It has finally set in: the hot, humid, crowded, window-unit mandatory NYC summer. If you’re not one of the few, the proud, the privileged, then you’re probably spending at least a few weekends of the summer in the city or the vicinity. If you’re looking for an inspirational day trip, look no further than Dia:Beacon, Dia Art Foundation’s outpost slightly north of Manhattan.

I had been planning a pilgrimage to Dia for a few years, and a summer Friday finally seemed like the appropriate time. I packed a picnic and my D-SLR and hopped in the car. If you don’t have a car, Beacon is very easily accessible via Metro North from Grand Central Terminal, and the trip takes less than two hours.

Upon arrival at Dia, it was like an oasis: an uncrowded, vastly open space, filled with art. In other words, it seems impossible for it to exist in a metropolitan area. An entire day can be spent roaming throughout the warehouse-like space, collapsing on conveniently placed couches, and taking in the surroundings: intricate LeWitt wall drawings, Flavin neons, tilted Serra’s, and a gigantic Bourgeois spider.

A haven for Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and large-scale sculpture from the mid-century onward, the experience at Dia:Beacon is extremely cohesive, with some welcome surprises. A Bruce Nauman exhibition in the basement elicited a chuckle, and Alighiero Boetti’s embroidery and works on paper represented a focus on handwork.

Upon leaving Dia:Beacon I couldn’t help but berate myself for never having visited before. What a fantastic space in which to immerse onesself in art and simultaneously escape the hectic heat of the NYC summer. To round out an afternoon upstate, I headed to the Newburgh Brewing Company just across the river to enjoy a cold brew as a reward for a successful culturally stimulating afternoon outside of the city.

Follow, ADC Staff Member Ariel Adkins, who not only welcomes and manages our ADC Community but also contributes Art Blanche to ADC Global Blog. Find out more about the fashionista in our recent feature talking about Artfully Awear.