96 Best Sights in Long Island, New York

Boardwalk

Fodor's choice

The boardwalk is the social and sentimental heart of Long Beach, so when the beloved historic structure was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, hearts broke. Today a brand new fortified boardwalk stands in its place, a symbol of the city's resilience, and throughout the summer weekend vendors and entertainers attract crowds. Walkers and cyclists hit the planks year-round, and food trucks and a trapeze school are welcome additions to its lively scene.

Between New York Ave. and Neptune Blvd., Long Beach, NY, 11561, USA
516-431–3890
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free

Jones Beach State Park

Fodor's choice

Eleven miles east of Long Beach, this 6½-mile-long expanse of white sand is one of the best-known and most popular of Long Island's beaches. The 2,500-acre park is loaded with facilities and activites to keep locals and visitors busy day and night. A 1½-mile-long boardwalk has deck games (fee), mini-golf, a pool, playgrounds, picnic areas, and two surf-casting areas (by permit), and hosts special summer events like live music at the bandshell. Lifeguards are on duty from late May to mid-September. The park can be reached from the Wantagh and Meadowbrook parkways (head south). Be prepared for crowds on weekends. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets. Best for: surfing; swimming; walking; windsurfing.

1 Ocean Pkwy, Wantagh, NY, 11793, USA
516-785–1600
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Parking $10 late May–early Sept., weekdays 8–4, weekends and holidays 7–6; $8 early Apr.–mid-May and Sept. 13–Nov. 16, weekends and holidays 8–4

Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center

Fodor's choice

With touch tanks, a submarine simulator, sea lion kisses, swimming with the sharks, and a shark keeper program, this aquarium offers a truly interactive and hands-on experience for its visitors. Based on the theme of the Lost City of Atlantis, indoor and outdoor exhibits, such as a natural rockscape pool and salt marsh, offer a compelling glimpse of regional marine life. Educational programs and events for kids include "sleeping with the fish" overnight stays; for the adults, there are wine cruises. A "Behind the Scenes" tour is offered twice daily and provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the aquarium.

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Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Fodor's choice

Re-creating a pre–Civil War farming community, this living-history museum sits on 200 pastoral acres with soft hills and lovely meadows. The 45 historic buildings were moved to this spot from other parts of Long Island and include two general stores, nine homes, a schoolhouse, a tavern, a church, and a working farm with animals. The guides, dressed in period costume, love sharing their knowledge of local history. Special events and seasonal celebrations are held throughout the year.

Parrish Art Museum

Fodor's choice

Opened in November 2012, the new Parrish Art Museum, originally established in Southampton in 1898, blends perfectly with its surroundings. A work of art itself, this massive yet subdued 34,440 square foot, elongated Herzon & de Meuron-designed barn blends modern clean lines with a traditional country look. Its seven sky lit galleries are filled with impressive collections highlighting Eastern Long Island greats including William Meritt Chase and Fairfield Porter, as well as exhibitions by world-renowned artists representing all media. There's also a full calendar of lectures, workshops, concerts and children's programs. Fun, family-friendly music programs take place outside during the summer. Juried art exhibitions hang on the walls during the year.

279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, NY, 11976, USA
631-283–2118
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $12, Closed Tues., Mon., Weds., Thurs., Sat., Sun. 10–5 and Fri.10–8

Pugliese Vineyards

Fodor's choice

The Pugliese family, in the spirit of the late founder and partiarch Ralph Pugliese, makes good, down-to-earth affordble wines that are local favorites. Its sparklers really shine: the Blanc de Blanc Brut regularly ranks in national competitions, and the off-dry sparkling merlot is an unusual treat. Try the Porto Bello dessert wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, great with chocolate, cheese, or on its own. The Sunset Meritage blend, with its deep, earthy flavors, is a winner. The hand-painted wine glasses and bottles make great gifts. Live music near the fish pond under the trellis on summer weekends attracts groups of friends and families with grandparents and children. In recent years limousine tours have brought growing crowds to this small family operation, but it's still the same friendly, beautiful winery Mr. Pugliese started 35 years ago.

"Home Sweet Home" Museum

The 19th century poet, playwright, and actor John Howard Payne so loved this circa-1720 saltbox home that, it is said, it became the inspiration for his now-famous lyrics for the song, "Home Sweet Home." Today guided tours lead you through a refined home decorated with English ceramics and American furniture and textiles. The museum is in a historic district within walking distance of 19th-century windmills, including the Old Hook Mill.

