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Kykuit (The Rockefeller Estate)

381 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, New York

Beaux-Arts gardens surround this grand 40-room mansion, which was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. The mansion is now a National Historic Landmark, with a remarkable collection of the Rockefellers’ fine artwork, period furnishings, ceramics, and sculpture. Tours explore portions of the house, the gardens, and galleries.

All visitors to Kykuit see the property as part of a tour, with itineraries ranging from 1.5 hours to three hours. The shortest option, the Timesaver Tour, covers the main floor, the Inner Gardens, and the West Terrace. At three hours, the Grand Tour adds the second floor of the home, with extra time in the gardens and art galleries. Another magnificent way to see Kykuit is from the air; some helicopter tours of the Hudson Valley fly over the estate, along with landmarks such as the United States Military Academy and the Tarrytown Lighthouse.

  • This is a great spot for automotive buffs. Kykuit has an impressive collection of antique cars on display.
  • Some tours of Kykuit are wheelchair accessible, but strollers are not permitted in the house.
  • It’s a good idea to book tours in advance, as they can sell out.
  • Children under five are not allowed on the Grand Tour.

The Visitor Center is located at 381 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, New York, with free parking available onsite. To reach the estate by train from New York City, take the Hudson Line to Tarrytown, then continue to the visitor center by taxi. Hold on to your receipt for train tickets, as they can be used for discounted admission to Kykuit.

Garden lovers should make a trip in spring, when blooming flowers showcase the outdoor areas at their very best. With plenty of trees that change color in the fall, this is also a great destination in autumn—views along the Hudson River Valley are a highlight. Tours are held rain or shine, so bring along an umbrella if the weather is iffy.

Some of the top sites in Tarrytown and the surrounding area are mansions built by wealthy New Yorkers. One popular stop is the Gothic Revival Lyndhurst mansion, an impressive landmark on a 67-acre estate. Slightly more modest is Washington Irving’s Sunnyside House, where the author lived with big views of the Hudson River. At Philipsburg Manor, visitors find living history on an 18th-century property that explores colonial-era life with help from actors.

It depends. Historic Hudson Valley offers several different tours of Kykuit, including a 90-minute Selected Highlights Tour, a 2-hour-and-15-minute Classic Tour, and a 3-hour Grand Tour. Tours are offered on select days from mid-May to mid-November, and it’s advised to book well in advance, as they sell out.

No, Kykuit is no longer home to members of the Rockefeller family. The country mansion—part of the larger Pocantico Hills estate, which served as a Hudson Valley retreat for generations of Rockefellers—has since been transformed into the Pocantico Center, a destination for events, performances, conferences, and more.

Kykuit is a grand mansion, which contains 40 rooms across four stories. The country retreat sits on approximately 200 acres (80 hectares) and is found within the wider Pocantico Hills Rockefeller family estate (recently rebranded as the Pocantico Center). It’s worth exploring on the estate’s comprehensive Grand Tour.

Although it was owned by generations of Rockefellers, today Kykuit is a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s operated and maintained by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The organization that runs its tours is called Historic Hudson Valley and was founded by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1951.

Kykuit derives from the Dutch word for “lookout,” which is a fitting name for the Rockefeller estate, perched as it is on top of a hill. It offers sweeping views of the Hudson River and surrounding greenery. The house was first designed in 1908 and went through several construction phases.

It’s difficult to put an exact figure on Kykuit, thanks to the many phases of its building works and renovations, but at a minimum, it cost more than $1 million to build—which translates to tens of millions in today’s money. Its landscaping alone cost $750,000, or many millions today.


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