Whether you’re looking for a new place to try for lunch or a daytripping destination, Long Island never ceases to surprise us with its abundant hidden gems. Here are nine:
This fun little corner eatery bills themselves as a “super hippy, goth, retro, metro café in the heart of Amityville.” The décor is extremely unique, with sugar skulls on display everywhere, and almost every inch of the wall covered with photos. Their quirky breakfast and lunch menu features silly names, such as the “Skinny B-tch,” “Not Yer Mom’s Grilled Cheese” and “The Kitchen Sink Salad.” 194 Park Ave., Amityville cornucopiasnoshery.com
David Weld Sanctuary
On the North Shore of Long Island, this sanctuary features a trail that invites hikers to climb a 50-foot bluff. The trail is overlooking the Long Island Sound, with more than 1,000 feet of beachfront. The beach is said to be the prettiest part of the hike, and the sunset view from there is to die for. Boney Lane, St. James.
Jordan Lobster Farms
Located in Island Park, Jordan Lobster Farms is a New England-inspired restaurant and fish market. It has an extremely Old World vibe and customers can pick their own lobster size. The restaurant has a large outdoor patio with casual seating and a huge variety of menu items to choose from. 1 Pettit Pl., Island Park. jordanlobsterfarms.com
Long Island Spirits
With roots dating back to the 1800s, this craft distillery bills itself as the first of its kind on Long Island. In the heart of the North Fork Win Trail, they make LiV Vodka, an artisan distilled potato vodka, Rough Rider, a cask-strength bourbon, dry gins named for local forests and other handmade spirits. That’s in addition to the food truck, tasting room fun and live bluegrass bands. 2182 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow. lispirits.com
This 6.3-mile tree-lined trail features breathtaking views along its route. Even though it’s located in the heart of Massapequa, it’s easy to drive right by the trial without realizing. Once inside, it gives a feeling of being in a forest somewhere far away, rather than in the middle of suburbia. The path is a part of the Greenbelt Trail that stretches from Merrick Road to Cold Spring Harbor. massapequapreserve.com
Point Lookout Waterfront
This tiny community at the eastern tip of Long Beach Island is easily one of the most scenic places on Long Island, but many drive right past it on their way to the more popular nearby City of Long Beach. Point Lookout has a few amazing bars overlooking Reynolds Channel that should be on every Long Islanders go-to list. One of these is Buoy Bar, which features a picturesque outdoor deck and delicious cuisine. Another worth noting is the Point Lookout Clam Bar, which features a full sushi bar and a fresh fish market. Fisherman’s Catch Restaurant is another scenic restaurant famous for their awesome cocktails. Bayside Dr., Point Lookout.
Sands Point Preserve
This gorgeous 216-acre park on the former Guggenheim Estate embodies the elegance of the Gold Coast. One of the mansions was featured in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous “The Great Gatsby.” Besides its historic mansions, there is also a pond, trails and a beach to explore. They offer a festival for every season, from the Haunted Castle Halloween Party to the Summer Solstice Celebration. Mansion tours are offered here every Saturday and Sunday, and weekly yoga classes are offered as well. 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. sandspointpreserveconservancy.org
Nestled between the North Fork and South Fork on the East End of Long Island, Shelter Island is a rural community full of country charm. It soaks up some of its local flavor from the nearby Hamptons and wine trail on either side, but with its own personality. Many outdoor activities can be enjoyed here, such as sailing, tennis and golf. The Mashomack Preserve offers miles of scenic hiking trails surrounded by forests and meadows. shelter-island.org
Woodside Orchards is a cidery with two locations in the North Fork of Long Island. Over 25 varieties of apples are grown here. It’s also the only apple orchard on LI that makes its own hard cider. They even make cider slushies and cider doughnuts. In addition, they sell homemade apple, cranberry, blueberry and peach pies. And yes, they offer apple picking, in season. 729 Main Rd., Aquebogue. woodsideorchards.com
–Compiled by Olivia Booth