View Full Version : Long Island for Visitors

August 6th, 2005, 04:15 AM
I visted New York from the UK back in march with my family and we had such a good time that we are comming back in three weeks. We saw most of the main sites the last time we visited and as part of the visit this time we would like to see some real america. From what I can tell Long Island seems like a good place to go. So here is my question:

What part of long island is best to go to if I want to see some real america? or Where else is there to go near New York that fits what I am after?

Thanks for reading

August 6th, 2005, 11:21 AM
Would Hamptons qualify for Real America? What's your definition of real america anyways, Boffy?

August 6th, 2005, 12:42 PM
My defintion of real america would be the traditional main street centered town. The likes of stuckyville on ed. I realise that such a perfect town does not exist but something similar.

August 6th, 2005, 02:44 PM
New Jersey has many towns like that. That would be a good place to look at. Most of them are fairly close to the city and still retain a small town feel.

August 7th, 2005, 06:51 AM
JCMAN320 and Law & Order Do you have any specific recommendations of places that are accessible by public transport.

Thanks for the feedback so far.

August 7th, 2005, 11:05 PM
Hi Boffy,

I've lived on Long Island all my life and can assure you that there are plenty of small traditional american towns to be found here. The problem is that the best examples are fairly far out east on the island and a pretty good trip from manhattan. Here's a long island railroad map http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/lirr/html/lirrmap.htm. Towns like Greenport and Southhold on the north fork and Sag Harbor and Southhampton on the south fork for example. When you drive to these places you pass beautiful farms, vinyards, farm stands and many small towns. If you took the train out, I'm not sure what you'd see since I've never done it as I have a car. There's a nice town a little farther west, Roslyn, which has a nice historic village with a mainstreet, old homes around a small lake and a terrific french bakery called Diane's. There's not that much to do there, but in the area are several gilded age mansions turned museums that are great. A couple of the best are Old Westbury Gardens [http://www.oldwestburygardens.org/] and Planting Fields Arboretum [http://www.plantingfields.org/]. These places were modeled after english country estates, so may not be anything different to you. What might be of more interest is the Old Bethpage Restoration which is one of those living museums with the people wearing period dress to replicate life in the 19th century [http://www.oldbethpage.org/]. I haven't been there since I was a kid, so can't tell you much about it. Putting a couple of these things together may make a worthwhile day trip from the city.

Now that I think of it, a really nice traditional town can be found north of manhattan and you can easily take the metro north train there. Two towns actually; Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown. These towns are right on the hudson and have plenty to do. Washington Irving, the author of the book Sleepy Hollow lived there and you can tour his home called Sunnyside along with the neighboring mansion Lyndhurst. There is the Rockefeller estate Kykuit, an old dutch church with a cool old cemetery and a church with stained glass made by Chagall. You can find out more about these sites here by selecting from the drop down box [http://www.hudsonvalley.org/web/sunn-main.html].

Of course I'm sure New Jersey and Connecticut have plenty to offer, but I'm not familiar enough to make suggestions. I'll see if I can think of anything else. Let me know if you have any questions.

August 7th, 2005, 11:09 PM
Sorry, I put in brackets that caused some of the links not to work. Here they are again.

August 8th, 2005, 01:42 AM
In New Jersey we have Bayonne which is on the opposite side of the river and very much has a very small town feel. I had a transfer student from Lithuania with me when we there and he said that it feels like your small American town that you see in the movies. Cranford is a great small town just south of Elizabeth, others are Kenilworth, Secaucus is another great town when you get into its heart and away from it office park. It is just at the other end of the Lincoln Tunnel approach when you come out of the Lincoln Tunnel. Tuckerton 1hr 30 min drive on the Parkway just north of Atlantic City is also great. It has a tiny seaport fishing village that they reivived that is straight out of the early 20th century that make old fashioned boats, fishing, carpenters, etc...http://www.tuckertonseaport.org/
Perth Amboy is also nice. It is a small shore town only about half hour down the Turnpike that haevily supports its voulnteer fire department. If you need more let me know.

August 8th, 2005, 02:26 AM
Are you looking for some quaint tourist town (along the lines of those recommended) or actual real America? Do realise that most Americans live in sprawling wastelands of subdivisions and parking lots. Indeed, Long Island would be an excellent place to experience such phenomena.

August 8th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Long Island pioneered pre-fab suburbs and it's difficult to get around on public transportation there.

August 8th, 2005, 03:57 PM
Red Bank

All nice smaller places, within about 1 hour of the city (non rush hour)

There are also lots of historical places as well. The only problem with Long Island is that the city has sort of "sperad" out there for quite a ways, so you have to do some driving to get outo to North Fork and some of the vinyards (well worth it, but still a long way out).

September 14th, 2005, 06:53 AM
Try the lower east side, at least historically this where poor, hard working immigrants with nothing but a dream and determination made it, and didnt make it.

Its where housing reform was born, and many other historics events.

September 14th, 2005, 09:20 AM
Do realise that most Americans live in sprawling wastelands of subdivisions and parking lots.
And if you've seen one of these you've seen them all.
A tour of same would make for a very depressing vacation.
I say go for the historic / quaint towns that have been listed.
Sag Harbor in particular makes for a terrific day trip out of NYC.

September 14th, 2005, 10:23 AM
Huntington is reasonably close to Manhattan and has a thriving downtown / Main Street district with some of the best restaurants on Long Island - couple that with a ride straight through Levittown on the way to Robert Moses State Park or Jones Beach, and you have an idea of American suburban life.

September 14th, 2005, 10:38 AM
I have actually been exploring Long Island recently and would advise you to take a ride up Northern Blvd (Route 25A).

This road starts in Long Island City Queens and goes about 100 miles east.

You can visit the Gold Coast of LI's North Shore, more or less anything north of 25A.

Towns like Great Neck, Manhasset, Port Washington, Sea Cliff, Locust Valley, Oyster Bay, Huntington, and Northport all have very nice "Main Street" areas with nice shops and good places to eat.

If you keep going east, proably upwards of 2 hrs, you'll run into the "North Fork." This is NY's Napa region with over 30 wineries and tasting rooms. It's like the country...vineyards, farms, seaports, etc. It's a wonderful trip.

Once you're there, head south and check out the Hamptons...Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Southhampton, Montauk...all gorgeous towns also with very nice "Main Street" areas. Great beaches as well.

September 15th, 2005, 06:44 AM
The OC NY, or Orange County, NY, where I grew up has lots of small, quaint towns. It is a nice area up there. Anywhere on the South Shore of Long Island, particularly Nassau County, in my honest opinion, is just an extension of Queens. The North Shore is more "country-ish" with the old, beautiful houses. The Hamptons are beautiful too.

September 22nd, 2005, 07:47 PM
I was out in Tenafly, New Jersey over the weekend for a television shoot and was amazed how beautiful it was and how nicely preserved their town center was. It was a breath of fresh air to see a town that had not been strip malled and had actually kept and improved (new train station) their town main street area.

What also amazed me was how quick it was to get out there via car (I was with a crew). Once over the George Washington Bridge, Tenafly was one exit off of the Palisades Parkway yet felt far away from NYC.

While I didn't take mass transit, the town does have a bus station which I assume can be gotten to via a bus out of Port Authority. Can anyone from NJ help me out here?

Link to MAP of Tenafly in relation to Manhattan -- it is right near Englewood:

Google Map of Tenafly, NJ (http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=Tenafly,+NJ)