By: Fiona Moriarty, Hipmunk
Running along the eastern edge of New York State, from Albany south to Yonkers, the Hudson River Valley boasts tons of natural beauty. For art lovers in the tri-state area, the Hudson River Valley also features great works of art, ranging from sculpture gardens to historic estates. Try the following day trip, factoring in at least two hours total driving time from start to end, to see some of the highlights!
Start your trip in the quaint, historic village of Nyack, which is about an hour north of New York City, and be sure to check out the Edward Hopper House and Art Center. Nyack is the birthplace and boyhood home of Edward Hopper, a prominent Realist artist, who painted such seminal works as Nighthawks. The center was restored by members of the local community after falling into disrepair after Hopper's death, and it now serves as a not-for-profit art center. Try to time a visit to coincide with many of the Center's scheduled events, ranging from films and poetry events to jazz concerts. If staying in the area overnight, try the affordable Super 8 Nyack, which is less than a 10 minute drive from the Center.
After Nyack, drive 40 minutes north up the Palisades Interstate Parkway, and stop by the Storm King Art Center in Cornwall. Established in 1960 as a museum for Hudson River School paintings, Storm King has emerged as one of the leading sculpture parks in the world. Storm King spans nearly 500 acres of fields, hills, and woodlands where visitors can walk or take the leisurely trolley to examine works by modern masters such as Alexander Calder, David Smith, Alice Aycock, Isamu Noguchi and Andy Goldsworthy (to name just a few!). For a nearby hotel, check out the Courtyard by Marriott Newburgh Stewart.
To continue viewing great works of modern art, head up north on US Highway 9W and across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge to Dia: Beacon, the museum housing the Dia Art Foundation's works from the 1960s to the present. Open since 2003, the works are housed in a former Nabisco box-printing facility, which is particularly well-suited to large-scale installations and sculptures. Artists ranging from Richard Serra to Andy Warhol have all been featured in past exhibitions. Stay at the comfortable and spacious Hilton Garden Inn Fishkill, which is a quick 10 minute drive from Dia: Beacon.
End your trip by driving down U.S. Highway 9 to the John D. Rockefeller Estate in Sleepy Hollow, perhaps better known as Kykuit (Dutch for "lookout"). As one of America's most famous private residences, the beautiful multi-story stone mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Apart from the beautiful architecture of the home and the exquisitely landscaped gardens, Kykuit is open to the public for tours showcasing former Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller's collection of 20th century sculpture (Henry Moore, David Smith, and Louise Nevelson are all represented) as well as his collection of tapestries by Pablo Picasso. Visitors interested in staying nearby should consider the Courtyard by Marriott Tarrytown Greenburgh, which is just a 10 minute drive away.