Summer Fun on Long Island

New York's Long Island offers a wealth of outdoor activities during the summer. From stunning beaches to world-class golf courses, picturesque neighborhoods, and kid-friendly places, these activities will create a memorable Long Island summer.

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    Bar Beach, Long Island, NY
    ••• Bar Beach, Long Island, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    From the powder-fine, white sands of Long Beach to the pounding surf of Montauk, Long Island has a variety of beautiful beaches on its north and south shores. It's no surprise that Stephen Leatherman, aka "Dr. Beach," has selected Long Island beaches, year after year, for his annual list of America's Top 10 Beaches. This is the perfect place to spend a Long Island summer.

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    A picture of a boy on his daddy's shoulders
    ••• Free outdoor concerts are always music to a family's ears. Photo © PeopleImages.com / Getty Images

    Throughout Long Island, music lovers can take in summer concerts and the best part is that many are free. Enjoy music outdoors at places such as Clark Botanic Garden, Glen Cove, and North Hempstead. Bring a blanket or chair, some snacks, and enjoy a lovely Long Island summer night listening to music ranging from classical to classic rock.

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    Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    ••• Long Island Gold Coast Mansions - Coe Hall, Planting Fields. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    Enjoy the sights and scents of lush greenery and colorful summer flowers blossoming at Long Island's public gardens. Whether on the grounds of Gold Coast mansions or set across acres of carefully planted arboretums, Long Island gardens will give you leisure time in the sun. One highlight is the outdoor sculpture garden at Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, NY.

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    spoon-food-tours-la-cuerva-del-mar-ocean-park-santurce-fish-taco.jpg
    ••• Fish taco at La Curerva del Mar restuarant in Puerto Rico. © Vanessa Query

    Whether it's a sunny day or a pleasantly warm evening, you can enjoy a meal at many restaurants that feature outdoor dining. Some even offer beautiful waterfront views. Favorite establishments are Mill Pond House and La Bussola Ristorante (both rated by Zagat) and Louie's Grill & Liquors.

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    Take a Walking Tour of Long Island's Neighborhoods

    Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    ••• Port Washington, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    From Oyster Bay, once home to President Teddy Roosevelt's "Summer White House," to Lloyd Neck where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie once rented an estate, the area's picturesque neighborhoods feature some great attractions to enjoy in the summertime. Suggestions include taking an Oyster Bay walking and driving tour or a walking tour of the Port Washington waterfront.

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    Play a Round at a Public Golf Course

    Bethpage State Park Golf Clubhouse
    ••• David Cannon / Getty Images

    With its gently rolling hills and sprawling, flat landscapes, Long Island is a great place to play golf. From the legendary Black Course at Bethpage State Park, which has hosted the U.S. Open several times, to numerous courses in Nassau and Suffolk, a game of golf is always a pleasant Long Island summer activity.

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    Have (or Attend) a Wedding on Long Island

    Long Island's wine country wedding
    ••• Google Images

    Long Island is a lovely place for a summertime wedding. Tie the knot at one of Long Island's wine country venues such as Laurel Lake Vineyards or Bedell Cellars. Other romantic options are the Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate and Old Westbury Gardens.

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    Visit a Museum on Long Island

    Long Island Aquarium
    ••• Courtesy of Long Island Aquarium

    There are plenty of places to enjoy the great outdoors on beautiful Long Island. Explore the Garvies Point Museum & Preserve or Grumman Memorial Park, a free outdoor attraction that features authentic aircraft. Kids will love both the indoor and outdoor fun at the Long Island Children's Museum and the Long Island Aquarium features outdoor exhibits featuring seals and other marine life.

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    Place a Bet at the Belmont Stakes

    141st Running of the Belmont Stakes
    ••• 141st Running of the Belmont Stakes. Al Bello/Getty Images

    The Belmont Stakes is a 1.5-mile thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, Nassau County, New York. This popular event always draws an enthusiastic crowd of more than 100,000. This legendary race is the third leg of horse racing's famous Triple Crown, which consists of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and, finally, the Belmont Stakes.

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    Take a Long Island Cruise

    Discovery Wetlands Cruises start at Stony Brook Harbor and take you through the scenic wetlands to see birds and marine life. You can also take a tour through the Peconic River on the Atlantis Explorer tour boat that leaves from the Long Island Aquarium.

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    Take Your Dog to an Off-Leash Park

    Dog Park
    ••• Dog park dog off leash. Westend61 / Getty Images

    It's not just humans who enjoy summer. Dogs appreciate a sunny day of summer fun, too. The area offers a few dozen dog parks where you and your furry friend can play during the Long Island summer.

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    Peppers at St. Louis Farmers Market
    ••• Chile Peppers at Farmers Market. WIN-Initiative/Getty Images

    Every Saturday from June through October, you can stroll through Port Washington's Town Dock and buy a variety of freshly picked fruits and vegetables, delicious baked goods, and more at the farmers market. It's the only completely organic market in all of New York state. The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

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    Go Bargain Shopping

    tanger-outlets.jpg
    ••• Photo © Tanger Outlets

    After loading up at the Port Washington Organic Farmers Market, head out to find some great deals at shopping malls and outlets in Nassau County and Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.