Three art-filled getaways within three hours of NYC.
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The Hudson Valley
What to See: The Hudson Valley has a long lineage in the art world, but the scene these days is anything but old-school. A vibrant contemporary and independent art crowd has put down roots here and turned parts of the valley into a kind of pastoral Brooklyn. Check out the Woodstock Film Festival for independent films and interviews with actors and directors, and Upstate Films, in Rhinebeck, for foreign and silent films rarely screened in the U.S. Attend live performances and art lectures at the Hudson Opera House, New York’s oldest surviving theater. Look at art installations and exhibitions from some of the most significant artists of the past half-century at Dia Beacon, or head east to Eckert Fine Art, in Millerton, where you’ll find works by contemporary figures including Michael Kalish—known best for his clever takes on American culture, most often depicted on license plates—along with such American masters as Frank Stella and Andy Warhol. Gallery hoppers should go to formerly down-at-its-heels Saugerties for independent galleries including Imogen Holloway and Marleau Gallery. Wind down with a stroll through the sculpture parks of the Storm King Art Center.
Where to Stay: As the first luxury hotel in Ulster County, Diamond Mills, in Saugerties, attracts plenty of guests from the city, but it’s no less a country escape. The red brick lodge overlooks a waterfall and manages to be upscale without being at all stuffy. Bonus points for the award-winning restaurant.
Where to Stay: The Berkshires is filled with B&Bs, but if you’re looking for something more along the lines of a boutique hotel, try The Wheatleigh, in the center of Lenox.
What to See: Not as well known as the area’s galas and nightclubs, the art scene in the Hamptons is worth a visit itself. Start with the Pollock/Krasner House to explore the East Hampton home and studio of the famous duo and their contemporary work. At the Dan Flavin Art Institute—a historic firehouse–turned–art house in Bridgehampton—see nine permanent light installations in addition to the second-floor gallery, which hosts an ever-changing rotation of contemporary exhibits. Explore new art forms at Nova’s Ark Project, a part–sculpture park, part-museum, part-gallery complex dedicated to “integral art”—a branch of contemporary art that draws from various media and genres including fine art and architecture, as well as philosophy. For a taste of Hamptons history, stop in to the Parrish Art Museum, which features the region’s best-known artists of past and present, or attend Catch of the Day–Fish & Fowl in Bridgehampton, an exhibit dedicated to the Hamptons’ fishing and hunting history.
Where to Stay: The Scandinavian-owned Maidstone has 19 unique rooms, access to the beach, and a fine art collection of its own.