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How far up the Hudson....

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Feb 7th, 2014, 05:20 PM
  #1
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How far up the Hudson....

Hi, I'd like to do a day trip in May from Manhattan going by train up the Hudson (Metro-North) to a nice town then renting a car to do a driving loop before heading back to Manhattan by train again.

I'll be starting early in the morning then returning the car around 6.00pm, so a full day.

I'd like to see maybe Kykuit or the Vanderbilt Mansion, or both, though I'm not sure if it's possible to see both in one day. Plus quaint towns and villages and nice driving scenery.

I'm thinking Enterprise for the rental car, they seem to have lots of locations and will pick you up to collect the car.

I will be solo (from Australia) so I would prefer picking up a car in a quietish place.

So my questions are:

1. Which of these historic places would be the most impressive to see?
2. How far up the Hudson should I go for a scenic train ride before getting off to pick up a car? I was thinking Tarrytown (for Kykuit) and Poughkeepsie (for the Vanderbilt mansion).
3. Any suggestions for a nice driving loop for each of these places before going back to return the car and take the train back?
4. Is Enterprise a good company for a rental car?

Thanks for any suggestions or advice.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 06:46 PM
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New Paltz NY is a favorite of my sisters. Hyde Park is nice and you could visit the CIA, http://www.ciachef.edu/ I would eat lunch there for sure.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 07:27 PM
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I think I would take the train up to White Plains, pick up a car there and head off.

Olana is lovely as is the town of Hudson; that could be your turn around point, but it is pretty far up so that you might not be able to stop at many other places.

http://www.hudsonriver.com/hudson-river-estates
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Feb 7th, 2014, 09:15 PM
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Cold Spring is not that far and has antique shops and restaurants.

I live in Manhattan and rarely rent from Enterprise, but that could be because of my neighborhood. Right now Budget gives me the best rate.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 09:59 PM
  #5
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White Plains is an option but I thought the Hudson line would be very scenic as it hugs the Hudson shoreline. Hence Tarrytown and Poughkeepsie for picking up the car.

I'll look into all of the places mentioned and also Budget.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 11:22 PM
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Forget the Rockefeller mansion. If I recall correctly, the tour starts in Livingston with a bus ride to the estate and then a guided tour. It would take too much of your day if you intend to see another estate. Vanderbilt is also a guided tour, but it is shorter.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 03:46 AM
  #7
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The problem with Poughkeepsie is that the rental car co's (Hertz and Avis) are not at the train station but rather several miles away.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 03:57 AM
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The Hudson River MNRR line is scenic in parts but much of the trip the view of the river is hidden by trees or buildings.

The question of where to rent a car comes up from time to time here on fodors, and the most frequent recommendation is to take the train to the N. White plains station. There is a Hertz right nearby (66 Haarlem Avenue)

You can get the same views of the river by stopping at several locations along the way by car, and it won't just be a fleeting view.

A few of my fav viewing spots are Boscobel, Bear Mtn Bridge, Cold Spring, & Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 05:15 AM
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Michael is wrong about the Kykuit experience. It starts with you parking your car just a couple miles from the estate then riding a small bus to the estate. Sure, the tour may take 2-3 hours, but it's well worth your time.
I'd start taking the Metro North to Tarrytown (Kykuit is just outside that village) and renting a car there. I'd drive north, ending back at Kykuit in the afternoon, since you'd be arriving there too early for the tour.
While the Vanderbilt mansion is worth a stop, I'd favor the Storm King Arts Center for a 2-3 hour stop. It's a wonderful outdoor sculpture garden that's about 3-35 miles from Tarrytown. Do a Google search on the site to get a good ldea of why I'm recommending it.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 05:50 AM
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We loved Kykuit (the tour was 3 hours), Storm King (also several hours), and Hyde Park (the Vanderbilt Mansion and the Roosevelt sites took a whole day; the CIA was closed, otherwise we'd have toured it and had a meal there).

You need to make some decisions, as you certainly can't do everything in one day.

We spent six days sightseeing from Tarrytown to Kinderhook and back; e were busy all the time (that's how we like to travel) and could have spent more time in the area.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 06:18 AM
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The train ride along the history is pretty in places and very unattractive in others. I would worry more about train times and not wasting a lot of your limited time taking the milk train that stops 14 places - instead of a train that gets quickly to your car pick up point.

White Plains is usually reco'd since the car rental office is right there - not a couple of miles away - and there are express trains that get there in only about 30 minutes. This trains goes through a coupe of upscale towns on the way - and you have plenty of time to see the river later (esp Storm King highway. (Check out some of the Hudson school paintings))
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Feb 8th, 2014, 02:04 PM
  #12
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The long train trip before even starting the drive is one of my concerns. The Tarrytown trip is around 30 mins so not too bad. Poughkeepsie is much longer so that's why I asked whether the Vanderbilt mansion would be more impressive than Kykuit and would be worth it.

White Plains (and North) I'll look into. But how busy is it around there? I don't particularly want to start off the drive in a busy place when I have to get used to driving on your side of the road etc.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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White Plains and North White Plains are not all that different, traffic wise. You can easily get on the Taconic Parkway or
I 287 within minutes from either of them
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Feb 8th, 2014, 02:58 PM
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While the Vanderbilt Mansion is certainly worth your time, I'd rate Kykuit higher on the must-see list!
As for where to take the train, I'd check to see if there are any car rental opportunities in Tarrytown.That makes more sense that going to White Plains.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 03:53 PM
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There is a Hertz rental car outlet in North White Plains directly across the street from the train station. But you'd need to verify that they are open until 6. I'd strongly recommend doing this on a weekday. You have to make the Kykuit reservations in advance (I recommend a few weeks in advance).

However, if you do rent on a weekday it might be just as easy to rent in Manhattan and drive all the way. Just come back a bit layer, after 7. Have a nice early dinner first, perhaps at Blue Hill at Stone Barns or even at the CIA. You might find little to no price difference, and it's not hard to drive north on the Henry a Hudson Parkway out of town.

Finally, some companies run tours, which might also be an option.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 03:56 PM
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Oh ... And I found Kykuit more impressive than the Vanderbilt mansion, but I do like the FDR historic site. If you like gardens, kykuits are particularly impressive.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 07:29 PM
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Don't miss Storm King if it is a nice day.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 08:23 PM
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OK, so far I think I am favouring Kykuit, looking at Sleepy Hollow and doing a loop north from there, maybe over on the 9W or Palisades Parkway (which one would be a nicer drive with places to stop?) and back via Bear Mountain Bridge and Route 9. Or vice versa.

I also have to wait and see what times the tours are on, it's too early to see them for May yet.

Thanks everyone.
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Feb 9th, 2014, 03:58 AM
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Another vote for Storm King, a wonderful outdoor sculpture museum
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Feb 9th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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Your routes selection is okay. Crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown and then going up 9W to Storm King makes sense. However, I would substitute the Taconic Parkway for Route 9 coming back. The latter route is a pain, what with traffic and traffic lights greatly slowing things down. In comparison, the Taconic is a very pretty ride.

PS: Doug's suggestion of renting a car in NYC isn't such a bad idea. You could then easily drive up to Kykuit near Tarrytown (about a 30-mile drive from midtown Manhattan).
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