Kykuit is the Rockefeller Estate located in the quiet town of Sleepy Hollow, NY. Only an hour-drive from New York City (also accessible by train), this is a great weekend destination for anyone who wants to get out of the big city for a change. The landmarkestate offers various tours of its 40-room home, gardens & art collections, plus panoramic views over the Hudson river. We took the one-hour Kykuit classic tour (tip: book online a couple of days in advance to reserve your spots).
We were stunned by Kykuit's beautiful grounds and gardens, but also quite surprised by the modest main house. It was a big contrast to the other famous rich man's estate on the west coast, Hearst Castle, which was built for glamorous Hollywood parties. Interestingly the original Rockefeller senior, despite being the 2nd richest man in history (only after some middle eastern emperor), lived a low key life and didn't indulge in many expensive lifestyle hobbies. He spent the last 40 years of his life on giving away his money to various causes and charities.
We were lucky with the weather - a cloudless sunny day was the perfect weather to appreciate the beauty of this estate. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and shared quite a few family anecdotes and stories behind the estate. The tour felt intimate since there is no public access otherwise and they limit the number of tours each day.