Warm weather and sunshine make for a great excuse to take the day off from work to enjoy the summer. Long Island has a plethora of places to explore and fun
activities to do to make sure you fully maximize that summer bucket list before the weather turns again come fall.
Cold Spring Harbor State Park is home to about 40 acres of hilly terrain and offers a scenic view of the beautiful town of Cold Spring Harbor.
This park offers a chance to really hone in on your photography skills, as this area home to a variety of wildlife such as, great horned owls, songbirds and red-tailed hawks; or take the time to relax with the cool breeze under the canopy of the large oak trees. This park begins at the northern trailhead of the Nassau Suffolk Greenbelt Trail, it extends to Bethpage State Park and eventually goes to the south shore of Nassau County.
The park is open year round for hiking, jogging, walking and photography. Pets are permitted inside the park but must be properly leashed.
One of the North Fork’s oldest vineyards Paumanok Winery was named New York Winery of the Year in 2015 at the New York Wine and Food Classic.
Paumanok winery is located at 1047 Main Rd. in Aquebogue and is open seven days a week from April to through October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A variety of wines are available to sample by taste, glass or bottle. White, rosé, sparking and red wines are also available for purchase by the bottle inside the winery.
Accompanied with the wine, Paumanok offers a selection of local cheeses and charcuterie platters as well as fresh oysters on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. beginning Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day.
The winery permits large groups but requires registration in advance. The winery also offers a variety of tours ranging from simple self-guided tours all the way up to a VIP tour which includes a private wine tasting on the balcony overlooking the vineyard.
Make Waves at the Beach
Jones Beach, located on the South Shore of Long Island in Wantagh, is home to 6.5 miles of sand which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It’s more than just your average beach, complete with a gift shop, boardwalk, playgrounds for children, a historic exhibit, miniature golf, shuffleboard, basketball, bicycling, surfing and pool swimming. Grab a quick bite to eat at one of the six concession stands located throughout the park.
“The park’s oceanfront setting and natural environment have little development or advertising, creating a refreshing break from the hectic pace of life of Long Island and the metropolitan area,” states their website.
If you’re looking for live entertainment, Jones Beach State Park has that too. Concerts are played throughout the summer at the Northwell Health Theatre.
On June 14, Jones Beach will be having a evening star gazing event from 8 to 9:30 p.m. The event is family-friendly and costs $4 per person. Registration is required.
Starting May 25, the vehicle entrance fee is $10, however, fees vary by location and season. For more information, call 516-780-3295 or visit www.parks.ny.gov/parks/jonesbeach.
The Oyster Bay Brewing Company located at 36 Audrey Ave. in Oyster Bay has been making beers locally on Long Island since 2012. “Our brewery has been committed to producing unconventional ales and lagers that defy styles, categories and your imagination. We are dedicated to making beer that fits to everyone’s taste,” states their website.
The brewery offers unique beers such as a honey ale, which is made with local honey from Locust Valley. It’s open Monday to Thursday from 1 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturdays till midnight and Sundays till 8 p.m.
Scenic View of Long Island
Spend an afternoon learning about history and exploring the beautiful grounds at the Old Westbury Gardens located at 71 Old Westbury Rd.
“Old Westbury Gardens seeks to inspire appreciation of the early 20th century American country estate through faithful preservation and interpretation of its landscape, gardens, architecture, and collections,” states their website.
During the summer season, the garden showcases a colorful variety of flowers such as Japanese Wisteria, Bearded Iris, Tulips and more. Explore the gardens, take a tour of the Westbury House or grab a bite to eat the at Cafe in the Woods.
The garden is open Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer weekend hours begin on June 15 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. General admission is $12. For more information, call 516-333-0048 or visit www.oldwestburygardens.org.