A few miles south of town in Annandale-on-Hudson is Blithewood, an estate designed for a North Carolina businessman and his family in the 1830's by landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing and architect Alexander Jackson Davis. Enjoying an active partnership in the Hudson Valley during the 19th century, Downing and Davis were considered pioneers of a new American style of 'picturesque' landscape design and architecture. Davis' original Gothic-style house burned and was replaced by the property's second owner with a Beaux-Arts style manor designed by Francis Hoppin, an alumnus of the Gilded Age architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. Blithewood is now part of the Bard College campus and houses the Levy Center for Economics.
Blithewood's second owner also added a classical Italianate garden to Downing's Romantic-style landscape of pastoral grounds and sweeping vistas. The backdrop of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains is absolutely stunning.
The morning I visited the grounds were unoccupied and I spent a magical hour immersed in what felt like a secret garden. For information visit the website of Bard's Landscape and Arboretum Program. There are several gardens on the campus worth seeing.