14 James La., East Hampton, NY, 11937, USA
631-324–0713
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $4, May–Sept., Mon.–Sat. 10–4, Sun. 2–4; Apr., Oct., and Nov., Fri. and Sat. 10–4, Sun. 2–4. Dec.–Apr. by appointment only

Adventureland

This amusement park, operating since 1962, is good family fun, with more than 30 thrill rides, kiddie rides, a ghost house, a couple of water rides, and a large indoor arcade. There is no admission fee, parking is free, and the food—admittedly not gourmet fare—won't cost you an arm and a leg. In summer, go during the week if you want to avoid long lines.

2245 Broad Hollow Rd. (Rte. 110), Farmingdale, NY, 11735, USA
631-694–6868
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $1 per ticket (each ride costs 3–5 tickets) or $26.50 for P.O.P (pay one price) wristbands for unlimited rides, Late June–Labor Day, weekdays from 11, weekends from 11:30, closing between 7 and 11; late Mar.–early June and Sept.–Oct., weekends and holidays from 11:30, closing between 5 and 7; call or visit website for details

Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park

You can visit this 125-acre park over and over again and have a different experience each time. After enjoying refined gardens with statues and century-old trees, you may find yourself lost in a ramble of free-growing woods or the maintained trails of the Connetquot River. Keep walking north, and you'll come across a working farm. The arboretum, 8 miles east of Bay Shore, also boasts one of the largest collections of conifers on Long Island. The grand 1886 shingle-style mansion overlooks a great lawn that sweeps down to the river. The first floor of the house, including a charming café that offers high tea, is open to the public.

440 Montauk Hwy., East Islip, NY, 11739, USA
631-581–1002-arboretum
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Parking $8 (Apr.–Nov.), Closed Mon., Tues.–Sun. 10–4 (to 5 Apr.–Oct.)

Bedell Cellars

Merlot is the benchmark of the region, and Bedell's reputation as the area's premier maker of this wine attracts serious wine lovers. The tasting room, in a New England farm–style building, has a modern-art collection and a stainless-steel bar. It has fine environmentally-friendly sustainable credentials. Splurge on the 16-month, oak-aged $90 Musée 2010.

36225 Main Rd., Cutchogue, NY, 11935, USA
631-734–7537
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Tastings $15–$20/flight, Sun.–Thurs. 11–5, Fri. and Sat. 11–7; may close at 3 on certain summer weekends for weddings; call ahead to confirm. Tours on weekends only, by appointment

Blue Point Brewing Company

These local brewers may have made it big, but they've never strayed from their roots of creating—and drinking—some really good beer. About 4 miles east of Sayville, the tasting room, where you can sample a dozen brews, is quintessentially local, with a handmade bar that was built using bricks from the old Patchogue Lace Mill and a wildly colorful ceramic-tile-mosaic top. Come in your jeans, T-shirts, and flannels, because when you're here, you're home. There's an outdoor area behind the brewery where you can enjoy Toasted Lager or one of their seasonal brews and maybe grab a bite from a food truck.

161 River Ave., Patchogue, NY, 11772, USA
844-272–2739
Sight Details
Tasting Room: Thurs. and Fri. 3–7, Sat. noon–7; brewery tours Sat. at 1 and 4

Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery

For more than four decades, Long Island's founding vineyard has been bringing a little piece of Tuscany close to home. A former barn near the main tasting room provides a lively venue for festivals, opera, jazz performances, live comedy, and art exhibits. Try the Cabernet Franc.

17150 County Rd., Cutchogue, NY, 11935, USA
631-734–5111
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Tastings $10–$15/flight; tours $20, includes tastings, Tastings daily 11–5. Tours July–Oct., Thurs. and Sun. 1 pm; Nov.–June, Sat. at 1 pm; call ahead to confirm

Cathedral of the Incarnation

The 1876 Gothic-style cathedral, the bishop's house, and the St. Mary's and St. Paul's school buildings were all part of an elaborate memorial for Garden City's founder, A.T. Stewart, commissioned by his wife, Cornelia. The bells, purchased at the Philadelphia Centennial exposition in 1876, are replicas of the Liberty Bell; there are 13 of them, one for each of the original colonies. The church is noted for its hand-carved mahogany woodwork and rare marble. The Casavant organ, the largest pipe organ on Long Island, has 103 ranks of pipes.

50 Cathedral Ave., Garden City, NY, 11530, USA
516-746–2955
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free, Closed Sat. and Mon., Tues.–Fri. 10–4, Sat. 8–noon, Sun. 12:30–2 (excluding service times)

Caumsett State Historic Park

Set in magnificent Lloyd Neck, which juts into Long Island Sound, this park covers 1,500 acres and includes a sliver of beach and a bridle path for those who bring horses in by trailer. You can also hike, fish, bike, and cross-country ski here. The park was originally the estate of Marshall Field III; his mansion can be viewed from the outside, but is closed to the public.

