You can buy tickets to visit 1 mansion or 5. If you live nearby and plan on returning more than once, joining the society is only a few dollars more and will give you access to the homes and other activities all year round. We purchased the 5 mansion ticket and by the 4th home, we were pretty "mansioned out". I would start with the smaller of the homes and end with the Vanderbilt museum/home for the biggest "oohh".
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