Amazing Things to do in Long Island, New York

Things to do in Long Island
Long Island/King of Hearts~wikimediacommon

Technically, the 118 miles of Long Island includes the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens on the west edge, but in the famous creativeness, ‘Long Island’ begins only where the city ends, in a mass of traffic-clogged expressways and suburbs that each and every teenager aspires to leave. (Levittown, the first planned 1950s sub-division, is in central Nassau County.)

Nevertheless there is a lot more out on ‘Lawn-guy-land’ (per the local accent). Push past the central belt of ’burbs to wind-swept dunes, glitzy summer resorts, fresh farms and wineries, and whaling and fishing ports established in the 17th century. Then you will understand why loyalists like the nickname ‘Strong Island.’

Things to Do in Long Island has been categorized by the major areas that are mentioned below, you can check out the area wise details of things to do in Long Island to get the best out of your trip. It includes the popular tourist attractions, Best places to eat and drink in the respective area along with the Stunning Places to sleep. Also Don’t forget to check out the History of Long Island mentioned in the end of the article to enjoy the fullest-

Getting There & Around

Due to the Long Island rail road, which runs 3 lines from NYC’s Penn Station to the furthest east ends of this island, it is possible to check out without a vehicle. Furthermore,

The Hampton Jitney (Contact No.- 212-362-8400; Official Website- www.hamptonjitney.com; one way $30) and Hampton Luxury Liner (Contact No.- 631-537-5800; Official Website- www.hamptonluxuryliner.com; one way $45) buses connect Manhattan to various Hamptons’ villages as well as Montauk; the former also picks up in Brooklyn, and runs to the North Fork. With a car, however, it is much easier to visit many spots on the island all at once. I-495, aka the Long Island Expwy (LIE), runs down the middle of this island – but avoid rush hour, when it is commuter hell.

Amazing Things to do in Long Island

Here is the area wise list of things to do in Long Island, you can check out the area wise details of things to do in Long Island to get the best out of your trip-

  • North Shore
  • South Shore
  • The Hamptons
  • Montauk
  • North Fork & Shelter Island

North Shore

Relatively close to NYC, the so-called ‘Gold Coast’ is where the Vanderbilts, Chryslers and Guggenheims, not to mention Gatsby, summered in the roaring ’20s. Now it is mostly sub-urban, just some remainders associated with the age survive, along with some pretty wild spots.

1. Sands Point Preserve

  • Contact No.- 516-571-7901
  • Official Website- www.sandspointpreserve.org
  • 127 Middle Neck road, Sands Point
  • parking $10, Falaise tours $10
  • Opening hours- 8am-5pm, to 7pm Jul-Aug, Falaise tours hourly noon-3pm Thu-Sun mid-May–Nov

Near the town of Port Washington, Sands Point Preserve earlier the Guggenheim estate, covers forest and a lovely bayfront beach; the visitor center is in Castle Gould, built in the 19th century by railroad heir Howard Gould. Visitors can also tour the 1923 mansion Falaise, one of the few intact and furnished mansions from that era.

2. Sagamore Hill

  • Contact No.- 516-922-4788
  • Official Website- www.nps.gov/sahi
  • 12 Sagamore Hill road, oyster Bay
  • museum & grounds free, house tours adult/child $10/free
  • Opening Hours- 9am-5pm Wed-Sun

Further east, beyond the town of Oyster Bay, Sagamore Hill is where president Theodore Roosevelt along with his wife raised 6 children. A nature trail from behind the museum ends at a picturesque beach. The 23-room Victorian home was restored in 2015; it is accessible by guided tour, but can get very populated during the summer.

South Shore

Easily approachable by public transportation, these beaches can get populated, but they are a fun day out. The train goes straight to Long Beach, just over the border from NYC, and its main town strip is occupied with ice-cream shops, bars and eateries.

1. Jones Beach State Park

  • Contact No.- 516-785-1600
  • Official Website- http://jonesbeach.com/
  • 1 ocean Pkwy;parking $10, lounge chairs $10, pools adult/child $3/1, mini-golf $5
  • Opening Hours- 10am-7pm, though hours vary by area

Just east, Jones Beach State Park is a 6-mile microcosm of beach culture, with surfers, old-timers, local teens and gay men each claiming patches of sand. Accessibility is by train to Freeport, then a bus; in July and August, LIRR sells a combo ticket (round-trip $20.50).

2. Fire Island National Seashore

  • Contact No.- 631-687-4750
  • Official Website- www.nps.gov/fiis
  • dune camping permit $20

The next barrier island east is Fire Island National Seashore.