Huntington, NY, 11743, USA
631-423–1770
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $6 (Memorial Day–Labor Day), Daily sunrise–sunset

Cedarmere

The prominent 19th-century poet, civic leader, and newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant lived in this house, built in 1787 by Quaker farmer William Kirk, from 1843 until his death in 1878. Bryant purchased the house as a rural retreat where he could work on his poetry and indulge his love of nature. He renovated and enlarged the original farmhouse, and planted exotic trees and flowers on the grounds, transforming the estate into a horticultural showplace.

225 Bryant Ave., Roslyn Harbor, NY, 11576, USA
516-544-3944
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free, Main House Open for Guided Tours on Thursdays at 2pm and at 3pm

Children's Museum of the East End

Here, as their motto says, learning begins with play. This is a perfect place to let kids run off some steam on a rainy day, or just to take a break from the beach. There's a fire engine replica, painting room, library, climbing ship, and a separate play area for toddlers. A mini-golf course is open in season, weather permitting. There are plenty of educational and fun classes and events on the calendar too, including the Summer Family Concert Series in August.

376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton, NY, 11932, USA
631-537–8250
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $12, Closed Tues., Wed.–Mon. 9–5 (also Tues. during school breaks.) Sometimes closed for special events, so call ahead

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium

Eight outdoor tanks at this educational center hold the largest collection of native freshwater fish, turtles, and amphibians in New York State. For a fee, visitors can try their hand at trout fishing. It's 1½ mi from downtown Cold Spring Harbor.

1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, 11724, USA
516-692–6768
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $6, Daily 10–5, Oct.–Labor Day until 6 weekends.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

One of the highlights of this museum's permanent exhibits exploring Long Island's whaling industry is a fully equipped 19th-century whaleboat. Whaling implements, paintings, scrimshaw, and ship models are also on display.

301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor, NY, 11724, USA
631-367–3418
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $6, Memorial Day–Labor Day, daily 11–5; Labor Day–Memorial Day, Tues.–Sun. 11–5

Corey Creek Vineyards

A short, winding road leads to this airy, chaletlike tasting house with a spacious deck and one of the best vineyard views in the area. They host events like the Twilight Series, featuring live music and food trucks from late May to early September, some for an additional cover charge. Now under the banner of Bedell Cellars, they continue to produce acclaimed wines like the Chardonnay Reserve and Late-Harvest Reisling.

45470 Main Rd., Southold, NY, 11971, USA
631-765–4168
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Tastings $15, Apr.–Dec., daily noon–5 (to 9 Thurs., to 7 Fri. and Sat.)

Cradle of Aviation Museum

The museum, housed in two 1932 hangars, is a tribute to Long Island's reputation as the "cradle of aviation." Displays here include a 1929 Brunner Winkle Bird, a biplane; a 1938 Grumman G-21 Goose, originally intended for civilian use; a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and a Grumman F6F Hellcat, both World War II fighter planes; a supersonic F-14 Tomcat, a strike fighter in service today; and one of only three existing original Apollo lunar modules, as well as dozens of other planes. Special exhibits have focused on space-theme toys and the Wright brothers. The museum encompasses the Leroy R. & Rose W. Grumman IMAX Dome Theater and a restaurant, the Red Planet Café.

1 Davis Ave., Garden City, NY, 11530, USA
516-572–4111
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Museum $9, IMAX $8.50, Tue.–Sun. 9:30–5

Custer Institute

Taking advantage of some of the darkest night skies on Long Island, this observatory is a prime viewing spot for astronomy buffs and star-deprived urbanites. Atop the barnlike structure is a motorized dome with a telescope you can use to track the heavenly view. Clear skies are the best for observing; avoid coming during a full or almost-full moon.

Custom House

Henry Packer Dering, the port's first U.S. custom master, lived in this beautifully appointed 1789 Federal home that doubled as custom house and now serves as a museum. Historical documents and period furnishings are on display.

Garden and Main Sts., Sag Harbor, NY, 11724, USA
631-725–0250
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $6, July and Aug., daily 10–5; Sept.–June, weekends 10–5

Cutchogue Village Green and Old Burial Ground

Maintained by the Cutchogue–New Suffolk Historical Council, this village green is lined by several restored and furnished historic buildings relocated from around the area. The 1649 Old House is one of the oldest frame houses in the country. Also here are the 1840 Old School House and the 1890 Red Barn, both filled with period furnishings. To see the interiors, you must take the tour, which lasts one hour and sets out from the Carriage House, next to the parking area. The Old Burying Ground, located one mile east of the Village Green on Route 25A, contains many artfully carved stones dating back to the 1717.

Main Rd. at Cases La., Cutchogue, NY, 11935, USA
631-734–7122
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free, Late June–Labor Day, Sat.–Mon. 1–4, or by appointment May–Oct.

