30 Best Things to Do on Long Island| 2023 (with Photos)
Nestled in the southeastern corner of New York State, Long Island is an enchanting destination that offers something for everyone.
With its spectacular beaches, picturesque small towns, and abundant outdoor activities, the 118-mile-long Long Island is a magnet for those seeking adventure and relaxation. Long Island is comprised of two counties, Nassau and Suffolk, each with its unique charm and character.
From exploring the world-famous vineyards of the North Fork to wandering through the historic hamlets on the South Shore, Long Island is a destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
So why not take a trip to this captivating island and discover all it has to offer with this list of 30 fun things to do on Long Island?
Most Recommended Thing to Do
Montauk Point Lighthouse.
Top Choice Hotel
Hyatt Regency Long Island
Our Top Choice Restaurant
Louie's Oyster Bar & Grill
Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife
Jones Beach Hotel
Best Time to Visit
Summer for beaches, fall for foliage beauty.
Moderate climate with warm summers and cold winters.
Buses, trains, cars, bikes - many ways to travel.
Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)
My Top Recommendation
When spending time in Long Island, United States of America, I highly recommend visiting the bustling city of Huntington. Immerse yourself in the charming small-town atmosphere and take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, lined with quaint shops and cozy restaurants, perfect for indulging in local cuisine.
For a more laid-back experience in Long Island, head to the beautiful coastal town of Montauk. Take in the breathtaking ocean views from the iconic Montauk Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in New York State, and relax on the pristine beaches while enjoying the peaceful sound of crashing waves.
What You'll Need to Bring
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Weather-appropriate clothing
- Sunscreen and hat
- Swimsuit and beach towel
- Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
- Travel guide or map of Long Island
- Cash or credit cards for expenses
- Travel adapter (if needed) for charging electronic devices
- Snacks and water for on-the-go
- Any necessary medication or personal items
Table of Contents
1. Soak up the Sun at Jones Beach State Park
With miles of pristine coastline, Long Island Jones Beach State Park is a great spot for anyone looking to relax and enjoy the sun.
The park on Long Island offers a wide range of recreational activities, including surfing, swimming, and fishing. Also, Jones Beach on Long Island features Jones Beach Nature Center and Jones Beach Theater.
In addition to beach-related activities, visitors can also explore the boardwalk, enjoy a round of miniature golf, or attend one of the many outdoor concerts and events held at the amphitheater.
Whether you're traveling solo or with friends and family, Jones Beach State Park should be the first destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Long Island's beaches.
2. Soak up the Sun at Robert Moses Beach
As popular as they come, Robert Moses Beach is one of the most notable beaches on Long Island, located on the western end of Fire Island.
Relax on the beautiful sandy Long Island shores and swim in the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
With its picturesque scenery and family-friendly atmosphere, Robert Moses Beach is the perfect spot for a day of sun, sand, and sea.
3. Sunbathe at Cooper's Beach
One of Long Island's most beautiful and pristine beaches, Cooper's Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike in Long Island, New York.
With its clear water and scenic dunes, Cooper's Beach offers visitors a chance to relax and soak up the sun in a truly picturesque setting.
Visitors can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, take a dip in the ocean, or explore the nearby shops and restaurants.
4. Visit Long Island Children's Museum with the Whole Family
The Long Island Children's Museum is a fun and interactive destination for families with children of all ages.
The museum in Long Island, New York offers hands-on exhibits, workshops, and performances that encourage learning and creativity.
Kids can explore a mini city, climb through a giant spider web, or even design and launch their rockets. This is one of the most fun things to do on Long Island for children.
The Long Island Children's Museum also offers a range of programs and resources for parents and caregivers, making it a perfect destination for a family day out.
5. Go Wine Tasting at the North Fork of Long Island, NY
With its rolling hills, Long Island's North Fork is home to some of the best wineries on the East Coast and Long Island in general.
With over 40 wineries to choose from, visitors can take a leisurely tour of Long Island's North Fork vineyards, sample award-winning wines, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The North Fork region of Long Island, NY is known for producing high-quality wines, particularly its Merlot and Cabernet Franc varietals.
