Grand Central Terminal. Despite all the steel-and-glass skyscrapers in New York, there are still many historic marvels standing, and the best is this Beaux Arts gem. This railroad station, built in 1913, was restored in the 1990s to recapture its brilliance. Even if you don't have to catch a train, make sure you visit.
Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay: Theodore Roosevelt's summer White House still stands out on his beloved stretch of earth overlooking Long Island Sound. The decor of this 23-room Victorian estate reflects the president's travels with the Rough Riders; it's jammed with animal skins, heads, and exotic treasures from East Africa to the Amazon.
Hudson Valley's Great Estates: American history was made up and down the Hudson River, and not just at Revolutionary War battle sites. The grand estates of important literary figures, railroad magnates, and finance barons -- including Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow, the Lyndhurst Estate, the Rockefeller Family's Kykuit Estate, and the Vanderbilt Mansion -- are lasting portraits of a young country's great expansion and riches at the height of the Industrial Age. History lessons that go to the core of the country's development are sensitively presented at the Philipsburg Manor, an 18th-century farm that serves as a living-history museum about slavery in the North, while the FDR Presidential Library and Home and Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill Cottage in Hyde Park document another crucial period in the country's more recent history.
Huguenot Street Stone Houses, New Paltz: Founded in 1678, New Paltz is built around one of the oldest streets of surviving stone houses in North America. Along Huguenot Street are a half-dozen original Colonial-era stone houses built by French religious refugees, the Protestant Huguenots. The earliest was built in 1692, and all have been restored with period furnishings and heirlooms and operate as house museums (but guided tours of the houses are conducted in summer months only).
Seneca Falls: The small town of Seneca Falls is where the women's and civil rights movements got their start in the mid-19th century. The first Women's Rights Convention was held here in 1848, and today the Women's Rights National Historical Park has a museum erected next to the chapel where brave activists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Frederick Douglass formalized the women's rights and abolitionist movements that would ultimately redefine the concept of individual liberty. Other important historic sites in the area, such as the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, are part of a "Women's Rights Trail."
Great Camp Sagamore: Back when wealthy industrialists were exploring the concept of leisure travel, they discovered the Adirondacks. Of course, "roughing it" to the Vanderbilts wasn't exactly sleeping in a lean-to. This camp, 4 miles south of Raquette Lake, is a 27-building "Great Camp" filled with rustic luxury -- there's even a bowling alley. Today, you can check out what this camp in the woods was all about.
Downtown Buffalo: It's hard to believe that 100 years ago, this area was home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. Fortunately, those wealthy industrialists left behind a wonderful architectural legacy, and buildings designed by the likes of E. B. Green and H. H. Richardson still grace the city's skyline. From City Hall to the amazing Ellicott Square building, it's worth walking around downtown and checking out the sites.
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