New York’s scenic Hudson Valley offers an abundance of places for all to enjoy, no matter their pleasure. There are farms, galleries, vineyards, orchards, mansions, antique shops, and boutiques. The area’s splendor and enchantment moved writers, artists, and even presidents. Many in the entertainment business continue to call it home.
Hudson Valley’s History
The valley is rich in history. Henry Hudson came upon it when he was seeking a quicker route to China. He obviously didn’t find China, but because the area and river carry his name, his story lives on. Certain Revolutionary War events also took place in the area, including those involving Benedict Arnold. Many of the Hudson Valley historical sites are close to one another, so they’re easy to visit. Most involve fascinating events and extraordinary people.
Washington Irving’s House
Washington Irving called his house Sunnyside. He’s best known for writing “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Check out the Headless Horseman Bridge and other sites associated with “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” including the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, the Old Dutch Burying Ground, and Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse. Mr. Irving incorporated these sites into his fictional story. At least they say it’s fictional. See the places and determine for yourself. In the daylight. Or, in the dark, if you dare.
Image via Flickr by Natalie Maynor
Four generations of the John D. Rockefeller family called the estate, known as Kykuit, home. Mr. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, was the world’s first billionaire — over 100 years ago. Imagine how much that would be worth today! He had a golf course built on the property, so he could play whenever he wanted. His son, Junior, collected modern art, sculptures, tapestries, and paintings. See the century-old property, which, in its day, was extremely modern.
Alexander Jackson Davis, one of the most celebrated architects of his generation, originally designed this 1838 mansion for mayor, William Paulding, Jr., who called it “Knoll.” In 1864, Davis doubled the size for its new owner, who retitled it “Lyndhurst,” after the ground’s Linden trees. Those old enough to recall the 1960s television series “Dark Shadows” might recall that Lyndhurst served as the Collinwood estate. If you visit, perhaps you’ll find vampire Barnabas Collins prowling about the hallways.
Union Church of Pocantico Hills
The Rockefeller family commissioned renowned artists to design this church’s magnificent stained glass windows. Henri Matisse’s “Rose Window” was his final masterpiece. Marc Chagall designed nine other windows. They all combine color, light, spirituality, and vision. See them and be moved.
These examples just touch on some of the Hudson Valley’s history. There’s so much more history to explore. If you go, there’s also a wide selection of affordable places to stay. The Hudson Valley offers so much. Stunning scenery, shopping, great places to eat, wine tasting, art, and museums. It attracts everyone, including those with fortunes and those seeking artistic inspiration. It also offers one-of-a-kind historical sites that are exciting and fun. You’ll never run out of things to do.