With a populace of around 14,000 people, Beacon, NY, has a reputation for being artistic, with dozens of art and apparel boutiques and public art and old buildings, including a variety of restaurants and historic sites.
Beacon, New York, has proven to be well worth a weekend visit for tourists, prompting many to seek out similar towns. That said, what towns are similar to Beacon, NY?
Beacon’s similar towns list includes Annapolis, MD; Oxford, MS; Camden, ME; Minot, ND; Connon Beach, OR; and Boulder, CO, just to name a few. Like Beacon, NY, these towns celebrate art, enjoy delicious cuisine, emanate the same calm feel, and some are even located near water.
New York City residents enjoy visiting Beacon in Dutchess County, renowned for its modern art museum Dia Beacon. Furthermore, Beacon features an eclectic architecture that alternates between gritty and majestic.
Consequently, it’s ideal for relaxing and hiking, making it a popular weekend getaway for New Yorkers and tourists alike. So, if you love Beacon, you’ll be surprised at what similar towns offer.
20 Towns Like Beacon, New York
Upstate New York’s Beacon is a delightful small village. This town is rich in restaurants, culture, and art. It’s not only a great day trip from New York City, but people from all over the Hudson Valley come here on weekends to shop, indulge in live music and craft beers, visit art galleries, and people-watch.
In addition, due to Dia, Beacon’s move to the long-underutilized Nabisco packing facility on the Hudson River in 2002, the city enhanced code enforcement to reuse the community’s essential assets.
As a result, a tourist engine was born, luring people all year. However, Beacon, New York, isn’t the only artistic town with welcoming people and tasty eateries. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what these 20 similar towns to Beacon, NY, have to offer.
1. Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, Maryland, is a vibrant, modern city where centuries-old architecture and everyday living collide. Annapolis was designated one of the 20 finest locations to live on the coast by Coastal Living because of its handy location, lovely urban vibe, and maritime heritage.
Annapolis, Maryland, is a historic town featuring 18th-century brick homes and Tiffaney glass windows in St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. With approximately 40,000 residents, the region is substantially larger than Beacon and is home to the US Naval Academy. Maryland’s capital, however, sits like a “museum without walls” on the Chesapeake Bay, directly at the mouth of the Severn River.
Annapolis is a joy to explore, with its modern art and four centuries of architecture. The First Sunday Arts Festivals go out each month with a festive and creative atmosphere. Furthermore, this is on top of the twenty art galleries and performance spaces. In addition, a vast range of ballet, opera, live music, theater, and a neighboring Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament are all available in the region.
The BWI Brewery Trail, area vineyards, museums, and the renowned Renaissance Festival are all worth visiting. In addition, Bakers & Co, Mission BBQ, Jesse Jays, and Preserve are excellent options for those who get hungry while touring, and with boat and walking excursions, you may see the sights from the sea or on land. Finally, the Annapolis Oyster Roast & Sock Burning is a worthwhile experience.
2. Oxford, Mississippi
Like Beacon, NY, Oxford has music venues, art galleries, and performance spaces that rival those found in cities twice their size. In addition, visitors and locals are not short of visual delights, with monthly shows at the Southside Gallery and participation in the Oxford Arts Crawl and displays at the University of Mississippi galleries.
Book lovers should put the Oxford Conference for the Book or the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference on their calendars. Furthermore, audiences may enjoy Broadway plays, concerts, and ballet at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
In addition, the town comes alive with two days of live music, art dealers, cuisine, and camaraderie at annual events like the Double Decker Art Fest. Programs like the Arts Incubator also assist the city. The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council helps area artists and entrepreneurs build their arts enterprises with seminars, peer learning sessions, and networking events.
Finally, Oxford, named among the Major 100 Best Places to Live, is a top college town owing to the University of Mississippi, often known as Ole Miss. Oxford has several public parks and walking/bicycling pathways, and its pleasant year-round weather contributes to the city’s appealing quality of life.
