While Long Island is most famous for its beautiful beaches and close proximity to New York City, it also boasts some unique attractions worth visiting, whether you’re a tourist or a native Long Islander. Plan a fun day for you and your family to visit one of these five local places.
McMansion – New Hyde Park
Dining at McDonald’s with class sounds like an oxymoron, but not at what might be the fanciest McDonald’s in the country. Located on Jericho Turnpike, the McMansion, otherwise known as the Denton House, was once a farmhouse owned by Joseph Denton that was later converted into a mansion. After gaining ownership of it in 1985, McDonald’s restored the mansion to its 1926 appearance at the demand of town residents, adding a drive-thru around the back. It’s hard to believe you can order a Big Mac and fries in this upscale, two-floor restaurant with its grand staircase and pretty veranda.
Long Island Children’s Museum – Garden City
What makes this museum unique is that children actually enjoy going to it. The Long Island Children’s Museum is a 40,000-square-foot facility packed with interactive exhibit galleries that promote hands-on learning and play as well as a large theater for fun and educational film screenings and concerts. Children can explore and experience fascinating aspects of art, science, music, and more, and have fun doing it. More info.
Cradle of Aviation Museum – Garden City
With Long Island’s rich history in aviation, it’s no wonder that it’s home to one of the country’s most distinguished aviation museums. Built on the site of what was once the Mitchel Air Force Base, the Cradle of Aviation Museum houses eight exhibit galleries, a planetarium, a dome theater, and much more. It’s even fit for the whole family with a special interactive play area for the kids and fun events on the calendar for everyone to attend. More info.
Casa Basso – West Hampton
An Italian restaurant on Long Island’s East End, Casa Basso is a small castle built by a little-known artist named Theophilus Brouwer in the 19th century. His sculptures and pottery remain scattered across the property, making for quite a unique dining experience. Casa Basso is an attraction not to be missed while out east, if for its fine Italian cuisine, artistic appeal, or both. More info.
Camp Hero Air Force Base – Montauk
Once an air force base shrouded in controversy and now a state park, Camp Hero has been the research topic of conspiracy theorists and alien hunters for decades. When it was operational, the base was widely believed to be a testing center for time travel, aliens, and other bizarre, top-secret studies. It is also the subject of the 2013 film Montauk Chronicles which tells the supposedly true story of the extraterrestrial and government experiments that occurred there, and may still go on today. Whether you’re a believer or not, Camp Hero is worth a visit at least for its historical value.