Long Island is one of the most famous destinations in the world.
It’s home to many acclaimed parts of New York, including the Hamptons, and it’s known for having endless tourist attractions that range from gourmet restaurants to gaudy roadside oddities.
There’s more to Long Island, however, than what you might’ve seen in the media.
For example, there are innumerable parks and beaches to go along with the urban sprawl.
There are museums just as much as shopping malls.
History is alive and well in old homes, colonial lighthouses, and well-preserved estates.
If you do like glamor, there’s plenty of that, too.
From award-winning aquariums to world-class vineyards, you can live the high life here.
It’s the kind of place where “treat yourself” is a daily mantra.
Long story short, if you’re headed to New York, there are many cool and interesting things to do on Long Island.
Shall we get started with a list?
Things To Do On Long Island
You can’t talk about New York without talking about the Hamptons, and they’re located right along the eastern shores of Long Island.
Home to ridiculously wealthy celebrities, the Hamptons have a reputation for affluence, and it’s true that you can see this wealth in everything from its ritzy restaurants to its outlandish architecture perched atop white sand beaches.
There are other parts of the Hamptons, however, that are welcome to everyday visitors, including shops, cafes, museums, beaches, and national landmarks.
You don’t have to be wealthy to go sightseeing or to enjoy the tourist attractions of the area.
They might be one of the most revered places to visit in New York, but you can swing by the Hamptons just as easily as any Kardashian.
Make time for this iconic destination the next time that you’re in Long Island!
Address: Long Island, NY, United States
2. Lavender By The Bay
Have you ever dreamed of walking through fragrant purple fields with your fingers trailing along the flowers?
How about going on a self-care shopping spree for bath bombs, essential oils, and sprigs of dried lavender?
This is the experience that you can have at Lavender By The Bay, Long Island’s premiere lavender farm.
Its fields look like a cotton candy dream with pastel colors and soft petals.
They’re only in bloom during the early summer, but their brief lifespans just add to their beauty.
Another fun thing about the farm is that when you’re done taking in the sights, you can hit up the shop for all kinds of souvenirs.
These include soaps, bath salts, body butters, and massage oils.
Everything is infused with the gentle and lingering scent of lavender.
Lavender By The Bay is one of the most stunning places to see in all of New York, which makes it all the more lucky that it’s on Long Island.
Book a tour today and get ready for an amazing time among the flowers!
Address: 7540 Main Rd, East Marion, NY 11939, United States
3. Jones Beach State Park
Since it’s home to more than six miles of coastline, many of Long Island’s attractions revolve around the beach, including Jones Beach State Park.
Known to locals as simply “Jones Beach,” it’s one of the most popular vacation destinations on the East Coast, and you can always find new stuff to do along its boardwalk.
Eat at the cafes and diners; shop at the stalls, stores, and boutiques; play games or mini-golf at the entertainment centers; groove to outdoor concerts at the amphitheater.
You can dress up nicely for a night on the town, or you can wander the streets in slapping flip-flops with a snow cone permanently in hand.
If you prefer outdoor activities, there are plenty of ways to soak up the sun on the beach, too.
You can swim to your heart’s content, or you can rent all kinds of kayaks and paddle boards to take on the water.
No matter how you like to spend your time, Jones Beach State Park can probably offer it.
It’s one of the best things to do on Long Island for anyone interested in the must see destinations of New York.
Address: 1 Ocean Pkwy, Wantagh, NY 11793, United States
4. Blue Moon
Family owned and operated, Blue Moon is one of those cool spots that isn’t in travel brochures.
Ask around, however, and every local will tell you where to get the best pizza in Long Island.
What makes their pizzas so delicious?
Besides the fact that they’re tossed large and thin in true New York style, they’re also cooked with coal ovens, giving an extra je ne sais quoi to their flavor profile.
From hearty meats to sizzling cheeses, these pizzas will start making your mouth water as soon as you step through the front door.
If, for some reason, you aren’t in the mood for pizza, you can also try other menu items such as salads, paninis, garlic breads, and cheesecakes.
There are also a number of authentic Italian pasta dishes to try.
