Montauk Lighthouse and beach, Long Island, New York

Things to do in  Long Island

Gatsby had the right idea

With more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) of shoreline, it’s not surprising that Long Island is known for its many beaches, from the glamorous Hamptons to family-friendly options like Long Beach. A popular summer getaway from New York City, Long Island is also home to charming seaside villages, more than 60 wineries, family-owned farms, flower fields, and historic mansions and attractions, in addition to a wide range of outdoor activities spanning hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and all kinds of water sports. The region also abounds with culture, shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Top 6 attractions in Long Island

#1
Vanderbilt Museum

Vanderbilt Museum

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Once the home of explorer, sailor, and heir to the vast Vanderbilt fortune William K. Vanderbilt II, the Vanderbilt Museum today is a well-curated educational space, with a vast collection of art, antiques, and scientific relics. Highlights include Galápagos Islands specimens, habitat dioramas, and the world's biggest taxidermied fish.More
#2
Long Island Aquarium

Long Island Aquarium

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Perfect for kids, families, and outdoor enthusiasts, the Long Island Aquarium has numerous exhibitions showcasing science and the natural world. Highlights include the 120,000-gallon (454,000-liter) shark tank and sea lion shows, as well as programs such as behind-the-scenes tours, boat excursions, and snorkeling.More

MoMA PS1

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A dedicated exhibition space, MoMA PS1 celebrates new and innovative art by hosting experimental and contemporary exhibitions. Go to see genre-defying work in PS1’s historic building—a former New York City public school. MoMA PS1 also schedules regular events, from panel discussions to dance performances.More

MoMA PS1

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A dedicated exhibition space, MoMA PS1 celebrates new and innovative art by hosting experimental and contemporary exhibitions. Go to see genre-defying work in PS1’s historic building—a former New York City public school. MoMA PS1 also schedules regular events, from panel discussions to dance performances.More

The Hamptons

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New Yorkers know that when city streets heat up in the summer, weekends are best spent by the coast. That’s why every Friday, urbanites in search of escape fill the Hampton Jitney and the Long Island Expressway to take in some sun and fun in the Hamptons.More

Rockaway Beach

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Located in Queens, Rockaway Beach is an oceanfront stretch home to beaches, food vendors, and beginner-friendly surf spots. In summer, come here to soak up the sun and go splashing in the waves.More

Top activities in Long Island

Intercity Transfer: New York to Philadelphia (Arrival/Departure)
Special Offer
The Hamptons SeaBob and Water Toy Excursion

The Hamptons SeaBob and Water Toy Excursion

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From
$4,690.00
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All about Long Island

When to visit

Summer is the most popular time to visit Long Island. Expect hot and humid weather, and for popular beaches and areas like the Hamptons to be packed. Fall offers warm—and arguably the best—weather, colorful foliage, and smaller crowds. Visit in the winter for whale watching and to escape the crowds, though not all attractions will be open and some ferries won’t be running.

Getting around

The best way to get around Long Island is by car, as public transportation can be spotty, especially from town to town. The Long Island Rail Road connects New York City with different towns on the island, though most towns will only have one stop. Bus service is also available. It may be possible to walk around individual towns. Ferry service connects Long Island with Fire Island and Connecticut.

Traveler tips

The lavender fields are a popular attraction on Long Island and typically start blooming in April, with English lavender blooming first, followed by French lavender. To experience the fields without the massive crowds, visit in late summer or early fall for a smaller bloom of English lavender. Visiting just outside of peak season is also a good tactic for popular destinations like the Hamptons.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
6
Tours
138
Reviews
1,251
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People Also Ask

What is Long Island known for?

Long Island is known for its many beautiful beaches and summer hot spots like the Hamptons and Fire Island. Other popular attractions include the historical Jazz Age mansions of the Gold Coast, farm-to-table cuisine, vineyards, flower fields, charming seaside villages, and fresh seafood like oysters and clams.

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Is Long Island worth visiting?

Yes. Long Island offers plenty for visitors no matter their interests. There are beautiful beaches, parks, and natural attractions and activities for outdoor lovers. Other highlights include cute seaside towns, Gold Coast mansions, historic lighthouses, museums, wineries, oyster farms, lavender fields, and—of course—Long Island iced tea.

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How much time should I spend on Long Island?

Long Island is large, and it has enough to see and do that you can easily spend a week here (or longer). You’ll want at least four days to explore the highlights of each region on the island, including one day each for the North Shore, North Fork, South Shore, and South Fork.

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What do people do on Long Island for fun?

Long Island has a long shoreline, so swimming, surfing, fishing, boating, and other water sports are popular activities. Land-based activities for fun include hiking, biking, golf, and more. There are also several amusement parks and large stadiums where sports games and concerts are held. Long Island also boasts vineyards and farms, as well as great dining and nightlife options.

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Can you swim on the beaches on Long Island?

Yes. Swimming at the beach is a popular summer activity on Long Island, with its more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) of shoreline. The beaches on the north shore tend to be rockier while the beaches on the south shore are sandier. The Long Island Sound has the calmest conditions. Water quality issues can close certain beaches from time to time, so it’s smart to check before you go.

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Are Brooklyn and Queens a part of Long Island?

Although Brooklyn and Queens are technically a part of the landmass of Long Island, many New Yorkers consider them to be separate, with Brooklyn and Queens being two of the five boroughs of New York City, and Long Island consisting of just Nassau and Suffolk counties stretching all the way to Montauk.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Long Island?
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What are the top activities in Long Island?
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Check out things to do near Long Island: