- New York
A trip out of New York City to nearby Long Island is always a refreshing change.
I headed east to spend some time exploring this aptly named destination in New York State. At 118 miles long and only 20 miles wide, Long Island manages to squeeze in a plethora of attractions for the entire family, including relaxing beaches along over 1,000 miles of shoreline.
Fire Island and its Lighthouse
My first stop of the day was Fire Island, the majority of which is car-fee. There’s a quick ferry from Long Island that will drop you in the middle of pretty much untouched, and definitely unspoiled, wilderness. With few cars around, visiting Fire Island feels like you’ve stepped back in time to a completely different way of life – a much simpler one. Instead of motor vehicles crossing your pathway, you’ll find deer.
My goal this visit was to see the lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in the United States. I opted to drive along the Robert Moses State Parkway to the far western end of the Island and walk to reach the lighthouse. And then walk some more as I took the 182 steps up to the top of the tower. The effort it took to climb all of those steps was definitely worth it. The views were amazing, and I could see all of Fire Island and the surrounding area.
Boardwalk leading to Fire Island Lighthouse, New York
Wine Tasting at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard
My next stop was to take part in one of my favourite activities: wine tasting. Ideal weather conditions make Long Island a perfect place for vineyards and wineries to out-do themselves. Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard is one of over 50 wine producers in the region. My favourite part of the visit (apart from the tasting) was seeing the horses that have been rescued by the Baiting Hollow Farm Horse Rescue. There are even mini horses! And some of the delicious wines are named after the horses themselves, including Mirage, a “Bordeaux-Style” red blend, which was named after an Arabian rescued in 2007.
Strolling and Snacking Along Love Lane
A short drive further along the North-Fork brought me to tree-lined streets of downtown Mattituck. Love Lane in Mattituck turned out to be the perfect place to stroll and snack. I sampled the most amazing cheese at The Village Cheese Shop. It was a wonderful, creamy custard-like French variety called Cremeux de Augustins that, according to staff at the store, has a “spicy, arboreal quality.” I then ate my way through a fabulous pizza at Love Lane Kitchen, a salad that would feed an army at Ammirati’s, and topped it all off with something sugary from the Love Lane Sweet Shoppe. All in all, I left town fully satiated.
Cheese platter at The Village Cheese Shop in downtown Mattituck, New York
Shopping ‘til Dropping
After leaving charming Mattituck, I headed off to discover some of the numerous shopping options available, including one of the largest malls in New York State, Roosevelt Field Mall.
If I was asked for a top tip on where to go for a holiday, I’d say, go and discover Long Island and all it has to offer. The decision is really that simple. Enough reading – start planning your trip!