Long Island stretches eastward for 115 miles, from the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens to the bluffs of Montauk Point. Take the short train ride from Manhattan to the sands of Long Beach, which for many is where Long Island begins. From here, Long Island’s protective barrier islands continue all the way to Westhampton Island.
Halfway along the chain, visit Fire Island Lighthouse, which for generations of immigrants was their first glimpse of America. Many of those immigrants went on to create vast financial empires, and it was on Long Island’s northern shores where they built the mansions that would inspire F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. At the Cradle of Aviation Museum in nearby Hempstead, discover how Long Island launched generations of aviators into the wild blue yonder.
Nearby, continue your flight into the past at the American Airpower Museum. In the mid 1800s, well-to-do New Yorkers were drawn to the unspoiled beaches of Long Island’s East End. Today, the pioneer settlement of Southampton Village is a place where history and style have blended as smoothly as the spirits in a Long Island Iced Tea.
The past been also been beautifully preserved in nearby Sag Harbor, a historic whaling port immortalized in Moby Dick. Just a 30-minute drive east from Sag Harbor is Montauk, a place locals refer to as “The End”. America’s first president, George Washington, commissioned Montauk Lighthouse on Long Island’s easternmost point. Climb to the top to take in the sweeping views of this place that has played center stage in some of America’s greatest stories.