Planning a New York City trip this summer? Earlier this spring I suggested some spots to explore in each of the four outer boroughs of the city. But if you’ve got the time, I suggest hiring a car and going even further east along New York’s beautiful Long Island. Long Island is technically the island where Queens and Brooklyn are, as well as Laguardia and JFK airports – though it seems New Yorkers don’t want to point this out.
Once you leave the boroughs, Long Island continues for nearly another 100 miles, and at some points the island is 20 miles across. I do love drives here – although the pace is hectic, if you pay attention you can get some wonderful ocean glimpses as well as these wonderful stone overpasses that remind you in a way of a rural drive in England (er, if you ignore the massive shopping mall just past it).
Where to go? Well I say just explore and see what you find. Here are a few suggestions.
Come see how the rich and famous live in this exclusive vacation hotspot! You may have heard of “the Hamptons,” which actually refers to a number of different towns and small villages. You probably won’t be able to afford a home here, but taking pictures is free, and so are the numerous art galleries and state parks in the area.
If you like house sightseeing, you might be interested in seeing the house from Amityille Horror – which was indeed in Amityville. However, the house has changed a lot since the film, so it’s not even worth the trip.
If you look at a map, you’ll see that the end of the island juts out into the ocean in two strips of land, called the North Fork and South Fork. The North Fork is a pretty quiet place, and a wonderful spot for a getaway – think tiny B&Bs, casual restaurants, walks along rocky beaches. This is where many of the wineries are as well, so you can do some wine tasting while you’re here.
Along the north coast of the island there are a number of little towns and stops, so if you see something interesting – like an ice cream stand, a beautiful cove, etc. – then stop!
Last but not least are the beaches. The South Shore area is the most popular for beach time – and naturally, the best beaches – and one fun trip you can take is to Shelter Island, which sits in between the two forks of the island. It has beaches too, nature preserves, golf courses, bike paths. It’s an experience few get to have, but all you have to do is make the drive.
Have you been to Long Island? What were your favourites?
Posted : Thursday, July 14th, 2011 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.