Oyster Bay is the only town that stretches from the northern shore of the Long Island to its southern shore. It is many things at once — a beach destination, a place with a long history, a food and arts haven, and somewhere to relax. It’s busiest in the summertime, but any season is a fantastic time to visit central Long Island. Oyster Bay New York, along with its hamlets and villages, is a part of Nassau County, to the east of Queens and New York City. Whether you’re coming to soak in the scenery, connect with history or a mix of both, you’ll find a lot to like along the shores of Oyster Bay.
President Theodore Roosevelt lived a lot of places during his storied life, including New York City, the White House, and the North Dakota Badlands. But no place captured his heart like Oyster Bay. He resided along the Long Island Sound from 1885 until he died in 1919. While he was president, Sagamore Hill served as the summer White House. International dignitaries visited and the business of running the country unfolded.
Today, the entire complex is a National Historic Site known for its culture as much as its natural things to do. Roosevelt’s home has been carefully preserved and is open for tours. The Roosevelt Museum at Old Orchard is another popular place to visit with exhibits that explain the president’s early years and what Oyster Bay New York was like a century ago. During quiet times, the Roosevelts strolled through the grounds of Sagamore Hill, experiencing the beauty of the Long Island Sound. A network of trails still runs through site, so visitors can experience the scenery for themselves at this protected wildlife refuge.
The name Oyster Bay did not come by accident. The waters of the Long Island Sound are quite productive, as anyone who has enjoyed the Long Island dining scene has experienced. The biggest waterfront festival in Long Island draws more than 200,000 people to Oyster Bay’s downtown in the middle of October. The two-day festival draws the typical artisans and carnival games, but you’ll also find oyster-shucking contests, people dressed in pirate costumes, and live music. Top chefs ensure that the food served during the Oyster Bay festival is as good as it comes; there’s a reason this is one of the top events on Long Island during the fall.
Museums & Galleries
Museums & Galleries Image: © oysterbaymsa (flickr)
Oyster Bay New York has a rich cultural scene to go along with its great food and beaches. Another of the community's historic home open for tours, Raynham Hall Museum is located right on Main Street near the water. On a guided tour, you can hear how the Townsend family made history during the Revolutionary War and admire the lush gardens. The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum provides a peek into the importance of the railroad to Long Island as a whole and Oyster Bay in specific. One hundred years ago, the Long Island Railway brought vacationers in from New York City, as it continues to do today.
The 19th century was the peak of the whaling industry. On the north shore of the bay, the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum shares this history along with a host of kid-friendly exhibits to keep younger visitors engaged. Those interested in art will want to make their way to downtown Oyster Bay New York where the galleries are as easy to find as they are charming.
Top image: gailf548 (flickr)