Two miles north of the relatively modest Roosevelt homes, Springwood  and Val-Kill , is the ultra-extravagant Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site (Rte. 9, 845/229-9115, www.nps.gov/vama , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, adults $9, children under 17 free), built in a posh Beaux-Arts style complete with lavish furnishings, gold-leaf ceilings, Flemish tapestries, and hand-painted lampshades. Built between 1896 and 1898 by Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt, the mansion—designed by McKim, Mead & White—cost what was then a whopping $2.5 million. Nonetheless, it was the smallest of the Vanderbilt estates and was used only in spring and fall.
Next door to the mansion are extensive formal gardens and a coach house (not open to the public) in which the Vanderbilts housed six limousines that were always at their guests’ disposal. From the gardens are glorious views of the Hudson, with the smoky Shawangunk Mountains rising behind.