Aerial view of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park
The lower Hudson Valley is a treasure trove of historic houses with connections to some of America’s most illustrious families. It’s also a destination that lures serious diners to the region’s most intriguing spots—as well as the mecca of the food world, The Culinary Institute of America. There’s no better time to visit the area than early autumn, when vivid trees line the river’s shore and the bounty of farm-to-table produce is at its height. Savor it all in a 3-day excursion led by Bill Keene, a lecturer in history, urban studies, and architecture.
The itinerary includes a visit to Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate in Sleepy Hollow. The beautiful six-story stone house in Beaux-Arts style offers dazzling Hudson Valley views from grounds filled with expansive planted terraces, garden ornaments, and many fountains. Nelson A. Rockefeller’s 20th-century art and sculpture collection, featuring works by Moore, Calder, Picasso, Warhol, and many others, is one of the estate’s highlights. Afterward, visit the Union Church of Pocantino Hills, featuring dramatic stained glass windows by Matisse and Chagall.
Enjoy a guided tour of Springwood, the Hyde Park family estate where Franklin D. Roosevelt was born and that he always considered home. The elegant house’s art, furnishings, and memorabilia bring to life Roosevelt’s youth, the years in which he and Eleanor raised their children, and the period when Springwood became a cherished refuge during his presidency. The visit includes time on your own to visit FDR’s presidential library and museum. At the nearby Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, tour Val-Kil Cottage, the first lady’s beloved private getaway, which served as her permanent home after her husband’s death.
Step into the lavish height of the Gilded Age at the Vanderbilt Mansion, a masterpiece of American Beaux-Arts design by McKim, Mead & White. Set in 200 acres of the original early 19th-century property’s manicured landscapes, natural woodlands, and formal gardens, this 54-room country house offers a glimpse into the life of American millionaires during a period of unpreceded wealth and opulence.
A tour of the country’s leading training ground for chefs, The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, is the prelude to a lunch at the CIA’s Bocuse Restaurant. The restaurant spotlights traditional French regional fare and classics re-imagined through the lens of modern techniques, served in a striking, light-filled contemporary setting.
Take in the spectacular vistas from the Walkway Over the Hudson. At 212 feet above the river, this 1.28-mile linear park boasts scenic views north to the Catskills and south to the Hudson Highlands.
Accommodations are in Poughkeepsie, New York. Dinner on Sunday is as Cosimo’s Trattoria, a regional favorite with ingredients sourced from Hudson Valley farms. Free time early Monday evening offers the chance to discover the wealth of history, shopping, and dining choices in Rhinebeck, a place with a growing reputation as an outstanding restaurant town.
- Cost includes bus transportation, lodging, all activities, and the following meals: two breakfasts, three lunches, and one dinner.
- Tour departs by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St., NW, with a pickup stop at 1-495 Exit 27 at approximately 7:25 a.m.
- Single-room supplement $180 (factored into the Single Room Member and Single Room Non-Member pricing).
- Singles registering at the double-room rate are paired (on a nonsmoking basis) if possible, but must pay the single-room supplement otherwise.
- Detailed information is mailed to registrants about four weeks prior to departure.
- Registrants may want to consider purchasing trip insurance.
Detailed information for overnight tours
is mailed approximately FOUR WEEKS
prior to departure.