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Thread: Long Island for Visitors

  1. #1
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    Default Long Island for Visitors

    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
    Boffy

  2. #2

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    Would Hamptons qualify for Real America? What's your definition of real america anyways, Boffy?

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    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.

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    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    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.

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    JCMAN320 and Law & Order Do you have any specific recommendations of places that are accessible by public transport.

    Thanks for the feedback so far.
    Last edited by Boffy; August 8th, 2005 at 05:53 AM.

  6. #6

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    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.

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    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.

  10. #10

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    Long Island pioneered pre-fab suburbs and it's difficult to get around on public transportation there.

  11. #11
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Ridgewood
    Red Bank
    Montclair
    Middletown


    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).

  12. #12

    Default Try the Lower East side

    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.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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