10 Best Things to do on Long Island, New York
- 10 Best Things to do on Long Island, New York
- 1. Fire Island Lighthouse and National Seashore
- 2. Sands Point Preserve
- 3. Montauk Lighthouse
- 4. Long Island Beaches
- 5. Planting Fields Arboretum
- 6. Lavender and Sunflower Fields on Long Island
- 7. Long Island North Fork Wineries
- 8. Hiking Through Long Island’s Parks
- 9. Old Westbury Garden
- 10. Apple Picking Orchards
- Best Things to do in Long Island Review
Even after living in Long Island, New York for over 10 years, I am still surprised by how many beautiful places Long Island has to offer! New York City is great but the charming suburbs of Long Island offers castles, lighthouses, beautiful beaches, gardens, mansions, vineyards, and hiking, to name a few. So have you made it out to Long Island yet? If not, here are 10 awesome things to do on Long Island that will have you planning your day-trip out!
Better yet, all 10 things to do are outdoor activities on Long Island that everyone can enjoy!
Long Island is broken up into two counties, Nassau and Suffolk county. While you might have only heard of the Hamptons or Montauk, Long Island has way more to offer.
To really experience the best things to do on Long Island, we will be exploring both counties on this list!
Did you know: While not a part of the suburb of Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens are technically all apart of the same island?
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1. Fire Island Lighthouse and National Seashore
The Fire Island Lighthouse is probably one of my favorite places to go on Long Island! Anytime someone visits, this is the first place I think to bring them! Open all year round, it’s easily one of the best places to see on Long Island and a perfect outdoor activity.
Head over to Robert Moses Field 5 and drive all the way to the left.
Next, make your way down a very scenic path by the beach with local white-tailed deer on either side to your way to the lighthouse.
Did you know the Fire Island Lighthouse is actually the tallest lighthouse on Long Island? Better yet, did you know you can climb the 182 steps to the top of the lighthouse?
From the top of the lighthouse, you can actually walk fully around the top for panoramic views of the seashore and on a clear day, you can even see Manhattan!
The tower can be climbed every day from 10 AM until 4:30 PM and costs $10 dollars for adults and $5 dollars for children and seniors.
After climbing the tower, head to the beach and relax or tour the museum attached to the lighthouse.
Address: Burma Rd, Fire Island, NY 11702
2. Sands Point Preserve
Did you know there are Castles on Long Island? I didn’t know either until I was looking for places to take engagement photos back in 2017!
The grounds at Sands Point Preserve actually have 2 castles/mansions and 216 acres located right on the Long Island Sound in Nassau County.
Built-in 1902, the 100,000 square ft castle was inspired by Ireland’s Kilkenny Castle.
The Owner Howard Gould’s wife unfortunately wasn’t pleased, so he built a second 50,000 square ft mansion across the property, called the Hempstead House located closer to the sound.
The grounds and entrance to the beach are really beautiful. Sands Point Preserve is full of outdoor activities including walking trails, large grassy picnic areas, and a beach to hang out on. You can even bring your dogs, which is rare in Long Island, IMO!
Additionally, there are also tours to see the inside of the Castle and mansion!
The entrance is $5 per car or a $4 walk-in fee and is open year-round.
Hours change with the season and they are open from Wednesday- Sunday.
Address: 127 Middle Neck Rd, Sands Point, NY 11050
3. Montauk Lighthouse
Can you tell I have a thing for Lighthouses? Probably one of the most famous lighthouses on Long Island and even in New York is the Montauk Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1796 and still serves as an important aid to navigation!
Located at the very tip of Long Island (also known as the End of the World, Montauk) explore sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, climb around the rocks or hang out on the beach.
They also offer tours to climb the lighthouse (currently closed) and have a museum.
There is an admission of $8 dollars to park at the Montauk Point State Park lot and then an additional $5-$10 for climbing the tower of the lighthouse.
Address: 2000 Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954
4. Long Island Beaches
Long Island is definitely known for having the best beaches in New York easily making it one of the best things to do on Long Island! If you are coming from New York City, I’d recommend taking the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to Long Beach!
