scenic spots on long island
Plan your Valentine’s Day date al fresco at these scenic destinations. (Getty Images)

This year’s considerations for where to spend Valentine’s Day with your partner may be a bit different than in the past. It’s one of the biggest nights for dining out, but with restaurants limiting capacity, reservations may be harder to come by. 

So what other romantic options are there? Luckily on Long Island, love is in the air — fresh air, that is — at many of its picturesque parks, beaches, and other outdoor spaces. And as everyone knows, chilly weather and huddling up together a great date make.

Couples, bring blankets and maybe even a picnic basket, and head down to one of these 10 scenic Long Island destinations this Valentine’s Day.

Fire Island Lighthouse

To start, nothing beats the views from the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse, accessible from Robert Moses State Park Field 5. The walk itself over to the historic structure is a nice photo op. But that’s just the beginning. The spiral climb to the top of the lighthouse is a fun couples activity with a breathtaking reward. 

Village of Sea Cliff

Here’s a little-known corner of the Island. Sea Cliff’s western edge has several nooks and crannies where you and your date can take a stroll or snuggle up in front of great views. The corner of The Boulevard and Cliff Way is a good place to start; you’ll find a small balcony there with a bench overlooking the water.

Elevate yourself by walking up Bay Road, where the actual “cliff” of Sea Cliff is at its highest. You can also visit Memorial Park, head down to the beach, or walk into Sea Cliff’s Victorian district, where you’ll find different kinds of scenery in the charming houses — all good options.

The Walking Dunes

Exploring Montauk’s walking dunes is another scenic adventure to go on this Valentine’s Day. Along the shore of Hither Hills State Park, there are hiking trails among the sand dunes, which shift with the wind. The park also has lots of other nature-filled spots as well as places to sit and take it all in, such as picnic tables and firepits.

Planting Fields

There’s lots to see at Planting Fields estate in Oyster Bay, from sweeping lawns to greenhouses to historic buildings that you can tour. Either make a reservation for a tour or visit between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. if you just want to walk the grounds.

Long Beach Boardwalk

With plenty of benches facing the beach over the 4.3-mile stretch, the boardwalk in the City of Long Beach is a great place to sit back, relax, and watch the sun set over the crashing ocean waves. Plus, the popular spot is sure to be much less crowded in mid-February than in the warmer months, making it an ideal scene for you and your other half.

Bayard Cutting Arboretum 

This arboretum in Great River has plenty of nature trails and well-kept gardens that make for lovely scenery. After working up an appetite from walking through the “museum of trees,” as the Bayard website calls it, you and your sweetheart can stop by the cafe for a bite to eat.

Norman J. Levy Park & Preserve

Located right on the bay in Merrick, Norman J. Levy Park & Preserve is a quaint spot to bring your valentine to. The park’s gazebo and long fishing pier are both nice areas in which to unwind and spend quality time together.

Hempstead Lake 

You and your partner can cozy up by this large lake that stretches from Lakeview at its southwest end to Hempstead at its northeast end. There’s a trail that runs all along the edges of the lake, and Hempstead Lake State Park has a few additional ponds along the route.

Sunken Meadow State Park

Enjoy the expansive views of Long Island Sound from Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park. The walking trails and footbridges over the Nissequogue River are also picturesque places for couples to explore together and make the most of Valentine’s Day 2021.

Love Lane in Mattituck

You can quite literally take a stroll down Love Lane on this street in Mattituck, conveniently located in walking distance from the Mattituck Long Island Rail Road station. This quaint strip of shops and restaurants is sure to be decked out for Valentine’s Day and make the perfect atmosphere for your date.

Love Lane is home to The Village Cheese Shop and Cafe, Bauer’s Love Lane Shoppe antique store, Love Lane Sweet Shoppe, Mattituck Florists, Lombardi’s Love Lane Market, and Mint Clothing Boutiques, just to name a few. There’s also several places to eat in the area, and it’s close to the Mattituck inlet, another scenic spot by the waterfront.

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