Long Island is the largest and most populated island in the United States and a popular vacation destination for tourists. The Island covers an area of 4,463 sq km (around 1,723 sq mi) and extends 100 miles east of New York City into the Atlantic Ocean.
As a beach-loverís paradise, the primary tourist attraction of Long Island is the large number of glorious white and sandy beaches together with great views of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
Along the southern shore, Jones Beach and Long Beach make great day trips, Fire Island is a car-free community and the east coastís leading gay resort. The Hamptons, located in the Far East, have excellent beaches, classy bars and is very popular with New York City-based celebrities; the Heart of the Hampton scene is East Hampton.
Long Island is physically made up of four counties. Politically Long Island consists of Nassau and Suffolk counties only, although Long Island geographically includes Brooklyn (or Kings County) and Queens (or Queens County) these boroughs are generally not considered to be part of Long Island and are mostly associated with New York City. Long Island Sound is the body of water between its northern shore and Connecticut.
Long Island boasts countless attractions and beautiful seascapes such as Fire Island National Seashore, the Splish Splash Water Park, Brookhaven National Laboratory and The Vanderbilt Planetarium.
Many lighthouses stand tall around the Island, including the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the oldest such structure in the state and still in use. Long Island boasts of having worldís finest wineries most located on North Folk, home also to many farmers' markets.
Other attractions include harbour towns such as Port Jefferson and the magnificent mansions of Long Islandís Nassau County. Outdoor activities include hiking, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking or golfing.
Long Island is home to thousands of restaurants, many of them top quality, the mixture of ethnic diversity makes Long Island an exceptional place to taste different cuisines from diverse regions of the world. Almost all main fast food chains have a presence on Long Island as well.
Long Island is connected to the mainland by numerous bridges and tunnels through New York City, and ferries to Connecticut from Suffolk County. Buses depart for Long Island frequently each day, although the quickest way to get there is using the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station.
Long Islandís typical weather, like other coastal areas in the North-eastern U.S. is warm in summers and cold in winters.