The elongated Atlantic island Long Island is rightly one of the most popular destinations on the east coast of the United States of America. The island has a total population of 7.5 million people on its 3500 square kilometers. It is perfectly connected to New York City thanks to New York City’s excellent streetcar network, which has ten lines and eleven other rail and subway tunnels. But the island is also home to famous US airports such as John F. Kennedy and La Guardia, among others. Finally, the island has several ports. Despite the excellent transportation connections, Long Island is a place where you can slow down. Everyone greets each other, cars drive comfortably on the main road alone, helpfulness is very great and everyone is proud to live where many want to relax.
Life at the beach
New Yorkers and tourists are attracted to the beaches of Long Island for swimming, water sports or long walks. The Hamptons, in particular, offer nearly 50 miles of award-winning beaches. The most famous of the white sand beaches is the Ocean Beach Park in the south of the island, in the town of Long Beach. This long, easily accessible beach costs an entrance fee, but is also considered very clean and offers a range of other entertainment, such as the amphitheatre, which is used for events in the summer. Main Beach in East Hampton, Coopers Beach in Southampton or the vast state park at Jones Beach are considered particularly idyllic.
Each beach has a slightly different specialization to offer, such as the ability to accommodate families, water sports facilities, particularly beautiful views or exclusive parties. A trip to one of the many lighthouses is also worthwhile. One of them is located on the national shore of Fire Island, with beautiful beaches and a nature reserve that includes dunes and beach vegetation. Another is located in Montauk, a place worth seeing at the eastern end of the island. Besides the lighthouse as a landmark, it is best known as the place where the writer Max Frisch worked. Nowadays, there are excellent opportunities for surfing, hiking and beach walks. These and others are offered by one of the oldest existing ranches in the United States, the Deep Hollow Ranch. For small intermediate appetites in a relaxed atmosphere, the Ditch Witch snack car on the beach at Ditch Plains in Montauk is an insider tip. For years, the small family business has been providing delicious sandwiches, burritos and sweets to accompany a good coffee with a sea view.
The Hamptons are also known for their great beaches. But the Hamptons – specifically the towns of Hampton Bays, Bridgehampton, Westhampton, East Hampton and Southampton – also present themselves off the beaches in a variety of ways. It is not for nothing that they are popular with stars and starlets, both inside and outside the country. This is due to the beautiful villages themselves as well as the many restaurants and shops.
The Hamptons also has a number of specialized museums and art galleries. For a change of pace from swimming and water sports, visit the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, Southampton Art Museum or South Fork Natural History Museum. The Pelletrau Silver Shop or “The White Room Gallery” offer both fascinating insights and excellent shopping opportunities. Also in the vicinity of the Hamptons is the Tangier Outlets Center, with more than 200 stores and restaurants.
Many experiences also await visitors on the north side of the island. These are above all the vineyards and the infinite slopes, which are divided into more than 40 growing areas. The vineyards there are not only inviting for long walks. Many wines can also be tasted in the associated cellars. The North Fork Trail Scenic Byway leads to Orient Point and takes you past award-winning vineyards. You’ll pass seaside restaurants, lighthouses and farmers’ markets – all with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The northwestern part of Long Island, between Sands Point and Huntington Bay, is also known as the Gold Coast, as this area was once home to some of the wealthiest families in the United States, such as the “Vanderbilts”. They built many mansions that adorned and still adorn the picturesque coastline. Some of these estates, with their beautiful gardens, are now of public use and are home to art galleries or museums, such as Oheka Castle and the gardens of Old Westbury.
Fishing around Long Island is a passion. For those who prefer to see live fish, the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead is an interesting destination. The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, which has an excellent selection of famous works of art from the last 500 years, shows the importance of art on Long Island. The island has always been home to many artists.