Duck Walk Vineyards

A Normandy-style château sits on 56 acres of grapevines here. Special events include live music, either on the patio overlooking the vineyard or in the tasting room, on weekends in summer and fall, as well as complimentary hot mulled wine on December weekends. If you like sweet wine, try the Aphrodite late-harvest for a real treat.

231 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, NY, 11976, USA
631-726–7555
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Tastings $8 per flight, Sun.–Thurs. 11–6, Fri. and Sat. 11–8; tastings end a half-hour before closing. Hrs may vary for private and special events; call ahead or check website

East End Seaport and Marine Foundation

A former Long Island Rail Road passenger terminal contains exhibits about lighthouses, ships, East End shipbuilding, and yacht racing. The museum also hosts events, including the annual Maritime Festival. Several times throughout the season, for an additional fee, you can take a 6-hour day cruise or a 3- to 5-hour sunset cruise passing by 4 to 6 lighthouses and stopping to visit the historic "Bug" lighthouse. There's also a separate 1½-hour excursion that goes only to the "Bug."

3rd St., Greenport, NY, 11944, USA
631-477–2100
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $2 suggested donation, $95 lighthouse cruise, Closed Mon.–Thurs., July–Labor Day., daily 1–5; Memorial Day–June and day after Labor Day–Columbus Day, weekends 1–5; call for details of cruises

East Hampton Historical Society

Keeping history alive and thriving in East Hampton, the society operates several local museums near stately Main Street. The society's headquarters are in the circa-1740 Osborn-Jackson House, a period museum. The 1784 Clinton Academy (tours scheduled upon request) was the town's first preparatory academy for young men and women. Dating from approximately 1731, Town House is the only remaining town government building from colonial times. It's also the oldest surviving one-room schoolhouse on Long Island. The circa-1680 Mulford Farm, complete with a farmhouse and barn, hosts several wonderful programs each year, including a Colonial Kids Club, A Day in 1776, and various colonial reenactments. Each year the farm plants Rachel's Garden with heirloom flowers and vegetables. The Marine Museum has three floors of exhibits devoted to East Hampton maritime history, including the eerie Shipwreck Hall. The tiny and elegantly restored Hook Schoolhouse, a Georgian frame building, has been moved around the village since its construction almost two and a quarter centuries ago. It was saved from destruction by the society and now sits behind town hall. Call the society or visit the website for a complete list of activities at all the sites.

101 Main St., East Hampton, NY, 11937, USA
631-324–6850
Sight Details
Osborn-Jackson House (society headquarters), Tues.–Sat. 10–4; opening days and hrs vary for other sites
Rate Includes: $4

Ellen E. Ward Clocktower

This stone clock tower, one of the town's landmarks, was built in 1895. It's near the George Washington Manor, at the head of Hempstead Harbor.

Main St. and Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, NY, 11576, USA
No phone
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free

Fire Island Lighthouse

The 168-foot-tall lighthouse—Long Island's tallest—marks the western end of the Fire Island National Seashore. The black-and-white-striped beauty, built in 1858, replaced the original 1826 lighthouse which, at 74 feet tall, was deemed too short to be effective. Tours of the tower are offered; call for tour times and reservations. On clear days Manhattan skyscrapers are visible from the top of the lighthouse, a climb up 192 winding steps. Many events are held here throughought the year, including family adventures and scavenger hunts, nature walks, ghost tours in October, and flying Santa in December. To get to the lighthouse, park on the east side of Field 5 of Robert Moses State Park and then walk ¾ mile following the marked trail.

Fire Island, NY, 11702, USA
631-661–4876
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $7, Apr.–June and Labor Day–early Nov., weekends 9:30–5 (call for availability weekdays); July 1–Labor Day, daily 9:30–6; early Nov.–mid-Dec., weekends 9:30–4 (call for availability weekdays); mid-Dec.–Mar., weekdays 10–4, weekends and holidays noon–4. Last tours leave 1 hr before closing

Fire Island National Seashore

Stretching 32 miles from the Fire Island Lighthouse, the seashore is accessible via a boardwalk from Robert Moses State Park in the west to Smith Point County Park to the east. A barrier island on Long Island's South Shore, Fire Island National Seashore offers endless opportunities for sightseeing, hiking, and wildlife viewing on nature trails as well as sunbathing or swimming on its long stretches of pristine sandy beaches. Barrett Beach/Talisman, a quiet, secluded beach around the midpoint of the island, is accessible by private boat or charter.

Fire Island, NY, 11770, USA
631-687–4750

Fleets Cove Beach

stretches for 1,600 feet on Northport Bay and includes a boardwalk, playground, and summer lifeguards.

Off Fleets Cove Rd., Centerport, NY, 11743, USA
631-351–3000
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $25 Memorial Day–Labor Day, Daily 9–7:30