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“definitely worth a visit”

Olana State Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 32 things to do in Hudson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church designed Olana, his family home, studio, and estate, as an integrated environment embracing architecture, art, and landscape. Olana, a National Historic Landmark, is an icon of naturalistic landscape design, with five miles of carriage roads and a Persian-inspired house at its summit, embracing unrivaled panoramic views of the vast Hudson River Valley. Today, visitors can experience an array of activities, from meandering through the 250 acre artist designed landscape, to taking a tour of the house and surrounding landscape, to viewing the changing exhibitions both in the main house and a gallery devoted to contemporary photography. They can see a 17 minute award-winning video on the property and a permanent orientation exhibit. They can also participate in a variety of educational programs in the Wagon House Education Center, including a free backpack program that includes a variety of projects for children.
Reviewed 6 August 2017

We didn't expect what we found at Olana. We knew that it was Frederic Church's house, but we hadn't really read anything about it. The house turns out to be very impressive in both style and decor, and the views are stunning...and since the property is state-owned, a visit here is free! We were very pleased with the tour, especially as our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about Church, his work, and art history in general -- one of the best tour guides we've had in a long time.

Thank Readyfornexttrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 11 reviews
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in 7 reviews
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in 7 reviews
"carriage trails"
in 7 reviews
"explore the grounds"
in 7 reviews
"home tour"
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in 41 reviews
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92 - 96 of 665 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2017

I have never heard of this state park before but it was happened to be open on Tuesday when many things were closed on that day. What a delightful surprise to visit the home and the grounds. It truly was an unexpected treat.

Thank joanie51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2017

We traveled almost 100 miles to see Olana. When we got there we were told they had no tours open and we could not go in. I am disabled and this was a very long trip for me. I told the employee this and asked if I could be added to a tour. She rudely said no... sorry, but she just didn't care. They do not have enough staff or tours. I am sure they disappoint many people on a regular basis. The workers are not accommodating and really don't care about their visitors. There are a lot of historic sites that will not disappoint you. Definitely a place to avoid.

Thank HistoryDetective
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2017

Visting Olana was the highlight of our week's stay in the Hudson Valley - it certainly rivals the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. The home is quite amazing because the Church's home & collection were miraculously kept intact. Thank goodness this historical & cultural gem was saved by forward-thinking citizens & politicians. The mixture of Victorian excess & Islamic art made for such a unique decorating style. Helen, our guide for the electric carriage tour, was amazing in her knowledge & love of Olana. We ranged in age from 24 to 68 & all loved the entire experience.

Thank BaliloverNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 August 2017

My wife and I just visited Olana this afternoon. I have always loved Frederick Church as an artist so when I found out that you could visit his house, I had high expectations.The house is very unique. Eclectic is the best way to describe Church's style and tastes in designing and decorating Olana by bringing elements together from the Adirondacks and all over the world.

The tour guide was very knowledgeable and informative but was a little punitive in her reminders about the "house rules". There is a fine line between being a caretaker of the historical treasure that is Olana yet also being a storyteller that engages visitors so that they wish to discover more about Church's work and life. I don't believe the chiding of keeping everyone together repeatedly allowed our group to fully relax and enjoy the beautiful house and surroundings.

That said, the rest of the visit was perfect. The gift shop (housed in the barn) is cute and has many interesting, unique gifts.The garden, grounds, views and outside interactive art pieces were the best things about the visit. I believe you are able to see those for free. If you are on a budget, visit the grounds, skip the tour and save your money for when you can see his paintings at the Met, the National Gallery or elsewhere.

Thank RickKoch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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