One of Tarrytown’s earliest commuters was Washington Irving. In 1835 he moved into an old village farmhouse, now called Sunnyside (89 W. Sunnyside Ln., off Rte. 9 at the southern end of Tarrytown, 914/591-8763 or 800/448-4007, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Wed.–Mon. Apr.–Oct., weekends only Nov.–Dec., adults $12, seniors $10, students 5–17 $6), where he felt he could find the quiet he needed for his work, yet still be within easy reach of New York City.
Almost immediately upon moving into his new abode, Irving began remodeling it, adding gables, dormers, and towers until the place was, as he described it, “as full of angles and corners as an old cocked hat.”
Today the 17-room, wisteria-draped Sunnyside is open to the public. It’s a charming, fairytale-like place, complete with costumed guides, a landscaped garden, and a pond with a bevy of swans. Much of Irving’s furniture, including his desk and woodstove, is still in the house, along with many of his books.
Just below Sunnyside runs the Hudson River Railroad, which Irving allowed to be built through his property on the condition that it stop to pick him up whenever he wanted.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition