New York City, NY

Paradise near New York: Kykuit or the Rockefeller Estate

Roxana Anton
courtesy Jake Carter, Unsplash

Kykuit or the Rockefeller Estate is a 40-room historic house museum in Pocantico Hills, New York, that offers visitors a stunning view of New York's Skyline.

It is situated on a top hill, overlooking the Hudson River, and is probably one of the most beautiful, luxury destinations you could think of in America.

Is there anything else I must say to convince you to take a trip to this amazing location?

A few interesting facts: Kykuit (derived from the Dutch word Kijkuit) means "lookout" (source: Wikipedia)

Underground art galleries host tapestries of Pablo Picasso, while the coach barn contains vintage automobiles and carriages. ( info)

The house is built in a classical style, and the gardens are similar to what you can find in an Italian villa.

The original 1913 house featured a pavement with interesting symbolism: the figures of Apollo, the Roman God of the arts, and Demetria, the goddess of agriculture.

These symbols were supposed to represent the harmony between culture and nature, that was the main idea when building the property. (source:

Movies shot in the area:

- The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. A few scenes were filmed in Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Sleepy Hollow.

-Secret Lives of Dentists (2002)

-Mona Lisa Smile (2003), directed by Mike Newell and starring Julia Roberts.

-Lord of War (2005), starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Moynahan.

-Game 6 (2005), portions filmed inside the Tarrytown Music Hall.

-The Good Shepherd (2006), directed by Robert DeNiro, starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie.

-and many others.

If you want to do a proper visit-to-remember to this stunning location, you must consider at least one afternoon time.

The property was built for the oil tycoon and Rockefeller family patriarch, John D. Rockefeller.

In time, it was also a home for the Governor of New York and Vice President of the United States, Nelson Rockefeller, it was actually home to four generations of the family. (source: Wikipedia)

The house is a National Historic Landmark owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and tours are given by Historic Hudson Valley. (source: Wikipedia)

The imposing structure, of local stone topped with the Rockefeller emblem, is located centrally in a 250 acres inner compound (referred to as "the Park") within the larger Rockefeller family estate.

It is open to the public for recreational purposes.

Nelson Rockefeller also added as a part of the complex, a major private art gallery containing paintings by Picasso, Chagall, and Warhol, the latter two having visited the estate.

Between 1935 and the late 1970s more than 120 works of abstract, avant-garde, and modern sculpture from Nelson's collection were added, including antiques, memorable objects from the family's historic background, and mid-century works of art by very big artists, like Picasso or sculptor Constantin Brancusi. (source: Wikipedia)


Within the park:

  • "Hawes House"
  • "Kent House"

Outside the park:

  • "Abeyton Lodge"
  • "Fieldwood Farm"
  • "Hillcrest"
  • "Hudson Pines"
  • "Hunting Lodge"
  • "Rockwood Hall

What is generally known about the place, as one of the most beautiful and luxurious in the country: "It's what God would have built, if only He had the money". (source: Wikipedia)

As a visitor or a member, there are several activities that you can enjoy here, like golf courses, horseback riding, biking, and jogging.

American Presidents were present on the estate, like Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. Other notable visitors were UN President Kofi Annan, President of the Republic of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, King Hussein of Jordan, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Lord Mountbatten of Burma of the United Kingdom. (source: Wikipedia)

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