Sands Point Preserve (Castle Gould, Hempstead House and Falaise)

127 Middle Neck Rd. Sands Point, NY 516-5717901

The waterfront Hempstead House at the Sands Point

(Credit: Ken Spencer)

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Type: Preserve, Playground, Historical Society Price: $10 parking fee for mansion grounds Description:

There are 216 acres, with forests, meadows, lawns, shore cliffs, freshwater ponds and trails. The preserve contains three historic buildings: Hempstead House, Castlegould and Falaise.

The Hempstead House is patterned after Ireland's Kilkinney Castle, the 50,000-square foot estate was built in 1910 by Howard Gould and later purchased by Daniel and Florence Guggenheim in 1917. The gothic-style estate overlooking the Long Island Sound is marked by stonework and dramatic details - such as organ pipes high in the grand entry, above the chandelier. Tours are offered Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ($5 for guided tour, under 16 free).

The Phil Dejana Learning Center and Outdoor Classroom encourages kids to explore wildlife and the environment. There's an art area, an all-natural xylophone for music, a climbing area with wooden platforms, garden beds and more.

Visitors can also tour Falaise, the home of Harry Guggenheim and Newsday founder Alicia Patterson.

Hours: Daily: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.