Huntington is part of the New York metropolitan area, located on the North Shore of Long Island, in northwestern Suffolk County. Just east of Nassau County, it was founded in 1653. As of the United States 2000 census, the population was 195,289. The bustling community has developed into an economic powerhouse over many decades of business, industry, residential and recreational development. Residents have a tradition of remaining active in deciding the direction of the town, and plans for the future are no exception. Some of the outstanding amenities in Huntington include the private school of Coindre Hall, outstanding public schools and an active chamber of commerce. Two jewels stand out among the many cultural attractions. The Walt Whitman birthplace in South Huntington offers an absorbing collection of memorabilia relating to the famous American poet and the Heckscher Museum of Art celebrates the nation's finest artistic traditions through exhibits and innovative programs. Many fine dining choices are available, including restaurants that serve superb ethnic cuisine. The Huntington area also boasts some of the most diverse and interesting neighborhoods in the state of New York.