Wilderstein is a grand old Queen Anne style 'country house' that was transformed in 1888 into the whimsical and sweeping mansion that perches along the Hudson River today. Descendants of the original inhabitant, Thomas Holy Suckley, lived in the house until 1991. Can you imagine calling this place home?
We didn't make a tour (there are scheduled times throughout the day), but the grounds alone are absolutely worth the visit with its sweeping vistas of the river. Back in 1852, the Suckleys really felt that this site embodied the natural features of the land (the 'picturesque asthetic') when they bought with the piles of money they made from exporting goods and real estate investments.
Just miles from Wilderstein is the hopping and historic village of Rhinebeck. Talk about picturesque...
Here are some good things worth noting, if you go:
- Stay and eat at one the oldest operating inns in the country, the Beekman Arms (pictured above).
- Just behind the inn is the Beekman Arms Antique Barn, a two-story barn turned treasure chest.
- In the name of paper and craft, swing by Paper Trail. When I used to live in Brookline, Massachusetts, I would somehow find myself in the Coolidge Corner Paper Source, like, every other day. What is it about that place?! Well, Paper Trail is it's chic and fashionable older sister. You'll find Rifle notecards, Maira Kalman books, Matryoshka Doll tableware for the kiddos, and Brooklyn Slate cheeseboards.
- The Rhinebeck outpost of Hammertown Barn is brimming with furniture, home decor, housewares, and a huge kid's section of toys and crafting tools. You'll want to move right in.
- The Hudson Valley Compass recommends a stroll up Rhinebeck's Burger Hill, especially if hiking isn't really your thing.
- For dinner, try Terrapin or Calico.
Photos by Rebecca Pitts.