Favorite thing: Visit the Vanderbuilt Mansion. The estate is fascinatingly large. The mansion is built out of stone and is definitely worth a look see. The grounds are magnificent. The estate is large. It extends from the banks of the Hudson River up to Albany Post Road (US 9). On a clear day, you can see the magnificent Catskill Mountains. I also loved the huge sized Oak trees on the property
Favorite thing: See these three very different homes. The Vanderbilt mansion, one of the smaller Vanderbilt properties at only 54 rooms, and the only one maintained by the National Park Service, has to be seen to be believed. Each room belongs to a different period: the Spanish Renaissance, French Empire, French Rococo, etc. The craftwork is impressive, but it is all too much of a muchness. By contrast, FDR's home is almost middle-class, except for its stunning location on the cliffs overlooking the Hudson. It's sprawling, too, but unpretentious. Eleanor's retreat at ValKill is the most homey--and the most moving. After the tour of the FDR home, you can appreciate why she felt she needed to get away from it all. You can imagine her doing her writing, and making scrambled eggs for world leaders who came to call. This was a day very well spent.