During the summer, the ultimate struggle is trying to find a balance between doing new, fun, adventurous things, and also wanting to save money. This can make vacations, and even day trips, very difficult. Luckily, there are many fun local things to do on the island, which eliminates the cost of travel. Here is a list of my top 10 favorite towns to visit during the summer.
10. Babylon Village.
Babylon village is full of many cute restaurants, including Babylon Bean, Swell Taco, and Del Fuego -- all small businesses and not too expensive. There are tons of cute little boutiques with clothing that you can't find anywhere else. It's also right off the water with many beaches, and perfect for fishing. Although the Babylon movie theater is out of business, there is one in West Babylon just a few minutes away. Overall, it's just a cute little town to stroll through and get some good food.
9. Huntington Village.
Very similar to Babylon village, except for a much wider variety of stores. Huntington is also right off the water with many beaches. The village is also home to the Paramount Theater, which plays many great inexpensive concerts. Artists such as Adam Lambert, All Time Low, and even Ed Sheeran have performed there.
8. Stony Brook.
Stony Brook is absolutely beautiful. There's Stony Brook harbor which is comprised of a small little beach, and once you go further you enter Avalon Nature Preserve -- a gorgeous hiking trail. Aside from the beach, the town itself is just very scenic.
7. Port Jefferson.
Another beautiful town. Port Jefferson also has many nice restaurants and boutiques to visit. The cross-island ferry will take you to Connecticut, which much more convenient than driving there. My personal favorite part of Port Jefferson is the candy store, Port Jefferson Frigate, which sells both ice cream and a wide variety of candy.
6. Long Beach.
Especially for those that live in Nassau, Long Beach is a very convenient location and absolutely beautiful. The boardwalk spans 2.2 miles, and often is filled with vendors selling unique items. Long Beach welcomes all non-residents, and often has cute little concerts going on. Aside from the boardwalk, the town itself also has many cute shops, and the famous Diner By the Sea milkshakes.
Of course, Riverhead is on the list because it is home to the one and only Splish Splash water park. Plus, the Tanger Outlets are less than five minutes away. Splish Splash surprisingly isn't too expensive -- only about $40 for a ticket which covers admission and access to all rides.
I honestly don't think Greenport gets enough credit. It's the eastern most town on the North Fork of Long Island. It has many beautiful beaches and cute little stores. Basically, Montauk without as many tourists, and rockier beaches.
3. Sag Harbor.
Another town that doesn't get as much credit. Sag Harbor is one of the more eastern towns in the Hamptons. When most people think of the Hamptons, they think of it being very overcrowded and congested, but Sag Harbor is much calmer and smaller. My favorite place to visit here is LT Burger for their famous milkshakes.
Of course, Montauk is one of the best places to visit during the summer. Some of the most upscale hotels, restaurants, and beaches, every Long Islander has to make a day trip here at one point or another.
1. Ocean Beach.
I'd say Fire Island, in general, is my favorite spot to be during the summer, but particularly the town of Ocean Beach is by far my favorite. It's not too expensive either -- a round trip ferry ticket is only $20. From Ocean Beach, you can take a water taxi, or walk, (the towns aren't too far apart) to any of the other towns on Fire Island. The beaches here are beautiful, and much calmer and less congested than other large beaches such as Jones Beach or Robert Moses. Definitely another place that all Long Islanders should visit at some point in their lives.