Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

Path to the Past

  |   October 31, 2018  |  Comment

With the colder weather forcing us indoors, fall and winter make a perfect time to tour the region’s historic manors. Not only will you learn about the rich past of this land, but the lavish decor will put you right in the holiday spirit.

Time travel back to the Gilded Age at Mills Mansion in Staatsburg. Like many of the other estates in the area, it was built during the nation’s rapid economic growth of the late 19th century. Attend educational programs and seasonal events there—or simply tour the house and soak in the beauty of it all.

Head to Hudson and visit Olana, the home of Frederic Church. Set on a hillside with sweeping vistas of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains beyond, it’s no wonder why the Hudson River School painter chose this site for his estate. You won’t want to blink during the whole tour—the home is overflowing with fine Victorian intricacies of architecture and decor.

Across the river in Catskill, you can tour the home of Church’s mentor, Thomas Cole. The eponymous historic site teaches about the prominent, 19-century painter’s life and legacy. Cole launched the Hudson River School of painting, a great feat for American art.

Vanderbilt Mansion is one of the oldest, most popular Hudson River estates. The national historic site in Hyde Park boasts over 200 acres of preserved land with the 54-room mansion as the crown jewel. Every year the majestic house and grounds are decorated spectacularly for the holidays.

For a fun double-header, check out his-and-hers historic homes. Learn all about President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt when you visit the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and nearby Val-Kill. While the latter is significantly more modest, both homes offer insight into this couple’s impactful lives of service.

In nearby Rhinebeck, tour Wilderstein, the 1888 home of FDR’s cousin Daisy Suckley. The Queen-Anne-style country house is charming on its own, but wait until celebrated florists and designers give it a holiday treatment this winter.

You have through October to visit Mount Gulian, a quaint, stone Colonial in Fishkill with an 18th-century Dutch barn and garden. The site offers educational information about the Native Americans of the region, Dutch settlers and colonial life, and the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

First settled in the 1680s, the Bevier House in Marbletown is chock full of historical artifacts. The house museum and library hold the largest collection of Civil War artifacts on public display in Ulster County and the most extensive collection of farm and homestead equipment in the Hudson Valley.



Pictured above: Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg. Photo by Karl Rabe.

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