As a newly retired teacher, I’m almost always looking for new and interesting things to do. I’m forever searching the web looking for vacation ideas and new adventures I can take with my college aged daughter, or my husband who is still too young to retire. Sometimes I just want to do something a little special and not travel too far. I discovered a simple technique of just googling Things to do near me… and a multitude of options appear right before me. Tripadvisor is also a great site to find things to do and read reviews from people who have personal experience with a particular venue or event.
Well, one place I discovered was The Oheka Castle. This is an historical hotel in Huntington, Long Island. It is also known as the Otto Kahn Estate because it was the country home of Banker Otto Hermann Kahn and his wife Addie during the roaring twenties. The castle is well known for its prestigious weddings, exquisite galas, and luxury hotel accommodations. I discovered during one of my Things to do near me searches that the castle has daily mansion tours. You can go on their website and book a tour of the inside of the castle and the grounds. We chose the mansion tour and lunch package. When you make the online tour reservation you can choose from a few options.
It was a quick and easy drive to the castle, and as we pulled into the estate grounds, and I was kind of glad I was driving a Mercedes. The castle and the grounds take your breath away with its beauty and elegance. We took some photos outside and had an easy checkin. The meeting place was in a corridor with a beautiful staircase apparently used in many films and music videos, including Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. They keep the tour group small and intimate and there was a real mix of people. There was an older couple who came to the castle specifically for the tour who were visiting from England, a family who was staying at the hotel, and the remainder of the participants were couples and friends that I assume were somewhere from the tristate area.
We were greeted by a very warm and friendly guide that led us to the library of the Kahn family. We were allowed to browse a few minutes and then were invited to sit down for what would be the portion of the tour where we learned the history of the Kahn family, and the castle throughout the many decades. Through the use of large photos and a very informed and animated guide we were both educated and entertained. After a Q and A , we toured some of the lavish bedrooms and suites and made our way to tour parts of the outside of the castle. Back in the castle we viewed various rooms for entertaining and dining, including the Charlie Chaplin room.
At the close of the tour we were invited to help ourselves to some tea and cookies. Many of us headed to the restaurant for the lunch portion of our tour. It was a beautiful bright room with large windows and fabulous views of the grounds. Our server was very inviting and made us feel very welcome. Of course my husband chose the Castle Burger as his main course and I had the crab cakes. Throughout our lunch the service was impeccable and at no time did we feel out of place. This was definitely the type of place that my husband and I would choose to have lunch over dinner due to the cost, but you get to have the same experience.
As we were leaving, we saw that there was a luncheon fully underway in the Chaplin Room, from what I understand is pretty pricey to reserve for a group. We left feeling very happy and pleased with our day at the Oheka Castle, and the venue we found under things to do near me.