Sunnyside, Washington Irving's home

Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s home, in Irving, New York. The Hudson River is in the background.

Halloween today wouldn’t be complete without The Legend of Sleepy Hollow–a story Washington Irving first published back in 1820.

This year, when we were planning our fall foliage tour down the U.S. east coast, I was thrilled to be able to add in a stop to visit the spot that inspired that story, Tarrytown, New York.

My visit to New York’s historic Hudson Valley has inspired me as well, with its centuries old churches and buildings, miles and miles of rock fences, and of course, the final home of Washington Irving, Sunnyside.

I love a good legend, especially one woven together with characters as memorable as Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. Although Irving wrote the story while he was in Birmingham, England, my drive along the Hudson River, through the historic villages and lush valleys, made it easy to imagine the headless horseman galloping through the places I saw.

In fact, Sunnyside, its aged trees and wild gardens halfway between summer’s green and fall’s vibrant colors, was a great place to visit to get a feel for the “legend” behind the legend.

Step inside the Sunnyside estate with me to see some of the October fall foliage:


Stone fences and bridge walking path at Sunnyside.

Stone fences along bridge walking path at Sunnyside.


Small stream on Sunnyside estate.

Small stream on Sunnyside estate.


Iron gate at Sunnyside.

Iron gate at Sunnyside.


What better place to share a story than at Sunnyside?

What better place to share a story than at Sunnyside?


Enjoy this 1922 version of a Headless Horseman picture book from YouTube:



Visit the legend behind the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside –

Visit the historic Hudson Valley –

Stay at the Tarrytown DoubleTree (we did!), conveniently located less than a mile from Sunnyside –

Our thanks to Westchester County, New York,, DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown –, and Historic Hudson Valley –, for making our visit possible.