New York City is a place I keep going back to and I am sure I will visit it again at the very next opportunity and will be eager to get off the plane as soon as possible and be left speechless and in amazement with every single corner of this city. I have visited NYC on five separate occasions and there is only one thing that fills me with sadness when I think about it: I will never be able experience this city for the very first time in my life! That first encounter, first glimpse of the skyline, first time you step off the underground train, and head for the stairs, first time you hold your head high up and stare at the buildings with your mouth wide open, hungry eyes. Nevertheless, NYC never ceases to amaze, inspire, energise! So when we found tickets at a great price there was no stopping us! Although we missed the connection in Amsterdam we were still able to catch an afternoon flight and all good that ends well (or even better) as we got an upgrade to business class- I can’t complain! The end of May in The Big Apple always sounds like a great idea! But hold on…Before the blinking lights and the rush of Times Square, we decided to take a few easy days on Long Island. Not a first choice of somebody heading to NYC, I know. Take a moment though and read on why you should schedule at least a couple of days into your itinerary and head east.
On a Friday afternoon you are bound to see a long line of cars leaving NYC and heading for Long Island. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of a concrete jungle and spend a lazy weekend on the beach enjoying the sun and waves then the Hamptons seem like a perfect choice. There are a lot of beaches to choose from, but my favourite must be Westhampton Beach with golden dunes and wonderful summer houses dotted along the road. The beach is quite popular and busy during the season but at the same time it stretches for miles, therefore I am sure you’d be able to find a quiet spot for your towel, a hat and a cold drink. Unfortunately the weather at the end of May was not the best so we abandoned jumping into the water and instead a brisk walk had to suffice.
Small, quaint streets, a local diner where everyone knows you by your first name, a local shop where you buy your groceries, the spirit of community and every single driver stopping for a pedestrian. Of course big cities are breath- taking but small can be beautiful too. If you want to experience the atmosphere of an American town then Long Island is a place to be! The Hamptons are probably a good start; Southampton is a posh spot and (don’t quote me) some famous faces might be seen on the streets. Greenport is one of our favourites! Yachts in the harbour, charming streets, delicious ice cream, fabulous lunch spots! Our favourites are Salamander’s on Front and Bruce & Son- try these two if you want to experience American breakfast, lunch or brunch!
Long Island offers a much slower pace of life than its neighbouring NYC. Insanely delicious strawberries straight from a field, pumpkin patches in autumn, glorious sunflowers in summer. I love farm stands with their retro signs and small farms dotted along the roads. It is a compulsory stop for me to get fresh, juice watermelon!
Montauk Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built in NY state and is one of the oldest, still operating lighthouses in the USA. If history and trivia facts are not your cup of tea, then let me just tell you that this easternmost point on Long Island offers gorgeous views! You can climb up the lighthouse and admire the ocean from 110 feet, take a look at the museum exhibition, or just enjoy a walk on the beach. Worth a visit!
A wine enthusiast? Look no further because Long Island has what you need! Dozens of vineyards and a variety of wine to choose from. Of course tasting is strongly recommended! I’m not a keen wine drinker, I will have a sip but vineyards are wasted on me as I cannot fully appreciate the drink! I can assure you though that Long Island as a young winery region has got a bright future!
Visiting the USA would not be same if you didn’t go on a little shopping spree! And when it comes to shopping, Tanger Outlets have everything you need- 2 massive shopping malls near the town of Riverhead, with dozens and dozens of great shops you can think of! If you’re an avid shopper and you do take the game seriously, I suggest devoting a day to have a good look round the shops. It’s not difficult to grab amazing bargains, so a credit card and a huge car boot is highly desirable.