We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Experience "Pentetrable"”

Olana State Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Hudson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 28 February 2018

Have enjoyed hiking the lovely grounds at Olana during all the seasons. Stopped here on a weekend in February and was delighted by Soto's outdoor art installation "Penetrable". At first I was put off by its bright color, but you need to walk through it and get the interactive experience to appreciate it. Its there until Nov 2018. Another first, was finally taking the house tour. I was surprised by the quality of the paintings inside and the well-preserved stenciling on the walls. The experience would be better on a sunny day, as the house is dimly lit, flash photography is prohibited and it was difficult to see some of the details in the art. Overall, this is a great activity!

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank Table42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (686)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"frederic church"
in 80 reviews
"the hudson river school"
in 67 reviews
"house tour"
in 41 reviews
"thomas cole"
in 23 reviews
"catskill mountains"
in 22 reviews
"landscape painter"
in 19 reviews
"rip van winkle"
in 18 reviews
"original furnishings"
in 11 reviews
"moorish architecture"
in 8 reviews
"hudson ny"
in 7 reviews
"fascinating house"
in 7 reviews
"carriage trails"
in 7 reviews
"explore the grounds"
in 7 reviews
"home tour"
in 7 reviews
"gift shop"
in 41 reviews
"beautiful site"
in 8 reviews
"american art"
in 9 reviews

76 - 80 of 686 reviews

Reviewed 24 February 2018

Interesting tour of home of famous artist (Church, of the Hudson River School). Eclectic design with mostly mideastern influences and lots of knicknacks from all over. Pretty grounds with nice views.

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank jag343
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2018 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.

Date of experience: December 2017
1  Thank epicNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2018

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.

Date of experience: October 2017
1  Thank Ontheroadsince64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
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..

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank Richard E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Olana State Historic Site also viewed


Been to Olana State Historic Site? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing