A road trip to Sleepy Hollow

A visit to Sleepy Hollow wasn’t originally part of my recent trip to New York City, but rather, a spontaneous excursion.  The idea came about when it was decided to take another route through New Jersey to get home.  Looking on my smart phone’s map, I noticed a bridge over the Hudson River right in the area of Sleepy Hollow.  I had been wanting to go there for a while and I thought, this was the perfect chance.

I spotted a huge, castle-like structure up on a hill, peaking out over the trees with their varied autumn colors.  The scene looked as though it were straight out of a fairy tale movie.  If only I had been able to get a clear view for a photo of it from my passenger-side vantage point.  Well, that’s something for a future visit!

Before any sightseeing, my mom and I made a stop at The Horseman’s Restaurant & Pizza for a bite to eat.  A poster of the movie “Sleepy Hollow,” starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci and Christopher Walken, was displayed on a wall in one corner.  Decorations of ghostly figures and huge, hairy, red-eyed spiders hung eerily from the ceiling.

A previous visitor to the dining establishment posted a tip on Foursquare about trying the Horseman’s Burger; it sure was delicious!  I’ll have to come back to this restaurant again sometime.  There were maps of local attractions available, as well as keychains for sale at the counter.  I bought a keychain with a sketch of the Headless Horseman on his horse, along with the words “Has Anyone Seen My Head,” on it.  For anyone who hasn’t been there, it has some outdoor seating and a small parking lot in the front.  More parking spaces are available up a hill on Hudson Terrace and immediately behind the building.  That’s where we parked and took a staircase down to the lower lot.

1-Horsemans-Restaurant

2-Horsemans-Burger

Next, it was on to exploring Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.  Even before reaching the entrance, a few ornate gates we passed were just a hint of the architectural details to be seen inside.  We saw a number of people exploring the grounds, some in a small group tour and others taking photos of the mausoleums.  Given the intricate stonework, it was easy to see why the cemetery attracts visitors who love the artistry of old architecture.  These were some of my favorite photos, with a mix of the structures and natural scenes.  Some of these also had interesting stories behind them that I wanted to remember as well.

Columns are one of my favorite architectural features on historic buildings and are a part of many mausoleums in the cemetery.

Columns are one of my favorite architectural features on historic buildings and are a part of many mausoleums in the cemetery.

This statue caught my attention, viewing it from behind.  I didn't realize it was a well-known site in the cemetery, until back at home and looking up more info about it.  The statue, according to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery website, is called The Bronze Lady.

This statue caught my attention, viewing it from behind. I didn’t realize it was a well-known site in the cemetery, until back at home and looking up more info about it. The statue, according to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery website, is called The Bronze Lady.

Beautiful sunbeams reach across the back of the mausoleum by The Bronze Lady.

Beautiful sunbeams reach across the back of the mausoleum by The Bronze Lady.

This was a favorite mausoleum partly due to its surrounding landscape.

This was a favorite mausoleum partly due to its surrounding landscape.

Golden autumn leaves accent a column and stone wall.

Golden autumn leaves accent a column and stone wall.

A bit rugged terrain and scenic view behind the mausoleum; I ventured along to get the next photo.

A bit rugged terrain and scenic view behind the mausoleum; I ventured along to get the next photo.

An Instagram I made of the original I took; the mix of architectural details and autumn colors from this vantage point also made this spot a favorite of mine.

An Instagram I made of the original I took; the mix of architectural details and autumn colors from this vantage point also made this spot a favorite of mine.

The ornate stone detail seems to go perfectly with the autumn leaves.

The ornate stone detail seems to go perfectly with the autumn leaves.

An old gravestone standing just beyond a stone wall along the cemetery driveway.

An old gravestone standing just beyond a stone wall along the cemetery driveway.

Although this photo came out a little blurry, I loved the look of these stone steps, winding up away from the road.

Although this photo came out a little blurry, I loved the look of these stone steps, winding up away from the road.

