New Yorkers are very familiar with the name Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR). There is Roosevelt Island, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive (“the FDR”) and countless other memorials to the 32nd President of the United States. As a former governor of New York, FDR understandably has been lionized across the Empire State.
Not to mention he was the president who steered the country through the great depression. Then faced down tyranny in the second world war. FDR is a significant part of America’s history, and his wife, Eleanor, was equally significant in her role as the first lady.
The question is why haven’t you been up for a visit? Hyde Park, which is where the president and Mrs. Roosevelt lived for many years, is near enough for a day trip. You don’t need to be a history lover to enjoy visiting the Roosevelt home and FDR Presidential Library. It’s out in the country, so if you're looking for a break, this getaway is perfect.
For starters, I recommend taking Metro North. It is a beautiful quiet 2 hour 20-minute ride up the Hudson River. The scenery alone is worth the trip if you haven’t been up that way lately. Once you arrive in Hyde Park, you are a pleasant walking distance (10 minutes) to the national historic site.
The first thing that will happen when you arrive is that you’ll be directed to the visitor’s center. There you are treated to a movie titled “A Rendevous With History.” It’s pretty good, so you may want to bring popcorn.
In case you are still hungry, there is also a World War II-themed eatery on the grounds called Uncle Sam’s Canteen so that you won’t starve. The fare is varied and pretty good. Try a sandwich or a wrap and a soft drink. That should hold you over for the trip back to the city.
But first, you’ll have some walking to do. The National Park Police conduct the tour of the 20,000 square foot, 35 room, nine bath Roosevelt mansion. They also provide the supervised visit to the adjacent FDR Library. It is not only interesting, but it is also a whole lot of fun.
A visit to Hyde Park is a day trip I highly recommend to anyone living in or visiting the New York Metropolitan Area. Tell your family and friends. They’ll thank you – I promise.
Admission to the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and FDR Presidential Library and Museum is $20 per guest.