Turn-of-the-Century Mansion on 55 Acres
Long Island became a sought-after getaway spot in the late 1800s, when affluent Manhattan families‚EUR"including the Morgans, Tiffanys, Vanderbilts, and the Woolworths‚EUR"started building country homes there. Within a few years, the North Shore earned the nickname ‚EURoeGold Coast‚EURĚ for its influx of lavish estates, including what eventually became the Glen Cove Mansion Hotel.
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 manse 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‚EUR(TM)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‚EUR(TM)s North Shore: Picturesque Coves Lined with Elegant Estates
Best known as the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald‚EUR(TM)s The Great Gatsby, Long Island‚EUR(TM)s North Shore, which lies about a 30-minute drive from New York City, is home to some of the most elegant 19th-century estates in the country. Some‚EUR"including the Vanderbilt mansion and Old Westbury Gardens museum‚EUR"open their wrought-iron gates to the public, offering tours through blooming gardens and rooms set with original furniture.
The marine locale also provides an ideal climate for winemaking. Small-production vineyards, many with tastings and tours available, dot the pastoral landscape. They tend to be less crowded during the winter, so it‚EUR(TM)s a good time to visit.
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