At about the center of New York’s Long Island and to the south of Interstate 495 is the town of Holtsville. It is a grass roots town that has been home to a small population of farmers since the 18th Century. Holtsville is part of Long Island’s Suffolk County which has many attractions for visitors to see and enjoy.
The area began as a small farming community in the latter part of the 1700s. However, during this period it was known as Waverly and labeled as such on maps. Waverly Station opened in 1843 with the arrival of the Long Island Railroad and the current Waverly Avenue was a stagecoach line at that time.
The town name of Waverly was not unique in New York with another one by the same name that was upstate. This is what prompted a name change in 1860 where the small community would be named to Holtsville. The name is in honor of Joseph Holt who was the U.S. Postmaster from 1859 to 1860 under President James Buchanan. Waverly station would also have its name changed to Holtsville during the 1890s because of complaints by farmers about lost shipments due to the name confusion with the upstate station.
One prominent feature that makes Holtsville noteworthy is the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Processing Center which opened in 1972. Today it is a major employer in the area occupying an area of over 60 acres.
If you consider the area that is Suffolk County, there are plenty of things to see and do that are just a short drive from Holtsville.
First, there is the Brookhaven Wildlife and Ecology Center which is actually located in Holtsville. This is a wildlife and nature preserve that was built on a reclaimed landfill and it is a spectacular site to see. There are also plenty of activities and attractions inside the park to include a swimming complex with three pools, exercise trails, fitness courses, greenhouse, animal preserve, picnic facilities, and guided tours. In the animal preserve area of the ecology center, you can feed the animals from pellets dispensed by one of its vending machines. In their greenhouse, you can see a variety of plants and they even offer garden parcels where you can grow your own flowers and vegetables.
For those who like attending concerts in an outdoor venue, there is the Pennysaver Amphitheater which was previously known as the Brookhaven Amphitheater. This outdoor concert arena has a capacity of 7,000 and is comparable to the famous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California.
There is the Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts located in Patchogue, New York which is less than 10 miles from Holtsville and Brookhaven. This is Suffolk County’s largest theater and it hosts a variety of events throughout the year with famous performances such as the Nutcracker Suite which is a winter holiday favorite.
In the summer, you can enjoy all of the excitement of a water park at Splish Splash. This water park is located in Riverhead, New York towards the northeastern part of Long Island. The park has 30 rides and is among the top-rated water recreation venues in the United States. It is open from May to September.
Then for the aircraft buff, there is the American Airpower Museum located in East Farmingdale, New York. The museum has a variety of historic aircraft and even flies some of them. They also offer the opportunity to experience flight on an old World War II C-47 that was actually part of the Normandy D-day Invasion.
The list of things to see and do around Holtsville is long. You will definitely enjoy yourself when touring the area on your next trip to New York’s Long Island.