Wantagh is a hamlet and census-designated place in Nassau County, New York, United States. Wantagh is known as "The Gateway to Jones Beach" due to its location directly north of the famous Jones Beach State Park-developed State Park. Wantagh was originally known as Jerusalem, although some early accounts do refer to the area as "Wantagh."
The creek running north/south through Wantagh, and which has been covered up in many places but is still visible between Wantagh Parkway and the housing developments west of Wantagh Avenue, was originally the Jerusalem River. The original post office was built in 1837, for Jerusalem, but mail service from Brooklyn began around 1780. The town's first school was established in 1790. At some time around the 1880s, Jerusalem was renamed Ridgewood, and the town's original LIRR station was for "Ridgewood Station." Later, Ridgewood was renamed Wantagh to avoid confusion with another town in New York State with the same name.
Parks, recreation and museums
Jones Beach State Park
accessible by Wantagh Parkway, Meadowbrook Parkway, or Ocean Parkway 6 miles (9.7 km) of white sandy Atlantic beachfront, 2 miles (3.2 km) of boardwalk, concession facilities, picnic areas, surfing, bandshell, pitch & putt golf, swimming pools, restaurant and catering area, miniature golf, softball field, roller skating rink, playground, beach volleyball, 15 paddle tennis courts, 22 shuffleboard courts, 4 basketball courts, historical art deco buildings, and site of the Jones Beach Theater. In addition to the park's facilities for vehicular traffic there is also a bike path that connects the park to the mainland and travels adjacent to Wantagh Parkway. The bike path starts at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford and is approximately 4.3 miles long and ends with bike racks. Bicyclists must leave their bikes at the bike racks during the park's peak season (summer months), but are allowed to ride further otherwise.traffic there is also a bike path that connects the park to the mainland and travels adjacent to Wantagh Parkway. The bike path starts at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford and is approximately 4.3 miles long and ends with bike racks. Bicyclists must leave their bikes at the bike racks during the park's peak season (summer months), but are allowed to ride further otherwise.
Forest City Community Park
3099 Morgan Drive Two swimming pools and changing areas, nature trails, paddle tennis courts, baseball diamond, picnic areas, playground, 6-acre (24,000 m2) fishing pond, concession facilities
South of Merrick Road, off of Woodland Avenue Swimming complex (six pools), open and sheltered picnic tables and grills, concession facilities, tennis courts, bocci, horseshoes, large playgrounds, illuminated baseball and softball fields, year-round fishing pier, boating marina and launch ramp, fenced-in dog run area, jogging trails.