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Historic Day Trips in the Hudson Valley

From centuries-old taverns to allegedly-haunted cemeteries, these historic landmarks and venues are in our backyard.

New Castle Historical Society
New Castle Historical Society

Written by Kathleen Reilly 

Getting out of the house and introducing the kids to a bit of history doesn't have to mean hours-long treks to Philadelphia, Boston or Colonial Williamsburg. The Lower Hudson Valley's historical sites can go toe-to-toe with the Liberty Bell and Boston Common—and don't necessitate three-digit gasoline bills and snails-pace traffic on I-84. The best part? You'll be able to get there on one tank of gas or less.


Lyndhurst

635 S. Broadway

Tarrytown

(914) 631-4481

Why Go? Designed in 1838 and the one-time residence to a slate of historic figures, Lyndhurst conserves the architecture and ambiance of a century long-gone. "We keep our programs robust, from the decorations to the costumes," said Preservation Manager Krystyn Hastings.

Insider Tip: You can pay a $5 grounds fee, and later use that money toward a guided tour or gift shop purchase.

Must Do: A compelling sartorial exhibit where guests can check out 19th century French clothes on display. 

The Fine Print: Guided mansion tours run Thursday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $18. 


Horace Greeley House

100 King St.

Chappaqua

(914) 238-4666

Why Go? The former home of Horace Greeley, a 19th-century politician, features historical exhibits with deep local ties. "The house is decorated in the style of the Greeley family from 1864 to 1875, when they lived here," said Betsy Towl, the site's executive director.

Insider Tip: The house and New Castle Historical Society, which operates it, draw their funds through an annual antique fair, which has a tremendous historical value in its own right. 

Must Do: Check out the two exhibits currently running through the end of the year: "Downton Choppy," which features the historical society's clothing collection from the 1920s and 1930s, and "Our Founding Farms," which spotlights the history of local farms.

The Fine Print: Hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.


The Old 76 House

110 Main St.

Tappan

(845) 359-5476

Why Go? Built in 1668, the 76 House is brimming with Revolutionary-era decor, like creaking wood floors, neck-high fireplaces and hearty fare. There's a children's menu, too, and a historic cemetery across the street.

Insider Tip: A few of the tables feature old-timey armchairs instead of traditional restaurant seating. Ask for them when making reservations.

Must Do: Ask your waiter who else has stopped by over the years. "Previous guests include Alexander Hamilton and Henry Livingston," said General Manager Rudy Zayas, 

The Fine Print: Dinner is served Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Check the website for brunch and lunch hours. Entrees are in the $20 to $40 range.


Sleepy Hollow Cemetery 

540 North Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY

Why Go: Stone structures and age-old mausoleums alone make this a historic site, but its role in Washington Irving's classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow casts it as, arguably, the most historic venue around. 

Insider Tip: "We encourage people to book ahead of time, since we can sell out," said Christina Orban-La Salle, director of visitor services.

Must Do: Check out the areas mentioned in Irving’s story.  

The Fine Print: Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can grab free maps, or purchase more detailed maps from the cemetery office for $5. Tour schedules are listed on the cemetery's website, and tours cost $24.99. 

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