Museums, Mansions & More

Long Island Gold Coast Gatsby-era mansions delight residents and visitors. You’ll enjoy exploring the interior furnishings and beautiful landscape of Old Westbury Gardens, Oheka Castle, the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, and more.

 Nassau County’s Cradle of Aviation Museum and Planetarium showcases Long Island’s rich history of flying.  

Image of plane hanging from ceiling in cradle of aviation museum

     Learn about aviation pioneers who made history on the bluffs and plains of Long Island in the early 1900s. And don’t miss the  Bayport Aerodrome, a grass runway airfield owned and operated by the Town of Islip. 

The Museum of American Armor and American Air Power Museum also features history and aviation. 

 Long Island's historic lighthouses are treasures that both local resident and visitors cherish.  The Montauk Lighthouse is the oldest, and was commissioned in 1792 by President George Washington. This National Historic Landmark is the fourth oldest lighthouse in the nation and features magnificent views. Fire Island Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on Long Island, and is located within the Fire Island National Seashore, just east of Robert Moses State Park. Climb the 182 steps to the top of the tower to fully appreciate  Long Island's nautical tradition and natural beauty. 

The Huntington Harbor Lighthouse

Long Beach Bar Lighthouse AKA the "Bug Light"

Cedar Island Lighthouse 

Horton Point Lighthouse Nautical Museum

Please respectfully keep in mind that lighthouse access is often limited. Tour availability changes seasonally and is also based on weather conditions.  

Given Long Island's 1000+ miles of spectacular shoreline and maritime history, it's not surprising that nautical museums abound on Long Island including the Southold Museum, East End Seaport Museum, and Long Island Maritime Museum. There are also two museums dedicated to understanding and showcasing fire fighting - the Islip Town Firefighters Museum and the Nassau County Firefighters Museum & Education Center.

Many Long Island towns and hamlets have arts councils, historical societies, historical markers, and museums with fascinating galleries, exhibits, programs, and events. Check the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society, Islip Grange, Old Bethpage Village, Islip Arts Council, the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center, Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum, and many more. Historic mills and windmills also dot the landscape. Always confirm visitor hours, respect private areas and artifacts, and look for informational signs.

Another Long Island treasure is the Sagamore National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, the home of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States. Also known as his "Summer White House,” Sagamore received international attention. You can now explore 83 acres of natural surroundings, historic buildings and trails. 

In addition to the many historic museums, MoCA LI, Islip Art Museum (temporarily closed), Hofstra Museum of Art, Steinberg Museum of Art, the Long Island Museum, the Heckscher Museum of Art, Nassau County Museum of Art, and Parrish Art Museum are other examples showcasing Long Island Arts.

Traveling with kids? The Long Island Children’s Museum & its historic Nunley Carousel are fun choices.

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