Season Opens Soon at Kykuit, Westchester’s ‘Must-Do’ Attraction

KykuitKykuit, the six-story stone house and rolling hilltop estate that served as home to four generations of Rockefellers, opens to visitors for the season on Saturday, May 7. The Kykuit season runs through Nov. 6. Tours are available daily except Tuesdays.

Consistently rated the top visitor attraction in the lower Hudson Valley, Kykuit features grand architecture, world-class art, and elaborate gardens. Westchester Magazine includes a visit on its “must-do” list, calling the site “spectacular indoors and out.” It includes this six-story stone house, expansive terraced gardens, art galleries, outdoor sculpture, commanding Hudson River views, and much more.

Kykuit means “lookout” in Dutch, owing to its hilltop location overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades. Visitors learn the story of the Rockefellers, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, whose business acumen made him the richest man in America in his day. He later became the country’s first great philanthropist. By his death in 1937, he had given more than half his fortune to various philanthropic programs.

Visitors can choose from four tours: Classic, Grand, Timesaver, and Selected Highlights.

The Classic, ideal for first-time visitors, is a shorter experience than the comprehensive three-hour Grand. Besides the mansion, both of these tours include visits to Kykuit’s art galleries, terraced gardens, and Coach Barn, with its collection of horse-drawn carriages, vintage automobiles, and equestrian equipment. The 90-minute Timesaver is ideal for those on tighter schedules, while Selected Highlights maximizes time in the estate’s gardens.

Visitors can buy their tickets online in advance, choosing the exact tour, time, and date they want to visit. Tickets are on sale now at www.hudsonvalley.org.

“Visitors tell us they really appreciate the opportunity to book tours in advance online. It makes planning your Kykuit visit very easy,” said Thom Thacker, director of the Kykuit visitation program for Historic Hudson Valley.

Historic Hudson Valley operates the public visitation program at Kykuit, a historic site of the National Trust operated and maintained by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as a center for its philanthropic programs.

Advanced ticket buying is strongly recommended, particularly for weekend tours, which fill up quickly. Besides online at www.hudsonvalley.org, tickets may be purchased by calling 914-631-8200 (service charge additional) or at the Kykuit Visitor Center at Philipsburg Manor, 381 North Broadway (Route 9) in Sleepy Hollow. All tours start at the Kykuit Visitor Center; doors open at 9 a.m. For information: www.hudsonvalley.org.
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About the Author: Rob Schweitzer