I enjoy visiting Hyde Park, particularly in December, when the town shops and historic sites are beautifully decorated for the holidays. Here the main gates to the Vanderbilt Mansion are suitably cheery.
Hyde Park boasts a number of historic sites, including the Franklin Delano Roosevelt home and library, Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage, Valkill, and my favorite, Locust Grove, the estate of inventor and artist, Samuel Morse (of Morse code fame). But the grandest estate is, of course, the Gilded Age mansion built by Frederick Vanderbilt around the turn of the last century.
The Vanderbilt estate sits high above the Hudson River, and the views looking west to the Catskills are gorgeous. It is easy to see what inspired the Hudson River School painters.
Inside, the mansion is rather too grand and dark for my taste, but still great fun to see, and imagine life as it was lived by the very wealthy. Perhaps I am not being fair as it can't have been as dark as it appears now, with the window shades drawn to protect the rugs, tapestries, and furniture from the strong sunlight. So perhaps, despite all the stone and marble and castle-like feeling, it was a light filled place!
Here is the large formal parlor decorated for Christmas.
And this is the bedroom of Mrs. Louise Vanderbilt, which was modeled on Marie Antoinette's bed chamber at Versailles. Notice the railing around the bed!
Spending as much time in the kitchen as I do, preparing breakfast for my guests, I particularly enjoyed seeing the large kitchen in the basement of the mansion. What gorgeous copper pots. Our tour guide told us one can arrange for a special hour and a half tour of the servants quarters on the third floor, and rest of this basement area with the laundry facilities, servant's dining hall, etc. I want to do that on my next visit.
Hyde Park is just about one hour south of the Inn at Green River, so you might plan to stop there for lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, and tour one or two of the grand estates on your next trip up to the Inn. I'll make reservations for you at the CIA!