Long Island is less than an hour from New York City but feels a world away from the bustling concrete jungle. This long, thin island has a small-town feel to it, offering miles of sandy beaches, great shopping, and a very popular food scene. You don’t have to go far for a weekend getaway destination from the big city!
As the name suggests, the destination is a long strip of land. There are lots of little neighbourhoods here, each with its own attractions and appeal, so figuring out where to stay in Long Island can be tricky.
We’re here to help you out. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a regular looking to change things up a bit, we’ve got you covered!
- Where to Stay in Long Island
- Long Island Neighbourhood Guide
- Long Island’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- 1. East Hampton North – Where to Stay in Long Island for your First Visit
- 2. Bellmore – Where to Stay in Long Island on a Budget
- 3. Greenport – Best Neighbourhood in Long Island for Families
- 4. Smithtown – Best Neighbourhood in Long Island for Nightlife
- 5. Lake Ronkonkoma – The Coolest Neighbourhood to Stay in Long Island
- Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Long Island
Where to Stay in Long Island
There’s a variety of accommodation options in Long Island to pick from. Here are our top picks:
Best Airbnb in Long Island: Patchogue Entire Beach Cottage
Want to stay in a quiet area without straying too far from the city? No problemo. Despite being just an hour outside the Big Apple, this stunning beach cottage offers a quiet and tranquil atmosphere. It’s right by the ferry to Fire Island, so you can make the most of this coastal location.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Long Island: Beachfront Hamptons Style Cottage
This beachfront cottage offers beautiful views and lots of places to enjoy them. Up to four guests can stay here in two cosy bedrooms. The recently renovated interiors include all the modern amenities you’ll need during your trip.
Best Hotel in Long Island: Westhampton Seabreeze Motel
Like having the conveniences of a hotel? Check out this place in Long Island – each room is beautifully decorated and has a microwave and ensuite bathroom. There’s also free parking on-site in case you want to hire a car during your stay, but you can easily reach shops and restaurants on foot.
Long Island Neighbourhood Guide
East Hampton North
East Hampton North is located quite far along the island and close to the shore. This makes it a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Long Island for your first time, as you’ll have access to lots of attractions and activities.
Bellmore is on the South Shore of Long Island and closer to New York City so you could head back there at a moment’s notice. It’s a popular spot for people who want to live on Long Island rather than in New York and offers a friendly, welcoming community surrounded by beautiful, natural landscapes.
Located in the north fork of Long Island, Greenport is a small village within a larger town and it’s the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Long Island for families for the mix of attractions and the safety of the area.
Located on Long Island’s north shore, this small town is working hard to bring in the younger crowd, so there are a lot of new bars, shops, and restaurants in the downtown area. This is why it’s one of the best places in Long Island to stay if you like a bit of nightlife.
When you’re trying to get away from the busyness of New York City, you want to be out in nature. This area is perfect for that, making it one of the coolest places to stay in Long Island. There are numerous parks around the lake, so you can let all that natural scenery rejuvenate you.
Long Island is a popular detour destination for travellers visiting New York. It’s got various small neighbourhoods that each offer something unique to visitors, so we highly recommend exploring as much of the island as you can. That said, it’s important to base yourself in the area that best suits your travel style and budget.
East Hampton North is one of Long Island’s best neighbourhoods for anyone who wants a good mix of the beach, restaurants, and attractions. This area has a little of everything, so it’s perfect for getting a feel for the place.
Budget backpackers will be best off staying in Bellmore. It’s well connected to the city via Penn Station and offers a wide variety of affordable accommodation options.
Greenport is a tiny village with a quaint and local feel to it. The area is laid-back and set away from the hustle and bustle, making it ideal for families with children.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Long Island for nightlife, spend some time in Smithtown. Located towards the centre of the island, it’s full of vibrant bars and clubs providing entertainment until the early hours.
The Lake Ronkonkoma area is surrounded by parks and natural areas, perfect for a proper retreat in nature. The collection of shops, bars, and restaurants in this part of the island are also well worth checking out.
Long Island’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Here’s a little more information on the best places to stay on Long Island. We’ve included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you can find the right one for your needs.
1. East Hampton North – Where to Stay in Long Island for your First Visit
- COOLEST Thing to Do in East Hampton North – Take a guided tour through the sculptures and outdoor art installations at the LongHouse Reserve.
- BEST Place to Visit in East Hampton North – East Hampton Main Beach for stretches of golden sand and coastline.
East Hampton North is located quite far along the island and close to the shore. It’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Long Island for your first time, as you’ll have access to lots of attractions and activities.
The neighbourhood also offers a good mix of accommodation options at every price point, suitable for every traveller. You’ll also find some great restaurants in this area so you can try as much of the local food as possible.