In addition to wine tasting, many of the wineries offer live music, food pairings, and special events throughout the year.
6. Learn history at the Cradle of Aviation Museum
The Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the history of flight on Long Island.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum museum is located on the site of the former Mitchel Air Force Base and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the story of the aviation heritage of Long Island.
Here, you can explore a wide range of exhibits, including historic aircraft, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations on Long Island.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum also hosts special events and educational programs throughout the year, making it a great destination for families and aviation enthusiasts alike.
7. Relax at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
A peaceful oasis, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is located in the heart of the bustling city of Long Island.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to a diverse collection of plants from around the world and offers a range of natural and cultivated landscapes to explore.
Among various things it has to offer, there is the Japanese Garden, where you can take in the colorful blooms of the Cherry Esplanade, or relax in the tranquil surroundings of the Water Garden.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Long Island also hosts a variety of events and educational programs throughout the year, including plant sales, workshops, and guided tours.
While the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is undoubtedly a highlight, there's a wealth of other exciting things to do in Brooklyn.
8. Stargaze at the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium
A unique destination for space enthusiasts, the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium in Long Island North Shore can offer a range of educational and entertaining experiences.
Explore the Vanderbilt Museum's extensive collection of art, artifacts, and natural history specimens, or take in a show at the planetarium's state-of-the-art dome theater.
The Planetarium of Long Island, New York offers a range of shows and interactive exhibits that explore the mysteries of the universe and the wonders of space travel.
A visit to the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium is a fun and educational way to experience Long Island's rich cultural and scientific heritage.
9. Bring your Kids to Long Island Aquarium
The long island aquarium is home to a wide range of marine life, including sharks, sea turtles, and penguins. As such, the Long Island Aquarium is a family-friendly destination that's perfect for kids and nature lovers of all ages in Long Island.
Kids and adults alike can watch feeding sessions, the Atlantis shark exhibit, touch stingrays and sea stars, and even take a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium's animal care facilities.
In addition to the aquarium, the complex in Long Island also includes a butterfly exhibit, a pirate-themed mini-golf course, and an interactive exhibit on the ecology of Long Island's local waterways. Who doesn't love mini-golf?
10. Sail on the Great South Bay
Sailing the Great South Bay is a quintessential Long Island, New York experience.
Boating fans can rent a sailboat or join a guided tour and explore the bay's scenic coastline, protected harbors, and picturesque islands.
The bay is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts, and visitors can often spot sailboats, yachts, and even historic tall ships on the water of Long Island, New York.
Whether you're an experienced sailor or a first-time boater, the Great South Bay offers a unique and memorable way to experience Long Island's natural beauty from the water.
11. Sands Point Preserve
Sands Point Preserve offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Gilded Age of Long Island, New York.
Walk around the sprawling estate's formal gardens, woodlands, and landscaped lawns. The Sands Point Preserve is home to several historic mansions, including the stunning Hempstead House, which has been featured in numerous films and television shows.
Visitors to Long Island, New York can also enjoy walking trails, guided boat tours, and special events throughout the year, including jazz concerts, outdoor theater performances, and art exhibits.
A visit to Sands Point Preserve is a chance to step back in time and experience the glamor and elegance of Long Island's past.
12. Breathe in the Fresh Air at Planting Fields Arboretum
Planting Fields Arboretum is a botanical paradise that's perfect for nature lovers on Long Island.
With over 400 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows to explore, visitors to this Long Island attraction can breathe in the fresh air and take in the beautiful scenery.
The Planting Fields Arboretum features a wide variety of plants, including rare and exotic species, and offers a range of seasonal events and educational programs.
13. Enjoy the Smell of Old Westbury Gardens
Old Westbury Gardens is a stunningly beautiful estate that's filled with vibrant gardens and charming historic buildings on Long Island.
The gardens are meticulously maintained and offer a feast for the senses, with fragrant flowers, towering trees, and babbling fountains.
Once there you can stroll through the Old Westbury Gardens at your own pace, taking in the beauty of the surroundings, or enjoy a guided tour of the estate's historic mansion.
The mansion on Long Island is filled with period furnishings, artwork, and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy families who once called the estate home.
