Long Island

This real-life setting of The Great Gatsby is home to the rich & often famous. But you don’t need to be a Buchanan to enjoy this offshoot of The City That Never Sleeps.

With its rich Native American and Dutch history, you may think Long Island got its name in a unique and thoughtful way. Alas, Captain Obvious oversaw naming both the longest and largest island in the contiguous United States. While Long Island technically includes Brooklyn and Queens (please don’t tell them that), most references to “The Island” refer to Nassau and Suffolk counties.

If you picture Long Island surrounded by beaches, you’re imagining correctly. Its position on the Atlantic Ocean means that summer is when the water temperature is perfect for fun in the sun. If you have the means, the Hamptons is the choicest beach locale, boasting multi-million-dollar residences, wineries, and art galleries. The Hamptons is also home to one of the most famous Long Island points of interest, the Montauk Lighthouse. Admission is only $10, and you can pose with the best selfie backdrops around. If you weren’t adopted by Daddy Warbucks, then there are still plenty of sea-facing spots to place your beach towel (this is an island, after all!).

If your life motto is “walk softly and carry a big shucker,” then you belong in Oyster Bay. This is where Teddy Roosevelt shacked up during the summer in Sagamore Hill; it’s also home to October’s annual Oyster Festival.

Now…if only there were a beach where you could get away from all the people. There is! Head to Fire Island’s Kismet Beach for some sandy solitude and to free your mind and your body—there’s a nude beach about seven minutes away.

If your vacation time hits in the colder months, there are still plenty of fun things to do on Long Island in the winter. Tour the architecturally stunning homes of the du Ponts, Guggenheims, and Vanderbilts, many which are open to the public. If you need more ideas, check out our Long Island vacation packages, or create your own Long Island itinerary and plot your getaway.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Long Island

Where is Long Island iced tea from?

The Long Island iced tea can be traced back to the 1970s. A man named Robert Butt made the cocktail as an entry for a contest at the Oak Beach Inn. The contestants had to create a drink that featured Triple Sec, and the Long Island iced tea was born.