While many popular vacation destinations require a plane ticket or a long drive in traffic, there are many towns right here on Long Island where you can enjoy the perks of a getaway. If you only have a few hours to take a break from your busy life, you can mimic a vacation day by doing some of the things you might do when visiting an unfamiliar locale. Here are some nearby towns that offer a quaint shopping area for window shopping, an interesting attraction, an elegant restaurant—and, what vacation is complete without a decadent treat? Bonus: For these day trips, you don’t need to pack or fill your gas tank.
The Glen Cove Mansion (www.glencovemansion.com; 516-671-6400), located at 200 Dosoris Lane, is a great place for recreation, dining—or even a weekend getaway. “Where else on the Island can you find 53 acres off of the Long Island Sound?” asks Bill Dougherty, Managing Partner of Glen Cove Mansion. On the grounds, you’ll not only find tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, horse shoe pits and a putting green, but a restoration of the original bowling alley is underway, according to Dougherty. Hotel rooms are available at this Gold Coast mansion, so visitors can spend a night or two on property.
“Glen Cove is not on the beaten path, but it’s a great little town with unique experiences and a lot of variety,” says Dougherty. In the area, you’ll also find the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center (www.hmtcli.org; 516-571-8040), Welwyn Preserve (www.nassaucountyny.gov/2927/welwynpreserve;
516-571-8040) and Garvies Point Museum & Preserve (www.garviespointmuseum.com; 516-571-8010) or you can hit some balls at Glen Cove Golf Course’s driving range (www.glencove golfclub.com; 516-676-0550), go boating, fishing or horseback riding.
Pub 1910 at the mansion is an elegant spot for a drink or meal, or for outdoor dining on the water in a beautiful setting, The View Grill (www.viewgrill.com; 516-200-9603) at the Glen Cove Golf Course has a deck with outdoor seating, as well as a playground, basketball courts and tennis courts. For a treat, Henry’s Sweet Shoppe (www.henryssweetshoppe.com; 516-671-3222) on 8 Glen Street, established in 1929, is a lovely old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
If you’re enchanted by the area, spend another day exploring the quaint boutiques and restaurants in Locust Valley or the artsy galleries, shops and restaurants along the boardwalk in Sea Cliff.
For a step back in time, visit Roslyn’s Gerry Pond Park. While strolling through the duck pond, enjoy views of a gazebo, working mill and historic buildings (516-869-6311). The nearby Nassau County Museum of Art (www.nassaumuseum.org; 516-484-9337) on the former Frick Estate is a 145-acre property in Roslyn Harbor with a formal garden, walking paths, a Sculpture Park and exhibits.
In the restored estate home of Hendrick Onderdonk, which was built 1740, Hendrick’s Tavern on 1305 Old Northern Boulevard is a popular dining option for Saturday lunch or Sunday brunch with a mixture of a modern and historical atmosphere (www.pollrestaurants.com/restaurants/hendricks; 516-621-1200). For a sweet treat, choose from a mouth-watering selection of fresh-baked goods at Diane’s Bakery Café (www.trattoriadiane.com; 516-621-2522) at 23 Bryant Avenue.
See how a neglected and trash-filled sump was transformed into a flourishing nine-acre community nature preserve at the Garden City Bird Sanctuary (www.gcbird sanctuary.org), opposite 181 Tanners Pond Road.
Seventh Street is a great destination for window shopping and dining. Visitors can enjoy the Polo Lounge in the luxurious Garden City Hotel (www.gardencityhotel.com; 516-747-3000) located at 45 Seventh Street. Housed in a historic Garden City property that dates back to 1874, the hotel offers an indoor pool, sauna and fitness center, plus a patio bar and lounge.
Another great destination for a day of shopping: The popular Roosevelt Field mall (www.simon.com/mall/roosevelt-field; 516-742-8000) at 630 Old Country Road offers more than 270 stores, and the new food court, called the Dining District, is part of a $200-million makeover, where you can find an ethnically diverse selection of eateries, such as Patsy’s Pizzeria, Galangal Thai Cuisine Noodles, The Little Beet, Sarku Japan, Maoz Vegetarian and Tres Carnes, plus Grand Lux Cafe just outside the mall. For a quick treat, try Red Mango, Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Shop, Godiva Chocolatier or Green Leaf’s & Bananas.