14. Hike at Sunken Meadow State Park
Perfect outdoor activity in Long Island, Sunken Meadow State Park offers visitors of the North Shore miles of scenic walking trails through forests, fields, and along the ocean beachfront.
The park's nature trails range from easy to moderate, making them accessible for hikers of all levels.
Hikers can enjoy sweeping views of the Long Island Sound, explore the park's tidal marshes, or simply take in the natural beauty of the park's diverse habitats.
The State Park also offers picnic areas and a playground, making it a perfect destination in Long Island, New York for a day out in nature with the family. Bring your own food and have a ball at this gorgeous park.
15. Bike the Caleb Smith State Park
One of the best for cyclists, Caleb Smith State Park is a beautiful and serene destination in Long Island.
The park offers a variety of biking trails that wind through scenic woodlands and along the Nissequogue River.
Outdoor enthusiasts of Long Island, New York can enjoy a leisurely ride through the central park side's lush landscapes, or challenge themselves on the more advanced nature trails.
The park also offers picnic areas, a nature museum, and fishing and boating opportunities, making it a perfect destination for a day out in nature.
16. Revive history at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
For fans of former US President Theodore Roosevelt, the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is a must-visit destination in Long Island, New York.
The site of Roosevelt's former estate and summer white house for over three decades. The former estate offers visitors a glimpse into his life and legacy.
Visiting the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is a perfect way to learn about US history and experience Long Island's unique cultural heritage.
17. Have Fun in the Splish Splash Water Park
For additional fun in the sun, Splish Splash Water Park is a popular destination for families and thrill-seekers looking for a fun and exciting day out while in Long Island, New York.
The park offers a variety of water rides and attractions, including the Giant Twister, Riptide Racer, and Kahuna Bay Wavepool.
In Long Island, New York a day at Splish Splash Water Park is a perfect way to beat the heat and have some fun with family and friends.
18. Pet Baby Animals at the Long Island Game Farm
To add another for the little ones, the Long Island Game Farm is a perfect Long Island, New York destination for animal lovers of all ages.
Kids, as well as adults, can pet and feed a variety of baby animals, including goats, llamas, and alpacas.
The Long Island Game Farm also offers pony rides, a bird show, and a wildlife park with exotic animals from around the world.
19. Have Fun All Day Long at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
To finish this short sublist for kids with style, Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is a classic Coney Island attraction near the East River that offers visitors a day of fun and excitement.
The adventure park features over 20 rides, including the famous Wonder Wheel, the Spook-A-Rama dark ride, and the Thunderbolt roller coaster.
A trip to Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is a great way to experience the nostalgic charm of Coney Island and create lasting memories with family and friends.
20. Take a Walk at Heckscher Park
Located in Huntington, Long Island, Heckscher Park is a peaceful and scenic park on the North Shore.
If you decide, you can take a leisurely stroll along the paved paths and admire the park's beautiful landscaping and artwork, including sculptures and fountains.
The park in Long Island, New York also offers playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas, making it a great destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts.
21. Catch the Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay
The Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay is a highly anticipated annual event that celebrates Long Island's maritime history and local culture.
Held in October, the festival features live music, arts and crafts, and plenty of delicious seafood to sample, including fresh oysters.
With its festive atmosphere and celebration of local traditions, the Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay is a notable event for anyone looking to experience the unique charm of Long Island, New York.
22. Work on Your Tan at the Long Beach
Long Beach is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike who want to soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful Atlantic Ocean beach views on Long Island, New York.
The beach is over three miles long and offers a boardwalk perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. It is possible to take Long Island Rail Road all the way to the beach.
On Long Beach, you can rent chairs and umbrellas, grab a snack from one of the many vendors, or take a dip in the ocean to cool off.
23. Explore Natural History Museum
The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages, also known as the Natural History Museum, is a great place to learn about the rich history of Long Island, New York.
This Long Island museum features exhibits on Long Island's role in the American Revolution, the Gilded Age, and the rise of the automobile.
The museum's carriage collection is particularly noteworthy, featuring over 100 historic carriages and sleighs.
24. Be Amazed at the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor
One of a kind, the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor is a fascinating tribute to Long Island's whaling past and whale watching.
