Exactly what and where is Long Island? For people not from the area, it may sometimes take some explanation. Brooklyn and Queens are actually part of Long Island, which is made up of four counties: Nassau, Suffolk, King and Queens. But most of the time, when people say “Long Island,” they just mean Nassau and Suffolk. It’s a highly accessible island famous for beaches, surf, locally owned pizza places and second-to-none bagel shops.
But what are the must-see sights in Long Island? Well, we’ve collected a few of the top spots for your next trip to Nassau and Suffolk counties. Gather some friends, book a charter bus, and take a few days to enjoy all that Long Island has to offer. When you’re done, enjoy a hero (not a grinder or a hoagie — only out-of-towners call it that) at one of the local delis.
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Sagamore Hill was the home of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President. The land was purchased by Roosevelt in 1880, and he hired an architectural firm to design a Queen Anne-style home for the grounds. After its construction, Roosevelt decided to name the house “Sagamore Hill,” after the Algonquin word for “chieftain.” The grounds were added to the U.S. list of National Historic Sites in 1962, and today include the Theodore Roosevelt Museum. Almost all the original furnishings have survived since Roosevelt’s day. Sagamore Hill would be the perfect fit for a small group outing via shuttle van or shuttle bus, which seat up to fifteen people comfortably. Website
You can find the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, where the staff does a weekly “living tour” of the grounds. Rather than a drab run-through of the museum or a self-guided tour, the staff does their best to make a memorable performance guests will treasure, recreating the life of the famous Vanderbilt family in their heydey. The museum, which was donated by William K. Vanderbilt upon his death, includes a 24-room mansion, a marine museum, a seaplane hangar, a boathouse, and countless artifacts from Vanderbilt’s life. Want to take the grand tour with an equally grand group? A party bus seats up to forty people in style — Vanderbilt himself would be proud.
Montauk Point Lighthouse
Located atop Turtle Hill, the Montauk Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse to be built in the state of New York, and the fourth oldest lighthouse in the U.S. that’s still active to this day. A national historic landmark, the lighthouse itself is a privately owned museum, although it’s nearby to the Montauk Point State Park. For a small fee, visitors can climb the 110′ lighthouse and see the 290,000 candlepower bulb, which is visible from the sea to a distance of 32 kilometers. The lighthouse is an important piece of Long Island history: it was built in 1796, and was under civilian operation until World War II, when it became a military asset. The Coast Guard took over operations in 1946, and was transferred back to the Montauk Historical Society in 1996.
Cradle of Aviation Museum
The Cradle of Aviation was once part of Mitchel Field in Garden City. So many historic moments in the history of flight took place at Mitchel — as well as nearby Roosevelt Field and other airfields — that the area became known as the “Cradle of Aviation,” from which the museum took its name. Among the “firsts” that took place in Long Island: the first night flight, the first flight of a pilotless aircraft, the first non-stop transcontinental flight, the first round-the-world flight, and more. The museum opened with a small collection of aircraft, including a Republic Seabee and a P-47N Thunderbolt. Today, the state-of-the-art facilities include over sixty aircraft, including Charles Lindberg’s Curtiss Jenny and an unused Apollo Lunar Module. There’s also an IMAX 70mm theater showing off aviation films and a digital planetarium where visitors can watch the virtual stars. Afterward, relax and have a meal at the Red Planet Cafe. The Cradle of Aviation Museum is a great educational opportunity for kids of all ages, making a school bus rental (which seats 44-60 people) a great pick for this locale. Website
Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center
What sets the Long Island Aquarium apart? For one, the 20,000 gallon coral reef display, which is one of the largest of its kind in the entire Western world. The Long Island Aquarium opened in 2000 in Riverhead, and today operates a number of indoor and outdoor exhibits, including a parrot aviary, a shark exhibit, the Sand Shark Lagoon, an interactive salt marsh, Poseidon’s Peak & Playground, a submarine simulator, and a wide array of fish and animals, from puffer fish and seahorses to octopus and electric eels.
Did these places make you want to book a trip for your next corporate event or family trip but wondering about the cost? Charter bus prices can be surprisingly affordable. Metropolitan Shuttle is one of the biggest reservation services for charter buses, and we can help find you vehicles at the best rates on Long Island. Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or contact us today for a free quote.