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“Absolutely beautiful refuge.”

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Cornish
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Once the home of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this beautiful home and garden is now open to the public for free concerts and picnics.
Reviewed November 29, 2011

I discovered the sculptor Saint-Gaudens through a newspaper while working in Vermont. The article was on his Massachusetts 54th piece. Desiring to see his depiction of black soldiers in the Civil War, I drove to the estate. The grounds are not gaudy but lovely. As you drive up the long road leading to the St. Gaudens National Historic Site, you feel you're in for something special. Just walking the grounds is a joy but as I went in the shrubbery enclosed area for the Massachusetts 54th piece, I was blown away. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of art that I've seen. A walk down one of the trails on the opposite side to the stream was nice too. A colleague of mine asked me about the sculpture of the woman who had committed suicide. Although I wasn't overwhelmed as I wasn't by the Mona Lisa, he marveled over this particular piece. More impressive to me was the covered bridge on the road back to Vermont. The gift shop was not too spiffy. A print, postcard or mini-replica of the Massachusetts 54th piece would have been nice. Yet, the trip to St. Gaudens is very worthwhile.

1  Thank bahiadreaming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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209 - 213 of 215 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2011

My wife and I were driving to the Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair in Sunapee, NH last month, and we decided to break up the trip by making a stop along the way. We stopped at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. WOW! The American sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, chose a beautiful rural location for his permanent art studio. It's at the top of a hill overlooking the Connecticut River valley.

The National Park Service offers two different tours (each for a small fee): one of the house and one of the the grounds and studios. We only had time for the later, and we heartily recommend it. It was extremely informative. (Note: You can tour everything -- other than the house -- on your own, but we thought the tour was excellent, and we subsequently roamed around on our own. I liked it that way and think others would too.) A large number of Saint-Gaudins pieces are displayed at inside and outside locations. We particularly liked the Shaw Memorial, the coins that Saint-Gaudins designed, and the studio itself. (Note: We subsequently saw the original of the Shaw Memorial in the Boston Commons. Of course, it is just as masterful, but the rural setting in NH is so much more beautiful!)

There are also a couple of hiking trails on the site (which we did not avail ourselves of) and a beautiful garden (which we did enjoy).

We also spent some time 1-on-1 chatting with the sculptor in residence. This was really neat! I can't promise that when you visit there'll be an artist in residence or that there will be so few visitors that you can spend 1-on-1 time with them, but that's what we found on our trip and it was fabulous!

2  Thank BenThereToo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

A major part of our vacation trips every year is to visit many of our own National Parks across the US. Perhaps the best one we've seen recently is the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, located in west-central New Hampshire. OHMYGOODNESS, what great sculptures by this venerated artist. My fave was the huge scupture memorializing Civil War general Shaw; set in a beautiful bowling green/garden.

1  Thank Stew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2011

This was the highlight of a long weekend in New Hampshire/Vermont. Many fine examples of the sculpture of St. Gaudens, both in the studio setting and on the grounds. The home is on some lovely land and we were there with perfect weather. Everything was so green and lush. I was familiar with St. Gaudens work and have been a fan, but I just recently learned of this place and it's a real gem.

1  Thank Margo56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2011

It is absolutely worth visiting the beautiful historic home, studio and gardens of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The scale of the grounds and the museum make it possible to see most of it in an hour but if you allow yourself 2-3 hours you can really take advantage of all the site offers. There is ample and informative signage throughout the site and maps are available at the visitors center. Dogs on leash are permitted on the grounds but not in the buildings. We saw at least three dogs the day we arrived and it seemed like couples or families would take turns holding the dogs while others went into the buildings but it's not a hardship as the grounds are so beautiful and many of the sculptures are outside. I went with my 6 year old son and if you go with children definitely ask at the visitors center for the junior ranger activity book. It is full of interesting activities related to the park and after completing them children receive a patch (see photos!). The other children-friendly features include lots of open space to roam, golden turtle fountains spraying into a pond with lily pads and frogs, and chocolate golden coin replicas of the ones made by Saint-Gaudens ($1 for a bag of 5 in the gift shop in visitors center) The Ravine Trail is worth the time and it was particularly interesting to see the the dam built to create the swimming hole and there is ample signage identifying the flora and fauna. The trail is short but does have some steep slopes and areas with roots. Overall a wonderful place to visit - all for the very modest fee of $5 per adults - age 16 and under free.

1  Thank wilvey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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