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“VERY PICTURESQUE SETTING”

Washington Irving's Sunnyside House
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Irvington
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A visit to Sunnyside is an enchanted adventure in a romantic landscape and a much-loved riverside home that has been charming visitors for generations.Hear about Washington Irving's storied past and how he came to be America's first internationally famous author, best remembered now for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other short stories. His characters, from Brom Bones and Ichabod Crane to the mysterious Headless Horseman and the comic Rip Van Winkle, are icons in American culture. Even Johnny Depp has added to their global renown.A gently curved path leads to gorgeous views of the Hudson River and reveals the allure of Sunnyside's unique design, its intimate setting, its bucolic grounds, and its association with a beloved man of letters. SUNNYSIDE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED UNTIL MAY 3. Please continue to check this listing or go to our website for updates.
Reviewed 27 June 2014

Imagine that you are successful author/editor/diplomat Washington Irving (1783-1859). In 1835, you’ve purchased a peaceful, quiet 10-acre country property on the shores of the Hudson River. When you’re about halfway through with numerous repairs, additions, and renovations, the Hudson River Railroad forms in 1847 and creates land between yours and the river with landfill, lays down tracks, and starts running trains from New York City to Albany circa 1851. But, despite the distracting train noise and all black smoke, you manage to write “Wolfert's Roost” (1855) and the five-volume biography “The Life of George Washington” (1855-1859).

As an English Literature major, my visit to Sunnyside was like a pilgrimage.

This attraction is family-friendly. Children and teens will enjoy traveling to Tarrytown to see the home of the author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.” The Village of Sleepy Hollow is in nearby Mount Pleasant.

Sunnyside is open Wednesday to Sunday from early May to early November. It is also open for the three major Monday holidays during that period.

Admission prices are:
$12.00 - Adult
$10.00 - Seniors - age 65+
$6.00 - Children ages 3 - 17

Timed tours are led by costumed docents. Ours was very knowledgeable.

The setting for the home is very picturesque. The grounds are beautiful. The house is well maintained. These factors all contribute to my five-star rating.

The most striking thing about the house is the different architectural styles that somehow blend together. I found the Spanish / Moorish elements interesting and attractive.

My favorite part of the house was his office / work area in a room just off the entryway. The large bookcases held hundreds of his books. The desk was almost in middle of the room. Behind the desk was a long, wide bench with thick cushions that ran the length of the wall. There were two velvet curtains that could be closed. This was an area for him to take a break from writing and to take a nap. If someone came calling, he could go out the door in the enclosed area and come down the hallway. The visitor would have no idea that Mr. Irving had been caught napping in his office.

The four-poster in the bedroom was very nice.

My friend and I enjoyed our tour of the house and grounds.

One can easily spend a couple of days in this area.

Other nearby attractions include Van Cortland Manor, Philipsburg Manor, Union Church of Pocantico Hills, the Rockefeller estate named Kykuit, the Old Dutch Church, and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, resting of many famous people including Washington Irving, cosmetics entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden, business mogul / philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Harry and Leona Helmsley, and Walter Chrysler, founder of Chrysler Corporation.

We plan to return to this area sometime in the future.

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10  Thank Maurene_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"washington irving"
in 27 reviews
"rip van winkle"
in 11 reviews
"hudson river"
in 27 reviews
"sleepy hollow"
in 19 reviews
"american literature"
in 6 reviews
"grounds are beautiful"
in 8 reviews
"his life"
in 6 reviews
"dressed in period costume"
in 4 reviews
"historic sights"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 4 reviews
"short story"
in 2 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 4 reviews
"historical home"
in 2 reviews
"headless horseman"
in 6 reviews
"the kitchen"
in 3 reviews
"early november"
in 2 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 6 reviews
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83 - 87 of 137 reviews

Reviewed 21 June 2014

The tour of the home and estate itself was excellent. It's only about an hour around the home and led by a knowledgable guide. Directions to the area are misleading as we were told to exit at the Tarry Town train station. While Tarry Town is cute, it's a pricey cab ride (2.6 mile walk/cab) to the estate. We recommend getting off at Irvington where there are plenty more places to eat (about 3-4 delis compared to the one Subway and 1 Italian deli in Tarry Town). The walk is also much more scenic and reasonable (only about 1.3)

Thank ohanaloverun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Washington Irving's home is a quaint and charming place. The guides are very knowledgable and everyone made us feel welcome. If you are expecting a mansion you will be disappointed. This is a beautiful cottage that has been lovingly maintained. We had a delightful picnic on the grounds after the tour. There are two picnic areas with tables, but anywhere is lovely for a view of the house, grounds and the Hudson River.

1  Thank dnvpaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2013

A very warm and welcoming house with beautiful views. Wonderful and knowledgeable guides and you get to tour the entire house except for the 3rd tower. It was a lovely way to spend a warm fall day.

1  Thank wheezer178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 November 2013

Washington Irving's home is on the banks of the Hudson River. There is a video (and I mean actual video tape) you can watch before the tour. Even though the tape is very old, it is very interesting and gives relevant facts to enhance your tour. You will be greeted by knowledgeable tour guides in period dress. The tour takes about an hour. The guide leads you from the gift shop, where you buy your tickets, to the grounds and then to the buildings on the grounds. Our guide was very knowledgeable of Washington Irving and the times. She allowed time at each stop on the tour for all to take in the sites. She told us the history of Irving building his home on the banks of the Hudson and how the railroad went in right after. She explained the different styles of architecture and why Irving had chosen each style to incorporate into his home. After the tour, you are allowed to tour the grounds on your own. There is an interesting garden on site. This tour does not get as much press as some of the other tours in this area, but it is well worth the time. The gift shop is fun and a good place to buy Headless Horseman and Halloween souvenirs. If you are a fan of Washington Irving or Sleepy Hollow, I recommend this tour. The volunteers were also knowledgeable of other home tours in the area also.

Thank Kathy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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