10 great all-day getaways on Long Island
From sunup to sundown, there are plenty of destinations on Long Island worth hitting up for an all-day getaway. Whether you're up for something active or in the mood for leisurely sightseeing, here are 10 ideas perfect for daytrippers.
1. RIDE TO FIRE ISLAND
Ocean Beach is a daytripper's paradise - beach, bars and easy summer fun with a relaxed tropical rock vibe (for a few bucks, the Seasons Bed & Breakfast offers daytrippers a place to shower and chill as the day turns to night). Ocean Beach is the party scene, but you can also tour the Sunken Forest or walk from Robert Moses Beach to Kismet.
Videos: Ocean Beach daytrip | Sunken Forest
Photos: Ocean Beach | Sunken Forest | X-Team on Fire Island
Guides: Ocean Beach | Fire Island
More: Fire Island ferry schedules
2. TRACE HISTORY IN OYSTER BAY
Start with a historic walking tour around town (get a headset at BayKery Café), then spend a few moments at Teddy Roosevelt's house at Sagamore Hill. From there, head to the actual bay at Theodore Roosevelt Park. Relax by the beach (very few waves, like most North Shore beaches), learn to sail or rent kayaks at The WaterFront Center. Good advice: pick a day when there's live music or an outdoor movie playing at night in the park.
Video: ExploreTV takes sailing lessons at The WaterFront Center
Photos: Day trip to Oyster Bay
Photos: Sagamore Hill
3. TOUR THE NORTH FORK
More than 35 vineyards dot the countryside from Riverhead to Greenport, most offering tastings of their wines for about $5. Even those who aren't wine lovers will enjoy visiting the area. Many vineyards have picnic areas, food and live music on weekends, plus an open invitation for kids and dogs to run freely throughout. Active sorts can try a winery bike tour with Adventure Cycles & Sports, while groups might opt for a guided tour with the North Fork Trolley Co.
Videos: ExploreTV bikes the wineries | Greenport daytrip
Guides: Long Island wineries | The North Fork
4. GET WET IN RIVERHEAD
It doesn't matter how old you are - water parks always rock. Splish Splash has water slides for the adventurous and scaredy-cats alike. When you're done, towel off and shoot over to Tanger Outlets or head over to Riverhead Raceway for demolition derbies and mini-school bus figure 8 races.
Videos: Get wet with us at Splish Splash
Photos: Riverhead Raceway
Events: Race schedule
5. SEE THE QUIETER SIDE OF THE HAMPTONS
Sure, there's the much-hyped beaches, restaurants and clubs for seeing and being seen - but there's another side to the Hamptons. Sag Harbor is the perfect place to experience it. From full theatrical productions to comedy shows and singer-songwriter nights at Bay Street Theatre to perusing the shelves at Canio's Books or Book Hampton.
Guides: Sag Harbor | The Hamptons
Photos: Bay Street Theatre | Summer in the Hamptons
Blog: Hangin' in the Hamptons
6. GET FISH 'N' SIPS ON NAUTICAL MILE
By day, you can reel in your own fish aboard one of Freeport's party or charter boats. Upon returning to the port, say hello to a progressive food and drink tour, since you'll have a choice of 20 restaurants and bars. For kids, there's mini-golf and a park. Come dessert, it's ice cream for all.
Guides: Nautical Mile in Freeport | Fishing boats on Long Island
Photos: Nautical Mile day trip | Nautical Mile Festival | X-Team on Nautical Mile
7. STROLL NORTHPORT
Quaint Main Street has shops, plus outdoor dining, local theater and art galleries. Take a walk along the harbor with its gorgeous scenery, then channel your inner Jack Kerouac at Gunther's Pub, try the takeout meatballs at Maroni's and wrap it up with Wolfies Custard. Kids will enjoy Cow Harbor Park and Crab Meadow Beach.
Photos: A daytrip to Northport
Guide: Northport restaurants
8. ESCAPE TO SHELTER ISLAND
Getting there by ferry is half the fun. The area is compact enough to explore by bike (you can rent one at Picozzi's). Book a tour with Shelter Island Kayak Tours, play mini golf at Whale's Tale or hike through the 2,039-acre Mashomack Preserve. After taking a dip in the calm waters off Crescent Beach, relax and enjoy the scenery, drink in hand, from the patio or rooftop deck at Sunset Beach Hotel.
Guides: Shelter Island bike tour
Photos: Sunset Beach | Shelter Island
9. HIT THE SAND IN LONG BEACH
First stop, natch, is the beach, where you can gather a group for a game of volleyball, take surf lessons with Surf2Live or people-watch as you stroll the boardwalk, where there are free summer concerts on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Nightlife venues such as The Saloon or Minnesota's host happy hours with outdoor seating. Or you can take a short drive to Island Park for an al fresco seafood feast at Jordan Lobster Farms followed by a cold drink at Paddy McGee's or Montego Bay.
Videos: Surf lessons in Long Beach
Photos: X-Team in Long Beach
Read: Summer Sundays in Island Park
10. TAKE MONTAUK BY SPORT
Yeah, yeah, we know all about the beauty of the beaches and the coolness of the bluffs at "The End." But there are also tons of great hiking trails at the state parks, horseback rides on the beach and a six-mile bike ride from the center of town to the lighthouse that can be conquered. Wrap up Saturday at swanky hotel Sole East's pool party, which is open to the public.
Videos: Hither Hills camping | Sand castles | Whale watching | Sole East
Guides: Montauk restaurants | Montauk hotels | Things to do in Montauk