Beaverwyck, a little north of Albany, on the opposite bank of the river, was formerly the seat of Wm. P. Van Rensselaer, Esq. The whole estate is ten or twelve miles square, including the village of Bath on the river shore, and a large farming district. The home residence embraces several hundred acres, with a large level lawn, bordered by highly varied surface of hill and dale. The mansion, one of the first class, is newly erected from the plans of Mr. Diaper, and in its interior — its hall with mosaic floor of polished woods, its marble staircase, frescoed apartments, and spacious adjoining conservatory — is perhaps the most splendid in the Union. The grounds are yet newly laid out, but with much judgment; and six or seven miles of winding gravelled roads and walks have been formed — their boundaries now leading over level meadows, and now winding through woody dells. The drives thus afforded, are almost unrivalled in extent and variety, and give the stranger or guest, an opportunity of seeing the near and distant views to the best advantage.
At Tarrytown, is the cottage residence of Washington Irving, which is, in location and accessories, almost the beau ideal of a cottage ornee. The charming manner in which the wild foot-paths, in the neighborhood of this cottage, are conducted among the picturesque dells and banks, is precisely what one would look for here. A little below, Mr. Sheldon's cottage (now Mr. Hoag's), with its pretty lawn and its charming brook, is one of the best specimens of this kind of residence on the river. At Hastings, four or five miles south, is the agreeable seat of Robt. B. Min-turn, Esq.
About twelve miles from New York, on the Sound, is Hunter's Island, the seat of John Hunter, Esq., a place of much simplicity and dignity of character. The whole island may be considered an extensive park carpeted with soft lawn, and studded with noble trees. The mansion is simple in its exterior, but internally, is filled with rich treasures of art. The seat of James Munroe, Esq., on the East river in this neighborhood, abounds with beautiful trees, and many other features of interest.