3. Camden, Maine
Camden is the archetypal New England coastal little town with ocean vistas, picturesque driving, outdoor activities, and a welcoming community. It’s also an excellent spot for a weekend retreat.
Camden, Maine, is located on Penobscot Bay and has a population of around 5,000 people. Near Camden Hills State Park, the village is popular with sailors, hikers, beachgoers, skiers, and snowboarders in the winter. In addition, it is a place to unwind, shop, and eat delicious food.
Native Americans lived in the region for centuries before Captain George Weymouth discovered it in 1605. Settlers began arriving in 1769, and the region is today popular with antique hunters. In addition, for almost a century, the Camden Opera House has been a premier event facility in Midcoast, Maine. This facility provides a wide range of events, including live music, comedy shows, and seminars.
Those interested in history will like the nearby museums, which feature exhibitions from the past to the present. The Owls Head Transport Museum, Farnsworth Art Museum, and Center For Main Contemporary Art are all must-sees.
4. Minot, North Dakota
Minot, often known as the “Magic City,” was formed in 1887 when the Great Northern Railway established a winter station. In five months, the tent village developed into a buzzing community of 5,000 people as if by magic.
Like Beacon, NY, this town exercises real creative strength, with groups like the Minot Area Council for the Arts bolstering the scene with events like Arts in the Parks (which gives 24 free summer concerts) and the Minot Street Art Movement, and the Minot Artspace initiative.
Art may also be found at events like The Big One Art and Craft Fair, Minot State University’s art program exhibits, The Taube Museum of Art, and galleries like 62 Doors Gallery Studios and Heart of the Turtle Gallery.
Minot is also home to the Minot Symphony Orchestra, which is believed to be the smallest orchestra in the United States, and venues like Pangea House host intimate live concerts where consumers may discover the finest of the underground scene. Finally, the Why Not Fest is a three-day music and literature festival billed as a showcase for “everything that interests us locally and regionally.”
5. Connon Beach, Oregon
Around 1,500 people live in Cannon Beach, Oregon, together with the charming tufted puffins. The seashore village has rock formations, a Common Murre colony, and is close to several state parks. In addition to the town’s historic core, it has the Lost Art of Nursing Museum and Gallery buzzing with Beacon, NY, similarities.
Despite its modest size, the town has a vibrant art scene, including the Stormy Weather Arts Festival. The annual Get Lit At The Beach literary festival attracts a large number of book enthusiasts. At Icefire, you may see a variety of glassworks. The Coaster Theater is also an excellent place to see a performance.
There are plenty of great options when hunger calls, including Mo’s famed clam chowder. At EVOO Dining & Culinary Shop, you can make your dinner into an experience. If you enjoy local beers and food, you must visit Public Coast Brewing.
Finally, Cannon Beach, Oregon, is widely regarded as one of Oregon’s best beaches. Haystack Rock is the most prominent feature in the area. On Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, parts of The Goonies and Twilight were filmed and is definitely worth the tour.
6. Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado, features world-renowned restaurants, excellent music venues, art galleries, and walking public places. In addition, it has some of the best outdoor activities and gorgeous mountain vistas in the country right on its doorstep – Beacon fans would adore it!
Boulder takes its cues from its breathtaking natural surroundings, but it doesn’t end there, and this isn’t a community of hotel landscape painters. Instead, Boulder’s art is new and adventurous.
There are many ways to appreciate it—from lively, large-scale events like Boulder Arts Week, which features a multi-venue, multi-genre celebration of art, to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, which infuses classic plays with its own brand of originality. In addition, the Boulder International Film Festival and the Jaipur Literary Festival explore new worlds of literature and film worldwide.
Are you visiting between art exhibitions? From the NoBo Art District’s First Friday self-guided tours of art studios, creative shops, and businesses to Pearl Street Mall‘s street performers and galleries to the Art Museum at the University of Colorado—over Boulder’s 8,000-object permanent collection and rotating exhibits, there’s still plenty to see to catch that Beacon vibe and more!
