As people who live in Manhattan, it pains us to admit it, but it’s true - there are some really, really pretty parts of Long Island. And we’re not just talking about the Hamptons, or the wine country on the North Fork of Long Island. Yes, those are both pretty, but we’re talking about (gasp) suburbs. Places where people can actually commute into New York City. So here it is - our favorite semi-suburban drive in Long Island!
First, get off either the LIE or the Northern State at Route 106 / 107 heading north towards Jericho (exit 41 on the LIE, and exit 35 on the Northern State). Both of these are about an hour’s drive from New York in normal traffic (30 minutes on a good day, and two hours on a day when you’d expect people to be driving to the beach). Drive straight up this road until you see Audrey Avenue, and then take a left and go into Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. Get out of the car, walk the grounds (there’s not much to see in the house here), and take in how impressive it is that Teddy Roosevelt was one of the country’s first conservationists. There are miles of paths here to walk. When you’ve had your fill, jump back in your car, drive by the yachts and sailboats in Sagamore Yacht Club (sorry, you can’t really go in if you’re not a member), and, if you’re feeling like some local food, head over to Canterbury’s for their awesome clam bake (although the food here isn’t as good as at Wild Honey - it’s just their clam bake). Or, if you’d just prefer a sandwich, get back on the road and drive on Cove Road to Moores Hill Road, past the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and take a left onto Harbor Road. You’ll see the Cold Spring Harbor Deli on your left after about a mile.
Keep driving north on Shore Road (it’s the first left after the deli, and this road changes names a few times along the way), and then take a left on Middle Hollow Road and another left on West Neck Road. Drive past Lloyd Neck Beach Club, and then park as the road wraps around into Caumsett Park. Here, you can go for a horseback ride, birdwatch, or just take a hike to Long Island Sound and look over at Connecticut.
Finally, when you’re done with this walk, head back along the road and take West Neck all the way into downtown Huntington. While there are a lot of stores here in town, our favorite is Book Revue, which has thousands of new and used books and a staff that seems to have read all of them. Besides, it’s nice to see an independent bookstore. When you’re done browsing, jump back on route 110 (that’s New York Avenue) and follow it until you’ve reached the highway. We think that this drive is nice enough to make even the most hardened Manhattanite reconsider their position on the suburbs!