Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Westbury, NY

  • Published 2023/01/11

The incorporated village of Westbury is part of the town of North Hempstead in Nassau County, New York.

Situated about 18 miles east of Manhattan, Quakers first settled in the neighborhood in 1658 when it was still part of the Hempstead Plains.

The present-day Jericho Turnpike was once used as a trail by Massapequa Indians as early as the 17th century.

It was in 1657 when Captain John Seaman purchased a 12,000-acre land from the tribe.

A year later, Richard Stites built the first and only homestead in the area, until English Quakers Edmond Titus and Henry Willis soon built their estates in the neighborhood.

In 1675, Willis named the area “Westbury” in honor of his hometown Westbury, Wiltshire, in England.

Construction of the Long Island Railroad brought commercial growth to the area, and it soon became one of the wealthiest villages in town.

Here are the best things to do in Westbury, New York.

Attend a Concert at NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Exterior of NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Chrisnait, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Brush Hollow Road, NYCB Theatre at Westbury is a theater-in-the-round entertainment venue for popular musical and theatrical acts.

Constructed in 1956, the original structure was an uninsulated tent built on an abandoned lime pit in the hamlet of Jericho.

It was also known as the Westbury Music Fair.

The permanent theater was constructed in 1966 with a 3,000-seating capacity and climate control to replace the tent.

A local production of The King and I was one of the first shows in the venue.

Since then, the NYCB Theatre has hosted acts like Alanis Morissette, The Supremes, Britney Spears, Frank Sinatra, and Stevie Wonder.

Today, it’s a favorite venue for top music stars, comedy acts, and light shows.

Catch a Show at the Space at Westbury

Located on Post Avenue, the Space at Westbury is a concert hall and movie theater which hosts live shows, 3D screenings, and concerts.

It opened its doors in 1927 as a single-screen house built by renowned movie theater magnate Salvatore Calderone.

The Space’s architecture was inspired by the Tudor style, featuring a steeply pitched roof with multiple overlapping, front-facing gables.

During its prime, the theater screened films like “Hula” starring Clara Bow and “Beau Geste” starring Ronald Colman, and hosted live band performances.

It closed in the 1970s and was up for demolition until it was privately bought and repurposed to accommodate contemporary entertainment.

Today, the Space at Westbury is popular for concerts, comedy shows, and even private events.

Buy Houseplants at Hicks Nurseries

Hicks Nurseries is a full-service garden offering seasonal plants, flowers, and landscaping services.

Located on Jericho Turnpike, it’s Long Island’s largest garden center and plant nursery with hundreds of species of indoor plants, shrubs, trees, perennials, vegetables, herbs, and fruit plants.

If you’re looking to spruce up your house with greens, Hicks Nurseries has an entire greenhouse full of houseplants like the bird of paradise, calathea, and monstera.

There are exotic cacti species, a venus fly trap, and a wide selection of summer bulbs and tropicals for serious plant lovers.

If you’re looking to start a backyard vegetable garden, the nursery has more than 100 varieties of USDA organic vegetable plants and GMO-free seeds.

Hicks Nurseries is a one-stop shop for gardeners with earth-friendly supplies, fertilizers, composts, and gardening tools.

Eat Chicken Parmigiana at Cafe Baci

Located on Old Country Road, Cafe Baci has served contemporary Italian cuisine for over 30 years.

The restaurant boasts a menu of authentic Roman dishes and homestyle Italian favorites.

One of the crowd favorites is the Chicken Parmigiana, a generous serving of breaded chicken fillet topped with homemade tomato sauce and melted mozzarella and served with spaghetti.

For pasta lovers, there’s a wide selection of pasta dishes, including the famous Lobster Ravioli made with Maine lobster and the Penne Saporite with grilled chicken.

For a lighter meal, choose from the restaurant’s panini and Tuscan wraps menu, which includes the Melanzane with thinly-sliced eggplants, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan.

Café Baci also has a cocktail menu which includes the Baci Sour, Gin Italiano, Tequila Roma, and mocktails.

Drink Authentic Margaritas at Little Mexico

Little Mexico is a Mexican restaurant located on Post Avenue.

