Washington Irving's Sunnyside

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside.

Sunnyside, for GPS: 3 West Sunnyside Lane, Irvington, NY 10533. 914-366-6900. Washington Irving’s meticulously restored home is filled with the author’s possessions including his writing desk and books. Guides, costumed in formal dress of the period, explain how Irving designed house and grounds himself to reflect his romantic views of art, nature, and history. Originally a Dutch farmer’s house, it is now a property of the non-profit Historic Hudson Valley and open for tours. Seasonal events are also offered. Located on West Sunnyside Lane, off Route 9 (South Broadway).

2016 season: May 1-November 13, open for timed tours Wednesdays-Sundays, plus Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. Tours at 10:30am, 11, 11:30, 12:30pm, 1;30, 2. 2:30, 3, and 3:30. Weekends tours run every half hour, from 10am to 3:30pm.

Parking: visitors lot.

Annual events

Sunnyside's veranda overlooks the Hudson River

Sunnyside’s veranda overlooks the Hudson River, photo by Clara Tóth.

Check our Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown calendar for more special events.

The Legend Behind the “Legend”

2016 dates: October 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30. You know the legendary Halloween story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” but do you know about the author who wrote it? He was a legend in his own time!

Washington Irving was recognized as nineteenth-century America’s first internationally successful writer and his home Sunnyside was equally popular for its unique architectural combinations. Published in 1820 as part of a collection of short stories and essays called The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” took hold with readers and critics alike. Irving might have based his famous story on European folktales of a headless rider pursuing and frightening hapless travelers and reimagined it in the Sleepy Hollow setting using locally recognized names and places.

So before all the ghoulish night-time events in Sleepy Hollow Country unfold, stop at Sunnyside for a day-time tour to view rarely displayed treasures that reveal how “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” became engrained in American popular culture. Don’t forget to sit in on a nineteenth-century style shadow puppet performance of the famous tale and wander, if you dare, through the woods behind Sunnyside to experience more spooky tales from the pen of Irving.

For reservations: buy tickets online, 914-366-6900.