7. Eureka, California
Eureka is the hub of the United States’ Redwood Coast, serving as the county seat of world-famous Humboldt County, California. Eureka is the commercial and cultural hub of a gorgeous region dotted with famous redwoods — the world’s tallest trees — and breathtakingly beautiful rough distant seaside scenery.
This once-booming logging town is now an artist refuge with a Beacon-like contrast of a Victorian-era Old Town and a functioning harbor.
That said, it’s the kind of place where you can go to Farmers Markets, watch roller derby, a Kinetic Sculpture Race, and go marble hunting. The Romano Gabriel Wooden Sculpture Garden, where folk art was created from recycled produce crates, is a popular destination.
Eureka is home to an incredible collection of art, and dance organizations, symphonies, acrobatics, street art, and various galleries are all available. The Redwood Coast Music Festival, the Eureka Street Art Festival, and different parades are also held there.
8. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Like Beacon, NY, Ann Arbor takes pride in having the central city’s innovation, attractiveness, and energy while maintaining the lively community connections of smaller towns. However, since 1970, the Guild of Artists and Artisans has brought art to the public via events such as the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, one of the country’s largest.
In addition, the STAMPS School of Art and Design maintains a gallery where students display their work. The Ann Arbor Art Center has supported local artists for over 100 years, including programs like ART NOW: Drawing to encourage community participation.
Since 1951, Ann Arbor Women Artists has been breaking barriers, and groups like these give Ann Arbor its distinct and genuine personality. Moreover, the University of Michigan Museum of Art has almost 20,000 works, ranging from modern art by Franz Kline to photography by Dorothea Lange and works from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Finally, the Ann Arbor region is noted for its international cultural offerings. Ann Arbor is a long-established arts community with famous galleries, museums, arts non-profits, and theatrical and musical organizations that present performances by local, regional, and worldwide artists.
9. Galveston, Texas
Galveston, Texas, is a city on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a city with numerous faces, with over 50,000 people. Moody Gardens and Pleasure Pier are two areas at a speedier pace. But there’s also Galveston Island State Park, where migratory bird pathways converge to provide a veritable feast of feathered pleasures.
The region resembles a tiny New Orleans, replete with a Mardi Gras celebration. In addition, Galveston, like Beacon and New Orleans, has a vibrant art culture.
The Galveston Arts Center, an artist residence, and several art galleries and studios are all located here. You may go it alone or join one of the guided ArtWalks. The city truly puts on a fantastic display at ARToberFest.
Finally, the Grand 1894 Opera House attracts many visitors, but there is also ballet, symphonies, and a broad selection of other live music to enjoy. Clay, different fabrics, painting, glass, wood, mixed media, metal, and other art forms are all celebrated.
10. Lafayette, Louisiana
Louisiana is a unique state, with some of the country’s most vivid, striking, and proudly raucous cities. When you’re here, you’ll sense the presence of a distinct type of muse, one who speaks in various ways: meandering jazz, scorching Creole, and Cajun notes, simultaneously screaming against its worst traditions while embracing its greatest.
Lafayette is notable for institutions such as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which is committed to community participation and whose School of Music and Performing Arts serves as a social and cultural hub. In addition, ArtWalk on second Saturdays, when art houses and studios in the Downtown Lafayette Cultural District open their doors to the public, brings together creative individuals.
Southern Screen is an entire weekend of screenings, music, screenplay seminars, and parties for filmmakers and movie fans. The Festival International de Louisiane, the country’s largest international music and arts festival, brings cultures together. Arts champions like the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the Lafayette Art Association, and Cité des Arts play an essential role in keeping art alive.
11. Homer, Alaska
Homer, Alaska, is a small town with less than 6,000 residents. The region is noted for its halibut, beautiful landscape, and arts, and it was named after con man Homer Pennock. It, like Beacon, has blue-collar beginnings and now has an unusual combination of charm, wildlife, and roughness.
