Let's be honest: the Hudson Valley is awesome. And interesting. And beautiful. It's no wonder that we have some of the fastest-growing counties in the entire state. It's also not surprising that one Hudson Valley town landed on Architectural Digest's 40 Most Beautiful Main Streets Across America. While many other HV towns are also worthy, I couldn't agree more with their selection. There is, unfortunately, one problem.

Dawn Benko for Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley
Middletown didn't make the list... this year (Photo: Dawn Benko)
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It should be mentioned (or bragged, really), that only one other town in New York state made the list: the uber-fancy Southampton on Long Island. And while you may see a few more Rolls-Royces in the Hamptons, the Hudson Valley town on the list is definitely rising in the ranks of destinations for the upper-class of New York City looking for a break from the noise and traffic. That being said, this town has something for everyone, including us locals. So, which one made the list?

Downtown Rhinebeck photos
The magazine ALSO missed out on listing Rhinebeck (Photo: Don Gehring)
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As you may have already guessed, Beacon, New York, was listed as having the 11th most beautiful main street in the entire country. While the list only devotes two sentences to the town, highlighting Dia Beacon and the "quirky" main street shops, if you've spent even an hour on foot in Beacon, you know that there's so much more that's offered, and that's why I so strongly support Beacon's place on the list.

Beacon Flea Market via Facebook
Beacon Flea Market via Facebook
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The first quality left off Architectural Digest's list is pretty simple: the length. Having lived in small and medium-sized towns all across America, I can safely say that Beacon has the longest and most continuous main street I've ever seen. Shop after shop, there's no dip in storefronts, with an impressive lack of vacant buildings. That's a staggering accomplishment, especially since COVID-19 has contributed to so many businesses being forced to close.

Secondly, I love how much variety there is in Beacon. Sure, Southampton has restaurants that require men to wear suit jackets and everybody to lift their pinky up while drinking tea, but do they have a diner that's next to a recording studio that's down the street from a clothing store owned by Snooki? I didn't think so. There's only one downside.

Google Street View
Google Street View
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Beacon's profile has been steadily rising for years. Celebrity sightings are becoming commonplace and many cups of coffee cost more than a gallon of gasoline, and this list can only brighten the town's spotlight. So while we locals have been enjoying Beacon for years, you can anticipate even more city tourists flocking to its shops, farmer's markets, and galleries after they find out that such a gem is such a short distance away. You can check out Architectural Digest's entire list here.

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