Sands Point Preserve
Sands Point Preserve
4.5
Historic SitesNature & Wildlife Areas
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
The Sands Point Preserve on the original Guggenheim Estate embodies the grandeur and elegance that define the Gold Coast period of the early 20th century, when prominent American families built great mansions on large estates as summer retreats along the Long Island Sound. The Sands Point peninsula was the famed “East Egg” in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Today, the magnificent 216-acre park, including its historic mansions and the Phil Dejana Learning Center, is owned by Nassau County, NY, and is maintained and operated by the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Conservancy provides year-round educational and cultural programs, seasonal celebrations, mansion tours, fitness activities as well as private/corporate event services and film/TV location facilities.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles171 reviews
Excellent
103
Very good
53
Average
11
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Jack
Old Bethpage, NY803 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
I went to the Sands Point Preserve for my birthday and I loved it! There are so many things to do and it was a beautiful day. First the main parking lot is huge with tons of spots available overlooking the beautiful main castle and cobblestone walkways. As you walk around there are many trails some of which that lead to the stunning beach with soft sand and rocks. You can even see Connecticut across the sound. There are huge rocks on the beach in front of a wall, which during the afternoon, provides shade. There is a nice gazebo next to a pond which was the perfect area to have a picnic in the shade. It was lovely. After that, we went to the Hempstead House. I was looking forward to this the most and it blew my expectations away. The house is an amazing representation of the Historic Gold Coast and old money on the North Shore. It is huge and overlooks the water with stunning gardens and a park with shady spots. There are other castles too which unfortunately you need tours for. Other than that, I highly recommend Sands Point Preserve. It’s great for families!
Written June 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

natasha0428
New Hyde Park, NY145 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
Living in NY I am used to paying $8 to access a park. But this one was $15. What was disappointing is not the fee but what you actually got for it. All of the buildings were closed. The gift shop was the only thing opened. Even the Great Hall right past the gift shop was robbed of. The trails are boring and really short. The longest trail is 1 mile. We spent 45 minutes and left.
Written July 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BuckeyeDrBob
Akron, OH35 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Were in the area for a wedding. Access is easy but does cost $15/car. All buildings were not opened so just walked the grounds. Was cloudy so could not see at a distance but views were very nice. Gardens maintained but not anything special. Maybe a good place for a picnic but not much else.
Written May 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fran727
Long Beach, NY2,068 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
At the entrance to Sands Point Preserve, I paid $10 to park my car and asked the woman at the gate about taking a tour. My husband and I paid $10 each for the 12:00pm guided tour of Falaise Mansion. We were told to wait at the bus stop near Castle Gould at 11:55am for the bus to Falaise. As scheduled, the bus arrived and took us (and four other people) on a scenic ride through Sands Point Preserve to the mansion.

The Normandy-style Falaise was the home of Harry F. Guggenheim. Built in 1923, the mansion has original furnishings, personal items, and an extensive art collection. Our docent gave us a brief history of the Guggenheim family and an excellent tour of the house. After the tour, the bus was waiting and we were driven back to Castle Gould.

Along with Falaise Mansion, buildings at Sands Point Preserve include Castle Gould (a replica of Kilkenny Castle in Ireland) and Hempstead House, a Tudor-style manor house that is currently covered in scaffolding. There are walking trails, a rose garden, beach, and beautiful views of the Long Island Sound. I packed a lunch and we ate at a picnic table overlooking the Sound. There were plenty of tables available in October. Bring a blanket if you plan to picnic in the summer, as it’s possible all the tables could be occupied.
Written October 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alok Jolly
New York City, NY385 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Family
The former Guggenheim Estate, which the old family gave to Nassau County, was turned into a public preserve for recreational and educational use. The property has also had other notable residents over the years. It was founded by Howard Gould the son of the railroad tycoon Jay Gould, and his wife, actress Katherine Clemmons, who purchased the land between 1900 & 1901, and later, during the heyday of New York’s Gold Coast era, it was the residence of Daniel and Florence Guggenheim, their son Harry, and his wife Alicia Patterson. Their internationally renowned art collection is still housed there in their cliff-side French Manor style house called Falaise. The science and natural history museum is housed in the adjacent castle, which was modelled after Castle Kilkenny in Ireland.

The Sands Point Preserve was the ultimate Gold Coast estate, the famed “East Egg” of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby,” and the buildings are monuments to the opulent lifestyle that this Gold Coast was known for.

The old castle houses a Natural History museum and an environmental center, and the 200 plus acre grounds offer wide and wild spaces to encounter nature at first hand. Many walks and pathways wind through the woods surrounding the mansions and public grounds and lead to the beach just to the East, on Long Island Sound. Glacial cliffs run along the shoreline for over three quarters of a mile, where the remnants of a concrete sea-wall can be seen, and offer wide vistas of the southern Connecticut shoreline across the Sound. The woods abound with flowers, birds and small animals in the summertime, and offer snowy, secluded walks in winter for the brave and warm-blooded!

Maps of the six self-guided Nature Trails are available at the Gate House. These include a short nature walk called the Dino Tracks Trail ~ perfect for families with young children.
Hempstead House, the Tudor style main residential manor on the property, is now used for public events (like the local high-school graduation prom and other such events ..) and is in some state of disrepair. Quite the architectural gem when it was built, this 50,000 square foot three story mansion is very expensive to maintain and repair in this age. Designed by Hunt & Hunt Architects in 1912, it was considered one of the most opulent homes in the heyday of the famed Gold Coast era.