Long Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Long Island and for good reason! For one the beach is huge, they have a great boardwalk and lots of bars and food nearby!
Other Beaches to consider visiting are Jones Beach and Robert Moses. Most beaches do charge admission so it is best to have cash with you.
5. Planting Fields Arboretum
Welcome to one of the most beautiful gardens on Long Island! The Planting Fields historic park, originally the estate of William Robertson Coe, covers over 400 acres of rolling hills, greenhouses, and historic estates that still stand.
The Planting Fields are the perfect place to spend a nice day strolling through the gardens or even setting up a picnic!
The planting fields are also a hot spot for photographers, especially around sunset! Don’t be surprised to see engagement and wedding shoots going on here; it’s just that pretty!
During the fall, the foliage is also incredible here!
Address: 1395 Planting Fields Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Admission: $8 Dollars per car. Additional fees for tours.
Park Hours: 9 am – 5pm
6. Lavender and Sunflower Fields on Long Island
Another one of the best things to do on Long Island includes seeing the stunning Lavender fields and Sunflower fields out East! It’s also a perfect outdoor activity for everyone!
Find your own little piece of France and frolic in the rows of Lavender fields at Lavender by the Bay.
They have two locations (East Marion & Calverton) where they grow English and French Lavender.
Learn more about the Lavender Fields on Long Island here!
Right after Lavender season, head right over to some of the best Sunflower fields on Long Island! Long Island farmers know the way to our hearts offering us flower fields and mazes to enjoy (mainly free).
No need to drive all the way to Jersey when we got the goods right here in New York!
7. Long Island North Fork Wineries
Did you know Long Island’s North Fork is wine country here in New York? You now have another reason to take a day trip out East!
Explore and experience around 60 vineyards on Long Island, predominantly on the North Fork and a couple out in the Hamptons.
Many of the vineyards allow you to walk through the fields, offer tours, live music, and food, making it the perfect outing. Also consider going vineyard hopping since they are pretty close to one another, this way you can sample a few!
You might even want to consider getting a Northfork Airbnb for the weekend and having Wine Weekend and shopping at the Tanger Outlets!
Find out the best vineyards to visit on Long Island here!
8. Hiking Through Long Island’s Parks
Exploring Long Island State parks and trails is among one of my favorite things to do on Long Island! One of the most popular hikes through Long Island is the Greenbelt trail of over 31 miles that stretches from the North Shore to the South Shore.
The Greenbelt also goes through 4 very popular parks, Heckscher State Park, Sunken Meadow State Park, Caleb Smith State Park, and Connetquot State Park (one of my favorites).
Other favorite parks include Valley Stream State Park (where we took our Engagement photos) Hempstead Lake Park (dog friendly), and Heckscher Park where you can go disc golfing!
9. Old Westbury Garden
The Old Westbury Graden is another beautiful garden on Long Island and one of the top things to do! This former estate boast 200 acres of formal grounds, gardens, ponds, and lakes giving you total Great Gatsby vibes.
The property is so beautiful, it’s even been a part of several movies including Cruel Intentions, American Gangster, and Hitch.
The estate was built in 1906 and is a very popular place for weddings, private events, and of course photographers.
Tickets to the Old Westbury grounds currently need to be purchased in advance and range from $7-$12 dollars a person.
Address: 71 Old Westbury Rd, Old Westbury, NY 11568
10. Apple Picking Orchards
As you might already know, Upstate New York has apple picking, but did you know Long Island also has some great places to go apple picking too?!
Believe it or not, Long Island is my favorite place to go apple picking, however, I guess I might be slightly biased since Long Island was my home for over 10 years.
Like the vineyards, most of the apple picking is located on the North Fork. I’d recommend taking a day trip out East early to apple pick and then reward yourself with a vineyard or two after!
While you’re at it, you might as well enjoy pumpkin picking on Long Island too!
Best Things to do in Long Island Review
This covers the 10 best things to do on Long Island, New York! As you can see, Long Island really does have tons to offer! From castles and mansions to gardens and beaches, I hope you have the best time exploring the island!
Want to explore more of New York and Long Island? Discover more New York travel tips and guides!