What to Do During a Day Trip to Opus 40

Artist and educator Harvey Fite spent over 37 years constructing this massive outdoor sculpture in Saugerties. Photo by Matt Moment

Planning a visit to Opus 40? Make a day trip out of it by visiting these restaurants, shops, and sites in Woodstock.

You know that old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day?” Neither was Opus 40. In fact, the site’s name refers to the (nearly) 40 years it took for sculptor, quarryman, and Bard College professor Harvey Fite to construct his, well, opus.

Two dragonflies land on a sculpture at Opus 40
Two dragonflies land on a sculpture at Opus 40. Photo by Matt Moment

That said, you can explore much of the iconic upstate town of Woodstock in a day. The sculpture is located 10 minutes away from Woodstock proper, meaning you should combine a trip to Opus 40 with a day of shopping, dining, and adventuring in one of the liveliest little locales in the Hudson Valley. Check out our comprehensive itinerary, then pencil in a day trip to the artsy Ulster County town.

10 a.m. – Breakfast at Bread Alone


Typically, Opus 40 doesn’t open until 10:30 a.m., so we suggest that the first stop on your day trip be to Bread Alone to fill your belly with bread and caffeine beforehand. The bakery’s name is a little misleading; it actually offers a menu of breakfast and lunch, which are both served all day long. If you’re in the mood for a robust morning meal, opt for eggs, avocado toast, or smoked salmon. That said, an order of bread—toasted with butter, of course—alongside a coffee beverage is our favorite way to start the day in Woodstock.

11 a.m. – Ogle at the incredible craftsmanship of Opus 40

 

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After breakfast, zip on over to 356 George Sickle Road to view what Brendan Gill of Architectural Digest called “one of the largest and most beguiling works of art on the entire continent.” The six-and-a-half-acre site truly is a marvel of human ingenuity, standing as a testament to patience and hard work.

1 p.m. – Savor a vegan lunch at The Garden Café


Whether you’re a die-hard vegan or a voracious carnivore, there’s no denying that The Garden Café slings some downright delicious fare. The whole menu is prepared with organic and GMO-free ingredients, making for meals that feel as good as they taste. Pair dishes like the Beyond burger, spinach basil pesto pasta, and Indian red lentil veggie enchilada with tea, coffee, fresh juice, a smoothie, organic wine, local beer, or a specialty cocktail. (Word to the wise: Order the cornbread.)

2 p.m. – Find your next page-turner at The Golden Notebook

 

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Bookworms will lose themselves in this independent bookstore. If you’re anything like us, it’s probably a good idea to set a budget for yourself before stepping foot in the Golden Notebook, as it carries everything from novels and poetry anthologies to plays and self-help books.

3 p.m. – Reach nirvana at Peace, Love & Cupcakes

 

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Alright, maybe “reach nirvana” is a bit of an overstatement, but not by much. The bakery’s owner, Janice Hardgrove-Kollar, won “Best Cake in the Country” from the Food Network in 2008, so it’s safe to say she knows what she’s doing. But better to let you be the judge of that—just try her “Pretzel Hippie Chipper Sandwich Cookie,” and you’ll be sold.

4 p.m. – Take a late-afternoon stroll at the Comeau Property Trail


Now that you’re in the midst of a major sugar rush, walk it off at this scenic 0.9-mile loop. (Don’t be daunted—it’s more of a walking trail than a hike.) The trail can get a bit muddy after a bout of precipitation, so be sure to bring your boots if it has recently rained or snowed. If you’d rather read than stroll, pack a chair and crack open your brand-new paperback from The Golden Notebook.

5:15 p.m. – Cheers to cocktail hour at Early Terrible

 

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Now that you’ve enjoyed some peace and quiet at the Comeau Property, it’s high time to turn up at Early Terrible. Its creative cocktails are made with the “finest ingredients,” from the fresh-squeezed juices that comprise the “Paper Plane” and lemongrass-cardamom mule to the important French purees used in the lychee martini and jalapeno margarita. Plus, the atmosphere is just as impressive as the alcohol, with a woodland pergola shading the outdoor seating area and a disco ball, vintage furniture, and house plants by the bar.

6:30 p.m. – Enjoy a great meal at Good Night

 

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It’s only natural that you should drift from Early Terrible to Good Night. From the team that brought you Silvia comes this modern Southeast Asian restaurant for “all who appreciate and celebrate the love of the family meal, embracing the act of sharing.” Accordingly, diners are well advised to order a plethora of plates for the table and dine family style. Choosing just one appetizer and one main at Good Night is a Sisyphean proposition—better to nosh on all the oysters, bao buns, steak, and stir fry your tastebuds can handle.

8 p.m. – Listen to live music at the Bearsville Theater, Colony, or Levon Helm Studios


Music is integral to Woodstock’s culture, so it would be something of a sin to leave town without a visit to one of its many music venues. More than likely, one of these three performance spaces will have live music on any given night. Plan your Opus 40 day trip around a concert you’re especially excited about, or snag some last-minute seats to see an act you’ve never heard of before.

11 p.m. – “Lay, Lady, Lay” in bed at Hotel Dylan

 

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There’s no better way to conclude your Woodstock day trip than with a stay at this boutique hotel, named for the town’s patron saint. Unwind by one of the firepits on the front lawn or listen to your favorite Dylan album on the record player (there’s one in every room). The hotel keeps a curated selection of books, games, and records for guests to borrow, so if you’re not totally tuckered out, there’s plenty to do at Hotel Dylan.

Related: Here’s What to Do in the Hudson Valley This Week

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