In Staatsburg, about five miles north of the Vanderbilt mansion , reigns the Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Old Post Rd., off Rte. 9, 845/889-8851, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat. and noon–5 p.m. Sun. Apr.–Sept., call for off-season hours, adults $6, seniors $4, children 5–12 $1). Also known as Mills Mansion, the vast 65-room hilltop hideout is in a continual process of being restored.
Guides take visitors through a series of cavernous rooms—some plush with Louis XIV, XV, and XVI furnishings, others filled with craftspeople busy at restoration work. The most beautiful room is the long dining room, flanked with Flemish tapestries and large windows overlooking the Hudson.
Parts of Mills Mansion date back to 1825, but most of the house was built in 1896 by McKim, Mead & White. Once owned by financier Ogden Mills, the mansion was frequented by Edith Wharton, who used it as the model for the Trenor estate, Bellomont, in The House of Mirth.
Surrounding Mills Mansion is Mills-Norrie State Park (845/889-4646, dawn–dusk daily), a 1,000-acre preserve with a marina, campground, small environmental museum, and two nine-hole golf courses. Scenic hiking trails run along the west side of the park, overlooking the Hudson. The 55-site campground is open May–October; for reservations, call 800/456-CAMP.