Kykuit, the six-story stone house and rolling hilltop estate that served as home to four generations of Rockefellers, is open to visitors beginning Saturday, May 4. The season lasts through Monday, Nov. 11.
The remarkable backdrop of Kykuit's house, sculptures, gardens, and landscape are a scenic stage for telling the story of the Rockefeller family's commitment to philanthropy, public service, the environment, and the arts, as well as its family traditions.
Tours of Kykuit, recent featured in National Geographic, are available throughout the season Wednesdays-Sundays, as well as holiday Mondays. In October, tours operate daily except Tuesdays.
Kykuit's modern and classical art collection, architecture, and expansive gardens are consistently rated the top attraction in the Lower Hudson Valley and draw tens of thousands of visitors annually. Westchester Magazine includes a Kykuit visit on its "must-do" list, calling it "spectacular indoors and out."
Kykuit, which means "lookout" in Dutch, includes a six-story stone house, multiple terraced gardens, art galleries, outdoor classical and modern sculpture, and commanding Hudson River views. Its hilltop location overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades is 500 feet above sea level.
Visitors to Kykuit learn the story of The Rockefellers, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, whose business acumen made him the richest man in America in his day. He later became the country's first significant philanthropist. By his death in 1937, he had given away more than half his fortune through various philanthropic programs.
Visitors can choose from four tours: Classic, Grand, Timesaver, and Selected Highlights.
The Classic, ideal for first-time visitors, is a shorter experience than the comprehensive three-hour Grand. Besides the mansion, both of these tours include time in Kykuit's art galleries, gardens, and Coach Barn, with its collection of horse-drawn carriages, vintage automobiles, and equestrian equipment. The 90-minute Timesaver is ideal for those on tighter schedules, while Selected Highlights maximizes time in the gardens.
Visitors can buy tickets online in advance, choosing the exact tour, time, and date they want to visit. Tickets are on sale now at www.hudsonvalley.org. Ticket prices range from $23-$40 ($15-$30 for Historic Hudson Valley or National Trust members).
New York City visitors can reach Kykuit via a special Metro-North Railroad package that includes discounted admission to Kykuit, plus rail fare from Grand Central Terminal. Information: www.mta.info.
For those interested in an extended visit, Tarrytown House Estate offers special packages that include overnight accommodations and tickets to Kykuit and other Historic Hudson Valley sites. Information: www.tarrytownhouseestate.com
Historic Hudson Valley recommends advanced ticket buying, particularly for weekend tours, which fill up quickly. Besides online at www.hudsonvalley.org, tickets may be purchased by calling 914-631-8200 (service charge additional) or at the Kykuit Visitor Center at Philipsburg Manor, 381 North Broadway (Route 9) in Sleepy Hollow. All tours start at the Kykuit Visitor Center; doors open at 9 a.m. For information: www.hudsonvalley.org.
Kykuit, a historic site of the National Trust, is operated and maintained by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as a center for its philanthropic programs. Historic Hudson Valley operates public programs.