It’s time for a #BMW Roadtrip!
If you don’t have time for a full-fledged road trip and want to stay local, check out some of these out-of-the-ordinary Long Island oddities and unusual destinations that you might not have realized are almost in your own backyard.
1. SMITHTOWN BULL
Let’s start with the Smithtown Bull, named Whisper, which can be found at the intersection of Rt. 25 & Rt. 25A in the heart of Smithtown. Built in 1941, the bull is 14’ tall and commemorates the founding of Smithtown by Richard Smythe. Legend has it that Smythe obtained the land when hemade a bargain with Native Americans that he could keep all of the land that he rode through, in one day, while on the back of a bull.
2. HERCULES PAVILION
Head down Main Street in Stony Brook and you’ll find a statue of Hercules. The figurehead was attached to the front of the USS Ohio, a Navy boat that was the first to leave the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1820. The ship was wrecked in the late 1980s, but Hercules, the anchor and whaleboat were preserved and brought to Stony Brook.
3. BURR FAMILY CEMETERY AT HOME DEPOT IN COMMACK
Drive through the parking lot and you’ll see a group of trees surrounded by a chain link fence. Look closer and you’ll find a 19th century family cemetery for the Burr’s who came to the US in 1630 and settled on Long Island in 1656, on farmland that is now owned by Home Depot. The most recent gravestone is dated 1878.
4. THE GREAT SPHINX
You don’t need to travel off Long Island to see one of the “7 Wonders of the World.” Sculpted by Will Graham, who came to America from Belfast, Ireland in 1888, Graham created the Great Sphinx as an attraction for his hotel, the Anchorage Inn in Blue Point. Theodore Roosevelt and film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks are said to have been guests at the Inn and Mae West was reportedly trying to buy the Inn, but it burned down in the 1920s. The Sphinx was stored away in an abandoned gas station and was damaged during a renovation when the owners of The Fontana Cement Company rescued and restored the statue in 1974. It can be found on Route 27A in Bayport, where it sits as a memorial to Graham and the Anchorage Inn.
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