Got a long weekend ahead of you and not sure whether you should head upstate to the Catskills or stay in the city and brush up on art and culture? Well, we’ve got the perfect solution: Storm King Art Center. Combining the best of the rolling hills and fresh air of an upstate getaway with contemporary art, Storm King (1 Museum Rd., New Windsor NY) is a 500-acre open-air museum with more than 100 sculptures to explore. And, since fall’s in full swing, there’s no better time to visit: You’ll likely catch the landscape during its most lively, when bright orange, red, and yellow hues cover the hillsides of the sprawling sculpture garden.
Once there, you’ll get to wander through the grounds to see works by celebrated artists such as Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, Andy Goldsworthy, and Roy Lichtenstein, among many others. Hike through the woodlands, walk the trails, ride the free tram, or rent a bike to see the area (available to rent by the hour; unfortunately, the museum does not allow you to bring your own). Apart from the large sculptures that have been cited to interplay off the land and its surroundings, smaller works can be seen in the galleries inside the museum building.
One of the Art Center’s most interesting sculptures is in fact made from the land itself. Maya Lin (who also designed Washington D.C.’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial) uses the earth itself to create Storm King Wavefield, a field mimicking the undulating waves of the ocean.
Have lunch at the Storm King Café, which offers a menu of locally sourced salads, soups, sandwiches, and sweet treats. Or, pack your own as certain areas allow for picnicking.
Located about an hour north of the city in New Windsor, New York, the easiest and most direct way to get to Storm King is by car. If you don’t have a car of your own, Storm King and Zipcar have even teamed up to offer two-for-one admission to Storm King for Zipcar members, as well as a discount on a Storm King membership. You can also take a Coach USA bus that leaves from the New York City Port Authority at 10am and arrives back shortly after 6pm, but tickets don’t come cheap at $45 a pop.
Storm King is open from 10am-5:30pm through Nov. 17, and until 5pm from Nov. 17 to Dec. 1. The Art Center is closed to the public through the winter until it opens up again in the spring of 2014. Admission is $12 for adults, or $8 with a student ID. Children under 5 enter for free.