Best Airbnb in East Hampton North: Carriage House
This cute cottage is the ideal base for your first trip to Long Island, whether you’re travelling solo, as a couple, or in a group. It’s bright throughout and has been recently renovated to provide modern amenities and comfortable furnishings. The surrounding area is safe and picturesque, with shops and town amenities just a short walk away.
Best Luxury Airbnb in East Hampton North: Entire Residential Home
If you’re in need of somewhere larger, you can book yourself this entire residential home. It sleeps eight guests across four bedrooms and boasts a heated pool, chef’s kitchen, and pergola covered outdoor area. With the beach just a few steps away – you’ll be perfectly positioned to explore the best of East Hampton North.
Best Hotel in East Hampton North: Mill House Inn
Sometimes, the convenience of a hotel can take some stress out of planning your trip. This inn has a lovely garden and a really homey feel. It offers private parking and unit accommodation with seating areas and private bathrooms. It also offers a daily continental breakfast, so you’ll be totally ready for the day ahead.
Things to See and Do in East Hampton North
- Grab your beach essentials and head to Egypt Beach or Indian Wells Beach.
- Learn about the history of the area at East Hampton Historical Farm Museum.
- Play a round of golf at the Maidstone Club or the Poxabogue Golf Course.
- Immerse yourself in nature at Napeague State Park.
- Have a meal at local spots like the East Hampton Grill or Moby’s.
- Relax with a drink at Bar None or the Blue Parrot.
2. Bellmore – Where to Stay in Long Island on a Budget
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Bellmore – Go hiking or wildlife spotting at the Twin Lakes Preserve.
- BEST Place to Visit in Bellmore – Jones Beach Park for one of the best beaches on the island as well as concerts and other events.
Bellmore is on Long Island’s south shore. It’s one of the closest areas to New York City, so you could head back there at a moment’s notice if you needed to. It’s a popular spot for people who want to live on Long Island rather than in New York and offers a friendly, welcoming community surrounded by beautiful, natural landscapes.
The cost of living in Bellmore is fairly good, especially compared to prices in New York. Staying here is a great opportunity to be close to the city but still enjoy the beach, an urban atmosphere, and good places to eat and drink.
Best Airbnb in Bellmore: Studio B
This Long Island Airbnb is the ideal compromise between convenient city living and a remote retreat. It’s right by the train station as well as shops and restaurants while being surrounded by greenery and nature. Two guests can stay in this studio, which provides wifi, kitchen facilities, and a workspace.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Bellmore: Bright and Cozy 2 Bedroom Garden Unit
With space for up to four guests, this apartment is a great option for families visiting Long Island. You’ll have access to a shared outdoor area and a private parking space. The Airbnb has a homely feel to it and offers helpful amenities like wifi and laundry facilities. Jones Beach is just ten minutes away, and you can reach all of New York’s top attractions in under an hour.
Best Hotel in Bellmore: Jones Beach Hotel
This hotel is a good budget choice close to the Jones Beach State Park. It has a great terrace, garden, and BBQ area as well as comfortable rooms, some of them with a spa bath. The hotel also offers a transfer service to the airport to make the end of your stay as stress-free as possible.
Things to See and Do in Bellmore
- Hit the stores at the Bellmore Shopping Center.
- Enjoy the indoor pools and skating rink at Newbridge Road Park.
- Have a meal and a drink at Anthony’s Kitchen & Cocktails or Dirty Taco + Tequila.
- Go fishing or let the kids run off some energy at the playground at Wantagh Park.
- Trip back to the ’90s and enjoy some junk food at the United Skates of America Roller Skating Center.
3. Greenport – Best Neighbourhood in Long Island for Families
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Greenport – Try some of the local wines at the Kontokosta Winery.
- BEST Place to Visit in Greenport – The East End Seaport Museum to learn about the history of whaling.
Located in the north fork of Long Island, Greenport is a small village within a larger town. It’s a safe area and is full of things to see and do, making it the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Long Island with your family. It’s got a local feel to it and is more laid back than other neighbourhoods.
What was originally a whaling village is now a relaxed neighbourhood close to the beach. It has lots of historical sites where you can dig deeper into the olden days, as well as great shops and restaurants that serve local produce.
Best Airbnb in Greenport: Greenport Victorian
This stunning Victorian home has been lovingly refurbished to provide modern, open-plan living and three cosy bedrooms. It really is perfect for a family – pets are allowed, and there’s a huge backyard to run around in. The location is another win; you can enjoy meals with a view of the harbour from the deck and be by the sea in minutes!
Best Luxury Airbnb in Greenport: Nofo Bungalow
This eco-friendly cottage is as gorgeous on the outside as it is on the inside. It may look compact, but the interior is bright and spacious, with open concept living and enough beds for up to six guests. The location of this place is also hard to beat; it sits in the heart of the village right by the port, so you’ll have the best of Greenport at your fingertips.
