Huntington: A Delightful Journey Through History, Culture, and Nature
Nestled along the picturesque shoreline of the Long Island Sound in Suffolk County, New York, Huntington is a town rich in history, cultural attractions, and natural beauty. With a growing population and vibrant schools, it is a great place to visit or to settle down. Let’s dive in and explore the wonders that Huntington has to offer.
Huntington’s history dates back to the Native American tribes who originally inhabited the area. 1653, English settlers from the New Haven Colony arrived, and the town was officially established in 1656. Gradually, it transformed into a thriving agricultural community and maritime center with significant shipbuilding activity by the early 19th century. Little did those early settlers know that their little town would one day become an essential cornerstone of the New York metropolitan area.
Population and Demographics
According to the US Census Bureau, Huntington’s population was estimated at around 203,000 in 2019. This growing community boasts diverse backgrounds, making it a melting pot of cultures and traditions. As of 2019, the town’s racial makeup was approximately 75% White, 10% African American, 8% Asian, and 17% Hispanic or Latino. An expanding community of young professionals and families find their home in Huntington, seeking proximity to New York City and the appeal of a small-town atmosphere.
Schools and Education System
Huntington is home to many top-rated public schools within nine districts, including Huntington Union
Free School District,
South Huntington Union Free School District, and
Cold Spring Harbor Central School District.
In each district, schools uphold high standards and provide diverse curricula, extracurricular activities, and resources to help students succeed academically and personally. Private schools, such as St. Anthony’s High School and Trinity Regional School, also cater to families seeking a faith-based education.
Post-secondary institutions, including the State University of New York at Farmingdale, offer Huntington residents higher education opportunities.
10 Things to Do in Huntington
Visit the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site: Explore the home where renowned American poet Walt Whitman was born in 1819 and enjoy educational exhibits, artifacts, and events dedicated to his life and influence on literature.
Heckscher Park: Take a stroll or picnic in this beautiful 18-acre park hosting the annual Huntington Summer Arts Festival. Art and culture enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy in this green oasis.
Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium: Discover the opulent world of the Vanderbilts, one of America’s wealthiest families, at the former residence of William K. Vanderbilt II. Enjoy a glimpse of the golden age of the Gilded Age, attend a show in the state-of-the-art planetarium, and explore the many exhibits on astronomy and natural history.
Explore Caleb Smith Park: This 543-acre park, one of the largest natural areas on Long Island, is ideal for nature enthusiasts who want to try their hand at fishing, hiking, or bird watching.
Cinema Arts Center: Enjoy independent and foreign films at this nonprofit movie theater, which hosts lectures, workshops, and live events.
Harborfront Park: Relax by the water and enjoy the views at this scenic park, or join the community at special events throughout the year, like concerts and festivals.
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium: Get up close and personal with the freshwater wildlife in this educational facility dedicated to conserving Long Island fish populations.
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum: Walk through the vibrant history of whaling on Long Island, with an extensive collection of artifacts, art, and exhibits related to the maritime industry.
The Paramount: Catch your favorite bands, comedians, and other acts at downtown Huntington’s premier live entertainment venue.
Oheka Castle: Relish the elegance and luxury of the early 20th century, tour the historic Oheka Castle estate, or indulge at the on-site hotel and restaurant for a decadent dining experience.
10 Places to Visit in Huntington
Huntington Village: Enjoy the vibrant downtown district, replete with shops, restaurants, cafes, and attractions, ideal for spending a day strolling, shopping, and savoring the local flavors.
Sands Point Preserve: Catch a glimpse of this 216-acre park on the former estate of the Guggenheim family, which boasts lush landscapes, miles of walking trails, and breathtaking castle-like mansions.
Northport Village Park: Enjoy a peaceful day at this lovely waterfront park, featuring panoramic views of Northport Harbor and a historic bandstand.
Centerport Harbor: Take some time to unwind in this picturesque harbor, which offers a perfect location for boating, fishing, and kayaking enthusiasts while enjoying the stunning Long Island Sound.
Old Westbury Gardens: Step back in time at this former estate of the Phipps family, featuring a Charles II-style mansion surrounded by 200 acres of landscaped gardens open to the public.
Planting Fields Arboretum: An urban oasis awaits within this 409-acre public garden and arboretum. With over 16,000 plants, flowers, and tree specimens, it’s an enchanting place to explore and learn.
Crab Meadow Beach: Dip your toes in soft sand or explore the tidal pools at this picturesque beach.
Walt Whitman Mall: Discover your new favorite store or restaurant amidst dozens of shops and eateries and various special events held throughout the year.
Lloyd Harbor Beach Park: Relax by the water on this serene, well-maintained beach, and drink in the beautiful views of the Lloyd Harbor.
Masker Orchard: Take a day trip for apple picking or seasonal events at this charming family-owned orchard.
Nearby Cities and Towns
Huntington has a lot to offer, conveniently located near many charming Long Island towns and cities. Some nearby places to explore include:
Northport (5.5 miles)
Oyster Bay (10.9 miles)
Smithtown (11.7 miles)
Port Jefferson (17.8 miles)
Roslyn (17.8 miles)
Stony Brook (18.1 miles)
Glen Cove (18.9 miles)
When you’re ready for the bustle of city life, you’re only a train ride away from Manhattan via the Long Island Rail Road.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I travel to Huntington from New York City?
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) offers accessible train services from Penn Station to Huntington. Alternatively, you can rent a car for a scenic drive.
Does Huntington offer parks and recreational facilities?
Yes, Huntington has parks such as Heckscher Park and harborfront facilities that cater to residents and visitors.
What is the best time to visit Huntington?
Huntington can be visited year-round, with warmer weather from spring to fall, ideal for outdoor activities. Winter offers colder temperatures and snowfall, perfect for picturesque snowy landscapes.
Embrace the charm of Huntington, NY – a true gem of Long Island – where there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or culture fan, you’ll find endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. Visit Huntington and experience the magic for yourself!