10/24/2017 10:50 EDT

The Place Beyond The Fire Island Pines

COLUMBIA COUNTY, N.Y., a two-hour drive north from Manhattan, is a bucolic vision of rural America — lush rolling farmland, cow-dotted hillsides, stalwart red barns. The Hudson River School artists of the mid-19th century captured the visual splendor of the region, including the English-born painter Thomas Cole, who first encountered upstate New York in 1825 and once remarked that “the Hudson for natural magnificence is unsurpassed.” Though primarily agricultural, the area has long attracted gentlemen farmers: Over the years, various Livingstons, Rockefellers and Roosevelts have made homes here.