I think visiting the Gold Coast mansions in Long Island is quickly becoming a favorite weekend pastime of ours. Last month it was the Vanderbilt Mansion; this past Memorial Day we made a visit to the Planting Fields at Coe Hall, the former estate of the Coe family. Unlike some of the other estates that we’ve visited, many of the rooms at the 64 room Tudor-style mansion are being restored just as they were when the Coe family lived there during the Gilded Age (oh, and all these Gold Coast mansions are weekend country homes, btw. Most of these families had main residences in the city). The formal dining room is set with fine china and silverware, and intimate photos of the family rest on mantles and tables. It’s almost feels as if we, the visitors, are like ghosts intruding in this family’s home; you can imagine the children racing up and down the hallway upstairs and guests sitting down to dinner at the set table.
The grounds of the Coe Estate covers over 400 acres of gardens, greenhouses (more of those pictures to come) and big, open lawns. For an $8 entrance fee per car, you can spend the day here, spread your blanket out and have a summer picnic. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to slow down, lie on the grass and look at the clouds. It’s what summer looks like.