The Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve makes the perfect day trip in these final days of summer. The former estate of Marshall Field III, heir to the department-store empire, and its 1,500 acres of wide, flat, paved trails make it easy to distance from your fellow park goers. There are horses and old buildings, wonderful walking and biking paths. We took the 2-mile hike to the beach, stopping on the steps of the “master’s house” for lunch (there are trash bins there) and dined with an expansive view of the Long Island Sound. Then we hiked down the hill toward the beach and tried to heed signs not to swim. It’s a rocky beach (pack sand shoes if that bothers you), but the ocean floor softens eventually into a squishy, comforting mud. The trail continues in a loop. The paved part was closed on the day we went, but we just backtracked. Stop at the clean restrooms and to fill water bottles at the master’s garage before heading back. It’s $8 for parking.
If you make a day trip of this, downtown Huntington is a short drive away and has outdoor cafes, bars and restaurants. We stopped at Marty’s Gourmet Seafood and picked up some tuna and char to grill back home.