From magnificent Hudson River mansions to Revolutionary and Pre-Revolutionary historical sites near West Point and Newburgh, the area immediately surrounding Vassar has a great deal to offer American history buffs.
Springwood was President Roosevelt’s elegant estate and lifelong home, situated along the Hudson River. The National Archives runs Roosevelt’s Presidential Library and museum on the grounds. Round out your trip with a visit to Top Cottage, the pleasant little escape FDR built to get away from “the mob” at Springwood.
Up the road from FDR’s home is the Vanderbilt Mansion, a palatial 54-room National Historic Landmark. The estate has a sweeping view of the Hudson River and the distant Catskills. The National Park Service publishes this guide to the mansion and grounds, so read up in advance and impress your friends with your knowledge of gilded age architectural conventions.
Another prime river-front estate is Wilderstein. With an asymmetrical facade and terra cotta tiles, Wilderstein typifies American Queen Anne style architecture. It was built in 1852 for businessman Thomas Holy Suckley.