Spying Luxury on Long Island

oheka castle

“How does anything happen? I went to the Hamptons”.

Mention Long Island and you’re likely to hear a story of summer antics that happened in one of the far east towns on Hamptons. While you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place in New York to spend a warm, sunny day, the lure and luxury of Long Island isn’t just relegated to Montauk, East or Southampton.

oheka castle staircase

As I mentioned in this article for About Travel, the (rumored) inspiration for Jay Gatsby’s house is the stunning behemoth that is Oheka Castle. The former home of philanthropist Otto Kahn, and how it got its name, Oheka is now a hotel where you will truly feel like royalty (I know I did) located on the North Shore of Long Island.

Also known as the Gold Coast, the North Shore is home to wineries, fine inns, a thriving arts and theater community, and the convenience Cross Sound Ferry that provides boat service (with or without your vehicle) from Connecticut to Port Jefferson, NY.

turn house

It is also a treasure trove for history buffs, or fans of the AMC show Turn. There is plenty to be seen along the Long Island Spy Trail including the Brewster House (pictured above) and Raynham Hall, which was depicted on the show.

To really enhance the historical feel of the day, hire Teddy Roosevelt himself to accompany you on the trail, or as I did, challenge him to a game of Cards Against Humanity at one of the local breweries, as I did.

teddy roosevelt

An island is nothing without its connection to the sea, so a stop at the beach – this is where the Hamptons come in – particulary Montauk is a must, as well as the Long Island Aquarium.

long island aquarium

This beautiful aquarium is home to thousands of colorful fish, sea lions, sharks, and my pesonal favorite, penguins.

long island aquarium

Once you’ve had your fill looking at some fish, walk down the street and pay a visit to Jerry & the Mermaid to well… eat some.

Serving fresh, locally caught fish, locally grown produce and wines to a laundry list of celebrities (including Lady Gaga), Jerry’s is a surprising celebrity hot spot given the laid back vibe, but nonetheless a perfect post aquarium lunch or dinner destination. Snag a seat on the patio if you can (weather pending), and order the best kept secret, the Buffalo wings.


jerry & the mermaid

Had your fill of Long Island? Me either. So head to discoverlongisland.com to learn about more things to do and see on the island all year round.

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