2021 Long Island Destinations to Check Out this Summer

By: Lola Rivera
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2021 Long Island Destinations to Check Out this Summer

After a year indoors, Long Islanders more than ever are looking for new ways and places to visit this summer. Luckily, Long Island is home to many hidden gems and is packed with events for a fun-filled summer. 

Movie Lot Drive-In

Located in the Westfield South Shore Mall parking lot in Bayshore, Movie Lot Drive-in is a pop-up movie series showing newly released and classic blockbuster films. The drive-in movie experience features a giant 52-foot screen, the largest on Long Island. 

Audiences can enjoy the movies in the comfort of their vehicle or can bring their own lawn chairs to sit right outside of their car. Visitors are also permitted to bring their own food and snacks to enjoy during the film. 

Tickets can be purchased in advance online. 

Dino Safari

New to Tanger Outlets in Deer Park, the Dino Safari’s drive-thru dinosaur adventure lets visitors get up-close and personal with over 40 prehistoric creatures.

Tickets are sold on a per-car basis and can be purchased online

Long Island Wine Country:

With New York being home to the third-largest wine-growing region in the United States, Long Island produces an estimated 500,000 cases of wine per year. Long Island Wine Trail allows visitors to explore some of the many Vineyards and Wineries located here in Long Island. You can explore the north fork of the island, which includes fun towns like Greenport or Orient Point or cruise to the south fork of the island where the Hamptons and Montauk are located.

The Long Island Ice Cream Tour 2021: 

This yearly event is open to all ice cream lovers who wish to discover the best ice cream on Long Island! The two tours visit a selection of ice cream places on Long Island to help attendees discover the differences between homemade and factory-made ice cream.

Tickets to the tours can be purchased on their website. 

Sands Point Preserve:

Acquired by Nassau County in 1971 from Harry Guggenheim, the 90-acre estate including fully furnished mansions is a vibrant historical site. 

The Preserve offers outdoor programs for all ages such as guided nature walks, outdoor adventures and forest bathing. Based on the Japanese tradition of Shinrin-Yoku, forest bathing is a wellness practice where each unique walk inspires mindful connections with the natural elements of the woods for a range of healthful benefits.

Currently, visitors can access the Great Lawn, Rose Garden, Forest and Pond area as well as the Woodland Playground and Dog Run. Visitors can choose to have picnics at the preserve at any of their unreserved picnic tables throughout the location. 

Old Westbury Gardens: 

Old Westbury Gardens is listed on the National Register of History Places as the former home of John S. Phipps. The Charles II-style mansion is accompanied by more than 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes. The Westbury House is fully furnished with fine English antiques and decorative arts from more than fifty years of the Phipps family’s residence. 

The Old Westbury Gardens welcomes visitors with guided tours of the Westbury House, in-depth tours of the formal gardens, museum exhibitions, classic car shows, indoor and outdoor classical and pop concerts, workshops and much more. 

Advanced tickets are required and can be purchased on their website

The Heckscher Museum of Art: 

Founded by philanthropists Anna and August Heckscher in 1920, the Heckscher Museum of Art’s collection comprises more than 2,300 works from the sixteenth to the twenty-first  century. This includes European and American paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and photographs.  The Heckscher Museum of Art is located in Heckscher Park in Huntington, New York. 

“To celebrate its 100 anniversary, the museum is showcasing an expansive centennial exhibition, The Heckscher Museum Celebrates 100, through January 2022,” said Jill Rowan, a representative for The Heckscher Museum of Art. “The Heckscher Museum of Art celebrates the beginning of its second century as a source of art and inspiration.”

All visitor information as well as tickets can be found on their website. 

Vanderbilt Museum: 

Eagle’s Nest, created by William K. Vanderbilt II, is a waterfront estate and grand, 24-room Spanish Revival mansion on 43 acres overlooking Northport Bay. The mansion is one of the few great houses that remain of the more than 1,200 Gold Coast mansions built on the North Shore of Long Island from the 1890s through the 1930s. 

“The atmosphere is magical,” said Elizabeth Wayland-Morgan, Executive Director of Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. “This is one of the only remaining Gold Coast mansions. We offer a glimpse into the past. The mansion has been kept exactly as it was when the Vanderbilts lived here. In particular, the rooms display personal effects — a teapot and cup on a side table next to Rosamond’s bed, books and papers on William’s desk, and open suitcases with clothes in the guest rooms. The impression this creates is that the family is living there but has stepped out in the afternoon.”

The Vanderbilt includes the mansion, marine museum, collections galleries, 18 wild-animal habitat dioramas and the state-of-the-art Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Vanderbilt left the estate and museum to Suffolk County and it was opened to the public in 1950. 

“The Vanderbilt family and its vast network of railroads were essential in the development of this country,” said Wayland-Morgan. “When you walk through the mansion and museum, you are surrounded by rare fine and decorative art and furnishings, some of it centuries old. It’s a stroll through a storied era of elite, privileged lives on Long Island’s Gold Coast.”

Visitors can experience the magical sites through the mansion tours or planetarium shows Vanderbilt offers. Tickets can be purchased on their website. 

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park: 

Located in Oyster Bay, Planting Fields is a Gold Coast estate from the 1920s. Planting Fields grounds features 409 acres of greenhouses, rolling lawns, formal gardens, woodland paths and plant collections. It is one of a few surviving estates on Long Island with its original acreage intact, as well as its buildings. Coe Hall, a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion designed by architects Alexander Walker and Leon Gillette. 

“Planting Fields Foundation strives to preserve and make relevant to all audiences the heritage of Planting Fields, an early twentieth century 409-acre estate, designed as an integrated composition of the built and natural world,” said Planting Fields Foundation.

Nearly a thousand similar estates were built after the Civil War and through about 1940, making the area the largest concentration of large estates anywhere in the U.S. Under 60% of them survive today and about 400 are in residential use. Planting Fields was one of the last of these estates to be created.

Planting Fields offers events on-site and virtually, including yoga in the garden, music festivals, landscape tours, tea in the garden and much more. Upcoming events can be found on the Planting Fields happenings calendar. 

Lola Rivera

Lola Rivera

Senior at New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Reporter Intern for Shades of Long Island. Managing Editor of the Manhattan Globe. Instagram: @lola.nicole

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