Well worth a visit, though somewhat off the beaten course for most as it is hard to get to without your own means of transportation. One would have to take the Long Island railroad and then a taxi to get here from New York City, and at a cost of about $18-20 each way.
Written February 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

silvera2
Ann Arbor, MI145 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
This 216 acre area was originally developed by Howard Gould and completed by Daniel Guggenheim in 1912. There is a beautiful mansion, the Hempstead House, that you can tour and that is available to rent for weddings, recreations of high society parties and other events. There are plenty of walking trails some leading to a freshwater pond and others to the mile long North Shore Beach. Excellent walks and buildings. You can imagine you are the Great Gatsby or a member of the Guggenheim family, at least for a little while. There is a reasonable admission fee. You can bring a picnic lunch and sit by the water. Great views, lovely walks. Nice place for kids to wander around including a playground that opened May 2019. Check to see when they offer guided walks and informative tours. This area is on the national registry and well worth a visit.
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary L
New York108 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
The Sands Point Preserve was originally a beautiful Gold Coast estate with buildings still standing from the turn of the century! In 1942 the estate was deeded to the US Aeronautical Office so in 1946, the Navy opened the Naval Training Device Center on the property. My husband and I worked at the Navy Base here in the early 60's before it was turned over to Nassau County and became the Sands Point Preserve. Our trip was nostalgic in nature but we found a very interesting tour led by Joseph. If it is good weather, definitely plan to do some walking, there are paths around the property to follow, as well as a rose garden area to explore behind the main mansion house. The Hempstead House is the main building we toured. We were brought through the many rooms, which now are used for events such as receptions and weddings. We got a lot of facts about the family who lived there as well as the turn of the century world of the rich! The $10 fee per person was well-worth it. There are also other things to see at the Preserve, many events held there for the community. Give it a try.
Written August 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jepny18
Centerport, NY77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Couples
The early 1900’s estate of Howard Gould then the Guggenheim family is a beautifully preserved enclave that takes you back in time. We toured the Falaise, Harry Guggenheim’s French style manor for his wife Caroline Morton. The interior is true to how the family left it in the early 1970’s. The Hempstead House was closed for a private wedding but all of the public grounds, walking trails, and gorgeous views of the Long Island Sound were open. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable. I highly recommend a day visit for anyone who loves history, art, and nature!
Written May 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara S
Port Washington, NY9 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Solo
I live within walking distance of the preserve and am a longtime visitor. But I have been boycotting this beautiful place since the Friends of Sands Point Preserve (now the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy) took over the exclusive management of this Nassau County-owned in 2008 and jacked up the prices in a way that is de facto discrimination against the poor.

It now costs $10 per car to enter the preserve, or $2 per person for walk-ins -- not that there would be many, but it's possible to walk there from nearby poorer neighborhoods. Annual memberships are $100 per family, $85 per senior, far out of reach for people on limited incomes. For a taxpayer-funded jewel like the Sands Point Preserve, this is an outrage.

I find it hard to believe that keeping poor people from accessing the preserve isn't a deliberate ploy, or at the very least a welcome side effect, of raising money to improve the park. The park improvements are lovely, but they have come at too high a price.
Written July 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris L
New York City, NY84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
This is such a nice place to come to to get out of the city and the hustle and bustle around you and enjoy nature and the serene atmosphere. I was unsure if there was going to be enough to do for a drive out there, but the hours just flew by.

When pulling in, stop at the kiosk in front to pay $10 parking which allows access to the grounds and make sure you ask for a map if they don't give it to you. As you drive down to park there is a beautiful old building to your right which is Castle Gould that you will park in front of. This is the visitor center where they have bathrooms and food vending machine available. There is a private room for parties but you can not tour this building.

Walking directly away from Castle Gould towards the water is a perfect place for a picnic or to take in beautiful views. There are picnic tables and benches all over the grounds but this spot specifically has wonderful views as you eat. I would recommend packing snacks and lunch. You can pack a small cooler and leave it in your car until you are ready to eat/ put back in your car when done since it is such a short walk for when you want to start walking along the trails. Bring water for your walk.

The Hempstead house offers tours on the weekends but check their website for details. We weren't able to tour because it was early in the season. They have private events here. But it is breathtaking to sit in the garden and look at the water or house.

If you review your map they have numerous trails you can walk. 4 is definitely worth walking because there are so many little trails that lead right to cliffs overlooking the beach. (Don't stand too close to the edge! Beautiful beautiful views. 4 can be accessed right next to the castle walking towards the pond. If you make a left at the pond and continue on 3, this will lead you to some of 5 or to the beach. We crossed over the bridge and made second left to take 4. After a while we kept seeing different numbered trails that weren't on the map or little trails through the woods so we just put the map away and decided to wing it.
We wound up on the beach after a while and found multiple pieces of sea glass. There were people fishing along the beach too. (I don't know if you can eat the fish but just mentioning people were along here hanging out.)

If you continue on the beach back towards the main grounds, it will lead back up to trail 3 or 5 and 3 will lead you back to the pond where you first started. After this we walked over to the Hempstead house.
We walked a little bit of 1 where the Dino walk is but we were tired and called it a day. We did not walk trail 2. There were so many birds, chipmunks, and rabbits along the trails. Just stop and look around if you hear a sound- Chipmunks were playing everywhere.

Falaise is another mansion you can tour but we went off season. Check their website for details. There is a little bus stop at the entrance to the castle you can hop on.

This is a great place to relax, walk mild or moderate trails, have a picnic, spend time with a significant other, friends, or family, or all of the above! I will definitely be back here and recommend checking this place out!!
Written May 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Sands Point Preserve is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wed - Sat 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM




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