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Mini vacay: Bedford and beyond

Bedford, N.Y.'s courthouse is one of several historical buildings in this tony town.

Sometimes, the only getaway you can manage is a day trip. Why not head up to the Hudson Valley and explore the communities of Beacon, Cold Spring and Bedford for a quick winter retreat.

We suggest starting in Beacon, which is farthest away from the city, then making your way back through Cold Spring and finally, Bedford. Or just spend a whole day in Bedford, taking in historic sites, going on a hike and capping it off with dinner. Either way, you’ll feel like you took a little vacation without going very far at all.

Culture first
Just 80 minutes from the city, the Dia:Beacon museum is a great starting point. See some of the biggest names of 20th century art in a bucolic setting. Sol LeWitt’s drawings are on display through November 2010, and the main collection consists of notable works from the likes of Andy Warhol and Richard Serra. (Metro--North stops near the museum.) The cafe sells sandwiches, salads and pastries to tide you over until your next stop.

Shopping
While nearby Woodbury Commons is a well-known shopping destination, opt for a more one-of-a-kind experience by checking out the many antique shops in the area.

Cold Spring is about an eight-mile drive from Beacon and has a number of quaint antiques and crafts stores dotting Main Street. Stroll through shops specializing in model trains (Cold Spring Train Works), country-themed gifts (Country in the Valley) and antique stores to suit any price range. At the bottom of Main Street is the breathtaking Hudson River waterfront.

If you’re hungry, you’ve got options: the Cold Spring Depot Restaurant is a good bet, serving comfort food like fried chicken and fish and chips.

If you are relying on the Metro-North, Cold Spring is an easy trip from Grand Central Terminal.

Wildlife
Wind your way south toward Bedford to see New York’s horse country at its best. Weather permitting, there are a number of hiking trails that range from easy to challenging in the Bedford Audubon Society’s Hunt-Parker Sanctuary. The color-coded trails are clearly marked and easy to follow; some 20 species of birds that call the sanctuary home. For a map and more information about the preserve, go to bedfordaudubon.org.

Star Power
The area’s stately farms have attracted former city dwellers – including some big names such as Martha Stewart and Richard Gere. Gere and his wife opened the Bedford Post (at 954 Old Post Road) last year. If yoga’s your thing, the inn offers plenty of classes. While pricey, the food at the inn is mostly local and the menu changes daily. An outstanding tasting menu and fireplace-lit, elegant interior make it a worthwhile splurge if you are in the market for a special dinner. To see the menu or make reservations, check out bedfordpostinn.com.


 

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