In addition, Homer is frequently cited as one of the world’s most beautiful locations. It isn’t unexpected given the town’s location on Kachemak Bay, with vistas of the Kenai Mountains and other volcanic peaks. Birders, kayakers, hikers, fishermen, and snow sports lovers all flock to the region.
Check out Homer’s unique creative community when you can drag yourself away from the rich local fauna. Gallery Row, which runs parallel to Pioneer Avenue, features a diverse art collection. Photographs, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, watercolors, batiks, and woodwork may all be found there. In addition, there are other nooks where authors, concerts, and artist lectures may be found.
12. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah’s aesthetic tastes are diverse and may be found across the city, including at the Jepson Center for the Arts. The attractively designed venue has 7,500 square feet of galleries with rotating exhibitions and an interactive children’s museum to pique the most curious minds.
In addition, working artists may be seen in the Art Center or displayed in the galleries in Savannah City Market, known as the “art and soul of Savannah.”
Finally, make your way to town for the increasingly famous SCAD Savannah Film Festival or the Savannah Music Festival, which features genres ranging from chamber to jazz and is a must-see for any genuine music lover.
Savannah College of Art and Design presents new insights from its bright students in group and solo displays that explore diverse mediums. In addition, it organizes the highly regarded deFINE Art Festival, an annual contemporary art exposition, and the institution is one of the country’s finest art schools with highly regarded programs.
13. Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska, is famed for its numerous Native American totem poles and is located on the Inside Passage. It’s also adjacent to the Misty Fiords National Monument, which has beautiful mountains and various animals. It boasts a Beacon-like combination of being a working town with a passion for the arts, with a population of roughly 8,500 people.
Over 350 residents have registered as artists, and almost a dozen galleries and businesses promote their work. In addition, the natural surroundings inspire Ketchikan’s cultural and artistic scene. Explore The Artists: Ketchikan Story Project to discover more about the fantastic artwork.
Ketchikan also has a delicious selection of cuisine and beverages. First, for a local brew, stop by Bawden Street Brewing. Then, stop at The Asylum to try a more extensive range of Alaskan beers. As for eating, most people don’t come to Alaska to eat Mexican food, but you’re missing out if you don’t stop at Chico’s. Finally, Annabelle’s Keg & Chowder House serves seafood if you crave something fishy.
14. Sag Harbor, New York
Sag Harbor, New York, rose to prominence due to its appearance in Moby Dick. As a result, the settlement, located between East Hampton and Southampton, is often neglected. However, this 2,000-person hamlet is a family-friendly vacation destination for those who appreciate antique shopping, visiting the local Farmer’s Market, and seeing the Wölffer Estate’s vineyards.
The Church, One of the numerous cultural and artistic locations to visit, is an artist residency, exhibition space, and creative center that produces educational activities for adults and children. In addition, The Hamptons Doc Fest is a non-profit organization formed by filmmakers to support and celebrate the rich, diverse, and complex world of documentary cinema, currently in its 14th year.
Finally, sailing, fishing charters, and catamaran cruises are all popular activities in the region. When you’ve gotten your fill of the water, there are museums and a local theater to visit. Catch lunch at The Beacon or relax at the Dockside Bar & Grill when you need a break.
15. Manitou Springs, Colorado
Manitou Springs, Colorado, is a lovely town at the base of Pikes Peak (14,110 feet) and is recorded on the National Register of Historic Places. The Utes knew they had something special a long time ago, but the town, with its 11 springs, was formed as a spa destination in 1872 and has been a tourist magnet ever since. With spectacular old cliff homes, the local presence is still strong.
The shape and atmosphere of the frontier hamlet haven’t changed, but there are now around two dozen active art studios and an artists’ cooperative, chamber music, and frequent art walks. A well-known local artist, Michael Baum, paints Disney-like yet attractive southwestern landscapes in the uncommon medium of oil on linen.
In addition, the Manitou Art Center is committed to providing artists and tinkerers with equal access to space and resources, fostering a community where everyone may thrive. Finally, like Beacon, NY, Manitou offers a range of local art galleries and studios to keep you engaged.
