Long Island: Places to Explore

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Cold Spring Harbor

One of the North Shore's most enchanting towns, Cold Spring Harbor has always been valued for its location on the water. The Matinecock Indians are said to have called it Wawapex, meaning "place of good water." In 1653 three Englishmen from Oyster Bay bought the land around the harbor from the Matinecocks and named it Cold Spring after the area's freshwater springs. It became a U.S. Port of Entry in 1799 and during the mid-1800s was home to a fleet of nine whaling vessels and numerous cargo ships.

Time hasn't eroded any of the landscape surrounding this attractive village. As you drive east along Route 25A, the town's harbor suddenly comes into view from beyond the trees. After you take the turn that leads up the hill around Cold Spring Harbor, breathtaking trees draw the eye. At the crest of the hill, the shops and restaurants on Main Street (part of Route 25A) merit a stop. Note that parking is at a premium in the village's few and small lots.

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