Things to do / Travel Guide
Long Island Tourist Attractions
The last ice age came to an abrupt halt in the middle of Long Island, creating two very different areas to visit. The north shore is hilly and rocky, resembling New England, and is home to many historic mansions, farms, and wineries. The south shore resembles the mid-Atlantic coast, with wide sandy beaches and dunes. North, south, east, west—whichever direction you choose, you'll have plenty to do, plenty to see, and have plenty of fun!
Hamptons Vacation Spots
Trendy resort towns in the Hamptons are popular summer destinations. You often hear of wealthy New Yorkers talk about their home in the Hamptons, and while the Hamptons do uphold a reputation of posh-ness, that's not to say that the less-posh among us can't join in on the fun that the Hamptons have to offer.
For example, if you can't live like the rich and famous, that doesn't mean you can't peek in on how they live their luxurious lives, right? In any of the Hamptons (east, south, or west) you can take a tour of famous estates, mansions, and even artist studios. Jackson Pollack is an example of one of the famed artists you used the Hamptons setting as his muse.
There are affordable places to stay, dine, and shop in the Hamptons. If you are on a budget, though, there will be quite a few hotels, restaurants, and clubs that will be out of your budget.
If however, if you are in store for a more classy, upscale vacation (and have the funds to secure it), then you'll have no trouble finding lots of vacation spots to suit your style as well. Like Gurney's Inn Resort & Spa Sea Water—now here's a treat for the luxury-seekers among us. A classy wine tasting at a handful of local wineries may also be right up your alley—check schedules at Pindar Vineyards & Winery, Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery, Wolffer Estate Vineyard & Winery, and Duck Walk Vineyards & Winery, in and around the Hamptons.
Golfing, another pastime of Hamponites, is also widely represented in the Hamptons. Of particular mention are the Long Island National Golf Club & Course and the golf course at Montauk Downs State Park. Montauk Downs is located right on the Block Island Sound, a great picnic spot that affords beautiful views of nearby mansions, beaches, and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Hamptons Getaway Planner
If you're planning a getaway to the Hamptons, then you'll definitely want to make sure that there are some beaches on your itinerary. Westhampton Beach Village is a must for families visiting the area, for it includes great sand, friendly waters, and beach activities for visitors of all ages. It's not uncommon that you'll see surfers out on the waves, fishermen on the shores, and walkers and joggers on the sand by the coastline. The Beach Village is not too far from Splish Splash Water Park, an option for water-lovers who prefer the manmade option to the natural beach.
The other two popular beaches in the Hamptons that make for fantastic getaways are Coopers Beach in Southampton and Main Beach in East Hampton. Coopers Beach is actually one of New York's oldest beaches and preserves its name as one of NY's most popular beaches as well. And you can't go wrong with Main Beach—a common visitor on Dr. Beach's top 10 list!
And no, its is not spelled “The Hamtons”, even if it sounds that way. Now spell Apaquogue, please.
Long Island Vacation Spots
There are other vacation spots on Long Island other than the Hamptons, though many New Yorkers, as well as tourists, seem to forget that. It would be to your benefit, however, to open up your eyes to bounty of non-Hamptons vacation spots as well.
Fire Island is an example of such a spot. Located off the south shore of Long Island between West Babylon and East Tatchogue, Fire Island offers visitors 22 miles of barrier beaches, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and bird watching.
Another great Long Island vacation spot is the Sunken Meadow State Park Beach on the Long Island Sound. This smaller area is only three miles long, but a magnificent three miles they are! The beach has a unique topography: There are places of flat beach ground, glacier-formed bluffs, tidal flats, and rolling woodlands, making the park great for swimming, picnicking, and hiking. In fact, some serious hikers (or horseback riders) may choose to conquer the 32-mile Greenbelt Trail, while serious runners will adore “Cardiac Hill,” a running course guaranteed to get your heart pumping!
Long Island Road Trip Getaway Planner
Stick to weekday visits during off-peak season to avoid crowds. Choose a base near the beach, and spend some time seeing the attractions. You could also visit on a summer weekend to enjoy the party scene. There's no need for a car as the public transit is decent.
If you need some help planning the New York to the Hamptons road trip, check out the map of Long Island a few pixels to your right.
Tourist Attractions and Highlights in Long Island, Hamptons, Montauk, Fire Island