A mere one-and-a-half hours from Manhattan via Metro North, the town of Beacon, New York is a bastion of creativity and calm, that is, if you visit during the weekday. (Weekends are ultra hectic.) I recently started the day perusing the contemporary paintings and sculptures at the Dia Art Foundation, a sun-streaked space that’s surrounded by placid gardens that change with the seasons. Downtown is within easy walking distance where, because of the sweltering weather, I made Zora Dora Paleteria my next stop. It’s a very informal space where you can find an array of inventive, handcrafted ice pops, including some that pack plenty of heat from chilies and flavor from mint and other herbs and spices. You can sit inside, though it's much more atmospheric to sit and people watch at the single table right along the sidewalk out front. My favorite place for lunch not only for the the cuisine (including the scrumptious baked goods) often made with locally-sourced ingredients, but also the serene garden in the rear is Homespun Foods. You can’t go wrong with their cheddar and chutney sandwich on whole grain bread, or the vegetarian cheese and nut loaf served with tomato chutney. Then it was time to work off all the calories by walking lengthy Main Street all the way to -- would you believe -- a waterfall that’s at the end of downtown. In between, stop and look up and about and all around, dropping into the numerous galleries and emporia. You’ll find boldly hued art just about everywhere.