Except for the west end, where a bridge crosses the bay to Robert Moses State Park, the island is accessible only by ferry (Contact No.- 631-665-3600; Official Websitewww.fireislandferries.com;99 Maple Ave, Bay Shore;one-way adult/child $10/5) and is free of cars – regulars haul their belongings on little wagons instead. The island is edged with a dozen or more tiny hamlets, mainly residential. The Party center Ocean Beach Village and quieter Ocean Bay Park (take ferries from the Bay-shore LIRR stop) have a couple of hotels; Cherry Grove and the Pines (ferries from Sayville) are gay enclaves, also with hotels.

Accommodation is not cheap; Seashore Condo Motel(Contact No.- 631-583-5860; Official Websitewww.seashorecondomotel.com ; Bayview Ave, ocean Bay Park; room from $219) is a normal no-frills option. At the east end (ferry from Patchogue), there is camping with services at Watch Hill (Contact No– 631-567-6664; Official Websitewww.watchhillfi.com; tent sites $25; Opening Hours- early May-late oct) and backcountry camping in the dunes beyond. Bring lots of cash to the island.

The Hamptons

This string of villages is a summer escape for Manhattan’s wealthiest, who zip to mansions by helicopter. Mere mortals take the Hampton Jitney and chip in on rowdy rental houses. Behind the glitz is a long cultural history, as noted artists and writers have lived here. The area is small, connected by often traffic-clogged Montauk Hwy. Southampton, to the west, has many of the nightclubs, along with good museums. Its sweeping beaches are gorgeous; in summer nonresidents can park only at Coopers Beach (per day $40) and Road D (free).

Bridge hampton has its share of boutiques and fine restaurants; it is where you turn north to Sag Harbor, a one-time whaling town with pretty, narrow old streets. East Hampton is where the highest-profile celebrities party – and often act, in plays at Guild Hall (Contact No.- 631-324-0806; Official Website- www.guildhall.org ; 158 Main St; Opening Hours of museum- 11am-5pm Jul-Aug, Fri-Mon only Sep-Jun).

Places To Visit In The Hamptons, Long Island, New York

1. Parrish Art Museum

  • Contact No.- 631-283-2118
  • Official Website- www.parrishart.org
  • 279 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill
  • adult/child $10/free, Wed free
  • Opening Hours- 10am-5pm Wed-Mon, to 8pm Fri

In a seamless long barn designed by Herzog & de Meuron, this institution highlights local artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Chuck Close.
For more Pollock, make reservations to see his nearby paint-drizzled studio and home (Contact No.- 631-324-4929; 830 Springs-Fireplace Road, east Hampton; adult/child $10/5;Opening Hours of tours- hourly 11am-4pm Thu-Sat May-oct).

2. Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum

Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum
Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum
  • Contact No.- 631-287-4923
  • Official Website- www.shinnecockmuseum.com
  • 100 Montauk Hwy, Southampton
  • adult/child $15/8.50
  • Opening Hours- 11am-5pm Thu-Sun

The 1300-member Shinnecock tribe runs this museum as well as living-history village, one of the few reminders of Native American life on Long Island.

3. Southampton Historical Museum

  • Contact No.- 631-283-2494
  • Official Website- www.southamptonhistory.org
  • 17 Meeting House Ln, Southampton
  • adult/child $4/free
  • Opening Hours- 11am-4pm Wed-Sun Mar-Dec

Long before the Hamptons was the Hamptons, there was this clutch of beautifully maintained old buildings, along with a whaling captain’s mansion.

Sleeping & Eating in The Hamtons-

1. A Room at the Beach

Steps away from the charming hamlet of Bridgehampton and just a few minutes away from some of the area’s prettiest beaches, a Room at the Beach is a ten-room boutique hotel in the heart of the Hamptons.

2. Provisions

  • cnr Bay & Division Sts, Sag Harbor
  • sandwiches $9-16
  • Opening Hours- 8am-6pm

Find gourmet sustenance at this natural foods market with take-out sandwiches.

3. Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen

  • 2391 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton
  • mains $5-12
  • Opening Hours- 7am-7:30pm

An remedy to glitz, this corner diner has been serving good soups, frozen dessert as well as other staples since 1925.

4. Nick & Toni’s

Nick & Toni's
Nick & Toni’s
  • Contact No.- 631-324-3550
  • 136 North Main St, east Hampton
  • pizzas $17, mains $24-42
  • Opening Hours- 6-10pm Wed-Mon, to 11pm Fri & Sat, also 11:30am-2:30pm Sun

A good gamble for celebrity sightings, this institution serves Italian food with ingredients from surrounding farms.

