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“Local History Treasure”

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 2 weeks ago via mobile

I am lucky enough to live near Olana.
I have seen the house and evolve over the years. My family and friends often just go to visit the grounds. If you do the house tour, book early...it fills up. I am also a fan of visiting the house near the holidays. The tour guides are well versed in the history of the Church family who built Olana and other artists of the Hudson Valley School.
Olana has pet friendly grounds. Bring a picnic, hike the trails, enjoy the views. You can have a mini vacation by just hanging there all day..
Promise that you won't get bored.

Thank epicNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 608 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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.

Thank Ontheroadsince64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2018

and also dramatic...extraordinary in all seasons...but particularly beautiful in its bleakness of winter..rising up from the top of the mountain as winter winds battle the ancient fortress looking tower,

Warm weather picnics on the lawn...and a watershed view suggesting just why the inspiration of Mr Church to create this odd and wonderful compilation of architectural
elements landed there.

Interior. with it scrim shades always drawn ( preservation issues) also creates a mood. the grand oak staircase quite wonderous and imagination runs wild thinking of the Church family doing their Sunday Theatricals on its landing..The dining room with its truly awful collection of "old Masters' ( re painted by Church himself so the legend..)
is like some out a vintage Daracula movie set.

In all. a fantasy of imagination, and one of the Hudson Valley's most precious assets

Also. the visitor center provides a great informative base to begin your visit. The small gallery. with changing exhibits. also of interest to historically interested visitors. Nearby Thomas Cole house only a 15 minute drive across the river. where is restored studio
is exceptionally interesting to lovers of the American School of Hudson River painters..

Thank Richard E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2017

This historic site is amazing. they feature art pieces now on site and i have to say the property itself is a work of art. if you need a short hike/picnic spot this is a must if you are ever near. stop by they have a gift shop and tour guides on site. I recommend visiting during the fall and the summer as the property's small garden will be in its glory backdropped by the Catskill mountains and Hudson river. can't say enough about this not so known about location.

Thank Jurrific
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2017

I arrived one day shortly before they were to close, and the very gracious lady at the desk booked me for the next day. I arrived JUST after my tour group had left and she graciously put me in the next tour. Lovely lady.

She also showed me books in the bookstore. I bought one (a different one from the one she recommended, but that doesn't change how charming she is).

You might want to be there around sunset. Mountain height, 'beautiful for situation'.

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

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