If you decide to visit Long Island, New York you can explore exhibits on the history of whaling and the impact it had on Long Island's economy and culture.
The museum also houses a collection of whaling artifacts, including harpoons, scrimshaw, and whaling tools. One of the Long Island museum's highlights is the fully-restored 19th-century whaleboat, which visitors can climb aboard to experience whale watching and what it was like to hunt whales.
25. Dine at Long Beach Boardwalk
With its panoramic ocean views and colorful atmosphere, the Long Beach Boardwalk is home to a variety of dining options, from casual beachside eateries to upscale restaurants.
Foodies in Long Island, New York can enjoy everything from fresh seafood and pizza to gourmet burgers and craft cocktails.
The Boardwalk is also a popular spot for live music and entertainment, making it a great place in Long Island to spend an evening with friends or family.
Note that Garden City in Long Island, NY is also famed for its great restaurants, particularly its steakhouses, so if you are looking for a culinary treat, this area is also worth a look.
26. Spot Deer Grazing in Deer Park
Deer Park in Long Island, New York offers visitors the opportunity to get up close with deer and other wildlife.
The Long Island park is home to a variety of deer species, including the graceful Fallow Deer and the majestic Red Deer.
In addition to the deer, the park is also home to other animals such as llamas, alpacas, and miniature horses. It's a great place for families with children, or for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of nature and wildlife up close.
27. Visit Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums on Long Island, featuring an extensive collection of over 1.5 million works of art.
Explore a diverse range of exhibits, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art and everything in between.
With its impressive collection and dynamic programming, the Brooklyn Museum is the number one destination for art enthusiasts and curious visitors alike in Long Island.
28. Explore Nassau County Museum
The Nassau County Museum of Art is a beautiful museum located on the grounds of a former Gold Coast estate in Long Island.
Explore the galleries and admire a collection of over 5,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
The Long Island Museum features a stunning sculpture garden and offers various educational programs, lectures, and workshops for all ages.
29. Visit Fire Island Lighthouse
Fire Island Lighthouse ****is a fascinating destination for history buffs and anyone interested in exploring Long Island's maritime heritage.
Built in 1858, the lighthouse served as an important navigational aid for ships traveling along the treacherous waters of the south shore.
Tourists and locals alike can take a tour of the lighthouse, climb to the top for spectacular views of the ocean and Long Island, and learn about the rich history of the surrounding area.
The Fire Island Lighthouse is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including white dunes and a nearby wildlife refuge that's home to a variety of birds and other animals. Fire Island Lighthouse is a hidden gem on Long Island that's well worth a visit.
30. Enjoy the View at Montauk Point Lighthouse
Montauk Point Lighthouse is a national historic landmark on the national register in East Hampton that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Located at the easternmost point of Long Island, visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for stunning panoramic views of the coastline.
The Long Island lighthouse also has a museum where visitors can learn about the history of the area and its importance to navigation.
FAQs About Fun Things to Do on Long Island, NY
Let's take a look at some frequently asked questions about attractions in Long Island, NY.
Where can I chill on Long Island?
Some of the places to chill on Long Island include Garden City, Sag Harbor, Oyster Bay, Fire Island, and all of its beaches. Some of the notable beaches are Jones Beach, Long Beach, and Copper Beach. Also, there are some good places to chill in East Marion.
Is there anything on Long Island?
There are a lot of things on Long Island, for solo travelers as well as for families. You can enjoy many Long Island attractions such as Old Westbury Gardens and Vanderbilt Museum, as well as Long Island Game Farm. Another place for kids is the adventure park on Coney Island. Some of the attractions of Long Island made it to the national register.
Summing Up: Best Things to Do on Long Island
Long Island, NY is an incredible destination that offers something for everyone.
With stunning beaches, picturesque parks, fascinating museums, and delicious food, you are sure to have a fantastic time in Long Island, NY.
Sunbathe at Jones Beach State Park, check out Oyster Bay, and visit Fire Island for a taste of the history and beautiful scenery of Long Island.
Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, Long Island is the perfect getaway for a fun-filled vacation. You and your family will have the best time visiting Long Island.