15 Long Island Towns That Shouldn’t Be Confused With New Jersey Towns

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Just like there are other Long Islands in Maine, the Bahamas and elsewhere, names of communities on the LI we call home also appear in other states across the nation and worldwide.

Adding to the confusion, some of those suspiciously similar sounding community names can be found in our New York City suburban rival, New Jersey. Here are more than a dozen that are ripe to confuse tourists and GPS devices:

15. Floral Park, not Florham Parksnooki

Floral Park is a Nassau County village on the New York City line where the streets are named for flowers. Florham Park is where Snooki of Jersey Shore fame lives.

14. East Hampton, not Eastampton

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A typical beautiful sunset in East Hampton, NY. (Photo by Taber Andrew Bain)

The first one is two words and is an oceanfront playground for the rich and famous on the South Fork of LI. The second is one word, landlocked, just off the New Jersey Turnpike and 30 minutes south of Trenton. Blame the colonists who settled the region and named both after a town in England.

13. Farmingdale, not Farmingdale

Adventureland: It’s on LI, not in NJ.

Both LI and NJ have a Farmingdale. The difference? Ours has Farmingdale State College and Adventureland. Theirs has about 5,000 fewer residents and neither a college nor an amusement park. Both — you guessed it — got their name from being former agricultural hubs.

12. Medford, not Medford

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Downtown Medford, NJ.

Yes, another repeat. Both have similar-sized populations. Ours is in central Suffolk, NJ’s Medford has Medford Lakes, a network of 22 bodies of water.

11. Wading River, not Wading River

Wading River
Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant

Wading River, N.Y. is a sleepy community on the North Shore of Suffolk County with views of the defunct Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. Wading River, N.J. is an unincorporated area named for a river of the same name. One guess what people used to do in the rivers in both of these places.

10. Bellmore, not Belmar

Bellmore Village
Downtown Bellmore on LI

The first one is a hamlet on the South Shore of Nassau County known for its massive Friday night car show and being the place where the infamous Lufthansa heist was planned. The second is a tiny oceanfront vacation destination just south of Asbury Park.

9. Long Beach, not Long Beach

Long Beach after Sandy
An aerial view of the City of Long Beach in NY. (Photo by Kevin Kane)

Just like Long Beach, Calif., the founders of Long Beaches in NY and NJ really didn’t try very hard when it came to naming these places. Unsurprisingly, both are lengthy oceanfront barrier island resort communities.

8. Riverside, not Riverside

Riverside NJ
Downtown Riverside, NJ

Our Riverside, on the bank of the Peconic River, is one of the most economically distressed areas on LI. Their Riverside, overlooking the Delaware River, once drew national headlines for passing, then repealing a law fining employers for hiring undocumented immigrants.

7. Westhampton, not Westampton

West hampton dunes
West Hampton Dunes, however, spells it as two separate words.

Ours has an H and is at the base of the South Fork. Theirs doesn’t have an H and is a half hour north of Philadelphia. Both are surrounded by other communities with Hamptons-based names.

6. Woodbury, not Woodbury

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Woodbury Commons is upstate and neither on LI or in NJ.

It’s bad enough that New York has a Woodbury in Nassau County and upstate Orange County. New Jersey having another Woodbury is just too many Woodburies for the tri-state area.

5. Wantagh, not Wantage

The Jones Beach traffic circle on Ocean Parkway looking north. (Kevin Kane)

Wantagh is known as the gateway to Jones Beach, one of New York’s most popular state parks. Wantage is a tiny community in northern New Jersey near Wawayanda State Park.

4. Pine Valley, not Pine Valley

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Al Capone was said to have lived in this house in Pine Valley, NJ. Photo by Doug Orleans

Our Pine Valley, on the East End, is infamous for being a short-lived incorporated village that set the record for how quickly it dissolved. Theirs is near Cherry Hill in South Jersey.

3. Roosevelt, not Roosevelt

Long Island's Teddy Roosevelt
Long Island’s Teddy Roosevelt

Our Roosevelt was named for Theodore Roosevelt and is home to Public Enemy. Theirs was named for Franklin D. Roosevelt and counts an opera singer as among its most famous residents.

2. Southampton, not Southampton

Southampton’s windmill, built in 1712. (Long Island Press)

These two Southamptons are spelled the same. But the differences between these and the other Hamptons in NY and NJ are largely the same as No. 1 and 6 on this list, except for their naming origin.

1. Lindenhurst, not Lyndhurst

Lindenhurst was among the worst flooded areas on LI after Superstorm Sandy Photo by Jason DeCrow

Lindenhurst is on the South Shore of western Suffolk County with a quaint downtown and views of the Great South Bay. Lyndhurst is an industrial town in NJ home to numerous factories.