Day Trip Nov. 30
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons The Clermont manor
A visit to Clermont, a celebrated estate in New York’s Hudson Valley, is like taking a step back in time. The historic riverfront home, on a 500-acre property in Germantown, N.Y., invites visitors to discover early 20th-century life through the authentic decor and history of the Livingstons, the family that owned the property for over 300 years. Among a long line of Livingstons, Robert R. Livingston Jr., was likely Clermont’s most famous resident: He helped draft the Declaration of Independence, administered the oath of office to George Washington, served as the first U.S. minister of foreign affairs and worked with Robert Fulton to develop steamboat technology.
The estate, passed down through seven generations of the family, was sold to New York state in 2000 and is now part of the Hudson River National Landmark District. You have numerous options during a visit: Tour the home, stroll the grounds (including five miles of marked trails) or view the Four Gardens of Clermont, each of which has a unique structure. The estate’s visitor center offers a gift shop, a small restaurant, and a history of Clermont and the Livingston family and its influential role in American history. Clermont also hosts special events year-round, featuring an open-house Christmas celebration Dec. 16 and candlelight tours Dec. 17, which include traditional treats from the kitchen.
This season, the home is open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the grounds are open year-round from 8:30 a.m. to sunset. General house tours are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free for children under 12. The candlelight tours on Dec. 17 are from 3 to 6 p.m. and are $8 per person; children under 12 are free.
Directions: Take I-90 (the Mass Pike) west into New York and over the Hudson River; pick up I-87 (the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway) and proceed south to NY State Highway 23; head east on NYS 23 back across the Hudson and pick up 9-G heading south. In Germantown, turn right onto County Road 6. Continue straight onto County Route 35/Woods Road, then continue onto Clermont Avenue and Clermont estate.
— Lauren Robison Jones