Castles and Spooks (Part 3)

At the end of Part 2 we were just leaving Sleepy Hollow and heading to Tarrytown, NY (which is right the town right next door.) You can bounce back and forth between these two towns when doing your tours. Also, make sure you walk through downtown Tarrytown. There are a lot of quaint shops and great restaurants. (Many Zagat rated) One of the residents of Tarrytown was Washington Irving who wrote the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Before I went on this trip, I ran out and got the book from the library. In the first paragraph of the story is description of this area that I fell in love with.

“Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquility.”

Our day in this beautiful area will begin with breakfast at the Castle on the Hudson

This is a beautiful hotel, and even if you’re not staying there you can enjoy breakfast. I had heard about this incredible breakfast so splurged. Breakfast is $30 and includes a two course meal. The first course is a tasting plate with cheese, sautéed brussel sprouts, smoked salmon, sautéed tiny mushrooms, and ham. They also bring yogurt, fresh fruit and a fresh energy juice shot. The second course included eggs and my absolute favorite – bacon. Coffee and juice is also included so essentially it is breakfast and lunch, all at the same time. (A good way to cost-justify your splurge).


Tarrytown, Lyndhurst Castle

GPS: Use 635 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591


Hours: 8am-4pm, grounds are open dawn until dusk

Halloween event: Lyndhurst After Dark

After breakfast head south on 9 to the Lyndhurst Castle. Entering through the gates all I could see was a large white tent to my right and a parking lot to my left. I parked and walked over to the tent which is where you buy your tickets. At the time of our tour, a guide showed up and we all started down the grass lined walkway, which curved this way and that, taking us around a number of large trees. As you continue your way on the path you see bits and pieces of the castle and then finally, around the last bend it comes into view. It is beautiful. Overlooking the Hudson, this is one of America’s finest Gothic Revival mansions. Some of the episodes of the Night of Dark Shadows were filmed here and during Halloween they decorate the house. The photo of the bench was taken in the entry way. When wealthy men and women came to visit their servants were made to sit silently on these benches and wait. (I’m sure that would not be a good job for me…as I’m not very good at being quiet.) For Halloween they decorated the rooms including hanging a black wreath on the door. Black wreaths were called “marker wreaths,” and let mourners know in which house the deceased lay in state. Once you pass through the entry way they lead you to a room with an actual antique coffin along with a number of other decorated rooms. This is a fabulous tour and the tour guide was excellent.

Quick note on this castle: I didn’t realize this until I got there but the grounds open at dawn and stay open until dusk, so you can see the outside of the house and then stroll down to the Hudson River before your tour.


Tarrytown, Sunnyside: Home of Washington Irving who wrote the Legend of Sleep Hollow and Rip Van Winkle

GPS: 3 W Sunnyside Lane, Irvington, NY 10533


Hours: April 1 – Oct 31 Daily (Closed Tues): 10am – 5pm* Last tour at 4pm | Closed July 4. * October Weekends:10am-4pm – Nov. 23-25, 10am-4pm

You may consider reading one or both of these books before you go on your trip. When you arrive at Sunnyside there is a beautiful walk down to the house. It’s quite lovely but make sure you wear comfortable shoes. You’ll stroll down a winding path to the home. The grounds are lined with garden paths. You’ll tour his home and see many of the furnishings that were original to the house. Washington Irving was America’s first internationally famous author. Again, it was close to Halloween so the grounds were decorated for the occasion.


Late Lunch at Lefteris Gyro

Address: 1 Main Street, Tarrytown, NY

Phone: 914.524.9687

The BEST souvlaki sandwich I have ever had!

I kept walking by this Greek restaurant which is on the corner of downtown Tarrytown. Every time I walked by, it was packed. Regardless of the time of day. I was in between tours and just had time for a quick bite. It was cold and a little misty and no one was sitting outside. So I popped in and asked if I could get a quick sandwich and eat outside. They man (who I think is the owner) was the best. He walked me outside, asked what I wanted and was back in about 2 minutes. What he brought was the BEST lamb souvlaki sandwich I have ever had. The meat melted in my mouth and the flavor was amazing. The vegetables were fresh. If you are even near this place, I would head on over. Ask for “Bobby” and tell him that Shelley, the girl he brought the sandwich in record time, sent you.


We’re now ready to start heading north. Some areas you can stop and see along the way include West Point (which is on the west side the Hudson River.) I ended up not having time to tour West Point but I’ve heard that the Cadet Chapel and Trophy Point are key sites to see. Coldspring (east side) where you can tour the Stonecrop Garden. The Washington Headquarters by Newburg is also along the way, but I found that it was in a part of town that was a bit scary so I would skip that. Here is where we will stop in the next blog – Stony Point Battlefield which also has the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. With views looking out over a harbor dotted with bobbing sailboats, this point of interest is a must-see! Click Part 4 to continue.  Also, click to “Follow” and I’ll let you know when we head off again.

A note on the amazing places I have written about and Hurrican Sandy. If you’d like to help, please contact the Red Cross

Also, if you’d like to purchase a print to remind you of this beautiful area, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2012 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

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