A plate full of meatball parmigiana will make you feel right at home in Venice, but it’s also one of the best things to see when you’re in New York!
If you’re feeling hungry in Long Island, hit up Blue Moon.
It’ll prove to you why New Yorkers are always raving about their pizza.
Address: 26 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY 11570, United States
5. Cradle of Aviation Museum
Space lovers, this one is for you.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum is an amazing aerospace destination that offers everything from lunar landing modules to life-sized jets and rockets.
There are even cockpits that the kiddos can climb into like real astronauts!
Other areas of interest include hands-on exhibits where you can actually touch tools, engines, uniforms, and space debris.
When you’re done with the exhibits, head over to the planetarium and experience a surround-sound adventure that will fling you into the depths of the universe without making you leave your seat!
The Cradle of Aviation Museum is one of the best places to visit for Long Island vacationers who love looking into the night sky.
To see infinity and beyond, this is the destination for you.
Address: Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Garden City, NY 11530, United States
Visiting other parts of New York? Why not check out some of the things to do in Buffalo, NY?
6. Long Island Aquarium
The Long Island Aquarium is one of the coolest tourist spots in all of New York.
Only here can you touch a penguin, swim with a shark, and take a selfie with a stingray all in a single visit!
It houses more than just marine animals, too.
From pythons to porcupines, you’ll be dazzled at the sheer expanse of life to be found within its habitats.
In fact, one of its most popular exhibits is its 20,000 gallon coral reef tank where hundreds of species gather as rainbows of color and motion.
Other activities and attractions include movies, boat tours, touch tanks, submarine simulators, and a variety of animal meet-and-greets.
If you’re looking for the best things to do on Long Island, you’ll definitely want to make time for the Long Island Aquarium.
You can pack all kinds of aquatic adventures into a single visit, including once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that will leave you with fond memories forever.
Address: 431 E Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901, United States
7. Fire Island
Fire Island is one of the most unique places to travel in the US.
Not only does it boast ecological wonders like the Sunken Forest, but it’s also a car-free destination that’s accessible only by ferry, giving it a pristine, untouched quality that’s unmatched by other Long Island attractions.
Beaches are aplenty on the island, and they offer amazing sights like white-tailed deer dashing between windswept sand dunes.
Other spots of natural beauty include the bays, forests, and hills.
Local landmarks range from old lighthouses to modern piers and marinas.
You can also spend the night on the island, though its resort destinations tend to fill up quickly, so don’t expect to get anything this weekend.
You’ll need to book your lodgings months in advance.
Another option is to go camping under the stars if you don’t mind roughing it a bit.
Escape the urban jungle of New York with a trip to the remote beauty of Fire Island.
You’ll be amazed at what you can find and experience when you’re willing to go off the beaten path and into new, unspoiled terrain!
Address: NY, United States
8. Montauk Point Lighthouse
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is one of the most iconic things to see in Long Island.
Originally built in 1797, it was commissioned by George Washington himself, and it stood for years as a beacon of hope to immigrants who saw it as the first thing on the horizon as they crossed into the free world.
Today, the lighthouse is a nationally protected landmark.
It’s surrounded by gardens, offers several observation points overlooking the ocean, and houses a museum that includes informative displays on everything from military to maritime history.
Visitors can walk, tour, learn, and even peek around for buried treasure that’s rumored to be somewhere on the grounds.
There’s a reason why the Montauk Point Lighthouse has remained one of Long Island’s most popular tourist attractions throughout the centuries.
History has a real hold on the area.
Take a tour and let it come alive for you.
Address: 2000 Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954, United States
9. Macari Vineyards
Found on a scenic, sparkling waterfront, the Macari Vineyards is one of the prettiest of Long Island’s attractions.
It’s also one of the best for getting tipsy!
Rolling hills are where the grapes are carefully cultivated before being harvested for future wines.
Meanwhile, in the barrel cellar tasting room, the good stuff is already bottled and awaiting your pleasure.
You can choose your own experience at the vineyard.
Many visitors opt for a tasting that includes wines, cheeses, and breads served via charcuterie board on a picturesque patio.
Others order catered lunches from the on-site chef or sign up for tours through the vineyard and cellar.
