Visiting Long Island
Visiting Long Island: Book a DCAcar
Long Island is one of those under-the-radar places, a place most people don’t think of as a vacation destination, like Hawaii, Florida, or Vail, Colorado. Most people associate Long Island with the New York metropolitan area. But it’s not. Essentially, Long Island, which is 118 miles long and 20 miles wide, is a suburban gem complete with sweeping sandy beaches, waves big enough to surf, wineries, quaint cottages, ritzy hotels, haute couture shopping and elegant dining. Long Island is where wealthy New Yorkers go to get away from it all.
John F. Kennedy International Airport is located twenty-six miles from Long Island, which makes it convenient for most travelers. Newark Liberty International Airport, located in New Jersey, sits west of New York City and Long Island. MacArthur Airport, Long Island’s regional airport at Islip, is convenient but requires a commuter flight from one of the major airports. No matter which airport you choose, reserving a DCAcar and driver ahead of time is suggested. The glut of controlled-access highways in the area is likely to confuse travelers who don’t know their way around. It’s easy to become hopelessly lost. And whatever you do, do not use any route that traverses Manhattan. Manhattan’s traffic congestion is worse than you could ever imagine.
Where To Stay
Hyatt Regency Long Island has everything you could ever ask for: indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fitness center and an eighteen-hole golf course. The Quogue Club at Hallock House, located in Quogue, NY, has only ten rooms, but each is uniquely opulent. There are also two private cottages for travelers desiring the ultimate in luxurious privacy. For an ocean view, along with a taste of history, you can stay at the Sag Harbor Inn, located just off Main Street in the village of Sag Harbor, which offers wineries, excellent shopping, beaches, theaters, and museums. Sag Harbor sits in the center of the renowned Hamptons. The Stirling House Bed and Breakfast, in Greenport, provides a home sweet home alternative, with three bedrooms, water views and access to Long Island’s best wineries.
Out And About
The Beaches at the Hamptons are not to be missed. Since all the Hamptons’ beaches are excellent, the best way to choose one is based on the type of ambiance you’re looking for. Young, hip travelers will probably prefer Flying Point Beach, located near Watermill. Millennials seeking an ultra-cool beach experience should head for Gibson Beach, located near Sagaponack.
Indian Wells Beach and Mecox Beach are best suited for families. Indian Wells Beach is located in Amagansett, while Mecox Beach is located in Bridgehampton. Both are kid-friendly, providing many activities for the release of youthful energy.
The best gay beach on Long Island is Two Mile Hollow, located in East Hampton. And those looking for a run of the mill beach that anyone can enjoy should head for Main Beach, in East Hampton. Going to Main Beach is like going to a beach in L.A. You’ll find a vast array of ages and ethnicities relaxing and having fun.
Surfers should head for Bunger Surf Shop for rentals and information on the best places to find the biggest waves. Bunger’s offers lessons for those who can’t but want to learn.
Old Westbury Gardens opened to the public in 1959 and has been popular ever since. Located on the grounds of the John Phipps mansion, the gardens contain thousands of roses, daffodils, poppies, and irises. The visual impact of the kaleidoscope of colors is exceeded only by the nose-tingling scents provided by Mother Nature.
The Cradle of Aviation is a museum located in Garden City. Home to seventy-five aircraft and spacecraft, including a hot-air balloon and an Apollo Lunar Module, the museum contains eight primary galleries arranged in chronological order. You’re actually allowed to sit in the cockpits of six of the aircraft on exhibit.
Movie buffs and those fascinated by the supernatural definitely need to visit the Amityville Horror House, located in Amityville. This is the house where it all began in 1976 when supernatural forces drove the Lutz family screaming from the house.
Wine aficionados won’t want to miss the wineries on Suffolk County’s North Fork, home to dozens of vintners and breweries. The wineries offer live entertainment, cabaret nights and of course wine tasting. In addition, North Fork boasts outstanding seafood restaurants and antique shops.
Sand Bar, located in Cold Spring Harbor, specializes in seafood. If seafood isn’t your favorite, Sand Bar offers a delightful Berkshire pork chop and, naturally, the best Long Island clam chowder in existence. If you’re in the mood for something a little more ordinary, but still want excellent food, head for South Shore Dive, located in West Sayville, where you might want to order the duck hot dog dressed with duck confit chili. And the Dive makes its own tater tots. They melt in your mouth. You can satisfy your thirst with a bubbly cocktail called Sarah Jessica Parker.
Everyone enjoys a good breakfast. The Flour Shoppe Café, in the Rockville Center, doesn’t do good breakfasts. They only do superlative, incomparable breakfasts. The baked goods are crisp, light and fluffy. Try the fried breakfast poutine or the Florentine tartine with Gruyere cheese. You’ll never eat at IHOP again. Mediterranean food is more your style? Kyma, located in Roslyn, serves up eggplant and zucchini chips you can nibble on while your fish is prepared. Be sure to save room for dessert: Greek yogurt with honey, blackberries, and walnuts.
Effen Gruven’s motto is “peace, love, and really good alcohol.” You can’t go wrong with Hippie Pork Pie pizza and one of Effen Gruven’s twenty-four brews on tap, including Lagunitas and Southern Tier. Over in Hampton Bays is a place called Boardy Barn, where a cool and very laid-back ambience pervades. Boardy Barn is famous for great beer and loud music, and sometimes the place gets a bit rowdy. But the fun rarely goes too far because the house rule states that once you’re asked to leave, you can’t come back. La Madonna, in Huntington, offers green apple martinis and live music during the evening. The place fills up rapidly, so unless you want to wait, get there a bit early. Then settle in for an evening of merriment.
Long Island’s combination of chic, bohemian and casual elements make it perfect for short or long stays. You can’t go wrong. A word of warning, though, even Long Island has some areas you don’t want to be in after dark. Your DCAcar driver can clue in on areas to avoid. That way all you have to do is worry about having too much fun.
About The Author — Davit Zakaryan is the Founder of DCAcar, a Limousine service covering all local airports in Washington DC- DCA, IAD and BWI.