One of the larger islands in New York State, Long Island is perched within easy distance of New York City; making it really easy to visit if you’re in the Big Apple. Not only that, there’s a heap of the best places in Long Island to visit that are dotted all across the island.
From Fire Island, Jones Beach State Park, The Hamptons and even Brooklyn, it’s an island that’s got loads of diversity to explore. This means that there’s a little something for everyone when you visit. If you love quaint little towns, bustling and busy streets or unspoilt beaches; Long Island is the place to go!
So, to make your trip go swimmingly, I wanted to share some of our top spots you really shouldn’t miss! This way, you can spend much more time enjoying your trip without getting bogged down in the planning.
Take a look, below, at the best places in Long Island to visit. Have the best trip!
1.) Cooper’s Beach, Southampton
Beaches on Long Island area big deal; everyone seems to have their favourite and there never seems to be any real agreement on whose beach is best! Well, to throw in my two cents, I’m dropping Cooper’s Beach as one of the best places in Long Island for some surf and sand.
Honestly, this is the kind of place that’s a wonderful beach to relax on Long Island. Trust me, on a warm summer day, when the water is clear, you” see exactly what I mean! The sands are so gorgeous, white and fine; it’s the kind of place where you want to take your sandals off immediately.
For me, the area around Cooper’s Beach is great as they’ve also got plenty of parking (which, still gets full in summer) and heaps of little restaurants close by (in Southampton).
2.) Montauk Point Lighthouse
You can’t go all the way to Long Island and not get right to Montauk, especially if you’ve already crossed the pond to get here.
You see, Montauk Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in New York State and a totally gorgeous spot to see. Built within 1796 and commissioned by George Washington, it has centuries of history and still stands proudly to this day.
Today, you can also get an entry to the top of the lighthouse and see the amazing views and learn more about this historic site.
You might even catch the onsite team in the vintage military uniforms and getups, especially on the weekend. Oh, and if you’re looking for parking, head over to Camp Hero (Google Maps point, here). It’s probably the easiest spot.
3.) Jones Beach State Park
Around a 15-minute drive from Hempsted, Jones Beach State Park is a great place to visit if you want a proper beach day on Long Island.
You see, not only does it have a totally dazzling beach, but it also has a heap of dunes and a wildlife sanctuary to boot. Plus, You can easily spend a full day on the Jones Beach Boardwalk, trails or just chill (usually this is my forte).
Just be sure to take some sunscreen as the wind can deceive the power of those rays!
4.) Sag Harbor
Nestled close to Shelter Island, Sag Harbor is a glorious little place to whisk away an afternoon on Long Island.
Featuring many historic buildings and quaint little streets, it’s one of the best places in Long Island to explore if you love a slice of history.
You see, here, you can pop in the Sag Harbor Whaling And Historical Museum where you can learn more about the area’s development and explore the historical artefacts on display. Oh, and if you have time, visit there are Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbour Historical society, and Old Whalers Church for a little gander, too.
Fancy a brew? Head into Grindstone Coffee for their fresh roasts and delicious doughnuts. Yes, it’s a little pricer than the average but the cinnamon ones are so good and can’t be missed.
Looking for a tasty dinner. reserve a table at DOPO La Spiaggia; again, a little on the pricey side (you’ll notice this a lot in this area of Long Island) but well worth it for their tuna tartare!
5.) Lavender By The Bay
One of the best places in Long Island, Lavender By The Bay is your go-to spot for their gorgeous Lavender fields.
Just shy of Greenport itself, it’s quite easy to visit here if you’re driving over from Shelter Island (via the North Ferry). This makes it the perfect afternoon stop after visiting Sag Harbor, too.
Here, you’ll get to wander around the lavender fields (when in season) and buy some of Long Island’s best lavender keepsakes.
Just one note, watch out for those bees – they really do seem to love lavender as much as us!
6.) Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Home of former President Theodore Roosevelt, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is open for visitors throughout the year.
Once here, you can tour inside the house which is a huge 23-room Victorian mansion. I mean, that’s a shed load of rooms to dust!
It also includes a 37-acre National Environmental Study Area of the forest, tidal salt marsh, and bay beach. This makes it one of the best places in Long Island for a little slice of history and a gorgeous slice of nature. The trails past Eel Creek are lovely.
