View of Long Island Sound from Welwyn Preserv County Park in Long Island



This week’s day-tripping suggestions come from a reader, Laura Siciliano-Rosen, who originally wrote about them in her blog, Eat Your World. Thanks for sharing, Laura!

Welwyn Preserve County ParkAnother sprawling, lush former estate (this one of an oil fortune heir), the wooded Welwyn Preserve is a less crowded alternative to Sands Point Preserve. It likewise has a lavish mansion (built in 1906), shoreline access, freshwater ponds and nature trails, though they are wilder than at Sands. There is also a coastal salt marsh where our kids delighted in spotting about a hundred crabs scattering about. More than 100 species of birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians may be spotted, too.

Mercadente Beach at Garvies Point: En route to Welwyn Preserve, this is a random pit stop we’ve grown fond of, included here just in case you happen to have kids who are as obsessed with finding critters as ours are. The small Mercadente Beach, which backs up on a construction site, is mostly used for fishing and dog walking, and we’ve since learned it’s supposedly for Glen Cove residents only. Oops. Well, no one’s checking, and no one will bother you if you swing by for a critter hunt. At low tide, there are lots of crabs, sea snails, steamer clams, razor clams and a host of things we haven’t yet identified in the muck, plus horseshoe crab shells, sea glass and other treasures to inspect on the rocky beach. (If this sounds like it would appeal to a kid you know, this catch-and-release collection bucket makes the perfect gift. And maybe a net like this. You’re welcome!)

Bonus: Garvies Point Brewery is right on the access road to this beach, and currently has picnic tables outside for beer sampling.

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