As both the longest and largest island in the Continental United States, Long Island extends 118 miles eastward from New York Harbor to Montauk Point and offers a variety of activities.
For those looking for a city trip, there is no better place to explore than the westernmost end of the island which includes New York City’s exciting boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Searching for peace and quiet away from the city? Head a few hours east for a relaxing stay in The Hamptons. For the true adventure seekers, get outside for a hike or go birding in the Long Island Central Pine Barrens, the island’s largest natural area.
Peak boating season on Long Island runs from May to September, though you will find people out on the water starting in April and extending into October. During peak months, boaters can expect temperatures in the high 60s and 70s along with sunshine and afternoon sea breezes – perfect for long days outside.
The east end of the island is considered the place to be during the summer months, with many New Yorkers swapping the hot and muggy city for ocean views and cool breezes. Towns like Amagansett, Montauk and South Hampton are all bustling with activity during this time of year. Check out the Hampton Classic Horse Show in August or head to the North Fork of the island for the annual Mattituck Strawberry Festival in July.
Boaters visiting the western end of the island closer to New York City can expect slightly warmer temperatures during their visit and should come prepared for sunny days.
Located at the tip of eastern Long Island, the Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York. With a rich history and an unforgettable 360-degree view of Block Island Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and beyond, the lighthouse is a must see when visiting Long Island.
Head to Long Island’s northern coast – known as the “Gold Coast” – for a look at the elegant and opulent homes that have been owned by past presidents, artists and have even hosted royalty. Once owned by William K. Vanderbilt, the 43-acre waterfront Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium includes the original mansion, curator’s cottage, a seaplane hangar and the boathouse. Visitors will be able to take in the property and admire the antique household furnishings, rare decorative and fine art, an extensive archive of Vanderbilt’s life, and published books of his travels.
Just off Long Island’s South Shore, Fire Island is known for its protected beaches and its 18 distinct communities. Guests of the island can enjoy a relaxing day on the beach or explore the island’s Sunken Forest, a maritime forest protected by dunes. The island and its resort towns are accessible by boat, seaplane and ferry.
Fire Island has been a haven and destination for the LGBTQ+ community since the island’s earliest development in the 1920s. Towns like Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines have rich LGBTQ+ histories. Visit the historic Cherry Grove Community House and Theater or fill your social calendar with fundraisers and cocktail parties that are common in The Pines.
For adventurers over the age of 21, there is no better way to spend a summer day than at one of the many wineries located on the North Fork of Long Island. With over 50 wineries to choose from and more than 2,000 acres of the island dedicated to vineyards, there is an option for every aspiring wine connoisseur. Enjoy the scenic vineyard views, test out the local blends in the tasting room and, of course, buy a bottle (or 3) to bring home.