Beacon vs. Philipstown

A tale of two communities

By Michael Turton

Only seven miles separate Beacon and Philipstown. The neighboring municipalities share important characteristics. Many residents from both communities shuffle off to work in New York City via Metro-North. Both boast a variety of eateries and pubs along with robust offerings in the arts and sports. Tourists as well as those looking for a new place to call home are drawn to both. And both share the trolley that shuttles along Route 9D, itself an important link.

But the differences are also many, beginning with geography. Although both lie on the Hudson River, the City of Beacon is smaller, more compact and more densely populated than the bucolic Town of Philipstown, which includes the villages of Cold Spring and Nelsonville and the hamlet of Garrison. Beacon also has a more diverse population.

chart beacon philipstown


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8 thoughts on “Beacon vs. Philipstown

  1. Thanks for these details. Here is another: Length of Main Street in Beacon: 1.1 miles. Length of Main Street in Village of Cold Spring: 0.4 mile.

    • Main Street in Cold Spring goes from the Bandstand at the river, past the Town Hall to the Nelsonville border. I think this is more than 4/10th of a mile.

      • Andrew, you’re right. I focused only the stretch of commercial enterprise on Main Street in Cold Spring, stopping at Whistling Willie’s. It’s another 3/10ths of a mile up to the Village line.

    • Good question. Not sure, however, The Highland Current serves these two communities.

      This data is probably useful in a consideration of what types of advertising merchants and others in the area may find appropriate — if and how the Highland Current may work for them.

  2. Very interesting comparison, but I would love to see a comparison between Beacon and Peekskill, which is also a city. Somehow it seems like apples and oranges to compare Philipstown/Cold Spring to Beacon. I don’t think they’re really comparable.

    I have always thought there is a great deal of synergy between the three locations. I also think that all three venues contribute greatly to tourism in our area. Peekskill has tremendous night life, music and entertainment, but very little retail. Cold Spring has amazing geography and charm plus plenty of retail. Beacon seems to have it all.

  3. Your headline, “Beacon vs. Philipstown,” sounds very confrontational. You could have said, “Comparing Beacon and Philipstown.”

  4. I did this piece for a couple of reasons, the most basic being simply that I find comparisons interesting — whether the topic is baseball teams, sports cars or recipes for chicken cacciatore. The other is that I have often heard comments such as “Hey, they do that in Beacon; we should do it here in Philipstown too.” Sometimes that is a very valid idea; sometimes not. While the two communities have their similarities, they are also distinctly different. And differences can be just as interesting as commonalities. Thanks for the comments!