Turn-of-the-Century Mansion on 55 Acres
Long Island became a sought-after getaway spot in the late 1800s, when affluent Manhattan families—including the Morgans, Tiffanys, Vanderbilts, and the Woolworths—started building country homes there. Within a few years, the North Shore earned the nickname “Gold Coast” for its influx of lavish estates, including what eventually became the Glen Cove Mansion Hotel & Conference Center.
Like its neighbors, the property can trace its history back to the whims of a highly influential family: that of John T. Pratt, an attorney and oil executive with Standard Oil, and Ruth Baker Pratt, the first Republican congresswoman from New York. Then known simply as The Manor, the Pratts' 1910 estate stood out as one of the most glamorous with a stately two-story portico entrance and ornate stone fountain, a popular bathing spot for local sparrows. The mansion was converted to a hotel in the 1960s and maintains its turn-of-the-last-century charm. Antique light fixtures, imported wood paneling, and other original details fill the common areas. Outside, the original pillared entrance and fountain still stand as the centerpiece of the estate's expansive grounds.
Interrupted only by zigzagging hiking and biking trails, the 55 acres are primed for outdoor activities year-round: you can rent bicycles and play croquet when it’s warm or don a pair of snowshoes to explore the trails in the winter. Inside, Pub 1910 serves up refreshing cocktails and classic American fare such as Cajun seared salmon in a spacious saloon.
Long Island’s North Shore: Picturesque Coves Lined with Elegant Estates
Long Island’s North Shore: Lavish 20th-Century Estates and Art Museums Near New York City The North Shore region of Long Island encompasses a string of coastal towns, from the Great Neck peninsula 7 miles west of Queens to Port Jefferson, a Revolutionary War village. Prominent families such as the Vanderbilts and the Whitneys began building private estates on the North Shore around the turn of the 20th century; given its high-class reputation, the area is still known as the Gold Coast today. A handful of these mansions are now open to the public, including Teddy Roosevelt’s summer home at Sagamore Hill, and Walt Whitman’s birthplace at Huntington Station.
This area also offers a number of first-class museums, including the Nassau County Museum of Art. Housed in a 19th-century Georgian mansion, the museum features a 600-piece collection with works from Roy Lichtenstein and Auguste Rodin.
There are a handful of outdoor attractions you can check out on the North Shore, too, such as the Old Westbury Gardens. Old Westbury is set on 210 sprawling acres of formal rose gardens and tranquil ponds, all surrounding a mansion built in 1906. You can stroll the grounds on your own or follow along on a 45-minute guided tour. Also worth a visit is Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay. The property is known for its walking trails and the Camellia Greenhouse, which houses the largest collection of the namesake flowers in the northeast.