Historically known as Hyde Park, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is one of the region’s oldest Hudson River estates. For nearly two centuries, this place has been home to socially prominent New Yorkers. A superb example of its type, Hyde Park represents the domestic ideal of the elite class in the late nineteenth-century America. It provides a glimpse of estate life, the social stratification of the period, and the world of the American millionaire during the era historians refer to as the Gilded Age.

The National Park Service preserves over 200 acres of the original property, including historic buildings, original furnishings, manicured landscapes, natural woodlands, formal gardens and associated documents. The centerpiece of the estate is the mansion, a masterpiece of American Beaux-Arts design by the distinguished architectural firm McKim, Mead & White.

The grounds are dog-friendly, and you can picnic at a table near the Italian Gardens or on sitting on a bench overlooking the Hudson River. The grounds are dotted with many amazing 100+-year-old trees and there are beautiful views in every direction. Dogs can not enter the mansion or outbuildings, but it might be worth taking turns if you are there with 2 people or a group. We were lucky enough to arrive just as a tour was starting and stood under a tree and listened to a 20 minute talk about the Vanderbilts and the grounds.

I did go into the Museum and Gift Shop which was originally the Bachelor’s Quarters. This is another beautiful building with an interesting historical exhibit and an excellent selection of books on the Vanderbilt’s and the Gilded Age, as well and historically themed home decor objects and toys.

Address: 119 Vanderbilt Park Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538


History and hours retrieved from National Park Service