Top 15 Best Things to Do in North Hempstead, New York

Top Tourist Spots in North Hempstead, New York

Hempstead House within the Sands Point Preserve by Mr choppers via Wikimedia cc

Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in North Hempstead, New York

The Town of North Hempstead was established in 1784 by a special act of the New York State Legislature. The Town of North Hempstead became the seat of Queens County in the 19th century, including the Town of Hempstead and the Town of Oyster Bay. In 1899, these towns were incorporated and became Nassau County. The Town of North Hempstead includes several incorporated villages, such as Great Neck, Kings Point, Mineola, Old Westbury, Port Washington, Roslyn, and Sands Point. Some of the town’s major attractions include Sands Point Park and Preserve, Clark Botanic Gardens, and the Nassau County Museum of Art.

Sands Point Park and Preserve

Sands Point Preserve Conservancy photo via Fb page
Sands Point Preserve Conservancy photo via Fb page

The Sands Point Park and Preserve sit on the original Guggenheim Estate and embodies the grandeur that defines the Gold Coast period of the early 20th century when affluent American families built great mansions on large estates as summer retreats along the Long Island Sound.  The 216-acre park is now owned by Nassau County and is maintained and operated by the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy.

Every year, the Conservancy provides mansion tours and educational and cultural programs. Visitors can also hike the natural and landscaped areas in the park and even bring their dogs, provided the dogs are always kept on a leash. The Dog Run has large spaces for all dogs to socialize with their owners.

Location: 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY 11050

Hempstead House

Hempstead House within the Sands Point Preserve by Mr choppers via Wikimedia cc
Hempstead House within the Sands Point Preserve By Mr.choppers – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

Hempstead House embodies the Gold Coast opulence and measures over 1.5 acres. It is one of four mansions in the Guggenheim Estate, which includes Castle Gould, Falaise, and Mille Fleur. The Tudor-style castle was designed by Hunt & Hunt in 1912 and served as the summer residence for the Gould family, where grand parties and social gatherings occurred. Hempstead House was a cornucopia of authentic Tudor and Jacobean antiques imported from Europe.

Location: 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY 11050

Falaise

Falaise is one of the few intact historic houses on Long Island’s North Shore. It was gifted by Daniel Guggenheim to his son, Harry F. Guggenheim, after getting married in 1923 to Caroline Morton. The furnishings of Falaise are 16th and 17th-century antiques, along with the architectural fragments of medieval and Renaissance-period buildings collected during the extensive travels of Harry and Caroline. Today, both the Hempstead House and Falaise can be visited through guided tours offered by the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy.

Location: 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY 11050

Old Westbury Gardens

Old Westbury Gardens Mansion by Gryffindor via Wikimedia cc
Old Westbury Gardens Mansion By Gryffindor – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

The Old Westbury Gardens is the former estate of John S. Phipps, his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps, and their four children. The Charles II-style mansion is surrounded by 200 acres of manicured gardens, woodlands, ponds, and a lake and is embellished with antique English furnishings. The star attraction of the property is the Walled Garden, designed by George Crawley and altered by Margarita Phipps. The Walled Garden has beds of delphinium, phlox, salvia, rose bushes, and tree peonies. Guided tours of the Old Westbury Gardens are offered, and events like horticultural demonstrations, workshops, and botanical arts and gardening classes are hosted on the property.

Location: 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568

Nassau County Museum of Art

Nassau County Museum of Art by Antony-22 via Wikimedia cc
Nassau County Museum of Art By Antony-22 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

The Nassau County Museum of Art is situated on the former estate of William Cullen Bryant, long-time editor of the New York Evening Post and patron of the arts. In 1843 Bryant settled in Cedarmere adjacent to the Museum. The museum presents major exhibitions every year, mostly by contemporary artists. The museum’s living collections are on the William Cullen Bryant Preserve, including an arboretum, nature trails, and gardens.

Location: One Museum Drive, Roslyn, NY 11576

William Cullen Bryant Preserve

The William Cullen Bryant Preserve is a 145-acre preserve and encompasses the Nassau County Museum of Art. The site often hosts public and family programs, fundraising events, art classes, workshops, and walking tours. There are nature trails and a paved loop trail on the property that is used for running and cycling, although casual walkers can be found there. Art installations, gardens, and small ponds can be found throughout the trails. Several birds and mammals can be spotted on the property. While running or cycling the trails, Roslyn Harbor can be seen off the distance, which makes for an impressive experience.

Location: One Museum Drive, Roslyn, NY 11576

Clark Botanic Gardens

Clark Botanic Gardens by Jim.hernderson via Wikimedia cc
Clark Botanic Gardens By Jim.henderson – Own work, CC0, cc

The Clark Botanic Gardens is a 12-acre living museum and educational facility established in 1969. The museum has an extensive collection of native spring wildflowers, conifers, roses, perennials, daylilies, wetland plants, rock garden plants, herbs, butterfly plants, and medicinal plants. Clark Botanic Gardens also has a pollinator garden certified as a Monarch Waystation, a rain garden that absorbs stormwater from the Main House, and a lower pond with native plants that provide nectar and pollen for the pollinator garden.

