Everyone has their own idea of an ideal summer day on Long Island, whether it’s spending time in the sand at your favorite beach or enjoying the open waters en route to Fire Island. How many of these summer activities worthy of a to-do list help shape yours?
1. Walk your favorite beach promenade
A typical evening is spent picking a walk and taking a walk. If your favorite is Jones Beach, you can play on the playgrounds. If your evenings bring you to Long Beach, you bring your bike or go to a restaurant.
2. Take a photo in front of the Big Duck
On your way to the East End you should always stop for a photo in front of the Big Duck. It was originally built in 1931. (1012 NY-24, Flanders)
3. Try a wine flight on the North Fork
Your flight options are plentiful on North Fork. Whether you prefer reds or whites, you sip Long Island-produced wine at one of the many wineries such as Osprey’s Dominion (44075 Main Rd., Peconic), which has ample outdoor space, or at Rose Hill Vineyards (2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck).
4. Take the ferry to Fire Island
From family-friendly spots to lively bars and restaurants, discover what each Fire Island community has to offer.
5. Eat burgers in the car at All American
A burger, hot dog, shake, fries or a knish – eat one or more on the street at All American Hamburger Drive-In in Massapequa (4286 Merrick Rd.).
6. Cool off at a water park
Take the kids to cool off at a local water park for the afternoon and have fun too. Splish Splash in Calverton plans to revamp a super slide this season.
7. See a movie under the stars
Outdoor or drive-in movies are a summer tradition for those who enjoy watching an outdoor movie with the whole family.
8. Watch the Bethpage Air Show
The United States Navy Blue Angels are fan favorites at the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach. This year’s show will include appearances from the Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team, Mike Goulian and his Cirrus aerobatic plane, female aerobatic pilot Jessy Panzer, Long Island aerobatic star David Windmiller and the American Airpower Museum Warbirds. It takes place on May 28 and 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
9. Treat yourself to Italian ice cream
It’s an after-dinner specialty or a treat hanging by the pool. You usually drop by Ralph’s, Rita’s or whatever ice cream shop you prefer.
10. Strike a pose at a lavender farm
Snap a photo while lounging in the colorful chairs surrounded by lavender in full bloom at Lavender by the Bay in East Marion (7540 Main Rd.).
11. Go out to the ball game
Root, root, root for the hometown of Long Island Ducks at Fairfield Properties Ballpark, formerly Bethpage Ballpark (3 Court House Dr., Central Islip). Tickets for the 2022 season start at $15 per game.
12. Camp at the beaches of Wildwood or MTK
Become one with nature and spend a summer weekend camping in Wildwood at Wading River or on the beaches of Montauk.
13. Host your own Riverhead Shark Week
Experience the thrill of seeing sharks behind the glass at the Long Island Aquarium (431 E. Main St., Riverhead).
14. Surf Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk
Take a ride to this hotspot on the Montauk Peninsula, with both active waves and non-rocky sand (18 Ditch Plains Rd., Montauk).
15. Cheer on your favorite horse at Belmont
Racing takes place at the 90,000 seat Belmont Park track in Elmont where American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018) won the Triple Crown (2150 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont).
16. Climb Montauk Point Lighthouse
Visit this National Historic Landmark, built in 1796, and climb the 128 steps of the spiral staircase to the Guard Bridge 86 feet in the air to admire the view (2000 Montauk Hwy., Montauk).
17. Peek at a Gold Coast mansion
Gatsby-era splendor lives on in luxury properties open to the public, including Mill Neck Manor, a neo-Tudor mansion and former home of Robert and Lillian Dodge built in 1923, on 86 acres overlooking Long Island Sound or the castle from Oheka, Otto Hermann Kahn’s 109,000-square-foot, 127-room estate in Cold Spring Harbor (40 Frost Mill Rd., Mill Neck; 135 West Gate Dr., Huntington).
18. Take your pup to a dog park
Your furry friend roams freely at Eisenhower Park Dog Park in East Meadow (576 Salisbury Park Dr.), Eugene Nickerson Beach Park Dog Park in Lido Beach (880 Lido Blvd.) or Tully Dog Park in New Hyde Park where there’s artificial turf, fine gravel, a water station, and play equipment such as tunnels and jumping obstacles (211 Denton Ave.).
19. Go crabbing and clam fishing
Grab a long-handled net and the appropriate permit and go to a wharf that allows you to search for crabs. Northwest Harbor in East Hampton, for example, requires a permit.
20. Satisfy your lobster roll craving
End your summer with a bite of a delicious seasonal lobster roll from one of Long Island’s seafood shacks – everyone’s got a favorite.