day trip: storm king art center
On rolling green fields of the Hudson Valley about 60 miles north of New York City is a 500 acre outdoor sculpture museum. The word museum feels stuffy, refined, meticulously controlled and composed. But Storm King is the opposite. Here, the large art lives out in open air spread out on the sweeping meadows and hills, surrounded by grass and accompanied by trees. There’s a sense of freedom. To explore on your own terms. To interact with the artwork. To be one with art and nature.
Storm King is a perfect getaway from the city. You get nature and culture in one beautiful package. Walking around the expansive grounds and breathing in the fresh air surrounded by green and art is a refreshing break mentally and physically.
Founded in 1960, the organization was originally meant to be a museum for Hudson River School painting, but quickly became focused on contemporary sculptures instead. Decades later, they’ve collected an impressive collection of over 100 works installed all over the carefully preserved landscape, complete with a small museum building with some gallery rooms and a gift shop.
By bus: there’s a Coach USA/Short Line bus that departs from the Port Authority Bus Terminal once a day from April to December, round trip tickets must be pre-ordered and include the price of admission.
By train: take the Metro-North to Beacon and reserve a round trip shuttle to Storm King, available on weekends only and the tickets include the price of admission.
By car: it’s about an hour and a half drive (or more with traffic), and they have parking on site (and overflow parking on weekends).
WHEN TO COME
Spring and fall are best, and of course pick a clear day. There’s not a lot of shade so there’s not a lot of refuge for summer heat. They have more limited hours during the winter.
This could be a full day or half day trip paired with Dia Beacon for a very art-filled day.
A day in Storm King doesn’t take too much planning. Once you figure out the transportation to get there, the day is free flowing. Pack a picnic, or grab something from the cafe. Explore the grounds by foot or by bike. There are paths, paved an unpaved, that circle along the meadows and weave around the sculptures throughout. The nature offers a dramatic backdrop for the art that often seems to look like it grows out of the landscape, emerging from the horizon as you make your way around the park.
So take your time to meander around the sculptures. Take all the obligatory photos. Appreciate the peace of feeling small in the green landscape that stretches as far as you can see. Find a bench or a shady patch of grass and sit for a little bit, relish every moment this sanctuary for nature and art.
find a shady spot to lay out a blanket and picnic
good to know
Address: 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY
Hours: 10am – 5:30pm, closed on Tuesday
Price: $$, tickets are about ~$23-28 per person, the prices are incremental by number of passengers per car, and fluctuate based on peak and off peak days, they also have options bundled with shuttle or bus tickets. Check the website for special ticketing and admissions.