61 Reasons Long Island Is Actually The Best Thing About New York

Spoiler: it’s not our iced tea.

Obviously New York is the #1 greatest state in the union.

Duh.

But DID YOU KNOW that the very best thing about it is this lovable fish-shaped island?

1. First of all, it’s just a quick drive or train ride away from the city, which is convenient if you’re looking for a little more hustle and bustle.

Flickr: joeshlabotnik / Creative Commons

2. But on the day-to-day? It’s ABSURDLY beautiful.

3. Like have you seen these beaches?

4. It’s an island, so they are LITERALLY EVERYWHERE. You can make a big day out of it at Jones, Hither Hills, or Robert Moses.

(Say hi to the Pencil while you’re out there!)

5. Or you can keep it low key at any of the MILLIONS* of the smaller town beaches.

*not millions

6. You can pack a lunch, grab a canoe, and float down the Nissequogue River.

7. If you like hiking, let me direct you to our parks.

8. The historic Caumsett State Park & Preserve in Lloyd Harbor has miles of trails, and HORSES.

9. The Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay has 409 dreamy acres of lush lawns, gardens, greenhouses, and historic estates.

10. And don’t even get me started on the farms.

11. The drive out east is ~ sublime ~

12. In the fall, there’s pumpkin picking and corn mazes and hay rides.

13. When it’s warmer, you can pick some berries.

14. If you can’t make it out east, no worries: the summer farmers’ markets bring all the goods to you.

15. Then there are the many, MANY vineyards, which make for a great day of wine tasting.

16. And while you’re out there, might as well hit up the Hamptons — gape at the summer homes, visit the Hook Windmill.

17. Bring some cash though, because Bridgehampton’s classic luncheonette Candy Kitchen still doesn’t take credit cards.

18. And don’t forget about Montauk and its legendary lighthouse!

(Even filmmakers know how magical it is.)

Focus Features / Via outerspacetreehouses.tumblr.com

19. If you’d rather look at the stars, there’s the Custer Observatory in Southold.

20. But what we really need to do is take a minute and appreciate the food. If you like seafood, you’re in luck.

You’ve got places like Artie’s, Fishbar, and The Jolly Fisherman & Steakhouse.

21. Doubly so if you like your seafood with a view.

<3 Taco Tuesdays at The Whale’s Tale in East Northport <3

22. Bigelow’s Fried Clams in Rockville Center has been around forever, and for good reason.

(Because it’s delicious.)

23. You can’t do better than Tiger Lily Cafe in Port Jeff when it comes to vegetarian dishes.

(To be honest, their non-veg options are on point, too.)

24. There is so much to-die-for Italian food that you never have to drop a lot of cash to get it.

Like at La Piazza!

25. Sorrento’s in Long Beach has the very best brick-oven pizza, and they give you pignoli cookies while you wait.

26. If it’s sushi you’re looking for, there’s Nagahama in Long Beach.

27. And it’s hard to tell which is better at Don Ricardo’s in Babylon: the food or the ambiance.

CAN’T CHOOSE; BOTH AMAZING.

28. But wherever you — between the months of May and September — you are never more than a five minute drive from a Ralph’s Italian Ices.

29. Ice cream more your thing? If it’s Wednesday, congratulations, because Wednesday is SUNDAE at Carvel.

30. (And speaking of food: the bagels. THE BAGELS.)

31. But if it’s too late for any of that, there’s always a diner. Any diner. At any time.

32. There are so many delightful (and delightfully strange) museums, like the Stony Brook Carriage Museum…

Flickr: sgotterbarn / Creative Commons

33. Or the Nassau County Museum of Art…

34. Or the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum!

35. Speaking of Cold Spring Harbor: uhhhh, have you seen its library?

Literally the most beautiful library that has ever existed.

36. And speaking of BOOKS, the Book Revue in Huntington is Long Island’s largest independent bookstore. Also, it’s the best.

And they always have the greatest authors coming through for readings and signings.

37. And did you know that the St. James General Store is the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States?

Been quaint and adorable since 1857.

38. But if you’re looking for more modern shopping, Roosevelt Field Mall is the ultimate destination.

“THANKS FOR DROPPING ME OFF, MOM, SEE YOU IN SEVEN HOURS.”

39. Or the more upscale Americana shops in Manhasset.

Even if it’s just window-shopping.

40. And of course there are the oddities at the Bellmore Flea Market.

41. The Long Island Railroad is always an adventure.

(Largely because it allows booze on the train.)

42. The island’s port towns and villages are picturesque.

And they’re filled with long-standing cafes and independent shops.

43. The Port Jefferson Frigate is heavenly.

44. And over on the South Shore, downtown Sayville is the definition of charming.

45. If you grew up on Long Island, you are well aware of all of its folklore and creepiest offerings, like the Kings Park Psych Center.

46. You’ve tried to find Mary’s Grave.

47. And you’ve probably swum in Lake Ronkonkoma, despite the fact that it’s A) haunted and B) bottomless.

48. If you’re looking for a day of exhausting fun, there’s Splish Splash in Calverton, which Travel Channel ranked third best water park in the whole country.

(Just try to get over the fear of getting stuck in one of the slides.)

49. And then there’s never-changing (why fix it if it’s PERFECT?) amusement park, Adventureland.

50. And Long Islanders know how to drink: Tap & Barrel in Hauppauge has the craft beer game on lock.

51. And ~ haters be damned ~ the Boardy Barn is practically a rite of passage.

52. Yes, concerts under the stars at Jones Beach can feel otherworldly.

53. But if it’s not in your budget, there are so many FREE outdoor summer concerts at parks in Glen Cove, Deer Park, Babylon, Nesconset, Huntington, and more.

54. And if you haven’t been to the Long Island Fair yet, you are doing it wrong.

The tri-county fair has been running for 170 years!

55. Long Island gave us Walt Whitman…

You can visit his birthplace in Huntington!

56. And Mariah Carey…

Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

Also born in Huntington!

57. And BILLY JOEL!

Our piano man.

58. It’s also the inspiration behind The Great Gatsby.

Warner Bros. / Via hookedonhouses.net

F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in Great Neck during the 1920s, and based the West Egg and East Egg on his experiences in what was then known as Long Island’s Gold Coast.

59. And Stony Brook University has been the site of a number of truly important scientific discoveries.

In 2007, three of the SUNY professors shared a Nobel Prize for their work on climate change!

60. It was the best place to grow up, and there’s a reason people from Long Island tend to return.

61. Where else would you want to be?

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