10 Great Reasons for History Buffs to Visit the Olde Rhinebeck Inn

by | Dec 26, 2017 | Blog | 0 comments

Statue - Olde Rhinebeck Inn
The Hudson Valley is steeped in history, from the original Dutch settlers who set up trading outposts in the 1600s, to it going through a time as an agricultural hub, to it being a train and river thoroughfare during the industrial revolution. During the early 1800s, the Valley experienced a tourism boom as tourists could travel to it easily from New York City.

In the last few decades, the Hudson Valley has emerged as a major wine lovers destination location with the Shawangunk Wine Trail and many other’s being developed. For more information about the more than 40 wineries, distilleries, and cideries in the valley, please visit Hudson Valley Wine Country. Wine making is not new to the Hudson Valley because it is actually one of oldest wine making and grape-growing regions in the United States, with history dating back to the mid 1600s.

The Hudson Valley also has a long history of political beginnings, and endings as well, with many of the historic estates in the Valley having been home for political dignitaries, presidents, inventors and famous artists. The Valley has hundreds of historic sites, monuments and estates for history buffs to fulfil their quota of history, while at the same time enjoying everything else the Hudson Valley has to offer.

While the Hudson Valley itself has almost 30 historic mansions and estates to visit, here are ten that are about a half an hour or under drive when visiting the inn. Some of the mansions are seasonal and they change their hours seasonally, so we would commend calling or visiting their websites in advance to be sure they are open for tours.

Staatsburgh State Historic Site (12 Minutes from the Inn)
75 Mills Mansion 1 Rd, Staatsburg, NY
Staatsburgh is one of the Valley’ s most impressive mansions. The house was constructed in the 1890s by the NYC architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White for Ogden Mills and his wife Ruth Livingston Mills.  Originally the home had 25 rooms and the firm expanded it to an amazing 65 rooms and 14 bathrooms. The mansion and 192 acres were donated to the state of New York In 1938.  Check out a video of the property.

Wilderstein Historic Site (15 Minutes from the Inn)
330 Morton Rd, Rhinebeck, NY
The Wilderstein estate was designed by architect John Warren Ritch in 1852 for Thomas Suckley, a descendant of the Livingston and Beekman families. Suckley named the property “Wilderstein” meaning “wild man stone”, inspired by a 
nearby Indian petroglyph. The site sits on over 40 acres overlooking the Hudson River with a 3 mile trail system traversing the property, the trail takes about an hour to hike. Check out a video of the property.

Montgomery Place Historic Estate (16 Minutes from the Inn)
26 Gardener Way, Red Hook, NY
Montgomery Place was constructed in 1803, and is a 380-acre estate adjacent to the main Bard College campus and overlooking the Hudson River. It has been designated National Historic Landmark.  The estate was originally owned by members of the Livingston family from 1802 until the 1980s. In 1986, Livingston heir John Dennis Delafield transferred the estate to Historic Hudson Valley, who maintained it until 2016, when Bard College acquired the property. Check out a video of the property.

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site (17 Minutes from the Inn)
119 Vanderbilt Park Rd, Hyde Park, NY
The Vanderbilt estate is one of the oldest Hudson Valley estates. Most of the over 200 acres and the historic buildings on the estate are open to the public as the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt purchased Hyde Park in May 1895 after the property went through several owners.  The house was designed and built between 1896–1899, and was primarily used as a vacation home for Frederick Vanderbilt’s family after it was purchased.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt convinced the Vanderbilts to donate the property to the National Park Service.  Check out a video of the property.

Springwood, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site (17 Minutes from the Inn)
4097 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY
The Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site is home to Springwood, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s birthplace, life long home, and final resting place. The estate, located in Hyde Park, was purchased by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s father, James, in 1866. In 1943, Franklin Delano Roosevelt donated Springwood to the American people and after his death it was transferred to the National Parks Service. Roosevelt started a large scale planting of trees on the estate and since then, more than 400,000 trees have been planted on the estate. Portions of the estate were turned into an experimental forestry station under an agreement with the Forestry Department of the Syracuse University. Check out a video of the property.

Eleanor Roosevelt Center-Val-Kill (18 Minutes from the Inn)
106 Valkill Park Rd, Hyde Park, NY
Val-Kill was home to Eleanor Roosevelt after Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed away. It is currently operated by the National Parks Service under the name the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, and is the only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady. It was established as a National Park site in 1977 by the U.S. Congress to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Mrs. Roosevelt. Once part of the larger Roosevelt family estate in Hyde Park, New York, the property includes over 181 acres of buildings and other historic features.

Clermont Estate (24 Minutes from the Inn)
1 Clermont Ave, Germantown, NY
The original Clermont mansion was built by Robert Livingston between 1740 and 1750, on land inherited from his father Robert Livingston, the First Lord of Livingston Manor.  The original house was burned to the ground by the British, because Margaret Beekman Livingston refused to help them during the Revolutionary War.  The current site has the rebuilt mansion and over 500 acres of landscaped gardens, meadow and woodlands.  Check out a video of the property.

Locust Grove Estate (29 Minutes from the Inn)
2683 South Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY
Overlooking the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie New York, the 200-acre Locust Grove Estate has miles of carriage roads, landscaped grounds, historic gardens and Hudson River views including an independent not-for-profit museum and nature preserve originally established by Annette Innis Young. Locust Grove’s most famous resident was Samuel F. B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code. Check out a video of the property.

Olana State Historic Site (34 Minutes from the Inn)
5720 NY-9G, Hudson, NY
Olana State Historic Site, the home and studio of famed Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church, is a historic site administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, It is a National Historic Landmark and one of the most visited sites in the state.  The house is located on a 250-acre estate with gorgeous views of the Hudson Valley that Church regularly painted over his lifetime. Dozens of paintings by Church and other Hudson River artists are on display. Check out a video of The Saving of Olana, An American Treasure.

Cedar Grove Estate - Olde Rhinebeck Inn

Cedar Grove Estate (34 Minutes from the Inn)

218 Spring Street, Catskill, NY



The Thomas Cole National Historic Site preserves the home and studios of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the nation’s first major art movement. Cedar Grove belonged to Cole’s uncle-in-law, John A. Thomson, who rented and then sold Cole the property for a house and studio. Cole painted some of his most famous paintings on the site. A selection of paintings and studio materials are on display to visitors. Check out a video by the National Parks about Cedar Grove.

For additional information about more historical sites please visit:

Historic Hudson Valley  

Great Estates of the Hudson Valley

27 Historic Estates to Visit in New York’s Hudson Valley


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