May is just around the corner and I am so here for the nice weather. Spring is the best time of year on Long Island. The weather is just right– not too hot and not too cold– and it’s the perfect time for adventures with friends and discovering new places.
I’m going to share my list of favorite places on Long Island so that those of you who are local (and those of you who are visiting) can discover them, too! Whether they’re hidden treasures or well-loved classics, they represent good times for me, and I hope they will for you, too. Also, they’re not listed in any particular order because I can’t really choose one over the others, but you get the gist.
1. Cold Spring Harbor State Park, Cold Spring Harbor:
My friends and I first went here for our senior cut day (I mean… the day we all happened to be sick at the same time) in high school, and it was the experience that first made me love hiking. The state park‘s hills may be steep and my legs always burn afterward, but the scenery and views of the water are breathtaking and totally worth it. I’ve been here a handful more times since then and it always delivers. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and catch up while still being active and enjoying nature.
2. Avalon Park & Preserve, Stony Brook:
Cold Spring Harbor is a little far from school, so I was desperate to find a hiking spot nearby. Avalon is maybe a ten-minute drive from school, which makes it super accessible and easy to visit quickly. The park has a nature walk with lots of beautiful foliage and even some animals (there are ducks and turtles everywhere), hills that are good for hiking, and a flower field and barn. One of my favorite attractions at the park has been an art installation (which I can’t remember the name of) that is essentially a mirrored orb with a slot for letters. Think of it as a smaller, more circular version of the Bean in Millenium Park, Chicago with an interactive component. There’s also plenty of things in the preserve that I haven’t explored yet, like the Sky Lab and yoga in the barn. I still have one year left at school, so I’m looking forward to many more Avalon adventures.
3. Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Oyster Bay:
I grew up going to the beach here, as did my mom and her family. The park also has a playground, lots of grass for sports, picnics and relaxing, a soccer field, tennis courts and more. My family even went kayaking there once. I love hanging out here because there are so many things to do, but it’s also fairly quiet and lowkey so you can just enjoy. We used to have picnics and hangouts there with my all my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, where we would just listen to music, play frisbee and volleyball, go fishing, and enjoy the sun. The park has a lot of sentimental value for me, so it will always hold a special place in my hear.
4. Huntington Village, Huntington:
My friends and I have been hanging out in Huntington Village for ages. There are so many great places and always something going on here. One of our favorites is the Book Revue, a huge bookstore that boasts a great collection of reading material, as well as a coffee shop. Sometimes we come here to browse and buy, other times we come just to sit with some coffee and get some things done. Our favorite place to eat in the village is Munday’s, a kind of old-timey diner that has the best milkshakes and the sweetest staff. They always get decked out for the holidays. Heckscher Park and the Heckscher Museum of Art are also right down the street. I’ve been there a million times for class trips, but it’s also nice to go and walk around on your own. There are some other galleries there, too, like BJ Spoke Gallery, which Torie, Lauren and I once stopped by to make the most of our metered parking. Torie and I have also gone thrifting (one of our favorite pastimes) in the area. Huntington Village has plenty of other places to eat, shop and hang out, too, so whatever you’re into, you’ll definitely be able to find something to do here.
5. Bayville Village, Bayville:
That is extremely self-explanatory, but I had to do it for consistency’s sake. Bayville is another place that I grew up going to and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. There’s a pretty quiet stretch of beach there where I like to just with my family and friends or go fishing with my dad. My favorite Greek restaurant, Souvlaki Place, (where I once saw Billy Joel!) is also there and I’ve dragged so many of my friends out there just to get gyros and eat them on the beach. I love how lowkey and chill the area is, as well as how beautiful the view at the beach is. There’s also an amusement park kind of thing there, but I’ve never been.
I hope this list gave you a look into my life, as well as some ideas of what to do here on Long Island! Let me know what you think of them and if you have some other faves I should try. Here’s to beautiful weather, Tasters!
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