My family lives in between 2 places; during the week we live in bustling New York City in an apartment and during the weekends (and all holidays) we live upstate NY in the gorgeous historic township of Rhinebeck in a house. Rhinebeck is located a stones throw away from the Hudson River about a 2 hour drive North of NYC. My family has done this commute for 7 years now, and we love the contrast of being surrounded by trees and animals one minute and then surrounded by skyscraper buildings with barely a tree in site, the next!
Rhinebeck is one of the oldest settled areas in the United States dating back to the year 1686 – over 320 years ago!! And, with all those hundreds of settled years comes with it, old mansions and properties that are no longer lived in but have instead been donated back to the public to explore, enjoy and love. Which I am personally so very thankful for!
One of my husband and my favorite places to explore with our dogs, before our Son was born, was (and still is) Mills Mansion on top of a grassy hill in the neighboring town at the Staatsburgh State Historic Site. Mills Mansion itself is an Awesome renovated Beaux-Arts mansion which includes 65 rooms involving 14 bathrooms and 23 fireplaces!! Wowser, can you imagine living in such a place with all fires burning? So glorious!
Mills Mansion was extended circa 1895 (from when the original house was burned down in 1832 and rebuilt) and is situated on 1,600 acres of Hudson River footage of awe and pure beauty!! I can vouch for that. Mills Mansion is now the property of the State of New York and thankfully open to the public.
During winter months, local children and families sled down the snow-covered hills. During the warmer months couples are married on the scenic water front, while families hike/play/run/laugh to their heart’s content. It is truly a gorgeous part of upstate NY which is pristine and protected and will always be there for ANY OF US who want to take advantage.
Last week, we visited Mills Mansion with our 2.5 year old – Miles Storm – walking and able to hike with us (for the first time since he was born) and the dogs along the River on the tracks. HE LOVED It. He pointed out all kinds of things like lighthouses, boats, sand and birds. Children grow up SO fast don’t they? I literally feel like I was at Mills Mansion yesterday, where my Son was a few weeks of age and I was pushing him around in his pram with him unable to talk, and me just totally confused as to how I was a Mother all of a sudden!
Fast forward.. almost 3 years and here we all are enjoying the Great Outdoors and Loving Life!
If you are planning a trip upstate New York, I definitely suggest a stop at Mills Mansion. Bring a picnic blanket and some food and lay down with your loved ones and enjoy the surroundings!
**Mills Mansion is on Old Post Road, Staatsburg 12580 with the outdoor area open from dusk to dawn every day of the year. January through March there are guided tours of the Mansion 11AM – 3PM. There is no cost to enter the property and is quite a large car park. However, there is nowhere to buy food or drinks so do not forget to bring yourself. There are also portable potties scattered around the property.
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