Historic Homes of the Hudson Valley: A One-Tank of Gas Itinerary
Surprisingly, residents all over the world, including people living in the historic Hudson Valley, have never found the time to visit their local gems. London residents traveling on trains through historic sites in the nearby Cotswold's have never visited St. James, Sudeley Castle or the Owlpen Manor. What can locals in historic Hudson Valley do during a summer weekend? Brazenly turn off the Internet and enjoy an excursion of historical gems in Hudson Valley.
Lyndhurst, a Gothic Revival country home, designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838 for former New York City mayor William Paulding, features excellent examples of 19th century landscape design. Lyndhurst is known as the premier Gothic Revival home in the United States. In 1864 the magnificent marble mansion doubled in size on behalf of its second owner George Merritt. Kids can actually play in the estate's original child's playhouse. Location: 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown, New York. Lyndhurst is available for tours Friday through Sunday.
Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate, a classical revival-style six-story stone villa, is open for tours. The first floor features wonderful examples of 18th century-style furniture and Asian ceramics. Check out the tapestries, especially made for Nelson Rockefeller, based on his favorite Picasso paintings. Location: 381 North Broadway, Route 9, Sleepy Hollow, New York. No charge to tour the estate.
Washington Irving's eclectic 1830s Sunnyside home, one of the earliest examples of romantic architecture in the United States, is one of the nation's most well known literary hangouts. The mansion, restored to its appearance during the time of Washington Irving, features stepped gables and a curved roof inspired by a Spanish monastery. Be sure to visit Irving's study. Walking along the curved path takes you to spectacular views of the Hudson River.
Sunnyside offers one of the most authentic experiences of mid-19th century life in the United States. The estate played an important role in the Romantic Movement as well as in the lives of Hudson River artists, writers and architects. Location: West Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown, New York.
Philipsburg Manor, more than 300 years old, provides visitors an understanding of the people who lived and worked there. You can actually participate in hands-on activities performed during the 18th century, such as turning flax into linen. At the 1750 restored Philippe's trading center you'll see historic breeds of cows, oxen, chickens and sheep. The tour also includes a visit to the bedchambers, kitchens, warehouse rooms and the dairy of Philipsburg Manor. Location: 381 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, New York.
Boscobel House and Gardens, an excellent restored 19th century mansion, features high-style period furniture as well as great collections of silver, crystal and porcelain. The home is one of the best examples of Federal-style architecture in New York. The house, originally constructed downriver, moved in the 1950s to its current site.
The carved wooden swags of drapery with its tassels and bowknots between the balcony columns don't exist anywhere else. The estate features Dychman's English china, glass and silver. During the tour you'll see the attractive grand entry hall and every room on the ground floor, the second floor and the lower level. The grounds feature a beautiful rose garden and an extensive herb garden. The Boscobel House and Gardens provides amazing views of the Hudson River. Location: 1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison, New York. It's open Wednesdays through Mondays from April through October, by tour only.
Whether you're vacationing, taking a day trip or just getting out for a sunny afternoon drive, take advantage of the Hudson Valley's fascinatingly preserved history.