Long Island: Places to Explore

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Shelter Island

Shelter Island lies between Long Island's North and South forks. Reachable only by boat (there's regular ferry service), the 11½-square-mi island offers at least a partial escape from the summer traffic-and-crowd snarls of the Hamptons. Quiet country lanes wind across the island's rolling land, nearly a third of which has been set aside as a nature preserve that's a bird-watcher's delight.

Taking advantage of its hilltop elevation, Shelter Island Heights is the island's center of activity. Its Queen Anne, Victorian, and colonial-revival houses, stores, and inns show off embellished porches, scalloped shingles, and carved friezes. This relaxed place becomes even mellower in the off-season, when many restaurants and other businesses reduce their hours or close for extended periods. If you're planning an off-season visit, call ahead to see what's open.

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