Location: 193 I U Willets Road, Albertson, NY 11507

North Hempstead Beach Park

North Hempstead Beach Park by Jsc07302 via Wikimedia cc
North Hempstead Beach Park By Jsc07302~commonswiki – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

The North Hempstead Beach Park, formally known as Bar Beach & Hempstead Harbor Parks, is a 34-acre beach park with a promenade to walk along the waterfront. The park has several amenities: a horseshoe pit, a little league field, basketball and volleyball courts, baseball and softball fields, a children’s playground, picnic shelters, a bathhouse, a fishing pier, and a boat ramp. In the summer, wildflowers bloom around the park, and many joggers take the trail by the bay.

Location: 175 West Shore Road, Roslyn, NY

Manorhaven Beach Park

Manorhaven Beach by Jim.hernderson via Wikimedia cc
Manorhaven Beach By Jim.henderson – Own work, CC0, cc

The Manorhaven Beach Park overlooks Manhasset Bay and is home to Manorhaven Pool Complex, which features a 25,000-square-foot main pool area with competition, lap, and general swim area, two water slides, and a separate kiddie pool area. The Beach Park also has a 12,000-square-foot bathhouse, a Skate Spot, and several outdoor recreation activities, including a badminton court, basketball court, baseball diamond, hockey rink, tennis court, volleyball court, a children’s playground, and picnic shelters.

Location: Manorhaven Boulevard, Port Washington, NY 11050

Gold Coast Arts Center

Gold Coast Arts Center photo via FB Page
Gold Coast Arts Center photo via FB Page

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a multi-arts center committed to promoting and supporting the visual and performing arts through education, exhibition, and performance. The Arts Center regularly hosts exhibits and artist’s talks and provides art classes, workshops, programs, and camps for children and adults.

Location: 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021

Saddle Rock Grist Mill

Saddle Rock Grist Mill by Deirdrelmt via Wikimedia cc
Saddle Rock Grist Mill By Deirdrelmt – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

The Saddle Rock Grist Mill is one of the few remaining tidal mills in North Hempstead. It was constructed in the early 1700s, passed from Robert Hubbs to Henry Allen, and purchased by the Udall family, then inherited by Louise Udall Skidmore Eldridge. Upon his death, the ownership was given to Nassau County and operated the Grist Mill as a living museum where school children could see firsthand how a grist mill works.

Location: Grist Mill Lane, Great Neck, NY 11023

Polish American Museum

The Polish American Museum was founded in 1977 at the Polish American Citizen’s Association. In 1982 the former Port Washington Public Library was acquired and now houses the museum building. The museum has exhibit galleries, a research library, a lecture hall, the Archacki Archives, and the Center for Military Studies Annex. The Polish American Museum was designed to share the Polish people’s history, culture, folk arts, and diaspora in the nation.

The Center for Military Studies was founded in 1992 when the Gulf War brought Poles and Czechs to fight alongside U.S. forces for the first time since WWII. The founder of the Polish American Museum, Gerald Kochan, served as a U.S. Army officer during the Gulf War and was inspired by his experiences and heritage to seek recognition for their efforts.

Location: 16 Belleview Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050

Thomas Dodge House

Thomas Dodge Homestead at night by Michael J Francese via Wikimedia cc
Thomas Dodge Homestead at night By Michael J. Francese – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

In 1986, the Thomas Dodge House was listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. The historic house has been designated as a landmark by the Historic Landmark Preservation Commission of the Town of North Hempstead. The Dutch Colonial farmhouse was built by Thomas Dodge in 1721, making it one of the oldest homes in the Town of North Hempstead and one of the few homes on Long Island inhabited for more than 270 years by the same family.

Location: 58 Harbor Road, Port Washington, NY 11050

Harbor Links Golf Course

Gold and Country Club
Gold and Country Club

Harbor Links Golf Course was constructed in 1998 and became the 29th Certified Signature Sanctuary in the world in 2001. The course is owned by the Town of North Hempstead and operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. Situated along the north shore of Long Island, Harbor Links has a mini-golf course, banquet facilities for special events, and an 18-hole Championship Course and 9-hole Executive Course.

Location: 1 W Fairway Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050

Can You Escape? LI

Can You Escape? Long Island Escape Room is an escape room center in Mineola. Each escape room can accommodate 2 to 8 people, and the participants have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and escape. Some of the escape room themes include attempting a prison break, solving a bomb threat, and stabilizing an extraterrestrial parasite. Participants not eligible to join include those who wear a pacemaker and persons under the age of 18 unless an adult is present.

Location: 44 Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, NY 11501

How to get there

North Hempstead can be accessed via the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line and Port Washington Branch. The Main Line connects the southern part of North Hempstead to Jamaica, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, while Port Washington Branch connects the North Shore to Flushing and Manhattan.

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