Long Island, located on the southeastern tip of New York State, is a famous summer destination for the rich and famous – thousands flock to the Hamptons and its beaches that time of year. But Long Island is also a fun vacation destination year-round. Below is a list of some of the best things to do on Long Island:
• Vanderbuilt Museum and Planetarium: Located in Centerport on the north shore of the Island in Suffolk County, the Vanderbuilt Museum and Planetarium is the former 43-acre estate of William Vanderbuilt II. The museum grounds include the mansion with its art and furnishings, a curator’s cottage, a boathouse, a seaplane hangar, and a marine museum. The museum and planetarium is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and tours are brought to lives by guides dressed in period garb.
• Jones Beach State Park: Jones Beach State Park features six miles of sandy beaches. It was designed by famed architect Robert Moses in the 1920s. There is also a boardwalk visitors can enjoy, a fishing pier, and many food concessions. Visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy shuffleboard, miniature golf, and basketball. The Jones Beach Theater is home to concerts and plays and the Beach Nature Center educates about the marine environment and endangered species of the area.
• Long Island Children’s Museum: This children’s museum is located in a former airplane hangar at the Nassau Community College. This popular museum offers 14 interactive exhibits, a live theater, and many planned activities. A two-story climbing structure has ramps to climb up and down. There is even a percussion studio where children can make music. This is a popular venue for children’s birthday parties.
• Old Westbury Gardens: This is a beautiful mansion surrounded by formal gardens, landscaped grounds, ponds and lakes. The mansion was built in 1906 by John Phipps and his family and was designed by English architect George A. Crowley. It was known as “Westbury House,” and was filled with fine antiques and art that Phipps’ accumulated over the 50 years it was the family’s residence. Old Westbury Gardens is open to visitors and provides guided tours of the mansion and formal gardens. Its grounds are often the site of weddings and other events.
• Montauk Point Light: Built of sandstone, the Montauk Point lighthouse was erected in 1796 and is the first lighthouse in New York State. Today, it is one of the oldest active lighthouses in the country. Point Light stands 110 feet high, and its light flashes every 5 seconds and can be seen across a distance of 17 nautical miles. The Montauk Point Light is designated as a National Historical Landmark.
• Long Island Game Farm: This is a wildlife park and children’s zoo that has been in operation for 47 years. The zoo provides families with encounter areas where they can feed animals from food they purchase from the zoo.
• Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center: The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center boasts a 120,000-gallon shark tank, marmosets, a sea lion show, and is best known for having one of North American’s largest live coral reef displays. A Butterfly, Bugs and Birds Exhibit features North American and tropical butterflies. The aquarium features a cage that visitors can get into and go down into a live shark tank. Penguin feeding is encouraged at the Penguin Encounter exhibit.
OurBus takes you to and from Long Island and New York City, with low fares allowing you to escape for the weekend. With free bottled water, wifi and included luggage, there’s no better way to travel.