Prices vary; as you might expect, the more elaborate experiences will cost more.
No matter what kind of adventure that you choose to undertake, however, you’re sure to have a blast at Macari Vineyards.
If you’re wondering where to go this weekend to see the best of Long Island, put this site on your shortlist.
Address: 150 Bergen Ave, Mattituck, NY 11952, United States
10. Long Beach Boardwalk
If you’re on a budget and looking for free things to do around Long Island, consider the Long Beach Boardwalk.
While you’ll need to buy a pass for the beach itself, the boardwalk doesn’t cost a dime!
Potential activities include everything from eating and drinking to shopping and strolling.
You can walk, jog, bike, or skateboard along the path until you see something that catches your eye.
Are you feeling hungry?
Grab a frozen yogurt from a smoothie stand, or bite into a juicy burger from a bar or diner.
Do you like music?
Find a busker playing an instrument for a lively outdoor concert.
If the call of the water gets too strong to be denied, you can break away from the boardwalk and hit the beach, too.
There are plenty of places to rent surfboards and paddle boards if you want to have fun in the ocean.
You can also just chill out on a bench that overlooks the waves if you want a beach experience without getting wet.
The Long Beach Boardwalk can be a nice way to spend an afternoon in the city.
It can be as relaxing or as thrilling as you want to make it.
Decide for yourself how you’d like to spend your vacation!
Address: Long Beach, NY 11561, United States
Exploring other areas of New York? Why not check out some of the things to do in Brooklyn?
11. The Adventure Park at Long Island
While the popular image of New York is one with skyscrapers and other high-rise buildings, some of the top peaks of the state are actually found in its forested areas, including the Adventure Park at Long Island.
Offering ziplines, rope courses, and other outdoor challenges, it’s one of the best places to go to unleash your inner daredevil.
The adult courses will take you high into the treetops with “aerial trails.”
This can involve everything from climbing to ziplining to wrangling bridges and ladders hung in mid-air.
Kids can get in on the fun as well; there’s a playground for children as young as three, and children aged seven or older can clamber around low, kid-friendly obstacle courses.
If you’re wondering what to do as a thrillseeker in Long Island, strap into an Adventure Park harness and get ready to fly.
You’ve never seen New York quite like this!
Address: 75 Colonial Springs Rd, Wheatley Heights, NY 11798, United States
12. Roosevelt Field
Shop ’til you drop when you visit Roosevelt Field.
In addition to being the largest mall in the state of New York, it’s also one of the biggest in the US.
It’s home to dozens of well-known retailers as well as local favorites that you can only find on Long Island.
Fashionistas will love the jewelers and clothing boutiques.
Foodies will appreciate the many options at the dining court.
Film buffs can take in a movie at the AMC theater; souvenir shoppers can have a blast among the cheerfully tacky kiosks that hawk “I Survived Long Island” t-shirts and key chains.
Brands range from Louis Vuitton to LEGO, so there’s a little something for everyone.
You can also check their schedule to see if anything fun is going on in terms of luncheons, concerts, or book signings.
Shopping in New York is a must, and there’s no place better for it than Roosevelt Field.
Let it become one of your most memorable things to do on Long Island while you’re there!
Address: 630 Old Country Rd, Garden City, NY 11530, United States
13. The Big Duck
If you’ve never seen a 20-foot duck, this is your chance to make your dreams come true.
The Big Duck is an aptly-named tourist attraction that was built to entice visitors to a duck farm in the 1930s.
It was constructed largely of scraps, including Ford Model T tail lights for its eyes.
Over the years, the duck farm diminished, but the Big Duck remained.
It functions today as a roadside oddity that gets covered in spiderwebs for Halloween and holiday lights at Christmas.
There’s no charge for seeing it or taking pictures with it, so it’s one of Long Island’s free things to do, but you can also pick up some “duck-a-bilia” from the nearby novelty shop if you’re so inclined.
Road trippers, you won’t want to miss the Big Duck.
It’s exactly the kind of fun and goofy destination that will make for a great travel story when you get home.
Address: 1012 NY-24, Flanders, NY 11901, United States
14. Bay Street Theatre
With its small, intimate venue, the Bay Street Theatre is a great destination for theater lovers who can’t or don’t want to drop tons of money on Broadway.
