WALT WHITMAN STATE PARK
Directions: Take the Long Island Expressway to exit 49N. Go north 1.8 miles, then turn left on Old Walt Whitman Road. Or take the Jericho Turnpike to Route 110S and proceed south for 1/2 mile. Turn right onto Old Walt Whitman Road.
Walt Whitman State Park
Phone: (631) 427-5240
Overview: Walt Whitman State Park features an interpretive center which includes more than 100 portraits, original letters, manuscripts, and artifacts. Additional on-site activities include guided tours, a film, giftshop/bookstore, and a picturesque picnic area. Located at 240 Old Walt Whitman Road, the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site is a major attraction on Long Island. It is open year round to the public and entry is free. There are maps available for walking and driving tours of Whitman-related sites in West Hills including the highest point on Long Island, Jayne’s Hills.
History: In 1819, Walt Whitman is widely recognized as America’s greatest poet, was born in a small farmhouse in the rural Long Island community of West Hills in the town of Huntington. In spite of being the birthplace of America's greatest and most prominent poet of the twentieth century, this weathered old farmhouse in rural Long Island was under continuous threat of suburban development. Finally in1949, the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) was formed with the mission to "preserve the birthplace of and to conduct programs which bring poetry to the public in the democratic spirit of Walt Whitman". The Walt Whitman State Park is a key Long Island tribute to its legendary child.
Facilities: It offers guided tours, exhibits, an audio-visual show, events, a poet-in-residence program, and an annual poetry contest for local grade school students. It also has nineteenth century furnishings, 130 Whitman portraits, original manuscripts and letters, artifacts, Whitman's voice on tape, and his schoolmaster's desk.
Seasons/Hours: Summer hours: Open Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. (closed major holidays); Winter Hours: Open Wednesday – Friday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed Mondays, Tuesdays and major holidays)