Montauk

Toward the east-pointing tip of Long Island’s South Fork, you will find the mellow town of Montauk, aka ‘The End,’ and the popular surfing beach Ditch Plains. With the surfers have come affluent hipsters and boho-chic hotels like Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s. But the area is still far less of a scene than the Hamptons, with proudly blue-collar residents and casual seafood restaurants.

The road divides after Napeague State Park, with Montauk Hwy going direct; Old Montauk Hwy bears right to hug the water. The roads converge at the edge of central Montauk and Fort Pond, a tiny lake. 2 miles east is a large inlet called Lake Montauk, with marinas strung along its shore. Some other three miles is Montauk Point State Park, with the wind-whipped Montauk Point Lighthouse (Contact No.- 631-668-2544 , Official Websitewww.montauklighthouse.com; 2000 Montauk Hwy; adult/child $10/4; Opening Hours– 10:30am-5:30pm in summer, reduced hours rest of the year), active since 1796.

Hotels in Montauk, Long Island, New York

1. Hither Hills State Park (Campground)

Hither Hills State Park (Campground)
Hither Hills State Park (Campground)/Boston Public Library
  • Contact No.- 631-668-2554
  • Official Website- parks.ny.gov
  • 164 old Montauk Hwy
  • tent & RV sites weekday/weekend $56/64, reservation fee $9

These wooded dunes have 168 sites for tents and RVs; online reservations are a must.

2. Ocean Resort Inn (Hotel)

Ocean Resort Inn
Ocean Resort Inn

Contact No.- 631-668-2300
Official Website- www.oceanresortinn.com
95 S emerson Ave
Room/suite from $135/185

All rooms at this small, L-shaped hotel open onto a large porch or balcony. It is walking distance to the beach as well as the main town.

3. Sunrise Guesthouse (Guesthouse)

  • Contact No.- 631-668-7286
  • Official Website- www.sunrisebnb.com
  • 681 old Montauk Hwy
  • Room $130, suite $195

A good old-school option a few miles west of town, just across the road from the beach.

Best Drinking and Eating Places in Montauk

1. Lobster Roll (Seafood)

  • 1980 Montauk Hwy, Amagansett
  • mains $14-28
  • Opening Hours- 11:30am-10pm summer

‘Lunch’ is the sign to look for on the roadside west of Montauk, marking the clam-and-lobster shack that is been in operation since 1965.

2. Cyril’s Fish House (Seafood)

  • 2167 Montauk Hwy, Amagansett
  • mains $15-22
  • Opening Hours- 11am-7pm summer

As much an outdoor party as a seafood shack, this place puts the islands in Long Island with its signature Bailey’s banana coladas (aka BBCs).

3. Westlake Fish House (Seafood)

  • Contact No.- 631-668-3474
  • 352 W Lake Dr
  • mains $21-36
  • Opening Hours- noon-9pm Thu-Sun, to 10pm Fri & Sat

In the marina of the identical name, this is a fantastic place for seafood, all caught the same day.

4. Montauket (Bar)

  • 88 Firestone rd
  • Opening Hours- from noon Thu-Sun

Experts agree: this is the best spot to view the sun go down on Long Island.

North Fork & Shelter Island

The North Fork of Long Island is renowned for its farmland and vineyards – bucolic, though weekends can draw rowdy limo-loads on winery crawls. Still, Rte 25, the main road through the towns of Jamesport, Cutchogue and Southold, is beautiful and edged with farm stands.The biggest town on the North Fork is Greenport, a laid-back place with working fishing boats, a history in whaling and a vintage carousel in its Harbor Front Park. It is compact and conveniently walkable from the LIRR station.

1. Orient Beach State Park

Orient Beach State Park
Orient Beach State Park
  • Contact No.- 631-323-2440
  • 40000 Main rd, orient
  • per car $8
  • Opening Hours- from 8am year-round, swimming only Jul-Aug

If you are driving, you can carry on to Orient, along with its sandy point, and Orient Beach State Park, a slip of a peninsula with clean beaches and a calm bay for kayaking. Like a little pearl in Long Island’s claw, Shelter Island rests between the North and South Forks.

2. North Ferry

  • Contact No.- 631-749-0139
  • Official Website- www.northferry.com
  • on foot $2, with bicycle $3, with car one-way/same-day return $11/16
  • Opening Hours- every 10-20min 6am-midnight

North Ferry connects to Green-port.

3. South Ferry

South Ferry
South Ferry Inc.
  • Contact No.- 631-749-1200
  • Official Website- www.southferry.com
  • on foot $1, with bicycle $4, vehicle & driver one-way/same-day round-trip $14/17
  • Opening Hours- every 15min 6am-1:30am Jul-Aug, to midnight September-June

South Ferry runs to North Haven, near Sag Harbor.

