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Olana State Historic Site, Hudson

(4.4/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
Former home of American landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church, Olana State Historic Site, features a Persian-inspired mansion replete with art exhibits and wide-open views of the Hudson River Valley. Nestled in 100 hectares (250 acres) of natural landscape, the mansion boasts brick, wood, slate, and ceramic exterior of an asymmetrical and irregular silhouette. Take a guided tour of the house and grounds--thought to be among the most intact art designed landscapes in the United States--to admire its striking design, including amber-boarded windows and golden natural lighting. You'll have the opportunity to follow 8 km (5 mi) of garden roads, which will lead you through native woodlands, meadows, orchards, and a lake setting. Plan to visit Olana State Historic Site during your Hudson vacation using our convenient Hudson trip generator.
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  • Another example of the rich history in this area. Reserve a spot on a tour so you can see the inside of the house, which is just as awesome as the outside. 
  • Our tour guide, Kimberly, made the history of Olana come alive through her anecdotes and encyclopedic knowledge. And every nook and cranny of the house and grounds is filled with examples of Church's ...  more »
  • Great tours of the grounds and the house. Interesting history of the painter. Definitely worth multiple visits. 
  • My husband and I just made our second trip to Olana. I love the architecture, the colors used on the walls as well as the furnishings. It's a marvelous home on wonderful grounds with fabulous views. On my first visit I was so impressed with Church's studio. It really looked like Church could walk in and start painting. After that visit I would have given 5 stars, unfortunately, now I can only give it 3. Today his studio looks like a parlor with a few painting supplies scattered around. Very disappointing. I'd love to see the curators take out the piano and the sofa, put back the chaises and more of Church's painting paraphenalia. Still, it's worth visiting.
  • We had reservations for 4 people, arrived 5 min. before the scheduled appt. time, after driving for 90 min. to get there. The desk clerk was very smug; she informed us that she had given our reservations away since we weren't there 20 min. before our time. She said, in a self-important voice, several times, "I make the call, it's up to me to make the call and give away the reservations." She informed us that we should have paid attention to the 20 min. notice on the website. We asked for reservations for the next tour, an hour later, and were told that we would need to be there at 20 min. before the hour, as "It's up to me to make the call" about giving away reservations. We were there 25 min. before, but she waited until the next hour on the dot, then gave the reservations to the people, who arrived barely on time. She really was nasty; a real gate-keeper who was thrilled with her power to "make the call." The other clerk kept her head down the whole time. I was polite and explained we came from AZ, and had driven a long way, and were in fact there at 5 min. before the hour of our appt. She seemed delighted by her authority to cancel our reservations. We got to walk the grounds, and then left, without seeing the museum. This place needs a reservation system that allows for pre payment and a more polite receptionist!
  • A beautiful historic home and grounds. Worth the visit if you're in the area.
  • My husband and I stopped by the visitor's center this morning. The ladies working there continued their conversation without so much as looking in our direction even as we looked around the gift shop and went into the room where the film was being shown. Rude. Suggestion...when a visitor enters the visitor's center, greet them.
  • Wonderful grounds and some interest art and artefacts. The house itself is beautifully restored although still ongoing.