“It’s not Antigua, but it’s beautiful water,” said Matt Engel, the 42-year-old owner of a commercial real estate business, who has been living in Sands Point for a decade. Mr. Engel is the chair of the Village Club of Sands Point, a waterfront facility the village bought in 1994. (It had previously been an IBM training center and employee retreat.) Open to both residents and outsiders, the 210-acre club includes an 18-hole golf course, 12 tennis courts, a swimming pool and a recently rebuilt pool house with a view of Hempstead Harbor. Dining and lodging are in a circa-1916 Florentine-flavored mansion named Villa Corola by its first owner, Isaac Guggenheim. Dues for access to all of the facilities are about $11,000 a year for residents, $15,000 for nonresidents.
Together, the Village Club and Sands Point Preserve keep more than 400 acres from development, helping to secure the village’s green-world feeling while offering a steady diet of diversions.
Sands Point Preserve, which is owned by Nassau County and operated by a nonprofit conservancy, organizes cultural events, educational programs, museum exhibitions and benefits. Yoga, beekeeping, concerts under the stars and an exhibition on Robert H. Goddard, the father of modern rocketry (on view through Dec. 22) only begin to describe them. The preserve maintains a 50,000-square-foot stone building called Hempstead House that was built for the Gould family, but only after its owners had erected a 100,000-square-foot heap known as Castle Gould, which remains on the property. After the Guggenheim family took over the estate, a 1923 house called Falaise, built in the style of a Norman manor, was added; it is now a museum.
The preserve recently introduced a dog park, an organic vegetable garden and the Woodland Playground. The grounds are open to the public year-round. The entry fee for nonmembers is $15 a car or $4 for an individual on foot; house tours are extra. About 100,000 visitors drop by every year, said Ms. Horn, the preserve’s director, speaking on the day she was hosting a crew filming a Stephen King television series. (Location scouts and wedding planners are a boon to the park’s operating budget.)
Sands Point also has the Community Synagogue, housed in a 1929 Tudorbethan building called the Chimneys, as well as the United Methodist Church of Port Washington and the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. Most everything else is a single-family residence — shingled, stuccoed, glass-walled, flat-roofed, crenelated or gingerbread-trimmed.