Weekend Trip Idea: Sleepy Hollow NY

Unfortunately (fortunately?) you will not encounter any real headless horseman in Sleepy Hollow.
Unfortunately (fortunately?) you will not encounter any real headless horseman in Sleepy Hollow.

Has anyone else been watching Sleepy Hollow on Fox? I like it. A lot actually, a lot more than I thought I would. I stumbled across it last week on Hulu while trying to find something mindless to watch while I graded papers (story of my life).

I didn’t end up grading any papers but did end up spending five hours of my life getting caught up on the series. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is one of my favorite stories and I’m a big fan of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, so I approached this series with some hesitation. It’s only loosely based on the Washington Irving tale, turning Ichabod Crane from a teacher to a Revolutionary soldier under the direct command of George Washington who has a spell cast upon him by his wife Katrina (another departure from the story) that puts him in an eternal sleep. He wakes up in present day Sleepy Hollow, bringing not just the headless horseman, but a host of other demonic horseman, plagues and witches with him. It gets a bit crazy and there’s a lot of convoluted mythology and history but it’s crazy enough that I’m in for now.

Now that I’m completely off track, let me get to my point. Since this month’s October “Weekend Trip Ideas” are Halloween themed, what better place than a visit to Sleepy Hollow,New York?

I’m sort of expecting Sleepy Hollow to get a big tourism boost from the show as I talked to several people that didn’t realize it’s a real place. It’s an actual village which sits on banks of the east bank Hudson River in Westchester County about 30 miles north of Manhattan. Sleepy Hollow is just north of  Tarrytown, which is where the Tappan Zee crosses the Hudson.

Sleepy Hollow completely embraces the “Headless Horseman” tale that made it famous and October is the perfect time to take a daytrip up or spend a weekend.

There’s two main attractions to see that revolve around the legend, The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and The Old Dutch Church.

The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow is a 17th Century  Dutch Reformed church prominently featured in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It has it’s own churchyard (graveyard) that was also featured in the story–the graveyard holds the bodies of actual residents thought to be the inspiration for Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel and Brom Bones. The bridge that the Headless Horseman would have ridden across would have been close to here, but doesn’t exist anymore. In fact, historians were never able to pinpoint which bridge Washington Irving was referring to.

The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is often confused as the cemetery in the story but actually got its name at the behest of Washington Irving who is buried there.  During October there are cemetery tours exploring both the legend and the actual cemetery residents.

If you get Headless Horseman-ed out, Sleepy Hollow is also home to Rockefeller State Park and some prime shoreline for boating and kayaking.  Main street Tarrytown also looks as if it boasts a healthy bar scene and NYC is accessible via train.

2 comments on “Weekend Trip Idea: Sleepy Hollow NY”

  1. I have been there a few times. It’s a great weekend getaway and only minutes from NYC. Main street has many street fairs and good places to eat. The mansion tours are a lot of fun and there is a lot to see and do there. I just looked and a lot of the special things for Halloween are sold out already.

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