Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump face off for the first time on Long Island next week, here’s a list of ways you, too, can “Long Island like a President”
Presidents have been visiting Long Island since United States Presidents existed – that’s right, good ole’ George Washington himself kicked around the island. That’s over 225 years’ worth of presidential history right in New York City’s backyard. Long Island adds another notch to its POTUS belt next week when presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump debate for the first time on September 26th at Hofstra University in Hempstead.
Just because you may never call the Oval Office your own doesn’t mean you can’t follow in presidential footsteps across Long Island:
Pop into Blue Point Brewing for a “Debate Beer”
Long Island’s largest brewery, Blue Point Brewing Co., is serving up a debate beer, called Colonial Ale, a craft brew based on a 1757 recipe from George Washington. The recipe, featuring ingredients like corn, molasses and spruce tips, comes from a notebook Washington kept during the French and Indian War.
Hang With Teddy Roosevelt
Famed Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay is now a National Historic Site but back in the day it was simply known as Teddy Roosevelt’s “Summer White House”. The 26th President of the United States resided here from 1885 until his death in 1919 and is buried down the road at Youngs Memorial Cemetery. Pro Tip: while you check out both visitor friendly locations, keep on the lookout for a boisterous, spot-on Teddy Roosevelt impersonator.
Hit Hilary’s Hamptons
Hillary and the Hamptons go together like wine and cheese. The Clintons frequent their four-bedroom beachfront home in Amagansett throughout the summer months, rubbing elbows with the prim and the proper. You don’t have to be in a race for the White House to kick back and enjoy this town, bring the family for a day of exploration and shopping. While You’re There: check out The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, which features artwork by Pollock and Kooning - both lived on LI.
Mourn for Nixon’s Beloved Checkers
It was a sad, sad day in 1964 when 37th President Richard Nixon’s cocker spaniel, Checkers, passed away. Nixon, who credited Checkers with “saving” his career (not such great work, Checkers), buried his furry sidekick at Bideawee Pet Memorial in Wantagh. Don’t Leave Crying: after you pay your respects, move on to happier times and visit nearby Jones Beach State Park which features beautiful ocean beaches, a famed boardwalk and nightly summer entertainment at the famous Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.
Hob Knob Like Trump
Donald Trump recently threw a campaign fundraiser in swanky Southampton, known for its billion dollar estates dotting Dune Road, for his elite acquaintances. Don’t worry, we weren’t invited either. Leave your limo driver at home and hit this incredibly accessible, laid back town with awesome shopping, dining and lodging. Need to Know: Southampton is home to the famous Tate’s Bake Shop, stop in for fresh cookies and leave with full bellies.
Climb Washington’s Guiding Light
Montauk Point Lighthouse is the marker for “The End”, being the eastern most tip of Long Island before you fall into the Atlantic Ocean. A major tourist attraction, few realize the lighthouse was actually approved by congressional authorization of George Washington himself and was the first lighthouse on Long Island, completed in 1796. Skip The Crowds: climb to the top in the offseason for incredible winter views; from the end of November to January the national monument is strung with holiday lights for a stunning view from afar.
Enjoy a Stroll through Jefferson’s Namesake
If it weren’t for our 3rd President, the quaint waterfront village of Port Jefferson would still be drearily named “Drowned Meadow”. Thomas Jefferson provided significant funds promoting the area’s establishment and resident rewarded the efforts by renaming to Port Jefferson. You’ll Love it Here: named “America’s Best Value Inn” is Danfords Hotel & Marina located in the heart of downtown. Beer lovers rejoice with the innovative concept restaurant Brewology 295 and sweet tooth’s delight at the Sweet’N’Savory creperie.
Get Your POTUS Education On
Hofstra University, offering daily events leading up to the debate, has hosted twelve presidential conferences for every president from Franklin Roosevelt up to George H.W. Bush. Former Presidents who have visited or spoken at the university include Gerald Ford (’89), Jimmy Carter (’90), George HW Bush (’95), Bill Clinton (’05) and Barack Obama (’08 and ’12). In the Area: the Greenbelt Trail, with over 200 miles of paths, is popular for hiking and biking. If you’re bringing the kids along, visit the Long Island Children’s Museum for some interactive learning and fun then head to Old Westbury Gardens for their seasonal RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns event.