Things to Do in Long Island

What Locals Say Are the Best Things to Do in Long Island, NY. When most think of New York, they think of New York City full of bright lights, skyscrapers, and the famous Times Square. Many forget about the wonderful charm Long Island suburbs have to offer. Lighthouses, amazing attractions, beautiful beaches, and vineyards. There are plenty of exciting things to do in Long Island, NY.

Long Island, NY, is an island stretching 118 miles east of the New York City harbor. It’s broken up into four counties, Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. The Kings and Queens counties are home to the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The Nassau and Suffolk counties are generally what locals refer to as “Long Island.” The Hamptons, an area distinguished by extravagant homes and celebrity sightings, is also found here. The island is known for its unique outdoor activities and for being rich in arts and history. The Long Island Railroad can get you to and from anywhere on the island to New York City. Just like the island itself, it’s a popular commute for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

Things to Do in Long Island

Best Places to Eat: 

Long Island has an eclectic menu of food for residents and visitors to choose from. From fine dining to grab-and-go desserts, the area has a long list of must-tries.

  • For breakfast, Head to Bagel Boss for an authentic New York-style bagel. They have various locations across the island.
  • For lunch, grab a wrap from Joni’s in Montauk. All the ingredients are fresh and organic to pair with a relaxing beach day. A pizza slice from Little Vincent’s in Huntington is also a classic. The site of shaved cheese on top will have your mouth watering. Calissa in Water Mill is a highly recommended restaurant if you’re in the mood for seafood. Also, for the best Sushi in the Hamptons after 4 pm, try the Bamboo Shushi Bar.
  • For dinner, If you have an appetite for Italian cuisine and unique flavors, the Tutto II Giomo is a highly recommended gourmet restaurant. If you’re looking to embrace the upscale atmosphere of the Hamptons, The Lake House offers wonderful fine dining.
  • Most importantly, where do you go for dessert? If you’re in the mood for fro-yo or ice cream, Yogurt & Such and Diner By The Sea are great options. If you’re visiting during the summer, Ralph’s is certainly a must to enjoy some authentic, refreshing Italian Ice. You can also visit The Witches Brew for a frozen hot chocolate if you’re looking for an Instagram-able treat. The weather in Long Island, NY, will steer you in the right direction.
Lake House Restaurant
Tutto II Giomo

Most Popular Attractions: 

From expansive white beaches to seaside villages, it’s a vacation destination for travelers of all types. Couples on a romantic getaway and families can find fun and great things to do in Long Island, NY. The relaxed pace of the island is one of its biggest attractions.

One of the most popular attractions is definitely, the Montauk Point Lighthouse. It was named a Travelers Choice attraction by Trip Advisor in 2020. It was built in 1976, making it the oldest lighthouse in New York, and to this day serves as a navigation resource operated by the Coast Guard. In addition to the tower, it has a museum and gift shop inside. It’s surrounded by white beaches and scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Long Island Aquarium is one of the largest all-living coral reef displays in the Western hemisphere. It was named a Top 10 Aquarium for Children by Parents Magazine. The 120,000-gallon shark tank, jellyfish exhibition, Amazon Rainforest exhibit, and butterfly experience are some of the most unique animal experiences in the country. It now offers the opportunity to spend a night under the stars with the sharks and a private diving experience.

Montauk Lighthouse
Long Island Aquarium
Museums, Sports Centers, and Vineyards Galore: 
  • The Clubhouse at Shinnecock Hills is one of the oldest golf clubs in America. It’s located in the Town of Southampton on Long Island. Members relish in the warm, welcoming feeling of the club and the well-kept course of a golfer’s dream.
  • The rich arts and history make this is the perfect getaway for those who enjoy relaxing and learning. A few notable museums are; The Southampton Historical Museum, the American Airpower Museum, the Cradle of Aviation Museum, and the Sag Harbor Whaling.
  • Wine tasting is also a popular thing to do in Long Island, NY. The area of North Fork is referred to as Wine Country as 60 different wineries span the island. Head out there to “vineyard hop” and enjoy wine tasting, live music, local food, and more.
Clubhouse at Shinnecock Hills
Southampton Historical Museum

3 Best Beaches: 

The scenic views of Long Island, NY, often bring visitors from all over the world during the summer.

  1. Ponquogue Beach is the most popular beach in Southampton. With more than 100,000 visitors every year; With a huge parking area and modern eco-friendly facilities.  Renovated restrooms and outdoor showers include changing areas.
  2. Jones Beach State Park is one of Long Island’s most visited beaches, and for good reason. The beach is easily accessible from the railroad. The soft waves and sugary sand makes it easy for anyone to enjoy themselves walking along the coast or playing volleyball, shuffleboard, or basketball on one of the courts. There are lots of things to do on this beach in Long Island, NY. The boardwalk features all types of local food and shops.
  3. Fire Island Lighthouse, located on the National Seashore, is a local favorite and is open all year round. On the pathway to the lighthouse, you can often see white-tailed deer. On a clear day, you can even see Manhattan from the lighthouse’s tallest point.
Ponquogue Beach
Jones Beach State Park

Best Place to Stay: 

As Long Island stretches 118 miles, it has plenty of great places to stay along the way; But, our favorite is the Bay Watch Hotel & Marina. Sit by the beautiful pool or head out to the private marina to take out your boat or your jet ski. The hotel offers beautiful deluxe rooms and pet-friendly cottages. All rooms have AC/heat, TVs, and a fully equipped kitchen. Visitors will be pleased to find a calm, family-friendly atmosphere. The property is amazing with a lot of outdoor seating areas, gardens, and BBQ stans.

Located on the Shinnecock Inlet, and very close to Ponoque bridge; It’s a convenient drive to the Montauk Point Light House and Museum of the Montauk Indians. The Montauk Point Light House is 42 miles and 1 hour and 22 minutes away. The Museum of the Montauk Indians is 36 miles and 1 hour and 7 minutes away.

Things to Do in Long Island and Hampton Bays. 

The Hampton Bays is a hamlet, or small village, with welcoming locals and crowd-free beaches. Ponoque Beach, the most popular beach, and the Ponquogue Bridge are just minutes away from the Bay Watch Hotel. Meschutt Beach is also just a 10-minute drive. There are stores to grab paddleboards and kayaks before heading out onto the water. After a day of adventure, Cowfish and Edgewater Restaurant are iconic dinner spots worth the praise. We hope this provided you with some insight into the best things to do in Long Island, NY. It’s the perfect summer vacation destination and escapes from the big city. Enjoy your visit!

Written by: Erin O’Halloran