The Hudson Valley is packed with stunning estates, and the following four are no exception. They are all under 35 miles from New York City, and they make a worthwhile day trip because you can explore both the historic building and the surrounding property. Read on to find out more about each one.
- Kykuit, The Rockefeller Estate
This place is jaw-dropping. John D. Rockefeller created this gorgeous Greek-Roman mansion in 1913 as an escape from fast-paced city life. You will see Constantin Brancusi’s sculptures, Italian gardens, and fountains. When your tour guide takes you to the outside grounds, you will be blown away by the views of the Hudson River.
You can only see Kykuit by tour. Your journey begins at Philipsburg Manor, where you have to reserve tickets. You can choose between the Classic Tour, the Grand Tour, the Selected Highlights Tour, and Timesaver Tour. For first-timers, the Classic Tour is the best option. You will see the house, art galleries, Inner Garden, golf room, and Coach Barn in this 2 1/4 hour tour.
Practical Information: Head to Philipsburg Manor’s Visitor Center for tickets. Kykuit is open from May 2 to November 10, and tours run from Thursday to Sunday. The address is 381 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY. On weekdays, the Classic Tour is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors, students, and children. On weekends, the Classic Tour is $28 for adults and $26 for seniors, students, and children. During the summer season, it is recommended to book tickets online because tours can sell out. A shuttle bus will pick you up from the Visitor Center and take you to Kykuit.
2. Lyndhurst Mansion
This Gothic Revival mansion is a must-see. Alexander Jackson Davis designed this estate that was home to New York City mayor William Paulding and New York merchant George Merritt. Jay Gould-manager of Western Union Telegraph, the New York Elevated Railway, and the Union Pacific Railroad-started making Lyndhurst Mansion his summer home in 1880.
The Classic Lyndhurst Mansion Tour is best for first-time visitors. You will see the reception room, parlor, Victorian dining room, and European paintings. After your tour, stick around and explore the grounds.
Practical Information: You can take the Classic Lyndhurst Mansion Tour from May 3-September 14. Tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for seniors/military/students, and $14 for youth 6-16. It is recommended to buy your tickets online in advance, as tours do sell out. The address is Lyndhurst Mansion is 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591.
3. Washington Irving’s Sunnyside
The delightful home of this author is definitely worth seeing. Washington Irving was an author known for writing “Rip Van Winkle”- This is about a man who falls asleep in the Catskill Mountains and wakes up 20 years later-and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”-This is about the Headless Horseman. Now, you can tour his beloved home. You will learn about his writing background and his inspirations.
A guide will take you on a house tour. Make sure to take in the Hudson River views-Irving’s home is literally along the river and you will see a Metro-North train speeding past!
Practical Information: Sunnyside is open from May 1 to November 10. Their hours are 10 am to 5 pm Wednesday-Friday, and 9:30 am to 5 pm on weekends. Tours cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65+, $10 for students 18-25, and $6 for children 3-17. Infants under 3 are free. The address is 3 W Sunnyside Lane, Irvington, NY 1053.
4. Union Church of Pocantico Hills
Yes, this is not an estate like the previous three attractions. But its history and interior are stunning. John D. Rockefeller built this church in 1921. It is a very special place- Henri Matisse created the Rose Windows, and Marc Chagall created the nine windows!
You can walk around the church on your own, but the 30-minute tours give more information on the talented Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall.
Practical Information: The church is open from 11 am to 5 pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It is open on Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Sundays from 2 pm to 5 pm. Admission is $7, and tours run every 30 minutes. The address is 555 Bedford Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591.