14 Best Outdoor Activities in Long Island

Long Island is a great place for an outdoor adventure, no matter what time of year it is. The beautiful beaches and oceanside boardwalks, the snow-covered slopes and trails, and everything in between can all provide a fun escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Moreover, it is also filled with plenty of cultures, art, events, and epicurean delights.

One of the best aspects of Long Island is there’s always something new to experience and do outside. Here are 14 great outdoor activities in Long Island for you to enjoy as the days get longer and warmer:

Visit a Spa

While this may seem like a no-brainer, going to a spa is something you can enjoy outdoors!

At the gorgeous Bay Club in Huntington, you can go for a run or walk on their outdoor track as well as visit the full-service Michael Anthony Salon, play at one of the two outdoor tennis courts, and enjoy a relaxing spa treatment (and even stay the night).

Visit a Museum

The museums of Long Island provide something interesting for everyone. Whether you want to learn about history, art, or science, there is sure to be a museum that can pique your interest. Our favorite museums include the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City and the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. If you like vintage cars, make sure to visit the American Dream at Heritage Park in Calverton, where they have over 40 classic cars on display.

Take a Ride

Perhaps one of the best things to do outside on Long Island is get behind the wheel and take an adventure! There are plenty of great places to explore and discover on the island, whether you go road-tripping or stop along the way. We recommend starting at Nassau County’s North Hempstead Beach Park, which is beautiful and historical (the lighthouse dates back to 1867!).

After taking in the views of Manhasset Bay, make sure to cross over to Port Washington for some shopping and eating at Northern Boulevard before checking out Sands Point Preserve. Then, take a break from driving and enjoy a picnic with a view!  

Enjoy an Outdoor Concert

Every summer, Long Island puts on fantastic outdoor concerts that bring together many different genres of music. The Nikon at Jones Beach Theater hosts all kinds of great bands we’ve seen everyone from Jimmy Buffet to The Goo Goo Dolls. My personal favorite is the Bayville Outdoor Concert Series, which takes place at Pavilion Park in Bayville and features many great local bands and some friends from New Jersey!

Admire Art

Long Island is home to countless galleries that show off all kinds of art, from traditional paintings and photographs to contemporary multimedia works. Some of our favorites include the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art on the campus of SUNY New Paltz, and Storm King Art Center up in Mountainville. If you’re looking for something a little different, visit one (or all!) of Long Island’s best-kept secrets: The Nevermore Film Festival in East Quogue and the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead.

Go to a Festival

There’s no better way to celebrate life and enjoy nature than at one of Long Island’s many annual festivals. Whether you like wine, music, or cars, food, art, or antiques, there is sure to be a festival perfect for you somewhere on the island. The National Ronkonkoma Train Show is our favorite train show that takes place every year in early April and features model trains from around the world and local businesses and organizations. For those looking for something more family-friendly, check out this year’s Funderdome Film Festival, which will take place at Dix Hills Performing Arts Center.

Run a 5K

Whether you’re training for a larger race or just looking to spend some time outside, there are many great places for runners on Long Island. The trails at Heckscher State Park in East Islip are perfect for trail running and make the perfect backdrop for pictures! If you want to run next to the water, check out the Port Jefferson Harbor 5K, which takes place every December along the scenic waters of the harbor.

Go Fishing

Fishing is one of the best ways to relax, take in nature, and enjoy being outdoors! We recommend bringing along your fishing rod or renting one from one of the many bait & tackle shops in Suffolk County (we love Quality Bait & Tackle Shop in Port Jefferson ). You can also drop a line off the dock at your local yacht club or marina; make sure to check with them first!

Swim in the Ocean

There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than by going for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean! The best beaches on Long Island are Jones Beach State Park and Robert Moses State Park, which both have lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Don’t forget to bring along a fishing rod – you never know what you might catch!

Go Kayaking

Another great way to explore Long Island is by taking a kayak out on one of its many bodies of water. Whether you go canoeing or kayaking depends greatly on how experienced you are as well as the kind of water you’re paddling on. If you’re looking for light exercise and fun, try kayaking along Hempstead Bay or the Great South Bay. For those that want some more excitement, check out Long Island’s many rivers – they might not have waves, but there is a great chance you’ll see a bald eagle!

Visit an Ice Cream Parlor

There’s nothing better than a hot day and a good ice cream cone – whether it be a homemade root beer float from Davey’s Ice Cream in Coram or Horsefeathers Homemade Ice Cream in Patchogue! You really can’t go wrong with any of Long Island’s ice cream shops- one of our favorites is Carvel in Levittown, which has great ice cream cakes.

Visit a Brewery

Every year dozens of breweries open up on Long Island, meaning there are now more than ever before! While you don’t have to be 21+ to visit them, most breweries require that you take a tour to sample their beers. Some of our favorite breweries include Greenport Harbor Brewing Company in Greenport, Coppersea Distilling in Riverhead, Suffolk County Cider in Holbrook, and New York Beer Project in Farmingdale.

Go Geocaching

If outdoor activity isn’t your thing, but you still want to explore hidden gems around Long Island, try geocaching! It’s the world’s largest treasure hunt, and there are hundreds of hidden geocaches on Long Island. For a list of all the caches, visit Geocaching.com.

Go Hiking

While you don’t have to be a rock-climber to go hiking, it certainly helps! The best trails for hiking typically have some steep hills, which can make for an especially hard workout when your legs start to burn (which means they’ll also feel extra refreshed). Some popular trails include the Lulu Trail (aka Compass Trail) in Nissequogue and the 3rd Avenue at Heckscher State Park.

Long Island is one place where it’s tough to pick a favorite outdoor activity simply because there are so many cool things to do outside! So whether you’re looking for a long hike, a quick walk, or just something fun to do, Long Island is home to some of the best outdoor activities around.

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