Literary legend holds that Sands Point was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for the aristocratic East Egg in The Great Gatsby, but this seaside hamlet has riches to offer everyone, says longtime resident Beth Horn. More than 20 years ago, she and her husband left New York City for the historic enclave. “We fell in love with Port Washington, Sands Point, the whole area—and we never left,” says Horn, the managing director of the Sands Point Preserve on the Guggenheim Estate which includes 216 acres of woods, gardens, and green open space, as well as four Gold Coast–era mansions that, to borrow F. Scott’s words, still glitter along the water.
—By Natalie Chomet
Join the Hub
“Whether you’re a resident of Sands Point or Port Washington, this is a very close-knit community. One of the gathering hubs is the Port Washington Public Library. The library received a 5-star rating, which is a national distinction.” (1 Library Dr., Port Washington, 516.883.4400)
“I also like to think of the Sands Point Preserve as a hub. It’s owned by Nassau County, and we operate it as a public park, so it’s open every day of the year to everyone. We offer seasonal celebrations, nature education for children and adults, wellness programs, cultural events, horticultural lectures, school visits and more. In spring, we host a Butterfly Ball as a benefit for the gardens with an exhibit of live, exotic butterflies. You walk into an indoor tropical garden and butterflies are flying around you. The evening is a really fun party with dinner, dancing, and a few surprises.” (127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point, 516.571.7901)
“Every Saturday the community comes out for the greenmarket on our town dock on Manhasset Bay. We hold a festival called Harborfest there to celebrate the town once a year in June. It’s a great seasonal celebration of the entire community. Many of our community’s businesses and organizations are showcased, and thousands of residents attend.” (Town Dock, Port Washington)
“If you walk up Main Street from the dock, you’ll find the Harbor Deli. It’s a perfect lunch spot, and they make a nice breakfast sandwich, too.” (306 Main St., Port Washington, 516.883.9597)
“Bistro Etc. is one of my favorite places for dinner. Karen Melanie, a highly respected chef, owns and runs it. She’s one of very few female chefs on the island.” (43 Main St., Port Washington, 516.472.7780)