It’s much more affordable, and since everything is locally produced, your money will go towards supporting Long Island creatives as well.
The shows aren’t always related to theater, of course.
There are musicians and comedians just as much as playwrights, and the venue even lends itself out for things like ballroom dancing classes, so there’s always something fun on its schedule.
If you’ll be staying in Long Island for an extended period of time, you might be interested in ongoing activities like theater camps and singing workshops as well.
Even if you can only stay for a single show, however, the Bay Street Theatre is a must do for art and culture connoisseurs.
Anyone can visit an expensive opera house while in Long Island, but how many take the time to cozy up in smaller venues full of heart?
Address: 1 Bay St, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, United States
15. Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium
Another great destination for space enthusiasts, the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium offers amazing sights day and night.
By day, the museum sparkles in the sunshine with Spanish revival architecture that incorporates pink and white tiles alongside winding stairs and lush landscapes.
Inside, you’ll find thousands of wildlife specimens that were carefully curated by owner and museum founder William K. Vanderbilt, a celebrated traveler.
At night, the planetarium is the place to be.
There’s a rooftop observatory if you’d like to see the stars through a telescope, or you can settle under the immense dome for light and laser shows that are both educating and entertaining.
If you’re at all interested in space, science, or natural history, you won’t want to miss the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium.
It’s one of the most fun things to do on Long Island if you’re into celestial sightseeing.
Address: 180 Little Neck Rd, Centerport, NY 11721, United States
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16. Christopher Morley Park
New York is no stranger to snow, so when the weather outside is frightful, you’re going to need a good game plan for your family vacation.
What are the most fun Long Island attractions in the winter?
One possibility is Christopher Morley Park.
Home to an outdoor ice skating rink, it’ll let you feel the flurries on your face as you glide around doing triple salchows.
Skates are available for rent on-site, and you can also check out pucks for a little ice hockey.
When you’ve twirled your last twirl, you can check out the many nature trails in the park for a snow-covered hike, or you can hit up nearby cafes for hot chocolate and other snacks.
There are also playgrounds, athletic courts, and picnic areas; just know that these places aren’t as maintained in the winter as they are in the summer.
Don’t let the December blues ruin your time in Long Island.
If you need to get out and about even when it’s snowing outside, make the most of the cold weather with an ice skating adventure at Christopher Morley Park.
Address: 500 Searingtown Rd N, Roslyn, NY 11576, United States
17. Oheka Castle
Who says that you have to travel to Europe to see a castle?
Oheka Castle is located in the heart of Long Island, and with its gigantic white mansion surrounded by sweeping green lawns, it’s one of the top places to visit in all of New York.
Originally an estate that housed high society galas, the building is now used as a pricey hotel.
It hosts a number of weddings and other fancy functions in addition to serving as general accommodation for guests who want to live luxuriously.
Sites on the grounds include a golf course, a greenhouse, a formal French garden, and a number of tennis courts.
If you’re wondering what to do while in Long Island, put “visit a castle” on your bucket list.
It’s an amazing experience that you can’t get just anywhere, so use it to make your New York vacation even more magical.
Address: 135 W Gate Dr, Huntington, NY 11743, United States
18. Cooper’s Beach
You can never have enough beaches to visit, especially when they’re as lovely as Cooper’s Beach.
What makes Cooper Beach so special?
For starters, it’s more secluded than most, so you won’t have to fight the big crowds of other, more touristy beaches.
It’s also known for its mild waves, clean sands, and moderate temperatures, so while it isn’t a high-octane place for surfers and other adrenaline junkies, it’s perfect for folks who just want to relax by the water for a bit.
Another nice thing about Cooper’s Beach is that it’s open year round.
Those who are headed to Long Island on a whim don’t have to worry about booking tickets or reserving spots.
If you’re wondering what to do this weekend at the last minute, beach bumming is a valid choice to make.
Grab a towel and head to Cooper’s Beach for a refreshing and rejuvenating experience by the ocean.
It’s a tourist attraction that doesn’t feel like a tourist attraction, so you should have plenty of fun.
