1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY
If you like your Thomas Cole landscapes with a dash of Rene Magritte surrealism, the Storm King Art Center (website) is the place for you. It’s an art installation writ-large, using an entire natural landscape as its grounds. It’s also the perfect plug-and-play romantic getaway, within easy driving distance from New York City, and guaranteed to be gorgeous May – October.
What makes the Hudson Valley unique is the sunlight – you can spot immediately the vistas that might have inspired a weary Rip Van Winkle to grab a catnap under a tree. And not to shatter the majesty, but this also gets our vote for Best Picnic Makeout Spot.
The grounds are vast, and manicured just enough to allow easy walkability. (Caution – no pets allowed. We’re mixed about this as pet owners – we know pets can cause problems, but we mean other people’s pets.) The art installations are situated strategically, and marked on the tour maps.
Go left from the parking/picnic area, and you’re quickly in deep woods of tall, stately trees that allow only the occasional yellow beam of sunlight to penetrate.
Follow the road to the top of the ridge, and the grounds open up to an expansive green where some of the larger sculptures reside.
At the top of the hill is the aged visitors center, beyond which stretch vast meadows where you can see the largest sculptures.
Photography is not only permitted but encouraged, and the center even specifies helpful “vista points” for taking idiot-proof photos (like mine;).
If you’re looking for a hybrid between a museum experience and a hike – with something akin to the spectacle of a monument – that’s unlike anything you’ve experienced, it’s worth taking a day to drive up to the Art Center.
The Storm King Art Center is located at 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY, about 90 minutes driving distance from lower Manhattan, via the George Washington Bridge. A Google Maps App with traffic settings is always a plus, because there are multiple routes.