Referred to as the “Gold Coast of Long Island,” the North Shore is home to historic villages, grand estates and scenic views of the majestic Long Island Sound.
Its reputation of being the playground of the wealthy was underscored by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, and although today the area feels more suburban than stately, that aspirational lifestyle still prevails. Today it remains naturally beautiful with waterside restaurants, tree-lined roads and charming main streets. It is certainly worth the drive.
Make your way up the winding West Gate Drive and beyond the gated walls you’ll find the incomparable OHEKA CASTLE. Named after Otto Hermann Kahn, this French-style chateau, built in 1914, was the site of innumerable lavish parties in the Gilded Age of the 1920s. Take the opportunity to check in for a night or two in one of the castle’s 32 luxurious guestrooms for an unforgettable and timeless experience.
(Oheka Castle, 135 Westgate Dr, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-659-1400, www.Oheka.com)
Break out your best country club attire and take a guided tour of OHEKA CASTLE and its 23 acre private grounds. Nancy Melius, Oheka’s director of marketing, says, “Guests can enjoy a historic mansion tour of the estate and gardens of Oheka and discover, explore and experience the castle’s rich history.” If you get a sense of déjà vu, it may be because Oheka has been the backdrop for countless photo shoots, commercials, celebrity weddings, feature films and television shows.
Bring your golf or tennis game to the prestigious COLD SPRING COUNTRY CLUB. There you’ll find an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts and dining facilities. In 1919, Otto Kahn hired golf architect Seth Raynor to design the course and, rumor has it, had traps built in places where he knew his opponents’ shots frequently landed.
(Cold Spring Country Club, E Gate Drive, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-692-6550, www.ColdSpringCC.org).
Indulge in a swanky cocktail from the Prohibition Drink Menu at OHEKA CASTLE’S Bar & Lounge before dinner in the formal dining room.
Start the day with breakfast at TOAST AND CO. in Huntington Village. Hungry lines form early for breakfast, but the time-pressed can often find seats at the counter. Brunch is served every day where you can choose to make your own omelet, nosh on a protein wrap or finish off a stack of pancakes.
(Toast & Co., 62 Stewart Ave, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-812-0056, www.ToastandCoEatery.com).
Visit the VANDERBILT MUSEUM and enjoy a Living History Tour of the spectacular 24-room, waterfront mansion built in 1910 for William K. Vanderbilt II. Check out their eclectic event calendar, fun for all!
(Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, NY 11721, 631-854-5579, www.VanderbiltMuseum.org
Stroll the historic village of HUNTINGTON. The village is a hub of activity –from shopping to food to cool events. There is always something exciting going on. The vintage and pre-owned merchandise at MY INHERITANCE is well merchandised and the store is sleek and airy. If you’re in the market for an exceptional piece of jewelry, a memorable designer handbag or a one-of-a-kind dress, this is a must-visit.
(My Inheritance, 30 Gerard Street, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-424-2137, www.MyInheritanceUSA.com.)
Enjoy live music while taking in the breathtaking sunset at PRIME: AN AMERICAN KITCHEN AND BAR, a restaurant with views of Huntington Harbor that’s the hotspot of the summer on the North Shore. Michael Bohlsen, co-owner of Prime: An American Kitchen and Bar, says, “At Prime, we celebrate the summer months. We dine dockside under the warm sun as the boats pull in. We listen to Reggae on Sunday afternoons by the Cabana Bar. We enjoy Prime steaks while watching the sun set over the west side of Huntington Harbor. We watch movies after sunset on Monday nights and we rejoice at the end of the week with mojitos by the water, listening to an acoustic trio on Friday evenings.”
(Prime – An American Kitchen & Bar, 117 New York Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-385-1515, www.RestaurantPrime.com).
Head into Cold Spring Harbor for some coffee and baked goods at SWEETIE PIES on Main. With its charming outdoor space and local edibles on the menu, you’ll think you’re in a quaint European café.
(Sweetie Pies On Main, 181 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, 631-367-9500, www.SweetiePiesOnMain.com.)
Trek through the scenic landscape of CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE. The 1,500 acre preserve is operated by New York State Parks and offers bridle paths, hiking trails, bird watching and remarkable views of the Long Island Sound. It’s a nature enthusiast’s mecca. Marshall Field III purchased the Lloyd Neck property in 1921 and named it after the Matinecock Indian word for “place by a sharp rock.” Remnants of his former English-style estate can be seen throughout, including the historic manor house and outbuildings. You’ll discover something new with each visit to the park.
(Caumsett State Historial Park Preserve, 25 Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-423-1770, www.NYSParks.com).
Drink up some natural spring water in COLD SPRING HARBOR. One may or may not be able to find the hidden spring located on Shore Road. Locals know where to find the naturally cool water that flows from the springs in the area; hence the hamlet’s name. Bring plastic containers to fill with this precious natural —and local—resource.
(Cold Spring Harbor, Chamber of Commerce, 845-265-3200, www.ColdSpringAreaChamber.org).
TIME TO HEAD HOME – Your three-day adventure is almost over, but the best part is to come….the drive home in your BMW.