Meet the Long Island town responsible for “The Great Gatsby”

Once known as New York’s “Gold Coast,” this seaside town inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

Sands Point is a village at the tip of the Port Washington Peninsula in Nassau County, New York. It covers nearly 3,000 acres and is home to approximately 2,675 residents who enjoy living in a quiet, rural environment beside blue skies and the vast waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Sands Point is approximately 29.4 miles from Manhattan. Although it is primarily a residential village, there are schools, golf and village clubs, as well as a nature preserve maintained by Nassau County. In popular culture, Sands Point is believed to have inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fictional novel “The Great Gatsby”. In the novel, the author refers to the village of Sands Point as the colony of East Egg where the “wealthy” and “materialistic” people resided.

What can you do at Sands Point Village?

In and around Sands Point Village, there are many places to explore with recreational experiences suitable for individuals, adults and children.

Pointe des Sables Village Club

This family-friendly private club is set on 210 acres of lush grounds with beautiful lawns and gardens and is open to residents and non-residents of Sands Point. However, one must register online to be put on a waiting list for an opening. At this club, there is an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, tennis and pickleball courts, luxury accommodation rooms, as well as tent catering and barbecue facilities. Le Grille, a club restaurant, serves delicious cuisines and exclusive drinks every week.

Sands Point Reserve Conservation

Originally the Guggenheim Estate, the Nassau County-run Sands Point Preserve Conservancy is nestled on 216 acres of lush, scenic land. The reservation has grand mansions built in the early 20th century by wealthy American families during the opulent Gold Coast era. Hempstead House, Gould Castle and Falaise House are the historic homes on this reserve. There is also the Phil Dejana Learning Center where young children and students can visit to learn about nature as they explore the ponds, trails, gardens and habitats. A safe climbing area for children to run, jump, climb and play is also available. Private and corporate events are also held at the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy. Other things to do and places to explore include:

  • Picnic at 6 sites
  • Hike, jog or walk the 6 trails there
  • Learn beekeeping in an apiary there
  • Visit the Goddard Connection exhibit and learn about Robert H Goddard, the inventor of the liquid fuel rocket
  • Playground for young children
  • Visit historic mansions
  • dog walk

Walk-in visitors to the reserve are charged $4 and those with vehicles $15, but it’s free for members. Visiting hours are Wednesday through Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. for the general public.

Manorhaven Beach Park

This beach park is nestled in scenic Manhasset Bay and is 2.1 km from the village of Sands Point. Manorhaven Beach Park is an ideal leisure beach for individuals and families with young children. The park has a 25,000 square foot main pool with shallow sections where children and beginners can swim. There are also two giant slides and a children’s play area on a sandy beach. Visitors can also go stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, and fishing. Other recreational facilities include basketball, tennis, volleyball, handball, racquetball, and bocce courts, as well as a roller-skating and windsurfing area. There are different fees for the various recreational activities at Manorhaven Beach Park. The park opens at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 9:45 p.m.

Port Salt Cave

Port Salt Cave is a place of relaxation and well-being offering salt therapy (halotherapy) with salt imported from Poland. The benefits of halotherapy offered to the body include stress reduction, detoxification, increased energy, improved breathing, and better sleep. Halotherapy also stimulates the immune, lymphatic and nervous systems and manages allergies, asthma and arthritis. Inhaling the salt in Port Salt Cave helps manage skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis. Different salt therapies at Port Salt Cave last 45 minutes. Appointments for therapy are booked online and cost as little as $20 for students and up to $260 for six adults. Port Salt Cave is open to adults and children and weddings can be held there.

Landmark on the main street

Built in 1908, the Landmark on Main Street is a center in Port Washington that hosts arts and cultural events for audiences of all ages and economic backgrounds. It serves its immediate community by hosting the Parent Resource Center, the Port Washington Children’s Center, and the Port Washington Children’s Center. Inside, there is also the doctors’ gymnasium and the famous Jeanne Rimsky Theater with a capacity of 425 seats which hosts up to 40 artistic events a year. Music, cabaret, roots rock, stand-up comedy, speaker series, and plays are some of the shows the theater hosts for audiences that include children. Tickets for various shows at the Jeanne Rimsky Theater can be purchased online or at the door.


Port Washington has shops for visitors who love antiques, artifacts, jewelry, and furniture. At the Stam Gallery, visitors can purchase pottery, fine art paintings, medallions, carvings, walrus tusks, pottery, antique utensils, treasure and tobacco boxes, and furniture. Some objects there date back to the 18th century. There’s also the Wit and Whim boutique, which sells handmade and vintage items like sculptures, soaps, serums, scented oils, and clothing made by more than 50 local Port Washington artists.

Visit the museums near the village of Sands Point

There are museums in and around Sands Point Village that are worth visiting to delve into the rich history behind their existence in the context of Port Washington. These include:

  • Nassau County Museum of Art
  • Long Island Science Museum
  • cedar reserve
  • Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
  • Raynham Hall Museum
  • House Sands Willet
  • Sea Cliff Village Museum
  • Cowneck Peninsula Historical Society
  • Bayside Historical Society
  • Polish American Museum
  • Maritime Museum
  • Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center
  • City Island Nautical Museum
  • First city project
  • Tee Rider Miniature Museum
  • Long Island Children’s Museum


At the village of Sands Point, shipping companies offer sailing trips around the bays and peninsulas of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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