Stone castle under blue skies

Getty Images

Sands Point Preserve Conservancy

Long Island

Formerly the Guggenheim estate, this preserve covers forest and a beautiful bayfront beach (that is closed to all visitation except nature tours); the visitor center is in the Onondaga limestone Castle Gould, built in the 19th century by railroad heir Howard Gould. Visitors can also tour the 1923 mansion Falaise, one of the few intact and furnished mansions from that era; and the Hempstead House, a 1912 Tudor-style castle (by appointment).

Guided nature walks take place on the second Sunday of every month.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Long Island attractions

1. City Island

4.82 MILES

Although City Island is technically part of the Bronx, it has more in common with the small fishing villages that dot the north Atlantic seaboard. The…

2. Fort Totten

6.01 MILES

The remnants of a decommissioned Civil War–era fortress give this park its name, but that is hardly all Fort Totten has to offer. The grounds are full of…

3. Queens County Farm Museum

7.61 MILES

Frolic with cows, sheep and goats at the last patch of farmland within the city limits. It's a long way from Manhattan, but for anyone with an interest in…

4. Woodlawn Cemetery

9.44 MILES

As elegant as Brooklyn’s Green-Wood is this 400-acre cemetery, the most prestigious resting place in the Bronx. Dating from the Civil War (1863), it…

5. Bronx Zoo

9.46 MILES

This 265-acre zoo is the country’s biggest and oldest, with over 6000 animals and re-created habitats from around the world, from African plains to Asian…

6. New York Botanical Garden


Founded back in 1891, this welcome expanse of green takes in 50 acres of old-growth forest, alongside lush gardens, ornate greenhouses and water features …

7. Belmont

9.96 MILES

This Bronx neighborhood is where you’ll find the real Little Italy, with Italian delis and eateries dotting bustling stretches of Arthur and E 187th Aves…

8. Arthur Avenue Retail Market

10.01 MILES

For an authentic slice of Italian-American vita (life), dive into this earthy indoor market, where banter-loving vendors flog everything from olives and…