Teenagers Dan Wolf and Travis Kaminsky say that Wantagh, aka “the gateway to Jones Beach,” has small-town qualities that make it a good spot to call home. “There are a lot of places to go, like music places and coffee shops, when you have nothing to do,” Wolf says. Kaminsky echoes that sentiment, adding that “you know everyone.”

The two have grown up in Wantagh and play in bands. They particularly like Railroad Avenue with its row of eateries, including Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall that has live music.

Hempstead Township’s animal shelter at 3320 Beltagh Ave. has one of the highest adoption rates nationwide, and it attracted Robert and Dore Hennessy when they were recently in search of a dog. “We’ve been looking for a while, and someone suggested we come here,” says Robert, who resides in nearby Levittown is also part of the Hempstead Township.

On the downside, some residents complain that the LIRR station’s waiting area smells like urine and is in bad need of a cleanup.

Also in Wantagh

1 It’s too cold to swim, but head south on the Wantagh State Parkway to Jones Beach for always-magnificent ocean views. Exercise along the two-mile boardwalk and check out the East Bathhouse’s “Castles in the Sand” photos depicting development of the Long Island State Park and parkway system.

2 Get a free fix, microchip and rabies shot for any pet adopted from Nov. 16 to Jan. 16 from Hempstead Township’s animal shelter in Wantagh. The shelter, located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue, is down the road from Bide-a-Wee Pet Cemetery, where former President Richard Nixon’s dog Checkers is buried.

3 Hit the library at 3285 Park Avenue on Nov. 19-20 for a “Giant” book sale. For details, call

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