The 1920s in America was a time of excess and party when money was everything. And Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby take us back to the roaring 20s. The decadence of this decade ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929, but people sure got their kicks in before then.
What if you and your friends could walk in the steps of Jay Gatsby? We put together a Great Gatsby travel guide to New York to revisit 1920s-themed parties, stay in century-old mansions, and sail the East and West Egg.
Cruise like Great Gatsby
James Gatz became the Great Gatsby out at sea with a rich man. You too should start your journey on the sea. The Great Gatsby Boat Tour runs from King’s Point to Sand’s Point. See the Manhasset Bay, the mansions and other places that inspired the classic novel.
Party like Gatsby
Next item on the agenda, a raving party like the ones featured in The Great Gatsby? Head to Bobby’s NYC, a nightclub that dawns a 1920s theme. Expect art deco interior, a bit of jazz mixes, and fancy attire. Bring your foxtrot, cigarette holders, and show off your best bow ties.
Work like Gatsby
As the Great Gatsby’s tale unravels, we learn that his rise to riches wasn’t all legal. His associate, Meyer Wolfsheim, was based on Arnold Rothstein who fixed the 1919 World Series in real life. And like many made men at that time, money came through bootlegging liquor, gambling and such.
Lots of those deals happened in speakeasies and you can still find a lot of those in NYC. Though alcohol is legal nowadays, most of these establishments have kept a low-key atmosphere. Some will still ask you for passwords and others, like The Black Room has been around since the 20s.
Sleep like Gatsby
Inspired by the massive beachside properties located in Long Island, Fitzgerald saw fit to house Jay Gatsby in this exclusive area. One of the houses that inspired the author was the Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate in Huntington, NY.
Built in 1915 for Otto Kahn, this 443-acre property is the second largest in the USA. People can, not only tour the grounds here, but eat, party, and sleep at the castle.
You could also visit the Plaza Hotel in New York City, mentioned by name in The Great Gatsby.
Car-shop like the Great Gatsby
You might not be able to speed down the streets of NYC in a cream-colored 1920s ride but you can check out cars of the time at a few classic car museums in New York State.
Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich has a collection of rare cars from the 1920s on display, including a 1929 Chevrolet Model 12AC four-door Landau convertible. Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum has cars and memorabilia from Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company. They manufactured luxury cars in Buffalo, NY from 1901 to 1938.
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