Beacon

For a touch of urban grit, arty cool, and coffeehouse grunge, head to this small river city in Dutchess County's southwestern corner. Dia:Beacon, an expansive contemporary-art museum in a former Nabisco printing plant, has put Beacon on the map. Gentrification has progressed along the eastern end of Beacon's Main Street and continues its march toward the river, bringing funky clothing boutiques, java shops, bakeries, galleries, and enough antiques dealers to give neighboring Cold Spring a run for its money.

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