Boating

Captree State Park West Islip s 631-661-5061 The Moonchaser, a private charter boat with a fully equipped bar, leaves from Captree State Park for day and night cruises on the Great South Bay. A popular evening excursion is to Flynn's on Fire Island for dinner. Cruises operate from Memorial Day to Labor Day for details see page 332. The Captree Boatmen's Association, s 631-669-6464, maintains a comprehensive Web site, www.captree-fleet.com, with all the information one could possibly want about...

Montauk

N 631-668-2345, 668-3203 or 800-8-GURNEY (reservations) 631-668-2509 (spa) www.gurneys-inn.com Expensive to Deluxe The ocean should feel flattered. Everything at Gur-ney's faces seaward - guest rooms, exercise machines, restaurant, even the indoor pool chaises. If you haven't been there lately, you may recall the resort as rundown (Gurney's Inn opened in 1926 when the Monte family bought the property from Maude Gurney for 200,000), but that's no longer the case. In 1999, Gur-ney's emerged from...

Blydenburghweld House

N 631-360-0753 (Greenbelt Trail Conference office) n 631-854-4949 (Suffolk County Parks & Recreation) The Blydenburgh-Weld House (1821), which serves as headquarters for the Greenbelt Trail Conference (see page 17), is on a sweeping lawn leading down to a pond. Free guided tours of the grounds are held every Saturday at 1pm, including the house, gristmill, carriage house, and miller's house. The organization also runs about 150 hikes a year all over Long Island. The Blydenburghs were...

Visiting the Vineyards

With 25 wineries on the North Fork, it's hard to decide which ones to visit. Even if you've checked all the Web sites you may still be overwhelmed. A day tour with Jo-Ann Perry of Vintage Tours (see page 351 for details) will solve your dilemma. Amiable and outgoing, Jo-Ann drives a 15-passenger van and will pick you up at your lodging, marina or railroad station. Now in her fifth season, she knows that visiting three or four wineries in 5 hours is sufficient. My husband and I visited on a...

Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Round Swamp Road Old Bethpage n 516-572-8400 www.fieldtrip.com ny Admission adults, 6 children and handicapped, 4 under five, free The moment you leave the long tree-lined road and enter the village, you're in a time warp. Everyone is dressed in 19th-century garb and well versed in the traditions of the village. Each of the 60 historic structures has been moved from another place on Long Island, with the exception of one house from the Hudson Valley. Most of the furnishings are not original but...

From Mansions to Museums

In the early 1900s, the wealthy were attracted by the natural beauty along the North Shore of Long Island. Farmland was snatched up, and architects and landscape designers were hired to create country estates. During the Jazz Age, more than 500 estates were occupied. According to Nelson DeMille's The Gold Coast 1990 , European aristocracy built so many manors, ch teaux, estates and fiefdoms along this Gold Coast that by 1929 it had the largest concentration of wealth and power in America,...