By: Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Updated: May 25, 2022
Traditionally thought of as a weekend getaway from NYC, Long Island is a great romantic destination on it's own.
There's white sand beaches perfect for seaside strolls, and lots of activities, romantic inns and restaurants just right for a weekend day trip or getaway. If a picnic for two in a vineyard followed by a refreshing walk by a lighthouse sounds good, welcome to Long Island!
Before tasting the salty air and exploring the inviting rural areas of the North and South Forks, let's get a better idea of some of the best Long Island romantic places and activities.
Montauk, NY – besides the lighthouse it’s famous for, Montauk is home to very good seafood restaurants, well cared for parks in town and in the surrounding area, and relaxing ways to sample the fresh ocean air from any one of it’s plentiful beaches.
Go Lighthouse Spotting - For a stroll or picnic on the sand, head to the Montauk Lighthouse. And at night, the crashing waves, the old beacon piercing the dark and even the odd shooting star guarantee this to be one of the most romantic spots on Long Island.
Westbury Gardens - wander around over 160 acres of manicured gardens, ponds and lakes.
The Hamptons - probably the most famous of Long Island's seaside resort playgounds, and you might spot a celebrity or two on a sunny afternoon. Easthampton is a charming village of Colonial architecture, trendy galleries, seafood and white sand beaches. Summer can get crowded, so the best time to visit the Hamptons would be fall and spring.
Picnic in a Vinyard - There are several Long Island wineries that offer wine tasting and tours. Palmer Vineyards (5120 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 631-722-WINE) in Northern Long Island is an excellent spot for couples to enjoy a tour and even a pre-packed picnic lunch. They even offer hayrides!
Long Island Beaches - Some of the best beaches on Long Island are along the south shore, and they include include East Hampton and Fire Island National Seashore.
If you're seeking a secluded Long Island Beach for a quiet afternoon of relaxing or beach combing (or maybe even a place to propose on Long Island!), try the beach at Caumsett State Park, or some of the quiet spots around Montauk Point. The boardwalk at Long Beach is a good place for a romantic stroll around sunrise and sunset.
The Three Village Inn is located in historic Stonybrook NY on the north short of Long Island. It’s an old homestead dating back to 1751 and has become a romantic country inn. There are six cozy staterooms in the main house, and several cottages as well.
The Three Village Inn's Long Island NY Anniversary Package starts at $255 for Friday or Saturday night stays or $199 for Sunday through Thursday night stays. You get one nights accommodation, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in your room upon arrival, a drink in the Tavern Bar, and a $50 dinner certificate for a romantic fireplace table at the Restaurant Mirabelle, which is considered one of Long Island’s top restaurants. You also wake up to a hot breakfast the next morning.
(Note that this package may not be available in the days leading up to Valentine’s day.) Call 631-751-0555 for reservations.
Being almost surrounded by the Atlantic, Long Island has it's share of fine seafood restaurants. For romantic dining in the Hamptons with panoramic views of the beach and ocean, try the Tierra Mar restaurant (231 Dune Road, Westhampton Beach, NY 631-288-2700).
At the CoQueze Wine Bar & Restaurant (207 Main St, East Hampton, NY 631-324-5494) you can dine enjoying the breezes from the antique windows in the summer, or cozy up by the wood-burning stove in fall and winter. Tasting plates and wine pairings are the specialty in this romantic eatery located inside the historic Maidstone Arms Inn.
The best time to visit Long Island is springtime (May) and autumn (September to mid October).
The distance from New York City to Long Island (Hamptons) is about 80 miles (130 km). You can travel to Long Island by car (US 495 or hwy 27) from New York City. Driving time depends greatly on traffic, but can be done in a couple of hours.
*ERV Rating: our unique, non-scientific ratings for romantic accommodation include: