Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Near Philipsburg Manor, in a gorgeous natural setting, is Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, 85 peaceful acres where several famous former residents of the Lower Hudson River Valley, including Andrew Carnegie, William Rockefeller, and Washington Irving, are buried. (Alas, you won't find either the Headless Horseman or Ichabod Crane, both fictional characters, entombed here.) The cemetery, on the east side of Route 9 just north of Tarrytown and the town of Sleepy Hollow, is open to the public; call tel. 914/631-0081 or visit www.sleepyhollowcemetery.org for more information. It's open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm and weekends from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
Constitution Island/Warner House
From the end of June to the beginning of October, visitors to West Point can take a ferry out to Constitution Island, nearly forgotten in the middle of the Hudson River, 900 feet east of the military academy. The tiny island (287 acres) is home to the 1836 Warner mansion, the fully furnished Victorian home of the writers Susan and Anna Warner (Susan was the author of the million-selling Wide, Wide World), and Revolutionary War ruins of Fort Constitution (chains were floated across the Hudson here to delay advancing British troops). The sisters, who never married, lived on the island until their deaths (they are buried at West Point Cemetery). Costumed docents lead visitors on a most unexpected view of American history from the middle of one of its most historic rivers, and kids love it. Reservations are essential, as tours are limited to 40 people; ferries leave from the South Dock at West Point. Tours are given Wednesday and Thursday from the last week in June to October 1 at 1 and 2pm; www.constitutionisland.org. Admission is $10 adults, $9 seniors and children ages 6 to 16, free for children 5 and under. Tours last 2 hours, 15 minutes. For reservations and information, call tel. 845/446-8676.
East Side of the Hudson
Don't miss Cold Spring, one of the Hudson's most adorable waterfront towns located in Putnam County about an hour north of New York City. You'll find inviting views of the river, and a main street chockablock with antiques dealers, inns, cafes, and restaurants in Victorian cottages. Head 9 miles north on Route 9D, after the Bear Mountain Bridge.
Especially for Kids
The Lower Hudson Valley has a number of great activities for families and kids. Tops is Bear Mountain State Park: In addition to its zoo, swimming lake and pool, ice-skating rink, and hiking trails, it has added an incredible $3-million carousel; the carved animals aren't just horses, but bobcats, rabbits, and bears -- animals found in the park. The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers is a favorite of kids for its state-of-the-art planetarium. Although contemporary sculpture might not sound like most kids' idea of fun, the Storm King Art Center, with 100 monumental pieces spread over 500 beautiful acres, is a blast for children, who may have a more intuitive understanding of the works than their parents! Several of the historic houses and estates along the river are entertaining for children. Interpreters in period dress at Sunnyside, Van Cortland Manor, and Philipsburg Manor are entertaining and educational; the latter, a working farm that aims to present history lessons through actors and demonstrations, is particularly eye-opening. Occasional activities at Lyndhurst, such as vintage "base ball" games, should also delight kids.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.