The best things to do on Long Island, New York

From art and history to music and food, check out the best things to do on Long Island, New York
Photograph: Shutterstock
By Michele Herrmann, Taya Kenny, Jordi Lippe-McGraw and Time Out New York contributors |
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Whether you refer to it as “out east” or “The Island,” there’s no shortage of things to do on Long Island, New York. Yes, you have your ritzy beaches and shops in the Hamptons and wild parties on Fire Island. But the 118-mile-long island is also home to top-notch wineries, fascinating museums, stellar dining and some of the best beaches near NYC. Better yet, it’s almost all accessible via public transportation on the LIE or LIRR. Here are its gems worthy of a weekend getaway.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Long Island, New York

Best things to do on Long Island, New York

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Stephanie C.

Lavender by the Bay

Get your Instagram ready. At this unique Long Island attraction, you can spend hours running through lavender fields reminiscent of the French countryside and do an entire photoshoot of your picturesque experience. Once you’re done satisfying your social media needs, go ahead and pick your own bouquet or purchase one of the many lavender-scented products on sale. Blooms start in June! 7540 Main Road, East Marion (lavenderbythebay.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Frank T.

Catapano Farms

Wine plus cheese plus baby goats equals heaven. And that’s exactly what goes down here at this Peconic farm. Spend the afternoon sampling the artisanal cheese selection while you your kids play with the baby goats and other farm animals. It’s really the perfect spot to make any family member happy. 33705 North Road, Peconic (631-765-8042, catapanofarms.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Bridge Lane Wine

Lieb Cellars

You could spend an entire weekend wine tasting at the various vineyards. But if you’re limited on time, make a point to visit Lieb Cellar with tasting rooms in Cutchogue and Mattituck on the North Fork. No matter varietal preference— red, white, sparkling, or rosé—you’ll find a wine to suit your palette. Oh, and you can pair it with dinner and live music if you choose. 13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue (631-734-1100, liebcellars.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Cri C.

Cooper’s Beach

While you have plenty of beaches to choose from up and down the coast of Long Island, one of the best is Cooper’s. Located in Southampton, it’s one of the best beaches in the U.S. and boasts over seven miles of white sand. Spend the day swimming, surfing and bodyboarding, or simply take a scenic stroll and set up a picnic in front of one of the many eye-popping mansions. 268 Meadow Ln, Southampton (experiencethebeach.com)

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Photograph: Adventureland

The Adventureland Park

Sure, getting out to Long Island can feel like an adventure in itself. But here, there’s an actual adventure course to get your adrenaline pumping. You can climb, zip line, and walk across wobbly bridges connecting 140 platformed trees throughout the forest. To up the ante, they have glow-in-the-dark courses every other Friday with light up glow attire and laser light music. 75 Colonial Springs Rd, Wheatley Heights (631-983-3844, longislandadventurepark.org)

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Godley V.

Sands Point Reserve

Unleash your inner book nerd and visit the spot that inspire F. Scott Fitzgerald to write The Great Gatsby. Filled with different hikes, yoga classes and meditation retreats, the grounds also have an event calendar full of cocktail parties and high teas. 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point (516-571-7901, sandspointpreserveconservancy.org)

 

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Caitlin C.

Walt Whitman’s Birthplace

If you’re more of a Walt Whitman fan than F. Scott Fitzgerald, you’ll love visiting the famous writer’s cottage. Browse his home, built in 1816, before checking out the permanent exhibition detailing Whitman’s life and rise to literary fame. If you’re looking for a more poetic experience, the estate hosts many poetry workshops as well as a poets-in-residence program. 246 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station (631-427-5240, waltwhitman.org)

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Joe D.

Planting Fields

You’ll feel transported back to the Gilded Age during your visit to the former estate of insurance magnate William Robertson Coe and Standard Oil heiress Mai Rogers Coe. Roam through the mansion and check out many of the original furnishings before venturing out to explore the 409 acres of manicured ground. The property is one of the remaining Gold Coast homes that retains its original plot of land, and it also acts as a venue for concerts and art exhibitions. 1395 Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay (516-922-5926, plantingfields.org)

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Bedell Cellars
Photograph: Courtesy Bedell Cellars

Bedell Cellars, Cutchogue

At this family-owned North Fork winery in Cutchogue, certified sustainable farming practices are applied in handcrafting wines from grapes grown at three vineyards. At its tasting room, a circa-1919 barn, certain current and limited-production reds and whites are available for tasting daily (reservations are required for groups of six to 10). Its Corey Creek property in Southold is open June to September. Another reason to toast this label: The 2009 Merlot was served at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Luncheon. 36225 Main Rd, Cutchogue (631-734-7537, bedellcellars.com)

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greenportbrewery062
Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., Peconic

This microbrewery produces small-batch ales—annual, seasonal, and limited—available for tasting at its original location, a repurposed fire station in Greenport, and at a bottling plant/tasting room in Peconic. Noteworthy suds include Pith N' Peel; a citrusy IPA; and the full-bodied Black Duck Porter. In 2016, the brewery introduced its OG series, a line of batch beers handcrafted at its Greenport location. 42155 Rt 25, Peconic (631-477-1100, greenportharborbrewing.com)

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Looking to try out a North Fork winery?

Macari Vineyards
Photograph: Courtesy Macari Vineyards/Carl Timpone
Bars, Wineries

The best North Fork wineries

Map out an awesome wine-soaked road trip with our handy guide to the top North Fork wineries. Bottoms up!

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