Aerial view of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park (Dutchess County Tourism)
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 (CIA). 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.
Begin with a visit to Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate in Sleepy Hollow. The beautiful six-story stone house in Beaux-Arts style offers spectacular 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.
A tour of the country’s leading training ground for chefs, The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, is the prelude to a 4-course regional Italian dinner at the CIA’s Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, a sophisticated dining room overlooking a stunning herb and rose garden and the Hudson River.
Insalada di Radicchio
Salad of radicchio, endive, pears, pecorino, and walnuts
Risotto ai Funghi
Risotto, mixed wild mushrooms
Brasato con Polenta
Braised beef, polenta, small vegetables
Strudel di Mele e Noci
Strudel with apples, walnuts, Chantilly cream
Coffee, Tea, or Iced Tea
Start the next morning with a guided tour of Springwood, the Hyde Park family estate where Franklin D. Roosevelt was born and that he always considered home—and that became the site of the first presidential library. The elegant house’s art, furnishings, and memorabilia bring to life FDR’s youth, the years in which he and Eleanor raised their children, and the period when Springwood became a cherished refuge during his presidency.
Then 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.
Spend an evening on your own discovering the wealth of dining choices in Rhinebeck, New York, a place with a growing reputation as an outstanding restaurant town.
Before returning home, pay a visit to Val-Kil, Eleanor Roosevelt’s beloved cottage on the family’s Hyde Park estate. The modest house was her retreat, as well as her place to work and write, entertain friends, strategize with other women in Democratic politics, and it became her permanent home after her husband’s death.
- Cost includes 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. For immediate questions
please call 202-633-8647