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“Beautiful place for a relaxing visit”

Olana State Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 29 things to do in Hudson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church designed Olana, his family home, studio, and estate, as an integrated environment embracing architecture, art, and landscape. Olana, a National Historic Landmark, is an icon of naturalistic landscape design, with five miles of carriage roads and a Persian-inspired house at its summit, embracing unrivaled panoramic views of the vast Hudson River Valley. Today, visitors can experience an array of activities, from meandering through the 250 acre artist designed landscape, to taking a tour of the house and surrounding landscape, to viewing the changing exhibitions both in the main house and a gallery devoted to contemporary photography. They can see a 17 minute award-winning video on the property and a permanent orientation exhibit. They can also participate in a variety of educational programs in the Wagon House Education Center, including a free backpack program that includes a variety of projects for children.
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Gorgeous architecture and picturesque park-like grounds to walk around. Great views of the Hudson and Catskills.

Thank suzukitravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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403 - 407 of 603 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2014

Perhaps, it shouldn't be surprising, but Olana, the home of Fred Church, one of the fathers of the Hudson River School of painting, which was America's first popular contribution to the art world, is here on his property in Hudson, NY. His residence, which is a Middle Eastern motif, sits atop a hill overlooking the Hudson River with a clear sight line for miles in every direction. Church had visited this location when he was 19, with his only mentor, the artist Thomas Cole. The tour guide for this facility was extremely professional and well-informed. The two employees in the gift shop were also quite helpful. The property also enjoys several trails and a large lake. All in all, it is quite a stunning piece of property and one in which many seem to eat, sketch, or walk until sunset each day. Mr. Church, who was a very financially successful painter, lived here for over three decades and entertained many luminaries of his day, including Mark Twain. The location is roughly a 5-7 minute drive from downtown Hudson, NY, which seems to be undergoing a bustling renaissance as a eating, shopping, music, and antiquing locale.

2  Thank GetsAround1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Incredible view of the Hudson & Catskills inspired painter Frederic Church to paint these views and build this house that takes advantage of the natural scenery. Very knowledgeable guide. A great way to enjoy the outdoors & indoors! There are many trails, but we didn't take advantage of many, wish we could have.

1  Thank HappyHelloHowdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Rude sales person in gift shop. Walking the grounds is about what makes this attraction worthwhile. Not interested in the tour of the house.

2  Thank seashell19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

I thought that cedar Grove was impressive before we came here. WOW!!!!! As a student of Thomas Cole for 2 years before his death, Frederic Church knew this area as a place they used to go sketching the river and valley. He had said that someday he would come back and buy it, and that he did just before he married. He bought the land and drew up plans with an architect and then after a tour to the middle east he came back with all new plans. This place just oozes history but the most amazing part is that Frederic bought the land, had the vision, which kept changing, planned the landscape and other things. the man was amazing.
First most of the 120 odd acres are still intact. Olana is visible from a far as this dramatic building on the hilltop. The drive up to Olana is long and dramatic but nothing compares with the view from above, totally awesome and expansive view of the river, valley and mountains. easy to see how I could be inspired to create such beauty.. Frederick would recognize the view today and overall there is not an overwhelming difference in the view There is so much to take in as you go through the house, but everywhere possible the river or mountains were highlighted with HUGE picture windows. Most of the items, some very exotic for the day, are from Frederic's extensive travels. Lots of interesting artifacts EVERYWHERE. The house itself is a marvel of the time even had multiple indoor bathrooms. There are stenciling and exquisite Moorish details all though the house. One cannot possibly leave Olana and not be impressed my Church. AMAZING SPOT. So glad that David Huntington had the foresight to save it from the auction gavel. Some places should be saved to show the real history, here it is palpable,

4  Thank SFLollyPopCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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