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.
635 S. Broadway
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
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
100 King St.
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.
110 Main St.
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.
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.