Wonderful restored 1848 farmhouse with swimming, canoeing, fishing & ice-skating pond in an idyllic, 11-acre setting. Four bedrooms, four baths, huge chef's kitchen with Vulcan restaurant stove, organic vegetable garden from which you are welcome to harvest during the summer bounty, screen porch, wood-burning fireplace, swing set, sports field, climbing wall, diving dock on the pond. Located in Dutchess County, an hour and a half's drive from the George Washington Bridge. A great getaway for families with kids, groups of friends, writing groups or reading groups –– anyone in retreat from the city at any season of the year –– the 3,000+ square foot house very easily sleeps 10, and can accommodate up to 14 on comfortable fold-out sofas. It is particularly perfect for groups who like to cook and eat large meals together.
The house is on a back road used by only a few cars each day. It has four bedrooms, two with queen-sized beds and two with up to three twin beds each, four bathrooms with showers, one large soaking tub, two queen sleeper sofas. There is wi-fi throughout, and a television set for watching DVDs in the downstairs bedroom. The kitchen includes a restaurant-quality Vulcan stove, Subzero refrigerator, dishwasher, two sinks, and all standard cooking implements including Cuisinart and ice cream maker. In addition to the large table in the dining room which seats up to 12 people when the wings are added, there are dining tables on the screen porch, the upstairs deck, and the pond's diving dock, and a picnic table outside the kitchen. There is a large=capacity washer and dryer in the basement.
Larger gatherings or family reunions who need more than a single house might consider renting in combination with VRBO 238884, only a 5-minute drive or a great overland hike away.
Within easy walking distance of one of the best diners in the Hudson River Valley, the house is convenient by car to the villages of Rhinebeck and Red Hook, the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, the Rhinebeck County Fairgrounds, Montgomery Place, Poet's Walk, Clermont, the Bard College campus with its summer arts festival at the Fisher Center and its world class Hessel Art Museum, Innisfree Gardens, blueberry picking at Greig Farm, cherry and pumpkin-picking at Rose Hill Farm, the antique stores of Hudson, the Millbrook wineries, the Stanfordville Haunted House, and much, much more. Private cooking lessons with a former editor at Gourmet can be arranged.
For hiking and mountain biking, try nearby Ferncliff Forest, where there's a superb view of the entire Hudson River Valley from the lookout tower. Or, for a more rigorous climb which also ends with a lookout tower, there is Stissing Mountain. For easier cycling, great for beginning bikers, there's the idyllic Harlem Valley Rail Trail in nearby Millerton.
We live and work in New York City where our children go to school; we purchased the house in the country when they were very young as a place for them to run and play. It has been a cherished refuge for the last decade. We love to read, play games, and cook and the house furnishes lots of opportunity for all three activities. We've had many large family reunions there and it is an ideal spot for a family gathering or for a large group of friends to get together.
The Hudson River Valley is one of the most beautiful spots on earth -- it rivals such famed locales as Tuscany and California's Napa Valley in the beauty of its landscapes and the superb local food. I have lived in France, and the grand estates along the Hudson River remind me of the châteaux of the Loire Valley. There is a sense of history and rootedness there that we cherish. Milan, where our house is, retains an unspoiled agricultural beauty that makes it one of the most idyllic locations in the Valley.
Our favorite summer activity is diving off the diving board into the pond on a hot day and having a long swim in the pond. Canoeing and fishing are a close second, and younger visitors always love catching salamanders along the stream. We go on long bike rides, make bouquets out of the many flowers growing in the flowerbeds, and harvest vegetables from the vegetable garden for completely local home-cooked meals. We really enjoy the local farm stands and farmers markets, and wine tasting at the many vineyards in the area, as well as concerts at the nearby Fisher Center and the Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center. In summer, we love going to the drive-in movie theatres in Hyde Park and Poughkeepsie; in winter we go skiing at one of the local ski areas or ice skating on the pond then come in to a roaring fire in the fireplace.