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While New York City may be a maze of congested roadways and skyscrapers, Long Island offers the perfect escape from city life where you will find all kinds of adventurous outdoor activities.

Stretching nearly 120 miles from New York Harbor to Montauk Point, it is the longest island in the contiguous United States. Because of its sheer size, both in terms of area and population, knowing where to base yourself in Long Island is key.

Ideally located in the heart of Long Island, the area around Patchogue offers accommodation that will allow you to easily visit all the island has to offer.

Outdoor Activities on Long Island

Take to the Trees in The Adventure Park at Long Island

Zipline Obstacle course

Channel your inner monkey at New York’s largest forest climbing park. The Adventure Park at Long Island offers 10 treetop trails with 15 zip lines and over 140 challenging bridges.

You will find courses with varying degrees of difficulty, making it possible to match one to your fitness level. Suitable for most of the family, the course is even available for magical nighttime bookings with colorful lights throughout the forest.

Photo credit: My Photo Journeys

Sunbathe on Beautiful Ponquogue Beach

You won’t find a better Long Island beach than Ponquogue Beach, which is located in the glamorous Hamptons. Enjoy a spacious beach with plenty of parking and great facilities.

You will find changing rooms, lifeguard towers, a snack shop and grill, and well kept public restrooms. Simply grab a day pass, rent a lounge chair, and come away with a bronze glow.

Explore the Nature and Wildlife of Connetquot River State Park Preserve

Offering miles of hiking trails during the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter, Connetquot River State Park Preserve is the perfect place to get back in tune with nature.

Big River Barn also offers horse riding tours through the park’s trails during all seasons. Along the trails, you may spot deer, opossums, ospreys, waterfowl, owls, and even bats as the day comes to an end.

Photo credit: Chris Greenhow

Skydive for the Best Aerial Views of Long Island

Skydive by Jon Roig

Head to the hamlet of Shirley on the south shore of Long Island for the ultimate adrenaline-pumping action.

Long Island Skydiving Center offers tandem skydiving for visitors wanting a literal bird’s-eye view of the stunning Atlantic coastline, Hampton beaches, and Fire Island.

Even if you’ve never jumped before, they will have you prepped and ready to jump in around an hour. Their United States Parachute Association-rated instructors will give you as wild or as calm of a skydive experience as you wish.

Photo credit: Jon Roig

Flyboard Hamptons

There may be a slight learning curve to flyboarding, but it is an experience you won’t soon forget. Fly through the air on a water jet-propelled hoverboard connected to a personal watercraft.

Enjoy thrilling 10-60 minute fly time packages for yourself or see one of the professional flyboard shows complete with 80-foot high stunts and LED-suit night shows.

If this sounds a bit out of your league, they also rent paddleboards and kayaks to enjoy the waters off Long Island.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.




  1. Long Island sounds great, nice to have access to nature not too far out from the city. Will plan for some extra days on our next trip through the city.

    • Absolutely, only so long I can spend in a city without getting a little stir crazy :D

  2. I’ve always wanted to spend time in the Hamptons!

    • Hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  3. Long Island also has fabulous wine country; if you head to the East End there’s just one great vineyard after another. Quite affordable too, and most places have free wine tastings.

    • Thanks for the tip Willer, keeping that in mind for our next trip!

  4. Be aware that in season you might have to pay to go to some of those beaches, especially if you’re just there visiting. Sunset from the beach is my favorite thing to do in Long Island though. Every day getting sandy!

    • Thanks for the heads up Adam. Watching the horizon from the beach is my favorite way to spend sunset too :)

  5. It’s super kitschy, but the Big Duck is definitely one of the best roadside attractions in the country. It’s on Route 24, outside of Flanders.

    • Haha kitschy is a good word for it lol

  6. Sounds like a great place to travel with kids :) We’ve been kind of worries about how bored ours will get in New York City, so Long Island might be a nice alternative.

    • Absolutely Avery, Long Island is a great natural playground if you’re traveling with kids, they definitely won’t be bored here. Have a fabulous trip!

  7. First time I’ve ever heard of flyboarding!! I looked up pictures, it looks FUN!

    • So much fun!

  8. You could write hundreds of things to do in Long Island, there are so many more, but these are good highlights. Good mix of adventure and relaxing.

    • Absolutely Marcel, definitely no end to the amount of cool things to do :)

  9. There are 100 + museums on Long Island too if you want some indoor things to do.

    • Thanks for the tip Shae, we haven’t really visited any museums, but maybe on a winter trip when it’s easier to tear ourselves away from the beach :D

  10. Love it! Planning to learn to surf here next summer.

    • Have a great trip – I tried surfing in Costa Rica a couple of years ago and spent more time falling off than on the board lol. Hopefully you’re better than I am :D

  11. If you’re visiting in winter Seal Walk in Oakdale is a great way to still spend time outdoors and get some fresh air.

    • Thanks for the tip Jonie!

  12. Jones Beach State Park is well worthwhile. You can spend the day playing in the ocean or building in the sand or having a picnic lunch as well. Of course you can even play golf there and they even have summer concerts in the evening depending on summer schedual ☺

    • Definitely Rhonda! The summer concerts sound fabulous, I’ll have to try and catch one :)

  13. You didn’t mention Jones Beach or Fire Island? The greatest beaches on the East Coast- with waves that match those on the West Coast?

    • An obvious oversight on my part – we usually try to go for lesser known spots, will have to make an addition to the post!

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