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West Hempstead, New York (population 19,000), is 17 miles east of New York City on Long Island.
1. The Cradle of Aviation Museum-This state-of-the-art facility houses a collection of more than 70 aircraft and spacecraft, immersing visitors in the history of aviation.
2. Hofstra University Museum- This nearby institution has several art museums, including the Calkins, David Filderman, and Emily Lowe galleries; the Rochelle & Irwin A. Lowenfeld Hall; and a Sculpture Park. West Hempstead also has an African American Museum.
3. Wildlife and nature areas- Nature lovers and birders can enjoy the nearby Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, hiking trails and nature preserves. An environmental recreation facility, the Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve, features an array of wildlife, walking trails and views of Long Island and the New York City skyline.
4. Jones Beach- This shoreline recreation area offers strolls along the boardwalk, sunbathing, swimming, paddleball, shuffleboard, volleyball, and basketball. Many navigable inland waterways offer power boating, sailing, fishing, and other marine activities.
5. Belmont Park Racetrack- In nearby Elmont, this famed track is renowned for its historic races and beautiful park-like setting. It has been at the forefront of the thoroughbred-racing world since 1905. The most famous race is the Belmont Stakes, the third and most elusive jewel of the Triple Crown Series. During the fall, Belmont Park presents Super Stakes Weekend in September and Breeder's Cup Preview Weekend in October.