It has served the Westbury area since 2000, boasting authentic Mexican cuisine from fajitas and tortas to sopes chimichangas.

The restaurant is most famous for its margaritas, made from scratch and without the instant sour mixes that other restaurants use.

You can opt for the sangria if you’re not into hard liquor.

Salsa and guacamole are made in-house, so you can enjoy these with chips before ordering your mains.

Order the chimichanga if you’re hungry, as it comes in a very generous serving, but you can also try the flautas and carne asada.

Little Mexico, as the name suggests, is a small space with limited seating and parking, so prepare to wait to be seated.

Try the Sunset Menu at Casa di Fratelli

Casa di Fratelli is an Italian restaurant on Old Country Road offering a relaxed dining atmosphere.

The restaurant’s name translates to “House of the Brothers” in English, and it was founded by brothers Giovanni, Carlos, and Antonio Valle.

It’s famous for its seafood plates, including the Lobster Ravioli slathered with pink lobster sauce and the creamy Lobster Bisque Soup with chopped shrimp and garlic toast.

If you want something light and refreshing, try the Truffle Burrata served with sundried tomatoes, artichokes, and roasted bell peppers.

Every day before the restaurant serves dinner, Casa di Fratelli offers a special three-course Sunset Menu, including the Mozzarella Caprese, Chicken Parmigiana, and Cannoli.

Choose from a selection of wines and beers for after-dinner drinks to wash down all the food.

Order the Osso Buco at Giulio Cesare Ristorante

Giulio Cesare Ristorante is a restaurant on Ellison Avenue serving classic Northern Italian dishes.

This restaurant is the place to go if you’re a fan of authentic Italian food.

It’s best known for its signature Osso Buco, or braised veal shank served with fusi or gnocchi.

Another house specialty is the Housewife Chicken, a piece of bone-in chicken sauteed with garlic and glazed with wine.

You should also try the veal meatballs served with homemade bucatini pasta and the cheese-stuffed ravioli, which can be done in a tomato, meat, or cream sauce.

For seafood lovers, Giulio Cesare’s Seafood Salad with octopus and squid is a great way to start.

The scampi, wild salmon Dijonnaise, and the Chilean seabass with mussels and clams are also must-tries.

Join a Painting Workshop at Westbury Arts

Located on Schenck Ave, Westbury Arts is a nonprofit organization that aims to conduct arts and cultural programs to connect and educate the local community.

The arts center regularly hosts live performances and exhibitions of local artists.

Membership allows artists to display up to three of their works for free at the Members’ Gallery, following a different theme each month.

There’s also a quarterly open mic and concert series where performers can showcase their talents for the whole community.

For visitors, Westbury Arts conducts workshops, including jewelry making, painting, and even lessons on various painting mediums.

Paint Night is the most popular of these workshops, where painters of all skill levels gather to learn techniques while enjoying a glass of wine.

Take home your very own 12×16 painting at the end of the class.

View the Westbury Military Historical Collection

The Corporal James Walsh Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall is located on Maple Avenue, which houses the Westbury Military Historical Collection.

The collection includes personal items and memorabilia donated by Westbury residents who served in the military.

The collection depicts how residents have contributed to the country’s war efforts, from uniforms, medals, and equipment to documents, photographs, and wartime posters aimed to boost the military’s morale.

On the wall are the names of Westbury residents who have served in the military.

In front of the building is a vintage World War II 30mm anti-tank gun that has been restored close to its original condition.

The Westbury Military Historical Collection hosts open houses throughout the year, but interested visitors can also book an appointment to view the collection.

Walk the Lavish Gardens of Westbury Manor

Located on Jericho Turnpike, the Westbury Manor is a Victorian-style mansion set on a 5-acre estate.

The property dates to 1880 and boasts meticulously landscaped English gardens and ornately designed banquet halls perfect for private events and social gatherings.

The Manor is a favorite wedding venue because its picturesque garden features fountains, falls, and hundreds of colorful flowers.

Westbury Manor is the perfect venue if you’re planning a destination wedding but still want to be close to the city.

Its expansive ballroom can accommodate up to 300 guests, and world-class chefs can curate a menu for your banquet using seasonal and local ingredients.

