With its easy access to I-84, the Taconic State Parkway and the Metro-North commuter rail plus its affordability in comparison to the counties south of it, Southern Dutchess County is a haven for commuters. The commute is about an hour and 15 minutes by express train to New York Ciy’s Grand Central Station, approximately 45 minutes to White Plains in Westchester County, New York and thirty minutes to Danbury, Connecticut. As a result, this part of the county has experienced rapid growth in the last decade and boasts numerous new home communities. Whether it’s to the city of Beacon or the towns of Fishkill, East Fishkill, Wappinger, or Beekman, people are relocating to the Southern Dutchess County area to take advantage of all of the economic, cultural, business and educational opportunities available.
Beacon, one of Dutchess County’s two cities, is located on the banks of the Hudson River. This former industrial city turned artists’ haven is experiencing a renaissance with many organizations and investors renovating existing buildings for commercial and residential use. The East Main Street area of Beacon is now known for its many antique shops. The West End of Main Street has blossomed with its art galleries and coffee shops. All of Main Street benefits from the combined proximity to the Beacon Metro-North Railroad Station and Dia-Beacon. The combination makes this a delightful day trip for visitors and an appealing home for artists and commuters.
With a long and rich history dating back to the pre-Revolutionary War era, Beacon is finding new ways to take advantage of its history. The Dia Art Foundation took a large, empty factory along the Hudson River and turned it into the home of its permanent collection on contemporary art. The factory that is now Dia-Beacon was built in 1929. The museum has more than 160,000 square feet of gallery space and offers guided and unguided tours to thousands of visitors each year.
Moving East from Beacon, you’ll come to the Dutchess County Stadium. It is home to the Hudson Valley Renegades, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. There is massive commercial development along the I-84 corridor especially at Route 9 where you’ll find hotels, medical office buildings, Marist College’s southern extension, the GAP/Old Navy distribution warehouse, major retail and outlet stores and more. IBM, Philips Semiconductor, AMD and other companies can be found in the Hudson Valley Research Park in East Fishkill.
Beekman officially became a town in 1788. The town was originally home to the Wappinger Indians, a peace-loving part of the Algonquin tribe. The first European settlers arrived around 1710. Though it has always been a proudly rural area, today Beekman is one of the fastest growing towns in Dutchess County. Click here to visit the Town of Beekman’s Website. Dalton Farms, a large planned community in Beekman was built on the 560 acre farm formerly owned by the Roosevelt family, and the Roosevelt residence, an 1812 white frame house, is its club house. Sylvan Lake, a hamlet by the west town line was named after a lake which was formed during the ice age. The early Indians called it “Poughquag” which means “round body of water”. Today the mailing address for most of the Town of Beekman is Poughquag, zip code 12570. Part of the Town of Beekman has a Stormville mailing address, zip code 12582. All of the Town of Beekman is served by the Arlington Central School District. People are attracted to the Town of Beekman because of its rural character, accessibility to the Taconic State Parkway and other commuter routes like Route 55 which runs through the town, beautiful new home subdivisions with large lot sizes, town amenities such as a wonderful recreation area near Dalton Farms that includes a swimming pond, multiple lighted ball fields, playground and more. Always a busy place, it reflects the family-centered nature of the town. Search Beekman Real Estate.
The Town of East Fishkill is located on the southern border of Dutchess County. East Fishkill is traversed by Interstate 84 and the Taconic State Parkway. In addition, it is home to the Hudson Valley Research Park which includes an IBM campus with its new chip fabrication plant as well as AMD and a variety of other tech companies. Being in the right place at the right time particularly for commuters has resulted in rapid development and growth in this town. Many people are attracted to East Fishkill because of its location and the variety of recently-built neighborhoods plus the town’s amenities including Red Wing Park, the hamlet of Hopewell Junction with its shops, access to the Appalachian Trail. If you live in the Town of East Fishkill your mailing address will either be Hopewell Junction, zip code 12533 or Stormville, zip code 12582. The main school district serving East Fishkill is the Wappinger Central School District, however, small areas of the town are served by three other districts: the Arlington Central School District, Carmel Central School District or the Pawling Central School District. Please click on the school district name for more information. Search East Fishkill Real Estate.
The name “Fiskill” comes from the Dutch “Vis Kill” which means “stream full of fish”. The kill part of the name is actually the Dutch word for stream or creek and is common in names found in many communities in the area that were settled by the Dutch.
The contrast between the rich history of Dutchess County and today’s growth and development is most evident in the Town of Fishkill. The town surrounds the Village of Fishkill where the First Dutch Reformed Church stands at the intersection of Main Street (Rt 52) and Route 9. This building was originally built in 1731 and served as a prison during the Revolutionary War. Main Street is lined with quaint, historic buildings that today house darling shops and wonderful restaurants.
In contrast is the intersection of Route 9 and I-84 where out of the recent real estate boom have risen a dozen major hotels, restaurants, an outlet mall, Sam’s Club, Walmart, banks, medical office buildings, the GAP/Old Navy Distribution Center as well as new home communities built by Toll Brothers. The zip code for the Town and Village of Fishkill is 12524. The area is served primarily by the Wappingers Central School District, however a small portion at the southwest corner of the town is served by the Beacon School District. Search Fishkill Real Estate.
The Town of Wappinger is located in the southern part of Dutchess County making it attractive to folks who need to commute by car to employment centers south of Dutchess County or by train to New York City. It encompasses the Village of Wappingers Falls located on the Wappinger Creek. The origin of the name Wappinger comes from the Wappani Indians of the peace-loving Algonquin tribe that called the area home. Route 9 – home to many restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls and other conveniences goes through the Town. The Dutchess County Airport which provides corporate and general aviation services as well as a satellite campus of Dutchess Community College are also located here There are a wide variety of quiet suburban neighborhoods as well as a sprinkling of farms making this a nice town to come home to. It is primarily served by the Wappinger Central School District which has a total enrollment of approximately 13,000 students. A small area in the southwest corner of the town is serviced by the Beacon School District. All of the town of Wappinger has a Wappinger Falls mailing address and the zip code 12590. Search Wappinger Real Estate.
Despite its rapid commercial and residential growth, Southern Dutchess County proudly maintains its original agricultural and historic roots. Working farms like Sugar Maple Farm, a well-known horse farm, continue the tradition of thoroughbred breeding; pumpkin patches and apple orchards are part of the landscape, and residents find plenty of diversions from their busy work days with the wonderful recreational opportunities provided by the towns, parks with swimming lakes and picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails including the Appalachian Trail.
Did you know?
The City of Beacon was named for the signal fires along the Hudson Highlands used to alert the troops in the Revolutionary War.
During the 1800’s Beacon was known as “The Hat Making Capital of the US” with nearly 50 hat factories in town.
An old factory building in Beacon is now home to the world’s largest contemporary art museum, Dia: Beacon.
The film, “Nobody’s Fool” with Paul Newman and Jessica Tandy was filmed in Beacon.
During the Revolutionary War, the Village of Fishkill served as a camp for General George Washington’s troops.