Long Island has many attractions that you must see, but of those attractions two stand out: the beaches and wineries. Some of the best beaches in the northeast live on Long Island. There are those close to Manhattan, like Jones Beach, and those a bit further out, like East Hampton's Main Beach. A day at either is a must for anyone looking for pristine sand, waves and clear water warm enough to dive into. For those who prefer to sip their way along the island, a tour of the vineyards, such as Duckwalk, will make you smile.
Avoid: Arriving too late at Long Island beaches; parking can fill fast!
Where to Stay
Long Island consists of two forks: the North Fork and the South Fork. A hotel stay on Long Island should be based around the attractions you care to see while you are there. Islip Airport hotels give you easy access to both the North Fork and the many excellent vineyards scattered about and makes Manhattan a quick trip. For those who prefer the beautiful beaches offered in the high-class Hamptons, plan to stay on the South Fork where the rich and famous spend their summers frolicking in the quaint towns that add charm to the stylish Hamptons.
Take It or Leave It: The North Fork has many great beaches as well, and it's a less expensive stay. Two short ferry rides will allow you to explore the Hamptons as a day trip.
When visiting Long Island, with its location right outside Manhattan and on the water, you're sure to find quite a few fantastic restaurants. Both forks are loaded with eateries you don't want to miss that range from upscale to low key. For those seeking seafood as fresh as it gets, head to Montauk where at some restaurants, you can see the fish come right off the boat.
Hot Tips: If you plan to dine at one of Long Island's fine dining spots, be sure to dress in your most stylish attire.
Be Sure to Sample: Freshly caught fish, little neck clam on the half shell.
Long Island nightlife offers all you could want, from live music to dance clubs to happening beach bars. To rub elbows with the rich and possibly famous, you should head to the Hamptons where many well-known faces pop up between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Enjoy the music at Stephen Talkhouse or hit Cyril's: this "beach" bar en-route to Montauk is where patrons don high heels and high fashion.
Caution: Although Long Island bars may appear low key, you should avoid dressing that way as you'll be out of place among a very well attired crowd.
Shopping malls and large stores are reserved for Long Island's North Fork, where you'll find upscale options as well as big name chains contained to one location. But to stroll along the main streets and find a hometown feel for your high end shops, a visit to the downtown areas of the Hamptons is a must. Stroll the main streets, rub elbows with celebrities and enjoy both the window-shopping and the people-watching while you fill your bags.
Hot Tips: Shopping does not come cheap on Long Island; expect to pay tax on clothes and a premium on food.
Best Local Souvenir: Wine from the vineyards.