Vanderbilt Museum
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, NY
Hours:10 A.M. to 5 P.M. Tuesdays through Saturdays; noon to 5 P.M. Sundays
Fee: Adults, $7; seniors and students, $6; children under age 12, $3. Mansion tour: add $5 per ticket.
Contact:; 631-854-5555

Bathrooms: Parking lot
Water/Snacks: Vending machines at the parking lot

USGS Northport

This mansion and its grounds offer a glimpse of the Gilded Age, while also providing an outdoor park and museums to inspire young imaginations.

Rolling grounds and incredible marine museums take visitors back to the Gilded Age at the Vanderbilt Museum
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons/dmadeo

Of all the old mansions still glittering along the Gold Coast of Long Island, the Vanderbilt offers among the most dramatic seascape vistas when you’re strolling about the grounds, along with a fantastic museum displaying the ambitions of someone who truly wanted to have it all. Visitors can also take a guided tour through the mansion itself—a stunning example of an architectural style, Spanish Colonial Revival, that became popular as the United States asserted itself as an imperial power at the start of the twentieth century. A visit to the Vanderbilt feels like a trip back to when the world seemed much larger and more mysterious, and exploring its mysteries was a rich man’s adventure.

Follow the cobbled drive north between the two stone eagles that loom on either side, toward the six Corinthian columns lined in front of a stunning view of Northport Bay. Continue northwest down through the front gates of the Vanderbilt Mansion. In the courtyard to your left is a small museum containing numerous artifacts—both curious and bizarre—that William K. Vanderbilt II collected on his travels around the world. After you exit the museum, continue north, exiting the courtyard, to the landscape beyond. The lawns surrounding the Vanderbilt Mansion constitute a giant playground for energetic youngsters—an activity encouraged by museum staff. Head up and down the hills, tending southwest around the mansion back toward the Marine Museum, a two-story structure also built in the Spanish Colonial style. The museum contains countless specimens of the fish, frogs, eels, jellyfish, and crabs that Vanderbilt collected on his voyages. There are few places more likely to inspire a young child to continue exploring the great outdoors.

Remember: Check the museum website for information on summer programs and workshops for children.

Plan B:

Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow State Park (Trip 78) is a great spot for hiking and swimming in Long Island Sound.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Restaurants and shops are along County Road 86.


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