The charming Atlantic beaches of Eastern Long Island, NY are havens for those who know they exist. I was able to spend my summers on Long Island in New York for many years.
My Summers on Long Island
Framed by picturesque farms and vineyards, the rocky Atlantic shores and soft, sandy beaches stretch for miles. There is no shortage of beaches to choose from; the Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay make for calmer options than the open ocean, perfect for families with young kids. I have spent every summer here for the past 25 years. I spent my days kicking back to watch the crashing waves. At night I dined on lobster and homemade ice cream. My favorite hobby was photographing the epic sunrises and sunsets over the water.
This year proved no different; business on the East end of Long Island is booming! I headed straight out of New York city to the town of Riverhead where my family lives. A bustling place, Riverhead is rich with fresh, farm-to-table cuisine. The delicious meals at Farm Country Kitchen off Main Street were my favorite. Tucked into a charming, historic home next to the Peconic River, I ordered a fresh salad with local corn, tomatoes, and greens topped with freshly caught grilled shrimp. The flavors from the local farms burst with the taste of summer.
My sweet tooth was calling me, and on a hot ‘day there was nowhere else I’d rather go to satisfy it than Magic Fountain. It was once a Carvel shop in the town of Mattituck. Magic Fountain is known across the island for their creative flavors like lavender and use of local ingredients like sweet peaches or even corn! My favorite is the salted caramel and I settled into the sunshine with a big scoop, watching the happenings of the small town.
Afternoons on Ocean Time
In the mid-afternoon heat, I made a beeline for the beach. Just around the bay on the South Fork of Long Island, are the infamous Hamptons beaches where the rich and famous go to relax. Considering myself a local, I knew that the beaches in Hampton Bays are equally as beautiful and more peaceful. At Ponquogue Beach, tranquil sand dunes lined with grasses are a safe haven for gulls and other waterbirds. I set up my beach chair with an ideal view of the crashing waves and dug my feet into the warm white sand. The beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, dotted with colorful umbrellas and lifeguard stands. I grew drowsy under the baking sun and relished in the relaxing laziness of summer.
Dinner Time on Long Island
After I woke up I went for a quick swim in the brisk Atlantic waters while dreaming of dinner. I knew just the place! Around the corner, still in Hampton Bays, is Canal Cafe, another waterfront restaurant with peaceful sunset views. Here, the lobster salad sandwiches steal the show for their creative use of freshly baked ciabatta and the extremely generous portions. The creamy local seafood delicacy, washed down with one of many local wines, was the perfect end to a salty and sweet Long Island day! As I kicked back in my chair I admired the vibrantly yellow and orange sky. “I could get used to this!” I thought aloud.