The island is a smaller, lower-key version of the Hamptons, with an impression of maritime New England. Parking is limited; long Crescent Beach, for example, has spots only by permit. If you do not mind a few hills, it is a nice location to visit by bike. In the southern part of the island, 2000-acre Mashomack Nature Preserve (Contact No.– 631-749-1001 ; Official Websitewww.nature.org ;rte 114; Opening Hours– 9am-5pm Mar-Sep, to 4pm oct-Feb) is fantastic for kayaking.

Eating and Hotels in North Fork & Shelter Island

1. Greenporter Hotel

An older motel redone with white walls as well as Ikea furniture, this place is great value for the area. Its on-site restaurant, Cuvée, is great.

2. North Fork Table & Inn

  • Contact No.- 631-765-0177
  • Official Website- www.nofoti.com
  • 57225 Main road, Southold
  • Room from $250

A popular foodies escape, this four-room inn has an awesome farm-to-table restaurant (3-course prixfixe $75), run by alums of the esteemed Manhattan restaurant Gramercy Tavern.

3. Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
  • Contact No.- 347-940-6717
  • 1010 Village Ln, orient
  • pie slice $5
  • Opening Hours- 8am-6pm Wed-Mon mid-May–Sep

An out-post of the Brooklyn pie experts, with delectable fruit and chocolate varieties.

4. Love Lane Kitchen

  • Contact No.- 631-298-8989
  • 240 Love Ln, Mattituck
  • mains lunch $12-15, dinner $16-30
  • Opening Hours- 8am-9:30pm Thu-Mon, 7am-4pm Tue & Wed

At this well-known place on a cute street, local meat and vegetables drive the global-diner menu: burgers, of course, plus spicy chickpeas and duck tagine.

5. Claudio’s

  • Contact No.- 631-477-0627
  • 111 Main St, greenport
  • mains $25-36
  • Opening Hours- 11:30am-9pm Sun-Thu, to 10pm Fri & Sat

A Greenport legend, owned by the Portuguese Claudio family since 1870. For a casual meal, hit Claudio’s Clam Bar, on the nearby pier.

History of Long Island

Long Island has a rich cultural history. Native American tribes, such as the Lenape (known as the Delawares by Europeans) have lived on the island for many thousands of years, even though their populations have mostly been replaced by the descendants of immigrants from around the globe, 2 reservations uphold this legacy on Long Island. The Shinnecock as well as Poospatuck reservations, today federally protected, are the homes of the tribes, and every year visitors are welcome to the Shinnecock reservation to know about and take part in the seasonal festivals.

Early colonial figures consisted of Wyandanch, Captain Kidd, Lionel Gardner, as well as John Underhill. The West of Long Island was settled by the Dutch, while the East settled by Puritans from Massachusetts. Long Island was the scene of many witch hunts, including one involving Lionel Gardner in Easthampton.

History of Long Island
History of Long island/Internet Archive Book Images

The English and Dutch were the initial European settlers on Long Island, but came under English rule in 1664 when the whole of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was brought under English rule. From that time Native American populations began to drop as the population of European settlers increased. The biggest battle of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Long Island, was a significant loss for General George Washington. As it remained under British control through the entire war, Long Island became one of General Washington’s most important areas for shadowing.

Long Island’s gorgeous north shore attracted both rich Americans and Europeans during the Gilded Age whose big as well as luxurious estates received this region the title of “The Gold Coast.” At present these estates have been reborn as gold courses, parks, subdivisions as well as museums, and while the previous wealth that once inhabited the region is finished, the tradition of fine homes and wealthy landowners continues to be alive along the north shore.

Long Island remained mostly rural as well as agricultural through the entire 19th century. Nassau County experienced the greatest development in the United States between 1950 and 1970, setting off a chain reaction of sub-urbanization as well as economic development across Long Island.

1891 Long Island Railroad Real Estate Map of Long Island
1891 Long Island Railroad Real Estate Map of Long Island

Today Nassau and Suffolk Counties are ranked one of the most expensive areas to reside in the USA, and are home for some of the nations best public and private schools and a lot of effective community offices.

“Nassau” is regarded as many names through which the island was once recognized.

Long Island was the home of many prominent Roosevelts such as for instance author Robert Roosevelt, and also the summer home of his nephew Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1996, tragedy struck Long Island, as TWA Flight 800 exploded over East Moriches. 230 individuals were killed in the disaster.

Also, September 11th 2001 had a significant affect on Long Island. Because of the proximity of New York City to Long Island, many victims lived outside the city on Long Island in the suburbs and commuted to the trade center every day via train or subway (if in the city). So, Long Island lost numerous family members in the towers and were affected economically as well.

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