7.) North Fork wineries
It’s time for a tipple… or two!
With around 60 vineyards on Long Island, it’s one of the best places for a vineyard tour if you’re within easy reach of New York City.
A few spots to best wet your whistler is around the North Fork wineries; these spots all know their stuff. Here, you can walk through the fields, tour the vineyards, enjoy live music and even arrange tasting sessions within the wineries themselves.
Depending on where you are, be sure to check out the; Bedell Cellars, Sparkling Pointe Vineyard, Macari Vineyards and the
Kontokosta Winery (that’s near Lavender By The Bay).
Each has their own signature blends and varieties to choose from. It’s a wine-lovers dream stop. Just be sure to assign a designated driver before heading over!
8.) Sands Point Preserve
Sands Point preserve is a magnificent 216-acre park where there are three castle-like treats to see!
Best enjoyed by foot (once you’re there), You can stroll through the trails and is the perfect place for a more chilled out day on Long Island.
Just be sure to see Hempstead House which is a lavish Tudor-style mansion with 40 rooms, a rose garden, and a terrace. You can also tour inside the castle and mansion at it’s well worth going for a good nosey. Plus, you have Castle Gould right next door to visit (which is a must). They’re all so grand!
Afterwards, head over to Louie’s Grille and Liquors (in Port Washington) that’s been around for over a century! Something of an institution, you can grab one of their blueberry lemonade cocktails and the tastiest clam chowder.
9.) Old Westbury Garden
Here, you can get a tour of the mansion and stroll the lawns and rose garden and just soak up this amazing property. Being so close to the city, you’d imagine that Old Westbury Garden’s would be filled with people; but you’d be wrong. Peaceful, quiet and totally serene.
10.) Long Beach Boardwalk
Really easy to visit, especially if you’re already at Jones Beach State Park, Long Beach is exactly what it says on the tin; a city on a long beach! 😉
One place you have to visit in the Long Beach Boardwalk that’s amazing for an afternoon stroll (or sunrise run, if you’re an early riser).
Rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy, it’s now back to its former glory and one of the best places in Long Island if you’re looking for a spot that’s away from the majority of the crowds. You see, it might not have the same popularity as the New Jersey Boardwalk but it’s totally stunning.
Plus, there’s some surf schools, little restaurants and ocean clubs along the shore, too. Oh, and don’t leave the area without grabbing a bite at Pop’s Seafood Shack for a chilled out a bite to eat. They have a yummy lobster chunk grilled cheese!
Yeah, Brooklyn is nestled on Long Island too!
Of course, you’re gonna check out all the best things to do in Brooklyn; especially the rooftop bars in Williamsburg, Dumbo for its flea market and the Botanic Gardens. It’s an area of New York City that’s really easy to visit from Manhattan well worth a few days exploring.
Plus, you can wander back over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan after a day out in Brooklyn.
12.) Fire Island
Fire Island is one of the best places in Long Island for a pretty epic mix of beaches!
You see, this massive spit of land stretches all the way from Robert Moses State Park to Cupsogue Beach, a huge distance! Though don’t let its size put you off, it’s actually really easy to navigate and visit.
Alternatively, head up towards Cherry Grove where you’ll find stunning shorelines, dunes and heaps of cocktails spots to boot!
Oh, and be sure to hop into Cherry’s On The Bay for one of their epic drag brunches. You’ll be singing (and slightly tipsy) all afternoon.
13.) The Hamptons
Perched right at the eastern point of Long Island, the Hamptons is an area of Long Island that’s fondly known as, The Hamptons. Taking in; Southampton (mentioned a little earlier) and East Hampton (and everything else in between) it’s an area that’s pretty high-end, which is certainly reflected in the prices here.
That being said, don’t let that put you off (just pack a few extra pennies)!
Here, you can have a lovely time wandering both towns, chilling at East Hampton Main Beach and visiting the Wölffer Estate Vineyard for a little tasting session.
Oh, and head over for a little gander around Hook Windmill, book a table at some of the tastiest restaurants in the Hamptons and explore the Parrish Art Museum which has a huge selection of American art.
It’s one of the best places in Long Island that’s totally quaint to see.