Address: 268 Meadow Ln, Southampton, NY 11968, United States
19. Old Westbury Gardens
Transport yourself to another time with the Old Westbury Gardens.
They have an old-fashioned quaintness in everything from their arched gateway entrance to their sprawling, ivy-covered gazebos, making them one of the most charming and romantic things to do in New York.
They were even used in the movie The Great Gatsby!
Despite their name, however, the Old Westbury Gardens aren’t just gardens.
They’re an entire estate that includes the Westbury House and its surrounding lawns, ponds, flowers, fountains, and statues.
Visitors can take a leisurely walk around the landscapes or tour the inside of the mansion, which has been converted into a museum home.
It’s also routine for special events to be hosted at Westbury, so if you time your vacation right, you can enjoy festivals, tea parties, garden shows, dog days, and more.
You don’t have to be a 1920s enthusiast to enjoy the Old Westbury Gardens, though you’ll enjoy them all the more if you are.
They’re easily one of the top places to visit in Long Island for fans of history, beauty, class, and culture.
Address: 71 Old Westbury Rd, Old Westbury, NY 11568, United States
20. Oyster Bay Oyster Festival
Are you traveling to Long Island in the fall?
Can you eat your weight in oysters and other forms of seafood?
If so, you’ll delight in the annual Oyster Festival.
Held every year in October, the Oyster Festival is dedicated to its namesake.
You can find oyster-themed everything, including food, drink, games, rides, contests, and more.
There are even oyster eating and oyster shucking competitions with big prizes!
Other forms of entertainment range from pirate shows to ship displays, so even when you’re stuffed to the brim with oysters, you can still have fun with other events and activities.
If you’re wondering what to see in Long Island in the fall, consider seeing it all at the Oyster Festival.
How many times in your life will you get the chance to attend a festival like this one?
Address: 1 West End Ave, Oyster Bay, NY 11771, United States
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21. Sagamore Hill
Known as the “Summer White House,” Sagamore Hill was home to former President Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 – 1919.
It’s technically located outside of Long Island in Cove Neck, New York, but it’s only a short drive away, and it’s worth the detour.
Despite its nickname, Sagamore Hill is open all year, and it’s also free to wander the grounds.
You can check out the trails, gardens, and beaches near the house without having to pay a dime.
If you’d like to tour the house, that’ll require a small admission fee, but you’ll be treated to lots of interesting rooms filled with portraits, antique furniture, hunting trophies, and informative displays about American history.
If you’re looking for free things to do around Long Island, consider a trip to Sagamore Hill.
Not only is it easy on the wallet, but it’ll also be fun and educational for visitors of all ages.
Address: 20 Sagamore Hill Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771, United States
22. Nassau County Museum of Art
Though it’s located a few miles west of Long Island, the Nassau County Museum of Art is one of the top things to see in the area, so it’s worth the side trip.
It offers an entire bundle of places to explore that are all within walking distance of its central building.
That building, of course, is the museum, and it’s filled with interesting art exhibitions.
Past and present themes have included everything from “That ’80s Show” to “The Beauty of the Air: Impressionism Around the Globe.”
Outside of the museum, you’ll find gardens, sculpture collections, and a full-scale arboretum.
Nature trails link everything, so you can stroll along the paths to whatever interests you, enjoying beautiful sights along the way.
You might even get lucky and spot some local wildlife in the form of owls, rabbits, hawks, and deer.
Maybe you like indoor art galleries.
Maybe you prefer larger-than-life sculptures situated on the lawn like living art.
Either way, the Nassau County Museum of Art will have something to remember, so give it a stopover if you’ll be near Long Island anytime soon.
Address: One Museum Dr, Roslyn, NY 11576, United States
23. Huntington Village Farmer’s Market
While there’s nothing wrong with glamming it up while you’re in New York, there’s also nothing wrong with bringing things back down to earth with a trip to the Huntington Village Farmer’s Market.
Filled with homemade and handcrafted goods, the market offers the best of Long Island’s local vendors.
Food wise, this includes everything from artisanal meats and cheeses to freshly harvested produce and freshly caught fish.
