Things to do / Travel Guide
Flying to Long Island, New York
Air travel to Long Island is made convenient by the service of three major airports. Most major airlines provide service to Long Island Islip MacArthur Airport (ISP) located in the town of Ronkonkoma. Located in Queens County, just beyond the Nassau County line, are La Guardia Airport (LGA) and JFK International (JFK) - these two airports are by far the most common and convenient ways to fly to the region.
Long Island Railroad (LIRR) offers a 24-hour a day, seven day a week AirTrain between LIRR's Jamaica Station and the JFK International Airport, there are also hourly bus shuttles between Jamaica Station and JFK and La Guardia airports. Long Island Islip MacArthur Airport is about one and a half miles from the Ronkonkoma stop of LIRR's purple line, Suffolk County Bus Transit offers hourly service between Islip and the Ronkonkoma train station (Sundays and holidays excluded). This train will take you on a direct route to the North Fork or to Farmingdale, west of the Airport.
To get to the Hamptons or North Fork from Islip Airport you have two very good options. The East End Moon Limo will take you to Southampton, Bridgehampton, and East Hampton for between $85 and $115, whereas the Hampton Jitney offers direct service to the Hamptons for between $15 and $30.
Driving to Long Island, New York
Getting to Long Island by car (not including ferry travel) means passing through New York City and will always involve one of the three main arteries - the Long Island Expressway (I-495), The Grand Central / Northern State Parkway or the Belt/Southern State Parkway. Expect heavy traffic on all routes if traveling in the direction of commuters or weekend vacationers. Expect lighter traffic at other times. It is highly unlikely that you will exceed the legal speed limit at any time - day or night.
Driving to Long Island's eastern end and the Hamptons from the northeast, take interstate Route 95 south and then take the New London-Orient Point Ferry across the Long Island Sound. From Boston, MA the trip is about 165 miles and takes more than four hours. From Providence, RI the total distance is about 115 miles and takes approximately three hours and 20 minutes.
Below are the driving times (estimated without traffic considerations) from nearby cities to Riverhead, Long Island:
- New York City, NY - from Queens Midtown Tunnel: 75 miles, about 1¾ hours
- Providence, RI: 235 miles, about 5 hours (by ferry via Bridgeport, CT, and Port Jefferson, NY: 145 miles, about 4½ hours
- Philadelphia, PA: 175 miles, about 3¾ hours
Taking the Train to Long Island, New York
Arguably one of the best ways to get to Long Island is by train. With more than 700 trains daily, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is the largest commuter railroad in the United States, and services 124 stations throughout Long Island. The LIRR runs east-west from New York City and the entire length of Long Island. Multiple ride and weekly passes are available.
Taking the Bus to Long Island, New York
To get anywhere on Long Island by bus is relatively easy. Buses to Long Island from New York City can be found on Main Street in Flushing (Buses 20, 21), at the 165th Street Terminal, at 179th Street in Jamaica (Buses 1, 2, 3, 6, 22, 22A, 24, and 26), and Jamaica Center (Bus 4) in Jamaica Center. Once you arrive on Long Island from these inter-city routes, you may need to transfer to Long Island buses, which stop in nearly every community. For more information, consult the Metro Transit Authority's detailed map of bus routes servicing Long Island.
The Hampton Jitney offers a great direct bus service that runs between Manhattan and the Hamptons and Manhattan and the North Fork. The Hampton Jitney generally stops along Third Avenue and Lexington in Manhattan and in most communities in the Hamptons and North Fork.
Ferries to Long Island, New York
A ferry trip is another way to get to Long Island. Cross Sound Ferry, Inc. takes cars, passengers, trucks, and motor coaches the 1 hour and 20 minute trip between Bridgeport, CT, and the Long Island town of Port Jefferson. Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry Company transports cars, motor coaches, and passengers back and forth between New London, CT, and Orient Point.
Airports Serving Long Island, the Hamptons, Montauk, Fire Island
John F Kennedy Intl Airport (JFK)
Long Island-MacArthur Airport (ISP)