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Great Estates Region: Two day itinerary


The "Great Estates Region" is a section of the Hudson River Valley famous for the estates established along the east bank of the river in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Time: Approximately 90 minutes per stop

Itinerary begins from the south

  1. At the south end, begin with Locust Grove Estate designed by A.J. Davis for the painter/inventor Samuel F. B. Morse. This was the first Hudson River estate to be designated a National Historic Landmark (in 1963). 
  2. Travel north to Hyde Park, where you could spend a half day or more visiting the landmarks associated with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. A handsome new Wallace Visitor Center that opened in 2003 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum is the place to start your Hyde Park tour. The LIbrary and Museum contains FDR's official papers and is located near the Home of FDR. 
  3. Next, don't miss McKim, Mead, and White's gilded age Vanderbilt Mansion. The Vanderbilt Mansion is a monument to the opulence of the Gilded Age. Its 212-acre grounds also afford stunning views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. 
  4. Continuing north from Hyde Park is the Stanford White-designed mansion called Staatsburgh built for the Mills family. Staatsburgh marries the history of one of New York's oldest families and the Gilded age, with impressive views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. 
  5. Just south of Rhinebeck, stop at Wilderstein, a classic Victorian archetype with a Calvert Vaux-designed landscape. Wilderstein is a fine Queen Anne style mansion, and its 40-acre grounds afford views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. 
  6. North of Rhinebeck, in the hamlet of Annandale-on-Hudson, is Montgomery Place, a restored, A.J. Davis-designed masterpiece on 450 unspoiled riverfront acres. Next door is Bard College, with its new Performing Arts Center by celebrated architect Frank Gehry.

Montgomery Place

Photo courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley
    Montgomery Place is a well-preserved country estate with furnishings reflecting 180 years of continuous occupancy by Livingston family descendants.
Clermont, the Livingston family estate in Germantown, is just a few minutes away from Montgomery Place

Photo courtesy of Clermont
    Clermont offers a glimpse into seven generations of the Livingston family, and this 500-acre estate affords fine views of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River.
A bit farther north is Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church's remarkable Olana and its unbeatable Hudson River Valley views. Staatsburgh, Clermont and Olana are also state parks, but picnickers are welcome everywhere.

Courtesy of the Poughkeepsie Journal
    Olana was the estate of artist Frederic Edwin Church, one of the most important Hudson River painters. His Persian-style villa and its landscaped grounds are landmarks in American art.
 The Beekman Arms is located in the attractive village of Rhinebeck, along with any number of appealing bed and breakfast spots, are recommended for lodging. The numerous roadside farm-stands and pick-your-own establishments complete the "great estates" experience.

Driving Directions

Stop One

Locust Grove
2683 South Road (Route 9)
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 454-4500

Locust Grove is located in Poughkeepsie, New York 2 miles south of the Mid-Hudson Bridge on Route 9. Directions

Stop Two

FDR Presidential Library & Museum
4079 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
(845) 486-7770

From Locust Grove, proceed North on Route 9 (Albany Post Road) to Hyde Park. The new Wallace Visitor center will be on your left at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum and is the first stop for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt sites.

Stop Three

Vanderbilt Mansion
Route 9
Hyde Park, NY 12538
(845) 229-9115

From the Wallace Visitor Center, turn left and proceed north approximately two mile on Route 9. Vanderbilt Mansion will be on your left.

Stop Four

Staatsburgh (Mills Mansion)
Old Post Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
(845) 889-8851

From Vanderbilt Mansion, make a left on Route 9 and proceed north for approximately 4 miles. Make a left (fork in the road) onto Old Post Road and proceed through the village of Staatsburg. The entrance to Staatsburgh (Mills Mansion) will be on your left.

Stop 5

330 Morton Road
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
(845) 876-4818

Proceed left out of the Staatsburgh driveway onto Old Post Road and proceed to Albany Post Road. (Route 9) Make a left on Albany Post Road and proceed less than one mile. Make a left on to S. Mill Road. Proceed 2.1 miles and make a left on Morton Road. Proceed .3 miles to Wilderstein.

Stop Six

Montgomery Place
River Road
Route 103
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
(845) 758-5461

From Wilderstein, retrace your steps back to Albany Post Road (Route 9) and proceed north. Make a left turn on to Route 9G and follow it to Route 199. Turn left on to Route 199 and proceed towards the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge. Prior to the bridge, make right turn on to River Road (Route 103) and proceed to Montgomery Place.

Stop Seven

One Clermont Avenue
Germantown, NY 12526
(518) 537-4240

From Montgomery Place, proceed North on Route 103. Make a left turn onto Route 9G and proceed north. Make a left turn onto Columbia County Route 6 and follow signs to Clermont.

Stop Eight

5720 Route 9G
Hudson, NY 12534
(518) 828-0135

From Clermont follow County Route 6 back to Route 9G and proceed north. Olana entrance will be on your right. Olana is located on Route 9G just prior to Route 23 and south of the Rip Van Winkle bridge.
Mid-Hudson Map