Goods wise, you can shop for crafts, jewelry, oils, flowers, fashion, and more.
The Huntington Village Farmer’s Market isn’t one of those flashy tourist attractions that you’ll see advertised on TV.
However, it’s all the rave among indie bloggers and others “in the know.”
Do you want to live like a local while in Long Island?
Pick up an apple pie from the farmer’s market and chow down!
Address: NY-25A, Huntington, NY 11743, United States
24. Coe Hall and the Planting Fields
Many places to go in Long Island have a touch of extravagance, and Coe Hall is no exception.
Originally the estate of an oil heiress, it’s been converted into the centerpiece of the Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, which is itself a top 10 destination for nature lovers in New York.
Flowers of all types bloom around the estate.
They can be seen in lawns, gardens, greenhouses, and arboretums along with a variety of trees and shrubs.
They’re so gorgeous that they’re used for an annual Arbor Day celebration that hosts everything from planting ceremonies to tree-climbing activities and outdoor scavenger hunts for kids.
Another point of interest is the estate itself.
Built in a Tudor revival style, it’s filled with vintage furnishings and artwork, including priceless paintings and handcrafted chandeliers from artisans long past.
Coe Hall is one of the most beautiful places in Long Island, and the Planting Fields are right behind it.
If you’d like to spend a fun and fulfilling afternoon among the dahlias, book your ticket today.
Address: 1395 Planting Fields Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771, United States
25. Long Island Game Farm
Are you looking for fun things to do on Long Island with your kids?
If so, you’ve just found the perfect destination: the Long Island Game Farm.
Part wildlife center, part children’s zoo, the Long Island Game Farm is a wonderfully interactive place where kids can get up close and personal with various kinds of animals.
The “encounter areas” are filled with critters that are used to being pet, held, and even fed by tiny hands.
They can bottle feed a baby goat; they can offer snacks to lemurs and giraffes.
Pony rides are available for kids who aren’t afraid to hop in the saddle.
Other animal encounters can be arranged with wallabies, camels, and giant tortoises.
If you’re an animal lover or the parent of an animal lover, you and your kids should have a grand time at the Long Island Game Farm.
It’s hard not to fall in love with a doe-eyed baby deer taking fruit slices right out of your hand!
Address: 489 Chapman Blvd, Manorville, NY 11949, United States
26. Sands Point Preserve
Another great destination for castle lovers, Sands Point Preserve is the site of two mansions that could be mistaken for storybook fortresses.
They have towers and turrets that will make you feel like royalty as you tour their halls and gaze out upon their grounds.
Places to visit include a number of rooms, galleries, gardens, and observation points.
You can sit among the roses; you can go hiking along the nature trails; you can explore the portrait halls and artifact rooms filled with antiques.
Another popular activity is taking photos from the terrace of the nearby ocean.
The views are absolutely breathtaking!
You’ll have a lot of fun at the Sands Point Preserve.
From the opulence of its castles to the simple beauty of its gardens and beaches, there’s plenty to appreciate here.
Address: 127 Middle Neck Rd, Sands Point, NY 11050, United States
27. MTK Cruises
All trips must come to an end, so if you’re finishing up your vacation and wondering what to do to say goodbye to Long Island, consider booking a tour with MTK Cruises.
MTK sets sail every day from the Montauk coastline with several kinds of boats, including catamarans and pontoons.
The captains can take you on everything from romantic sunset cruises to exciting, all-afternoon tours with frequent stops for swimming or water trampolining.
You can also bring your own beer and blast your own playlists for a customized day of fun on the water.
Last but not least, if you’re saying farewell to Long Island, this can be a way to do it memorably.
Forget about squinting through a tiny plane window; throw out your arms to a gloriously golden horizon and shout your goodbyes to the entire bay!
MTK Cruises isn’t the only company that offers ocean tours in New York, but it’s one of the best, and it’s definitely worth a call.
End your trip in style with their help.
Address: 59 Star Island Rd, Montauk, NY 11954, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Long Island
These are just a few of the coolest things to do on Long Island.
Whether you’re looking for ritzy hotels, quirky roadside attractions, or all-you-can-eat pizza joints, New York is the place to be!