16. Madrid New Mexico
Madrid, which has a population of little over 200 people, invites art aficionados and painters inspired by the grandeur of the New Mexico terrain. Madrid is also known for its spectacular Christmas light displays, which visitors may see on the weekend before Christmas in December.
In the 1950s, as the gold and coal ran out, so did the residents. The entire property was advertised for sale in the Wall Street Journal for $250,000. Because no one was interested, Madrid became a ghost town. The original structures managed to endure until artists moved in and converted it into a gallery and studio colony perky with a Beacon, NY, vibe.
Handmade cowboy boots, magnificent Cerillos turquoise from the adjacent Turquoise Trail, and local items are all examples of folk art and crafts.
Even though the last census recorded a population of 210 people, most of whom arrived from somewhere else and never returned, there are spas and restaurants. Some of the best restaurants include The Hollar, The Mine Shaft Tavern, and the Java Junction.
17. Kingston, New York
Kingston, New York, was the state’s first capital, founded in 1652 by the Dutch. The Friends of Historic Kingston provide tours that will teach you more about the area’s beauty and history. Alternatively, soak in the countryside while having vintage fun by riding the Catskill Mountain Railroad.
There are around twenty art galleries and venues in the neighborhood. It also holds local theatrical shows, ballet theaters, and T.R. Gallo Park presents Music in the Parks. It also houses the non-profit O+, which provides healthcare to artists year-round and hosts an annual arts festival.
Kingston boasts a wide variety of outstanding restaurants. If you visit Kingston Bread & Bar, you won’t be sorry if you still enjoy carbohydrates. If you’re searching for a gastropub, Front Street Tavern is the place to go. Check our award-winning Top Taste for a spicy Jamaican twist.
18. Narrowsburg, New York
Narrowsburg, New York, is a small town of fewer than 500 people nestled beside the Delaware River. The Catskill and Pocono Mountains surround the region, making it a popular weekend getaway from New York City.
Hiking, tubing, and antique hunting are all great ways to clear your mind in this region. When in town, browse the stores, including the excellent One Grand Book, the eccentric Maison Bergogne, and the ethical apparel boutique Mayer Wasner. Meet the animals and shop at Buck Brook Alpacas if you’re willing to travel outside of town.
19. Lambertville, New Jersey
Lambertville, New Jersey, is situated on the Delaware River and is dubbed “America’s beautiful town.” It, like Beacon, has blue-collar beginnings as a former industrial town that has since evolved into a destination for antiques and vintage finds.
Despite its small population of fewer than 4,000 people, the town values the arts. The ACME Screening Room, Roxey Ballet, and Bucks Country Playhouse are also popular hangouts. In addition, there are plentiful art galleries and studios in the region.
There are also several unique cafés and restaurants in Lambertville. First, visit Lambertville Trading Company, a family-owned coffee shop, to start your day off properly. Later, go to D’Floret, Anton’s At The Swan, and Under The Moon Cafe.
20. Port Townsend, Washington
Although Port Townsend, Washington, has a population of fewer than 10,000 people, it is far from forgotten. It began as a timber and farming community before becoming an international seaport. Its blue-collar roots are now blended up with thriving art culture, much like Beacon.
The Victorian-styled town is surrounded by beautiful surroundings and offers many opportunities for outdoor activities, including a Kinetic Sculpture Race.
There are several cafés, book stores, and restaurants in the town. Sweet Laurette Cafe & Bistro and Silverwater Cafe serve excellent meals, and Elevated Ice Cream has delicious desserts. Port Townsend Brewing Company, Discovery Bay Brewing, and Propolis Brewing are among the area craft beer options.
In crafty little towns like Beacon, NY, thriving art scenes are a must. After that, hiking trails, a wide range of unique restaurants, urban ruins, and small-town whimsicalness is what makes their list of similar towns the best match. The US is full of fascinating towns that boast their own individuality; however, many share unique traits with their sibling towns, like Beacon, NY, which ticks the right boxes to maintain its unique artistry vibe.