Top choice in Hudson Valley

This is one of the finest of the Hudson Valley mansions, as its owner, celebrated landscape painter Frederic Church, designed every detail, inspired by his travels in the Middle East and his appreciation of the beautiful views across the Hudson to the Catskills. The 'Persian fantasy' house is extraordinary and it's well worth booking ahead for a tour of the interior, where you can also see many of Church's paintings.

There are also guided walking and driving tours of the grounds (which you're free to explore in your own car as well). Olana underwent a major rejuvenation which was completed in 2018.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hudson Valley attractions

1. Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

2.73 MILES

If you happen to be in Hudson the second Saturday of the month you can join a tour to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, which sits in the middle of the Hudson…

2. Saugerties Lighthouse

11.28 MILES

A half-mile nature trail leads to this 1869 landmark on the point where Esopus Creek joins the Hudson. Tours of the building are available by appointment,…

3. Kaaterskill Falls Viewing Platform

12.08 MILES

This viewing deck, linked by a forest trail to a parking area, offers the best view of the waterfall that you can get without making a strenuous hike.

4. Kaaterskill Falls

12.13 MILES

For the best view of New York State's highest falls – 260ft, compared to Niagara's 167ft – without a strenuous hike, head to the viewing platform. Popular…

5. Opus 40 Sculpture Park & Museum

15.46 MILES

Beginning in 1938, artist Harvey Fite (founder of the fine arts department at nearby Bard College) worked for nearly four decades to coax an abandoned…

6. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

17.17 MILES

This museum, a short drive north of the center of Rhinebeck, has a collection of vintage planes and other related vehicles and artifacts that date back to…

7. Karma Triyana Dharmachakra

18.16 MILES

Join stressed-out New Yorkers and others needing a spiritual break at this blissful Buddhist monastery about 3 miles north of Woodstock. Soak up the…

8. Bash Bish Falls

18.71 MILES

In the very southwest corner of the state, near the New York state line, is Bash Bish Falls, the largest waterfall in Massachusetts. The water feeding the…