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When in Westchester County, New York - Discover a countryside rich with literary history, then visit a working farm for dinner

Jun 25, 2015 09:06AM ● Published by Kevin

Towns in Westchester County with names like Sleep Hollow and Croton-on-Hudson give the area a romantic aura. Just a train ride from Manhattan, Westchester sits in the scenic Hudson Valley, bordered on the east by the Long Island Sound and on the west by the Hudson River. A verdant countryside dotted with farmland gives meaning to the farm-to-table dining philosophy so popular here, and it’s no surprise that such a lovely setting has attracted well-heeled folks who work in New York City, but call Westchester County home.

You can trace the area’s history beginning with the American Revolution with a visit to the Thomas Paine Cottage in New Rochelle, home to the revolutionary whose influential pamphlets inspired rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. Move to the 19th century with a visit to Washington Irving’s Sunnyside home. The author who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow resided in a Dutch farmer’s house, where guides in period clothing show visitors Irving’s writing desk, books and other possessions. Take a peek into the extraordinary wealth of the gilded age with a tour of Kykuit (Dutch for lookout), the hilltop estate of four generations of Rockefellers built in 1913 by John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil.

Traveling the countryside visitors encounter a number of working farms open for tours. At the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, you can explore 80 acres of gardens and pastures, stroll the greenhouse and fields and get acquainted with the livestock. Wrap your visit with a meal made from the day’s bounty at the Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant.

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