By Cliff Locke
I have to admit that fall is my favorite time of year. The brisk nights and the crisp air not only make it nice for an evening walk, but sitting around a fire in the backyard is also a fun time. The colors of the leaves in fall make for a cornucopia of awesomeness as you look over the valleys below. At least that’s what it’s like if you’re visiting the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York.
Why wouldn’t you visit in October? After all it’s where Halloween found its “scary” start! A stop in Tarrytown is on the list of scary things to do. Washington Irving’s home is a great place to begin our color tour. Built in 1835 this Dutch Colonial Revival home features many of Irving’s possessions, this rare glimpse at the man who wrote The Headless Horseman is sure to stir up a scary afternoon!! You’ll also want to visit the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and the Headless Horseman Bridge.
There are many quaint eateries and shops in the area that you could spend days just eating and shopping! But we are on our way to the past… 1750’s to be exact!! The next stop is Philipsburg Manor. This manor was established in 1693 and was active until 1779. Period dressed presenters tell of life at the manor. You can buy four ground at the gristmill and take a stroll through the herb garden.
We begin our morning early, we have a lot to see and do after staying in the 1700’s home, now a bed and breakfast. While I was in our room I thought to myself, Did George Washington sleep here? We drive north through small burgs on winding roads, sometimes forgetting that I am in the United States and thinking it feels more like Great Britain! The history of the area is rich and I want to stop at every point of interest, and there are many. Washington’s Headquarters’ State Park, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Home, The Vanderbilt Mansion, Mills Mansion, Kykuit House and Lyndhurst just to name a few. The fall colors beckon me to stop and take pictures to share with my many friends, but I am on a mission. A mission to get to my favorite artist’s home.
We finally arrive at Olana, the home of Frederic Edwin Church, one of the Hudson River valley artists. In 1869 Church and his wife returned home from an 18 month trip to the Middle East and Europe and decided to build a Persian inspired home. The home is perched high on a hill and overlooks the Hudson River and is surrounded by colorful foliage and wildlife. The inside of the home is filled with many of the original furnishings and artwork. It is definitely a must see on any trip to the area.
I am reminded every time I visit the area, everything this beautiful country of ours has to offer. Even though I love traveling overseas, it’s always wonderful to see what America has to offer. The vibrant colors, the awe inspiring waterfalls, the rich history makes me glad to call America my home!