The estate welcomes ceremonies of all types, religious or non-religious.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Old Westbury Gardens

Exterior of Old Westbury Gardens mansion

AnastasiaKopa /

Old Westbury was once part of present-day Westbury until it separated in 1924.

Along Old Westbury Road, just five minutes from Westbury, are the Old Westbury Gardens which features the former home of lawyer and businessman John S. Phipps.

Aside from the Charles II-style mansion, the estate also includes a sprawling 200-acre formal garden, well-manicured lawns, woodlands, ponds, and lakes.

Pond fountain of Old Westbury Gardens

Jay Gao /

The mansion houses a collection of fine English antiques and paintings accumulated throughout the more than 50 years of residence by the Phipps family.

The estate offers guided tours of the house and in-depth tours of the formal gardens, museum exhibitions, classic car shows, and indoor and outdoor concerts.

The Old Westbury Gardens also host gardening workshops, botanical art classes, and horticulture lessons led by a master gardener.

Trail lined with flora at Old Westbury Gardens

Joe Trentacosti /

See Restored Aircraft at the Cradle of Aviation Museum

Exterior of the Cradle of Aviation Museum

quiggyt4 /

Located on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Garden City is the Cradle of Aviation Museum, a nine-minute drive from Westbury.

The museum commemorates Long Island’s contribution to the aviation industry.

The museum site was previously part of the Mitchel Air Force Base.

The airfields were at their peak in the 1920s, hence the name “Cradle of Aviation.”

Interior of the Cradle of Aviation Museum

Leonard Zhukovsky /

The collection of restored aircraft highlights Long Island’s aviation firsts, including Charles Lindbergh’s first Curtiss Jenny.

Also in the museum is the LM-13, an unused Apollo Lunar Module scheduled to land on the Moon with the scrapped Apollo 19 mission.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum has audio-visual installation and interactive exhibits, including actual cockpits, where you can experience what it’s like flying aircraft from different eras.

Aircrafts in the Cradle of Aviation Museum

quiggyt4 /

Take the Kids to the Long Island Children’s Museum

Take an eight-minute drive from Westbury to arrive at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City, New York.

The museum features 14 interactive exhibits where kids can explore, play, create, and have their “aha” moment.

The 140-seater, proscenium-style LICM Theater hosts interactive performances for families and schools.

The Long Island Children’s Museum also has programs dedicated to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to children.

The STEM Explorers powered by Green Teens conduct science-themed activities throughout the school year.

Besides the permanent exhibits, which include the favorite TotSpot and Communication Station, there are seasonal exhibits like the Snowflake Sock Skating, which visitors can access for free.

Walk around the Clark Botanic Garden

Paved trail at Clark Botanic Garden

Paul Pecora /

Eight minutes from Westbury is the Clark Botanic Garden located on I U Willets Road in Albertson, New York.

The 12-acre botanical garden and park was founded in 1969 and was designed by renowned garden designer Alice Recknagel Ireys.

It sits on the former estate of Wall Street lawyer Grenville Clark, who donated his home to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1966.

The estate has been divided into 12 specialty gardens featuring more than 5,000 species of plants, including around 1,000 labeled trees and garden plants.

The Clark Botanic Garden also houses a collection of native spring wildflowers, roses, daylilies, herbs, and medicinal plants.

Appreciate Long Island Artists at the Nassau County Museum of Art

Entrance to the Nassau County Museum of Art

Located on One Museum Drive in Roslyn, New York, is the Nassau County Museum of Art, a 15-minute drive from Westbury.

The museum is housed within the 145-acre former Frick “Clayton” Estate.

The main museum building is a three-story Georgian-style mansion reflecting the popular architectural style in the late 19th century.

Exterior of the Nassau County Museum of Art

Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Nassau County Museum of Art features rotating exhibits of artists from around the world, from different art movements, and in various art forms.

Also on display are works by local Long Island artists.

Final Thoughts

With its proximity to Manhattan, Westbury is the perfect weekend getaway if you want a break from city life.

The quiet neighborhood has historical sites, entertainment spots, and local restaurants that you won’t think exist near a megacity.

Add the best things to do in Westbury to your itinerary.

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