Beacon gets its name from the fires that were set in the nearby Fishkill Mountains to signal information about British troop movements to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Fortunately the city is a bit more welcoming to newcomers today.
Beacon is a city located on the east side of the Hudson River, approximately 65 miles north of New York City and 90 miles south of Albany, the state capital. Fishkill Creek runs through the city, and Mount Beacon is to the east of the city. First settled in 1709, Beacon had a population of 15,541 in the 2010 census.
Finding an Apartment in Beacon
There are a variety of rental apartments in Beacon, but how do you find one that fits your needs? A little bit of prep will help you narrow down your search of Beacon's many rental properties. Think about your needs and budget. Are you comfortable living in apartment complexes? Or are you looking for something a little quieter, maybe with a yard? If you want more space, you might want to consider a home for rent. Do you hate the chore of writing separate utility checks every month? Then an apartment with all utilities paid could be what you're looking for. Collecting paperwork in advance will help you act fast when you see a place you like. Most landlords will want to see photo ID and a letter of employment (and many will ask for bank statements and pay stubs). A credit and / or background check may also be required.
Beacon has both a vibrant downtown and more relaxing areas that are close to nature. Neighborhoods in Beacon tend to be referred to as either westside (near the river) or eastside (near Mt. Beacon). The major roads in Beacon are Route 9D (Wolcott Avenue), which cuts through from the southeast to the northwest, Verplanck Avenue, which runs parallel to Main Street, and Route 52 (Fishkill Avenue), which runs northeast to the town of Fishkill. Outside of the downtown core (the area roughly bounded by the roads mentioned in the last sentence), Beacon is quieter and more suburban in feel.
Main Street: Running west to east, Main Street is home to many businesses, restaurants and food markets. The western blocks of Main Street are known as the Lower Main Historic District, due to the many old buildings and factories that date back to the 19th century. Dine at Cafe Amarcord or Pizza and Stuff.
Westside (near the river): Buildings tend to be low-rise and historic (no glassy condos here!). Many of them were formerly factories or warehouses. In general, apartments in Beacon are concentrated on the west side, near the Metro-North station and the river. The commercial activity of Main Street and the surrounding blocks keeps this area lively. Riverfront Park, on a peninsula stretching out into the Hudson River, and South Avenue Park, located just south of Main Street, are popular destinations for residents.
Eastside (near Mt. Beacon): Fishkill Creek runs through the east side of Beacon. Dry Brook and the Beacon Reservoir are also located on the east side. Apartments on this side of town tend to be in detached houses rather than multi-unit complexes. The east side is good for nature lovers and those seeking quieter surroundings.
Living in Beacon
Locally owned businesses cluster on Main Street; examples include burger joint Poppy's and Max's on Main, a sports bar that also serves great food. There is a year-round Sunday farmers market by the Metro-North train station. The Taconic Parkway, the New York Thruway and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh are a short drive away.
Agoraphobia doesn't seem to be a big issue in Beacon: it's definitely an outdoorsy kinda place. At the foot of Mount Beacon, Hiddenbrooke offers nearly 100 acres of open space. There are several hiking trails to the top of Mount Beacon. Fishkill Ridge has 11.5 miles of trails for hikers and cross-country skiers, and the Appalachian Trail passes southeast of Beacon.
If you're sick of outrageous gas prices, don't worry -- you can still get out of town when you need to without driving. Dutchess County LOOP buses run through Beacon and link the city with surrounding areas. The weekday Beacon-Newburgh ferry across the Hudson River runs during morning and evening rush hours. Beacon is located on the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad. There is an Amtrak station in Poughkeepsie, 15 miles north of Beacon.
Lovers of art and history feel at home in Beacon. Dia: Beacon, an art museum located in an old Nabisco box-making factory, opened in 2003 on 31 acres along the Hudson River. It is home to works by Andy Warhol and Richard Serra. Cultural cheapskates rejoice: Beacon residents receive free admission to Dia: Beacon on weekends. Meanwhile the Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre outdoor sculpture park with more than 100 sculptures, is open from April to November.