Not far from the bustle of Manhattan, stroll through this small town’s quiet parks and enjoy sunset over the calm waters of Manhasset Bay.
Port Washington is a charming historic town in Nassau County on Long Island’s North Shore, surrounded by the waters of Long Island Sound. Enjoy water sports and golf and visit the preserved sites of this historic region.
Over the years, shell fishing and sand mining drove a successful economy, allowing townspeople to build large homes. Join a Magical History Tour with the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society to explore the area’s past. Learn about community details, from Pan Am’s flying boats to a lifestyle depicted in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Just north of the town is Sands Point Preserve, which retains the opulence of the early 1900s when Jay Gould, Harry Guggenheim, Charles Lindbergh and other notables lived or visited here. Join guided tours of Hempstead House, Castle Gould and Falaise on the 216-acre (87-hectare) Guggenheim Estate. Check online to see what concerts and special events are scheduled during your visit to the region.
Significantly less opulent is the Sands-Willets House, a typical farmhouse from the 1700s. Browse the Polish American Museum for exhibits on contributions from this ethnic group of Americans. Attend a service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, a beautiful stone church that has stood on Main Street for more than 100 years. Stroll toward the waterfront and stop at the boutiques, cafés and restaurants along the street.
Walk along the shoreline and look at and listen to the boats in the marinas. Before night falls, wander to the aptly named Sunset Park to view brilliant colors over the bay. In summer you might hear music coming from the Sousa Band Shell. Drive or bicycle east across the peninsula to the pleasant sands of North Hempstead Beach Park.
Port Washington is only 17 miles (27 kilometers) from New York City. While you are on the Gold Coast of Long Island, visit some of the other small towns in this North Shore area, including Manhasset and Roslyn.