Almost everything about Long Island, NY is nothing short of massive. Data from the US Census bares that this area is the most populous island in the entire US.
The island consists of four counties – Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. Both Brooklyn and Queens are among the highly urbanized boroughs of New York while the Nassau and Suffolk counties are considered more suburban in nature.
Despite the fact that Brooklyn and Queens share the same area, the term, “Long Island” usually refers to Nassau and Suffolk. That’s because the said counties account for around two-thirds of the entire island, with Suffolk covering the most land area among the four.
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Long Island was originally the residue of soil, rock, and sand left by receding glacial ice sheets. It was first known as Paumanok, bestowed by one of many Native American tribes who would either settle here or use the island as hunting grounds for a wide variety of game.
The Dutch soon came in and settled on the west side of the island while a number of English Puritans from Massachusetts took the east side. When the Dutch ceded to English rule in 1664, the entire area became English territory. These English settlers managed to stave off General George Washington’s forces during the Civil War and eventually erected large estates amid vast agricultural lands.
Long Island was mostly agricultural in nature in the 19th century but the economic boom of the 1950s brought this area to the position of affluence that it enjoys today.
It goes without saying that the default tourist attractions of Long Island are its beaches and water-related recreation activities. Be treated to white-sand beaches and seaside boardwalks where you can enjoy the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets on this side of New York. You can also watch seals and whales up close in the open sea during wintertime via chartered cruises and research vessels. Those who want more action will want to try kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and canoeing on the island’s more serene waterways.
Long Island is an exciting place for landlubbers, too. Some of the world’s best and most beautiful golf courses are found here. The parks and wildlife refuges here are also wonderful areas not just for viewing a vast array of flora and fauna but also for hiking and camping. Plus, you don’t have to wait for winter to go ice skating in any of the outdoor and indoor skating rinks here.
For a glimpse into Long Island’s glorious agricultural past, you can join the tours of the vineyards, wineries, and microbreweries on the east end that make up Long Island Wine Country. Just remember to savor the spirits and drink responsibly.
One cannot deny the outstanding education that students could get from schools and universities situated in Long Island. There are 127 public school districts in Suffolk and Nassau providing a world-class education to 476,000 students. The number of private schools here, meanwhile, stands at 230 with 53,000 enrolled students. There are several Long Island colleges and universities that also stand out depending on the profession you choose.
Here are some notable schools, colleges, and universities found in the Nassau and Suffolk counties:
- Great Neck South Middle School and High School
- The Stony Brook School
- Candlewood Middle School
- St. John’s University
- Stony Brook University
Most properties up for sale in Nassau County are mostly located on the northern side, as well as a concentrated area down south in and around Long Beach. Dominated by single-family homes and condos, properties here can go as high as $1.6 million. Luxury estates of various architectural styles and a whole host of amenities are found here. Dominant features include sprawling lawns, spacious balconies or patios, and swimming pools.
In Suffolk County, meanwhile, condos for sale outnumber the single-family homes, with most of these scattered toward the east end and several along the Nassau-Suffolk boundary. Same as the real estate in Nassau, properties here are nothing less than the embodiments of affluence. Condos here provide incredible 360-degree views of the crystal blue waters surrounding the area from elegant floor-to-ceiling windows, with some units priced at almost $6 million.
Famous Restaurants and Dishes
Just as exquisite as the waterfront views in Long Island is its cuisine, and you will be spoilt for choice with the variety of dishes that distinctly define this area. How about biting into the crunchy, spicy goodness of K-Mac Sliders as only Kotobuki could make them? Or maybe your sweet tooth demands a tall order of Diner by the Sea’s Rainbow Milkshakes. Don’t forget that Long Island’s bagels can only be as good as they get when ordered from Bagel Boss. For a hefty all-American meal, just order the Skillet Omelet and Hashbrowns from Thomas’s Ham ‘n’ Eggery Diner.