The busy, vibrant city life can suck one in fairly quickly, and let’s be honest, everyone needs a little inspirational artsy break every now and then. Here please indulge in our very favorite and easy to reach destinations by car around New York City which can be enjoyed throughout the year with every changing season.
The Grounds for Sculptures - “The singular vision of Seward Johnson to draw people into a landscape with sculpture and then to engage them in a “self-guided journey” through the landscape.” GFS is a magical park for the curious mind to wander, explore and discover hidden treasures in a very beautifully designed park. With constantly changing exhibits and moving sculptures this collection is ever evolving, leaving more for imagination. Impeccably manicured paths of trees, bamboo alleys, ponds filled with colorful fish and squeaking ducks, peacocks bossily walking around the property, this is a tiny wonderland with a grand vision. Constantly rotating exhibits inside six indoor galleries, ongoing schedule of performing art events, tours and workshops for both adults and children, and of course, remarkable French country cuisine are just a few reasons to visit and reconnoiter.
Located just an hour and a half drive from midtown Manhattan, this is an excellent way to spend an afternoon and finish a day with dinner at the Rats Restaurant. As explained by the waiter, the name for the restaurant comes from the French fairy tale read to Mr. Johnson by his mother where the main characters were rats. From early on Mr. Johnson was consumed by the flamboyant and showbiz persona of one of the rats and wanted to create a world of enchantment for adults to have fun in.
Mr. Johnson himself started as a painter, then turning to sculpture with aspiration to highlight simple things. The sculptures are publicly displayed all over the World, and the idea of GFS formed in 1984 to bring art to public, with the park opening to public in 1992.
The Sleepy Hollow – modern day village with diverse population and plenty to see and do. Located on the Hudson River, a short 40 minutes’ drive from midtown, the town is picturesque, historic and simply adorable. The waterfront is gorgeous and hosts a pretty lighthouse. Launch a canoe or kayak here to explore the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow from the waters.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is not to be missed, adjacent to the Old Dutch Church, whose small burying ground is identified in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as the resting place of the Headless Horseman. A few famous individuals have been buried here, including Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, William Rockefeller, Elizabeth Arden and Washington Irving, who was involved himself in finding the cemetery back in 1840s.
Rockefeller Estate Kykuit is the Hudson Valley landmark with extensive collection of art, historic value, remarkable architecture and spectacular scenery! Visiting Kykuit is simply amazing! Take the guided tour of the mansion, galleries and sprawling gardens of the property to learn the history of how the collection was acquired and the many stories that highlight the lives of the Rockefeller family.
Storm King Art Center is another outdoor beauty filled with modern art that enhance the surrounding forests and hills. Walk through, hike back trails, have a picnic or simply get kissed by the sun rays while lying on luscious green lawns. Just about one hour north of NYC by car, on the opposite side of the Hudson River from Sleepy Hollow, this 500 acre landscape showcases more than 100 carefully sited sculptures of many acclaimed artists. The sculptures themselves are immersive and invite visitors to interact with the environment. Similarly to GFS, SKAC also provides a vibrant program of special events.
Get out of the concrete jungle and get your dose of art and nature! Relax, rejoice and breathe the fresh air and let your curious mind wander and explore the creative possibilities of modern art.