Sometimes we just want to escape the city for a day, or take a weekend getaway. Many people don’t realize there are quick day trips that can be made using Amtrak or the Metro North railroad. One of these is Tarrytown which is also known as Sleepy Hallow. It’s only around a 45 minute ride a bit north of NYC. The train fare is affordable, there are many things to see and do in the area, good places to eat, and you really don’t need a car to get around as there is a local taxi service to use.
I recently watched a series on the History Channel titled “The Men Who Built America“. It was a facinating look at the powerful men of the industrial age of this country who forged companies that became behemoths, monopolies, and made them wealthy beyond comprehension. Sure, none of these men were saints, and all were cut-throat, but they helped America become the world’s premier industrialized nation at the time. One of these men was John D. Rockefeller and his amazing family estate is open for tours.
Kykuit – The John D. Rockefeller Estate
Definitely a must-see if you are a history buff. It’s like stepping back into the gilded age, and is the closest you will see to one of the American millionaire’s mansions from an era long gone. Plus, it’s a lot closer and easier than heading up to Rhode Island to view all the gilded age mansions from an era before income taxes on the rich.
With the classic tour clocking in at 2 1/2 hours for $28 you receive an expertly guided excursion of the main level of the home and the grounds. You also get to see the lower level of the house with includes an amazing collection of art that rivals what you will find in major museums – Picasso, Warhol, and many other artists from the well known to the obscure. The whole mansion houses all types of art from paintings to sculptures to Asian artifacts dating back to the Ming dynasty or older, including the beautifully manicured grounds. Art is everywhere, and the collection is absolutely priceless.
The tour also included a trip to the stables and garage which houses a wonderful collection of antique sleds and horse drawn carriages. The garage has an awe inspiring collection of classic cars that will blow you away if you are a car buff. Just ridiculous.
The Rockefeller family has a very interesting background, as each generation that lived here had it’s good and bad about them. They were oil barons and art collectors that amassed a fortune not even rivaled by today’s richest men. One thing that surprised me most was the massive amount of money they gave away to charities and philanthropic pursuits. From starting up colleges, to equal rights, to medical research, to countless others it was staggering.
This is a terrific mansion tour that is best done on a dry sunny day as the views are magnificent, and the grounds are something to admire. Our tour guide Peter was the best – funny and informative. He was like a comedian savant and kept the tour interesting if rousing. He knew his stuff and would constantly quiz us with trivia questions and award us energetically with candy if we got it right. This was too funny as were we battling kids to get that candy! Very passionate and we learned a lot from him.
So easy to get to as it’s just a short train ride to the Tarrytown station. It makes for a great day trip and then dinner in town on main street. There is a shuttle service from the visitors center that provides transportation to and from the mansion. We learned that the cost of the tickets actually goes to the care and maintaining of the shuttles. It’s a good use of the fee, and totally worth the admission and guided tour.
A few links to use for info, travel, and tour packages –
15 thoughts on “Looking for something to do near NYC? A quick day trip to Tarrytown.”
That is looks like an awesome thing to do. You need think about what is outside of NYC when you come to your great state. I will definitely bookmark this. We are always looking for new things to do. Thank you for this great information.
We actually spent a weekend up there. So quick and easy to get to. There is a lot to see and do. Places to eat, things to see, tours, historic sights, and on many weekends they have street fairs on Main Street. Check out my Yelp list below of spots I reviewed in Tarrytown/Sleepy Hallow.
If its a nice sunny weekend definitely eat outside at the Greek place, grab a cup of amazing cappuccino at the coffee shop, then finish off with homemade ice cream a few doors down.
I’m not mad about cars but the photo you put up had my interest. I would have loved to go for a drive in that.
Sounds like you had a very good time there, and the guide kept you well entertained and it’s better when someone else can answer all your questions there and then.
Hey Rum Punch!
Thanks for reading. It’s a wonderful tour. The whole room was filled with over a dozen amazing old cars. The whole mansion is amazing and a must see if in the area.
Thanks for the pingback Coleen! 🙂
Tarrytown owes you a kickback! Looks like a great getaway!
thanks for the info. . . might need a pre-cruise getaway!
Stacey and I did a weekend getaway there and had a great time! So much to see and do. Good places to eat at, and nice people.
I have a whole list on Yelp – check it out. Easy to get to and you don’t need a car. Maybe we can all go up there for an overnight stay?
This is interesting. I would like to see the millionaire mansions one day. Are there any buses that would take people from N.Y.C. to the boardwalks to places like at Atlantic City or to Seaside Heights?
Yes, there are buses out of the Port Authority that head to Atlantic City daily. Not sure about Seaside Heights. I think they are still rebuilding anyway and might have the Boardwalk ready for Memorial Day. Try Point Pleasant instead. It’s a bit closer to NYC and not as much of a rowdy scene.
I watched that series too 🙂 Looks like a fun trip, my husband is a huge history buff so this would be right up his alley!
It’s such a nice town to visit. Sleepy Hallow/Tarrytown has a lot to see. There are tours of a few of the homes and mansions there, Sleepy Hallow Cemetery tours, a nice stretch along Main St with shops, places to eat, coffee shop, ice cream, and more. Many street fairs there on weekends with arts and crafts. We want to go back there for Halloween season as I heard it’s a lot of fun!
As great as New York City is, there are so many cool (and historical) destinations within just a few miles. The Vanderbilt mansion was one place I visited. Little museum, great view, a golf course on a hillside! Quiet, peaceful and a break from living in the big pinball machine.
That is true! Another reason to take mass transit to explore these spots. So many places I have yet to explore, and people also forget there is a lot upstate that is a quick ride away by car, bus, or train.