There were a number of these intricate iron gates in the cemetery.  Most of the ones I saw were along grassy paths with lines worn down by tires.  We came across a group tour on foot nearby.

There were a number of these intricate iron gates in the cemetery. Most of the ones I saw were along grassy paths with lines worn down by tires. We came across a group tour on foot nearby.

This was of particular interest to me because of the history from the Revolutionary Era.

This was of particular interest to me because of the history from the Revolutionary Era.

In this area, I was just trying to capture the natural scenery.  Later, as I went through my photos, I spotted the dark figure above the ridge and thought it looked like the Headless Horseman.  However, I don't think anyone was dressed up for that role on the day I was exploring Sleepy Hollow.

In this area, I was just trying to capture the natural scenery. Later, as I went through my photos, I spotted the dark figure above the ridge and thought it looked like the Headless Horseman. However, I don’t think anyone was dressed up for that role on the day I was exploring Sleepy Hollow.

A little ways up the road, we encountered this traffic jam.  One or two cars were behind us, others parked along the side of the road (including out of the photo frame).  We could only back up as those behind us did and we never actually saw what everyone was parked there to see.

A little ways up the road, we encountered this traffic jam. One or two cars were behind us, others parked along the side of the road (including out of the photo frame). We could only back up as those behind us did and we never actually saw what everyone was parked there to see.

A last look at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery until a future visit to the Hudson Valley.

A last look at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery until a future visit to the Hudson Valley.

I look quite a lot more photos throughout the cemetery; feel free to view them in an album on my Flickr page.  All of my photography during this trip was taken on my smart phone, since I decided to leave my DSLR camera at home for less to carry in NYC.

There was so much to see within Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, I wished I had a map that show where literary figures were buried.  As I wandered around, I didn’t spot any of those graves this time around.  Navigating the cemetery was a matter of just deciding to check out one path or another as the driveway wound around sections of worn, old gravestones and impressive mausoleums.

The town of Sleepy Hollow itself was beautiful and I was glad to visit for the first time during the autumn season.

An autumn scene along a street in the town of Sleepy Hollow.

An autumn scene along a street in the town of Sleepy Hollow.

Leaving the area, we crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge and again in the front passenger seat, I tried to take a few scenic photos.  I sure would love to come back for a day of sailing and taking in more of these views!

Tarrytown Lighthouse in the distance.

Tarrytown Lighthouse in the distance.

Hook Mountain and sailboats going past it along the Hudson River.

Hook Mountain and sailboats going past it along the Hudson River.

Well, I definitely have a number of reasons to return to the Hudson Valley another time.  These are just a few more:

  • Lyndhurst
  • Kykuit Estate
  • Philipsburg Manor
  • Van Cortlandt Manor
  • The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
  • A glimpse of the Headless Horseman
  • Washington Irving’s Sunnyside
  • The Little Red Lighthouse (Jeffrey’s Hook Light)

As we continued toward Pennsylvania, we headed toward Allentown as one reference point.  This brought us to Easton and a small-town scene that reminded me of an onscreen “hollow,” Stars Hollow.  Near Northampton Street Bridge, the Centre Square was encircled by scarecrows that seemed to gaze out at the surrounding shops and dining establishments.  Just as with visiting Sleepy Hollow, this was the first time I’d ever been to Easton.  Another common factor both towns have is gorgeous historic architecture.  I should check out more of Easton sometime as well, possibly on the way back to Sleepy Hollow.

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at http://cdwyerfilminspired.wordpress.com - and my literary blog at http://cdwyerbookishgrad.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Architecture, Autumn, Dining, Flickr, Foliage, Foursquare, Halloween, Historic, Lighthouse, Literary, Nature, New York, New York City, Photography, Scenic, Smart Phone, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A road trip to Sleepy Hollow

  1. Pingback: Literary travel and grad school updates | Bookish Grad

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