Where in the world can one experience the quaintness of a small town, yet still be less than an hour away from beautiful beaches in one direction, and from a glimmering city in another? The answer, of course, is the town of Farmingdale, on Long Island, New York.
First settled in 1687, Farmingdale was originally named Hardscrabble, but the name was changed to Farmingdale in 1845 when it became more industrialized. Residents of Farmingdale, or “Dalers,” are proud of their history, and the town stands today as a unique blend of the past and the present.
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Amid the brightly lit storefronts and bustling streets, historic buildings such as the Powell House and the Quaker Meeting House still stand from the 1600’s. Long Island’s first institute of higher learning, the Agricultural and Technical College, was established in 1914 and still stands today as Farmingdale State College- State University of New York. Additionally, the Library Café was a library in the 1920’s, but was restored into an eatery, is now one of the town’s most popular restaurants.
St. Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church, one of the many houses of worship in Farmingdale, is a perfect example of this blend of old and new. St. Kilian’s was built in 1896 as a small church for a tiny farm community. As the town grew, parishioners of St. Kilian’s recognized the need for the church to grow as well. In 1996, construction finally began to expand the church. However, the architectural style of the “old church” was kept in the remodel, and some parts were even kept exactly the same- the new St. Kilian’s, though much bigger, still has the same altar as it did before the remodel, as well as some of the same stained glass.
Visitors to Farmingdale will never be bored, as the town features two movie theaters, a bowling alley, a miniature golf course, and a multitude of restaurants and stores. Thrill seekers will delight in Adventureland, an outdoor amusement park that is open from March to October.
All palates will be pleased by the diverse restaurant scene found on Main Street in Farmingdale. Those with exotic tastes will appreciate eateries such as Caracara Mexican Grill, Sakura Japanese Steakhouse, Jade Palace, Tiny Thai, and Chichimeca’s Mexican Restaurant. Pickier eaters can find some good old burgers and fries at Bollinger’s Family Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, or grab a slice of pizza at Cascarino’s Pizzeria. Those seeking more of a nighttime bar scene will find The Nutty Irishman and Croxley’s Alehouse and Eatery to their liking.
Main Street isn’t all commercial- it’s a hub of the town, a center for community activities. Town movie nights and Village Pops concerts are hosted at “The Village Green” on Main Street on summer evenings. The town congregates on Main Street for street fairs, farmers’ markets, and car shows. Main Street is definitely a part of Farmingdale worth visiting.
Farmingdale, New York is a beautiful and interesting town, rich in culture and history. It is an excellent travel destination for people of all ages.
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