Tuesday, July 28, 2015

7 Things To Do in Oyster Bay

Postcard Courtesy of the Oyster Bay Historical Society
C&T's Empire Insider will give you the ins and outs of what to do, what to see, and where to see it in all corners of New York state.
Originally posted in AAA's Car & Travel, July/August 2015 
By: Andrew G. Rosen

Oyster Bay is often revered as the crown jewel of the opulent North Shore. With deep historical ties, including President Theodore Roosevelt taking up residence in the region, it’s no wonder the area is consistently a must-visit for Northeasterners. The stellar water quality of Oyster Bay helps produce mouth-watering oysters, representing up to 90 percent of the oysters and up to 40 percent of the hard clams harvested in all of New York State.

Planting Fields Greenhouse
Photo by Meredith Maus
1. With over 400 acres of rolling lawns and woodland paths, Planting Fields Arboretum offers a gorgeous collection of horticulture, much of which is unique to the area. Coming soon is the new “sensory garden” where an interactive pool and sheltered outdoor room promise to deliver tranquility and beauty to all who visit.

Sailboats loading at the WFC
Photo by Meredith Maus
2. Once a hub for manufacturing WWII minesweepers for the U.S. Navy, The WaterFront Center is now an environmental education and recreation not- for-profit community center. After renting a kayak or paddleboard, be sure to check out the historic Christeen, the oldest surviving oyster sloop in North America (sunset and harbor sails are offered).

Sagamore Hill NHS
Photo by Meredith Maus

3. One visit and it’s easy to understand why Theodore Roosevelt, the only U.S. president born in New York City, made Sagamore Hill his “summer White House.” Technically in Cove Neck, east of Oyster Bay Cove, the recently rehabilitated home (as of press time, expected to re-open in mid-July) serves up a slice of history.

Flight Tasting at OBBC
Photo by Meredith Maus

4. The nautical-themed tasting room at the Oyster Bay Brewing Company is standing room only, but after a craft beer flight, who cares! Watch them brew their hoppy IPA or crisp amber ale on premises or fill up your empty growler and enjoy from the comfort of home.

Photo Courtesy Audubon New York

5. Originally designed to provide a protected environment for songbirds in the 1920s, the 12-acre Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center was donated to the public by the president’s cousins in his name. Visitors leave with a greater respect for the natural world after enjoying hands-on environmental education programs.

Photo Courtesy Oyster Fest Facebook

6. We had to talk about the oysters, no? The annual Oyster Festival (Oct. 17–18, 2015) attracts over 200,000 people who partake in oysters— raw, fried and stewed. As the East Coast’s largest waterfront festival, you’ll find entertainment, rides, crafts and over 60 food options (just in case oysters aren’t your thing).

Photo by Meredith Maus

7. Rooted in the community since the early 1900s, Bonanza’s is more than your average walk-up snack window. Enjoy a chili dog (it’s boiled!), gooey cheese fries and cool off with creative homemade Italian ice flavors such as margarita, PB&J and cake batter. No wonder this place has been a community staple for generations.

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