You can enjoy touring the grounds of Olana and staring at the exterior, but an inside tour is a must. Book ahead, because the tours are usually sold out. We tried the day before our visit and could only book a "self-guided" tour. Turned out to be perfect, since there are docents in each room so you can go at your own pace and ask them questions. I'm sure a guided one is interesting as well. This creation is indescribable, you just have to be immersed in the eclectic beauty he created to appreciate it. The foremost landscape painter of the mid-19th century, this Hudson River school artist was a widely-traveled person who incorporated delights from his travels in his masterpiece home. Then he set to work on creating art in landscaping. A walk or tour through the carriage roads is a delight, and not as crowded as the home and museum store can be.
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