Shades of Long Island’s 2023 Guide to Having a Sun-Filled Sensational Summer

By: Vincent
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Summer comes just once a year, and it’s easy for it to just pass you by. Long Island temperatures average in the 70s and 80s during summer. This means there’s no better time to enjoy the outdoors. But with so many options, getting overwhelmed can happen to just about anyone. So to make sure you get the most of the warm season, take inspiration from this guide. Need suggestions on what restaurants to visit, beaches to bum at, or attractions to visit with the family? This guide is sure to have something for everyone. 

Maybe a Day Trip?

boat inside Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island

Cold Spring Harbor is located on the beautiful north shore, and is a scenic location for a summertime day trip. Not only boasting pleasant eateries, Cold Spring Harbor is host to numerous nautical gift shops, and the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum. This humble local tourist town is a perfect fit for those with families, as one restaurant, The Gourmet Whaler, has kid-friendly options and has an affordable menu. The Whaling Museum is another great place for the young ones, with a hands-on section that allows the children to be a part of an 1800s whaling town. 

On the south fork of the island is Montauk, a historical getaway far from the urban reaches of Manhattan. A beautiful seaside village, Montauk is host to fantastic, classy restaurants and maritime bars, that are just a stone’s throw away from the scenic beaches, particularly South Edison beach, but more on that later. Near downtown Montauk, the beach is close to various places to eat, like Quincho’s, a perfectly priced take out joint, and for those with a little more cash to spend, Bird On The Roof, a restaurant and bar.

More of a Beach Bum? Visit These Beaches!

An overhead view of the Salt Shack restaurant at Cedar Beach in Babylon, Long Island
📸: Salt Shack Facebook

It wouldn’t be a Long Island summer without the beach. Cedar, Overlook, Asharoken, Eagle Dock, and Jones Beach are just a few of the beaches available to Long Islanders. Of course, certain beaches do require a yearly permit from their respective towns, for activities like fishing, hunting, and off-roading. For more information on that, read the official permit guide.

For those in eastern Long Island, South Edison beach is a blissful spot where stress melts into the sand. The beach, as per their website, is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and can provide a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. With no vehicles allowed on the beach during the summer, visitors are sure to get a tranquil experience – one more in tune with nature. 

“The water and the sun are nice,” said Donna Pratt, a Deer Park resident who frequents Montauk. “Sometimes [my husband and I] see seals.” 

“We like sitting on the balcony and listening to the ocean,” said Donna’s husband, Michael Pratt, when asked how he felt about the beach.

For those closer to central Long Island, Cedar beach is a great beach to spend your summer. Cedar is one of the three Babylon beaches, the others being Overlook and Gilgo. According to the Babylon town website, Cedar and Gilgo are open to the public, but Overlook requires a recreation permit. It’s for this reason that Cedar beach is a location for everyone. Cedar also has the Salt Shack, a bar and grill with live music. For those more athletically inclined, there are also volleyball courts, and playgrounds for the kids.

For Town of Babylon residents, be sure to visit Overlook as well. As per the official website, Overlook offers a playground for the kids, and a picnic area with grills. 

“I usually go to Overlook,” said Felipe Rodas, a Lindenhurst resident. “It’s very calm after hours, and just going to see the ocean, listening to music,” he continued , “ [it’s] a good way to just exist.” 

Such serene solitude is emblematic of not only Overlook, but the other beaches too. 

Local Dining and Bars


All along the island, nestled in every nook in every town is a place to eat that seems too good to be true. At 13 East Main Street in Patchogue is Rhum, a Cuban restaurant bursting with flavor. Opening in 2016, as per the official website, Rhum has three floors, with two bars and plenty of lounge seating. Hours of operation are typically from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. all week. Rhum offers a wide selection of Caribbean-based cuisine, like grenada chicken, caribbean mahi, and a veggie burger. Rhum was voted Long Island’s best, according to their website. For those with kids, don’t worry because Rhum offers a kid’s menu as well. 

Gingerbites Haitian Bistro at 730 East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, is another restaurant and catering service for Caribbean food, specifically Haitian. Gingerbites is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. , and is closed Monday. The bistro offers plenty of options, with a reservation-only Sunday brunch available. Dishes like griot, tasso, and oxtail non sos are on the menu, and Gingerbites even sells their own jar condiments. For those looking for terrific meals to have at their summer parties, Gingerbites has you covered as they also cater. Boxes of beef, chicken, herring, morue (cod) and trays of other items from their menu can be bought, at a great price. 

Whether it’s a night at the beach with loved ones or a festive dinner with friends, there’s multitudes of ways to spend a cool summer day. Visiting the local businesses that decorate this island seems a more rewarding and beautiful experience than ordering takeout.

For more information about Long Island activities, be sure to visit the links above. 



Vincent Arroyo is a young writer born and raised on Long Island, and a contributor for Shades of Long Island.

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