While we aren’t traveling much these days, there are still some great destinations right here on Long Island. Check out these hidden (and not-so-hidden) Long Island gems compiled from PMGers’ favorite local day trips:
- ‘So-Cute!’ Villages and Main Streets – Long Island is home to many picturesque Main Streets and shopping districts. Be sure to check out Northport Village, Sag Harbor, Greenport and Great Neck. Great shops, wonderful restaurants and beautiful views await!
- Fun-in-the-Sun Beaches – Long Island has no shortage of waterfront (it is an island after all!). Choose from ocean beaches such as Long Beach, Robert Moses Beach or Main Beach; or Long Island Sound beaches like Sunken Meadow or Orient Beach; or take a dip in Lake Ronkonkoma if that is more your style!
- No Time for History Like the Present – Following Route 25A on Long Island’s North Shore, the Washington Spy Trail features many can’t-miss Long Island historical destinations including Walt Whitman’s birthplace, Teddy Roosevelt’s home Sagamore Hill and Stony Brook Grist Mill.
- Cheers! Prost! Salud! Cin Cin! – White, red, rosé, sparkling or dessert wine, Long Island has them all. Many east-end wineries have reopened for tastings (be sure to call ahead to make reservations). Wölffer Estate, Sparkling Pointe, Bridge Lane and Lieb are all good choices for a sip. And don’t forget about our famous Long Island breweries (including Blue Point and Secatogue Brewing Company) and distilleries (such as The Better Man Distilling Co.) that have also reopened their outdoor tasting rooms.
- Wind Power – If you’re heading out east, consider a windmill tour. Southampton, Water Mill, Bridgehampton and East Hampton feature almost a dozen historical windmills.
- I See The Light– Roughly 25 historic lighthouses can be found along the shores of Long Island. Check out Montauk Lighthouse, Fire Island Lighthouse or Horton Point Lighthouse.
- Gatsby Inspiration – Long Island’s North Shore is known as the Gold Coast for good reason – over 500 mansions were built by names such as Vanderbilt, Morgan and Woolworth. While many of these mansions have been demolished over the decades, some are open to the public. Visit Old Westbury Gardens, Planting Fields Arboretum, Sands Point Preserve and Caumsett State Park.
- Move That Body! – Whether your thing is hiking, biking or paddling, there’s a Long Island nature spot for you. Go for a paddle down the Nissequogue River, hike or bike the trails at Manorville Hills County Park, check out the bird sanctuary at Sweetbriar Nature Center, or explore Muttontown Preserve, Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge or Massapequa Preserve.
- Get Some Culture – While many museums are closed right now, you can visit Nassau County Museum of Art’s outdoor sculpture garden for some much-needed art and culture. Or if you’d prefer to get your art fix from home, visit the virtual exhibits at Heckscher Museum of Art, Parrish Art Museum, Long Island Museum, Pollock-Krasner House and Guild Hall.
- Quirky Long Island– Wanna go for a drive and see something interesting on the way? The Big Duck in Flanders, The Pencil at Jones Beach, the Hercules figurehead in Stony Brook, the Blue Heron in Centerport, the Bull in Smithtown and the Stargazer Deer in Manorville are all interesting drive-by sites showing how fun and beautiful (and sometimes weird) Long Island can be.
Have some Long Island ‘holi-stay’ ideas that we didn’t mention? Share your favorite Long Island spots in the comments below.