The Whistletrip:  Itinerary

  • Exhibits at Storm King Art Center
  • Make A Day Of It – Local Dining Gems

Why Go

My annual trips to the Storm King Art Center are better described as pilgrimages than visits.  The 500-acre park consists of huge contemporary sculptures set in fields, meadows and woodlands – all surrounded by the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley.

Member walks in the winter allow appreciation of Alexander Liberman‘s vast red abstract works against the stark contrast of white snow, while spring shows at its best a boat, moored on a lake among willow trees, its sides painted with striking pop art by the inimitable Roy Lichtenstein.

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“Mermaid” by Roy Lichtenstein © The Whistletrip

Just a 1 hour drive from Manhattan and too large to get even remotely full, Storm King offers a stunning combination of artistic and natural beauty in a quiet countryside location that feels very far from the madding crowd.

Practical Planning

The bright red “Adam” and “Iliad” by Alexander Liberman © The Whistletrip
  • Mobilize:  Renting a ZipCar gets you a two-for-one admission discount.  CoachUSA provides a direct but inflexible coach service leaving from Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal at 10am and returning at 5.02pm.
  • Roam:  Exploring Storm King on foot is the best way to see the sculptures up close.  Visitors can also rent adult bikes on a first-come, first-served basis, but outside bikes are not permitted.  A tram runs frequently along the park’s paved walkways, allowing you to take strollers – priority usage is given to mobility impaired visitors when busy.
  • Wear:  Comfortable shoes for walking and watch the weather forecast.  Many of Storm King’s main pieces are in the middle of shadeless fields, so don’t get caught without an umbrella or sunscreen.

Exhibits at Storm King Art Center

Zhang Huan’s “Three Legged Buddha” © The Whistletrip

More than 100 sculptures are thoughtfully sited across Storm King’s landscape.  Some are literally built into it or woven through it, such as Andy Goldsworthy‘s sinuous stone wall, which snakes through the park’s tranquil woods.

Andy Goldsworthy’s winding “Storm King Wall” © The Whistletrip

Household names including Henry Moore and Claes Oldenburg have some smaller pieces displayed here, but it is really the enormous, dramatic structures that steal the show.  Be that Zhang Huan‘s enthralling copper and steel 28 feet high “Three Legged Buddha” or Mark di Suvero‘s towering orange and brown industrial steel monuments.

Get ready to spend hours gazing at these captivating works – whether leaving you wondering what sort of creative mind could conceptualize such scale or how the components of each piece were welded together, Storm King’s collection does not fail to draw you in.

Make A Day Of It – Local Dining Gems

A small outdoor cafeteria at Storm King offers staple sandwiches, salads and beverages.  However, the sculpture park has a picnic area which provides the opportunity to enjoy views of terrific art along with a feast from nearby farms.

Grandma Phoebe’s Kitchen at Jones Farm in Cornwall, a 5 minute drive from Storm King, sells delicious baked pies, donuts, cookies, sandwiches, soups and soul food.  For the freshest possible fruit, pick apples and berries at Lawrence Farm Orchards in Newburgh, 25 minutes north of the park.

To cap a memorable day with an unforgettable dinner, make a 45 minute detour to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  This working four-season farm in Tarrytown yields most ingredients used by the fabulous onsite Blue Hill restaurant, which offers a fixed-only “Grazing, Pecking, Rooting” tasting menu.  Arrive early for supper to explore the stone buildings and walk around the farmland.

© Ann Berry