Storm King Art Center is located only an hour north from New York City and makes for a great day trip. This open-air sculpture park in Mountainville, New York sprawls over 500 acres of land with trails meandering through open fields and woodlands, along a creek and a lake, or uphill for panoramic vistas.
There is something special about experiencing art outdoors—seeing the sculptures from different angles, with the backdrop of the hills in the distance, set off by the curtain of dense woods behind, or reflected in the water. The soundtrack changes as the wind rustles tree branches, birds fly overhead or break into a song in the bushes. A family of Canadian geese crossed my path a couple of times, the babies scurrying after their mother. I was particularly fortunate to have the weather change during my visit from cloudy, to raining, and finally sunny, giving the setting yet another dimension in which to contemplate the pieces.
The collection comprises more than 100 sculptures, including pieces by Andy Goldsworthy, Roy Lichtenstein, Maya Lin, Henry Moore, and Richard Serra. The permanent installation is complemented by special exhibits.
I recommend going early before the crowds, especially on weekends, or late in the day to catch the sunset. There are numerous picnic areas, if you want to enjoy lunch there. The center offers variety of special events and activities like yoga in the morning, summer solstice celebration, moonlit walking tour, and outdoor concerts.
Storm King is an easy drive from New York City (about an hour). You can also take a bus from Port Authority via Coach USA.
For hours and additional information, go to Storm King’s website: