticket. Start your day in Cold Spring, where you can jump onto several different, thoroughly marked trails — we recommend the Washburn or Undercliff trails for the moderate athletes, and Breakneck Ridge for those with more extreme hiking taste (prepare for rock scrambles). Stop into Hudson Valley Outfitters on Main Street to stock up on all your outdoor essentials, and treat yourself to a cold brew at one of the town's picturesque bars after you're done.
Hudson Highlands State Park; Cold Spring.
Photo: Courtesy of Hudson Highlands State Park
Stone Barns Center
Stone Barns is the ultimate foodie destination. The farm, which aims to create a healthy, sustainable food system and educate people about all things agriculture, is basically a one-stop-shop of yumminess. On the weekends, in addition to their education center (where you can learn about all things produce), they host a farmer's market to beat all farmer's markets. For a bit of a fancier affair, dine at Blue Hill, the critically-acclaimed resto on the grounds. The space is beautiful, and the menu rotates seasonally, based on the farm's harvest.
Stone Barns Center, 630 Bedford Road; Pocantico Hills; 914-366-6200.
Photo: Courtesy of Stone Barns