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Long Island Travel Guide

  • Photo: Alaz / Shutterstock

Plan Your Long Island Vacation

Long Island's South Shore and North Shore offer vastly different scenery. The coastline of the South Shore beckons with its powdery white sands, bustling Nautical Mile, and venerable Montauk Point Lighthouse. The North Shore, with its majestic rocky bluffs, regal Gold Coast mansions, and easy charm of places like Greenport Village, calls to swimmers, surfers, sailors, and sunbathers. Inland

you'll find an agricultural treasurehouse, nurturing vineyards to rival their Californian and European counterparts and food producers catering to the farm-to-table ethic of many of the region's restaurants.

This is an area with a long and fascinating history. Before being settled by Europeans in the 17th century, the island was occupied by 13 Native American tribes with names that may sound quite familiar: Rockaway, Merric, Montauk, and Manhasset. Agriculture was the basis of its early economy, and later in the 18th and early 19th centuries, whaling brought a period of wealth and prominence. In the years following the Civil War, well-to-do Americans discovered the pleasures of saltwater bathing and sea breezes, and the farming and fishing communities of the Hamptons were slowly transformed into fashionable summer resorts. The North Shore became the playground of the Vanderbilts, Whitneys, and Roosevelts. After World War II Americans began owning automobiles, highways were constructed, and the middle class moved out to Long Island, converting farm fields into suburbs.

Long Island does not stand still (though the same might not be said of its roads on a peak-season weekend), but beyond the hubbub of traffic and a sprawl of new homes and commercial districts, old village centers with historic sites and museums preserve the island’s rich heritage, and parks, golf courses, nature preserves, and those glorious beaches provide the space to reflect and breathe in the fresh sea air.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Beaches Endless white sands meet waves for surfing and waters for swimming, beneath rays to delight sun-worshippers.
  2. Hampton hobnobbing Rub elbows with New York socialites, international jet-setters, and celebrities in trendy restaurants and boutiques.
  3. Historic homes Preserved homes of presidents, poets, dignitaries, and robber barons keep the past alive.
  4. Seaside villages Enjoy fresh seafood and salty air, and hunt for treasures in quaint main street shops.
  5. Wineries Tours and tastings at North Fork wineries make this a year-round paradise for wine lovers.

When To Go

When to Go

Peak Season: Late May to mid-September Plan and book well in advance. The luxury of staying at any of Long Island’s hot spots, especially...

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