If you and your bestest buddy are looking for a day trip out of the city or a weekend road trip from elsewhere, pet-friendly Beacon, New York, is the place to go. If you’re coming up from the city, the good news is that Metro North is also pet friendly. Pet are allowed on the trains if “enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers,” according to the MTA website. In practice, conductors are pretty much good with dogs of any size being on the trains, so long as they are leashed, well-behaved, and do not take up extra seats.
One of the wonderful things about taking the train to Beacon is that the ride is part of the experience; once you hit Spuyten Duyvil, the train tracks run along the Hudson River the entire way. The view is particularly beautiful above Peekskill, as you approach and then go under the Bear Mountain Bridge, pass West Point, and then the remains of the ramparts of Bannerman’s Island above Cold Spring.
If you’re up for hiking, you can keep with the riverside theme and hits the trails in Long Dock Park and Dennings Point State Park, following them down to Madam Brett Park, where Fishkill Creek becomes a tidal marsh; don’t miss the beautiful waterfall. If you want views and a more strenuous workout, you and your pup can hit the trail to Mount Beacon. After you get off the train, walk up to Route 9D, then south and you’ll run into the trailhead. It’s about a mile walk to the summit, with a spectacular view of the river, Beacon, and the Catskill Mountains in the distance.
After your walk, you and your bestie are going to want to sit and relax. One of the best places to do that in pet-friendly Beacon is the outdoor seating at Bank Square Coffeehouse, at the westernmost end of Main Street. Grab one of the tables and gaze out over the Hudson as you sip a cold brew coffee, fruit frappe, iced tea, or one the nine craft beers they always have on tap. Breakfast and lunch items are also available.
If you want something more substantial to eat, you have numerous choices, from the Italian-inspired fare at Cafe Amarcord Cafe, to the deliciously creative sandwiches of Beacon Pantry, to the varied and deeply satisfying tapas of The Vault, to the wonderful breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare of Beacon Falls Cafe. All the these restaurants are on Main Street and all of them have-pet friendly outdoor seating.
If you do come up via train, you will have to make this a day trip, as none of the hotels right in Beacon are pet friendly. But if you are driving or willing to take an Uber, there are plenty of pet-friendly hotel options in Fishkill, which is only a ten-minute ride away.
If you can, try to time your visit with the Beacon Barks! Dog Parade and Street Festival, which happens each year towards the end of April. It’s co-sponsored by the Dutchess County SPCA and Beacon Barkery. There are lots of great vendors, and you and your pup can meet other owners and their canines as you strut your stuff down Main Street! And for more information about Beacon and the other pet-friendly towns on or near the Hudson River, check out our Hudson Valley Travel Guide.