Best Hotel in Greenport: Greenporter Hotel
Take it back to the ‘50s at this retro hotel in Long Island. Featuring colourful decor and offering handy extras like in-room fridges and breakfast on the weekends, it’s ideal for families travelling with children. There’s a pool on-site, and you’ll also be super close to beaches and lakes.
Things to See and Do in Greenport
- Take the kids to the carousel at Mitchell Park.
- Play a round of golf at Island’s End Golf & Country Club.
- Head down to the Mitchell Park Marina to watch the boats go in and out.
- Try some local brews at the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company.
- Enjoy some art at the Nova Constellatio Gallery.
- Wander through the Railroad Museum of Long Island.
- Have a meal at Claudio’s Waterfront or Fortino’s Tavern.
4. Smithtown – Best Neighbourhood in Long Island for Nightlife
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Smithtown – Relax and get some sun at Long Beach.
- BEST Place to Visit in Smithtown – Caleb Smith State Park for hiking trails and historic sites.
Located on Long Island’s north shore, this small town is working hard to bring in a younger crowd. As a result, you’ll find a lot of new bars, shops, and restaurants in the downtown area. So, if you’re looking for nightlife and want to check out the party scene, Smithtown is the best place to stay in Long Island.
Smithtown is also close to several popular beaches, so you can easily get some sun in on your holiday. It has some great parks as well, so you can hike or explore the historic attractions.
Best Airbnb in Smithtown: Cozy Studio near LIRR
TThis suite is suitable for up to two guests. It offers basic food prep facilities like a fridge and microwave, as well as a private bathroom and wifi. The area itself is pretty quiet and residential, but you’ll be close to bars, restaurants, and shops. As well as being ideal for a night out, the free parking and location also make this a good overnight stopover for road trippers heading through New York.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Smithtown: Private Basement Apt in the Heart of Smithtown
LIf wine and beaches are your cup of tea, then this is the perfect spot for you. Sitting directly between the wine country and beaches, this Long Island accommodation option is ideal for getting out and exploring. The basement apartment is fully private and well-equipped to comfortably sleep up to three visitors.
Best Hotel in Smithtown: Americas Best Value Inn
America’s Best Value Inn is one of the USA’s best budget hotel chains, so you already know you’re getting a good deal. Each room comes with free wifi, a private bathroom, a microwave and a fridge, and a continental breakfast is offered daily. A car would be helpful when staying here (parking is free), as central Smithtown is a little drive away.
Things to See and Do in Smithtown
- Enjoy the beach lifestyle at Short Beach, Kings Park Bluff, or Callahan’s Beach.
- Go fishing, walking, or rowing at Blydenburgh County Park.
- Have a drink at The Park Lounge or the Comiskey Park Bar.
- Fill your stomach and delight your tastebuds at Big Belly Que or Akropolis.
- Practice your swing at the Smithtown Landing Golf Course.
- Get out into nature at the Sweet Briar Nature Center.
- Enjoy the displays and the universe at the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium.
- See how the other half live at the Gold Coast Mansions of Long Island.
5. Lake Ronkonkoma – The Coolest Neighbourhood to Stay in Long Island
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Lake Ronkonkoma – Enjoy the sporting grounds, playground, and fishing area at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park.
- BEST Place to Visit in Lake Ronkonkoma – Connetquot River State Park Preserve for hiking, fishing, and rare birds and animals.
No place is more removed from New York City than Lake Ronkonkoma. It’s the ultimate nature retreat, with green spaces and parks aplenty. Ronkonkoma itself is a freshwater lake formed by ancient glaciers, and is popular among fishers and swimmers. The fact that you can be exploring New York in the morning and be surrounded by unspoilt nature in the evening makes this oneof the coolest neighbourhoods to stay in Long Island.
The area around Lake Ronkonkoma has some awesome hiking trails, as well as a good collection of shops, restaurants, and bars. So, no matter what you enjoy doing on holiday, you’ll find something to entertain you in this area.
Best Airbnb in Lake Ronkonkoma: Private Apartment
This simple apartment is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Long Island on a budget. It sleeps two guests and has a private entrance, contemporary kitchen, and a pet-friendly backyard. It’s also close to local shops and restaurants.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Lake Ronkonkoma: Private New Apartment
This open concept apartment sleeps three guests and sits close to local wineries. Its proximity to the train station and airport significantly reduces travel time, so you can spend less time on the road and more time in nature (and by nature, I mean vineyards). Perks like free parking, a flashy kitchen, and a quiet backyard all make this place a top accommodation option.
Best Hotel in Lake Ronkonkoma: Courtyard Long Island
Located in the best area in Long Island to stay in for nature experiences, this hotel has its own bar and a swimming pool where you can soak all the stress away. There’s also a gym and hot tub in the hotel as well as a great outdoor seating area where you can enjoy the outdoors.
Things to See and Do in Lake Ronkonkoma
- Enjoy the displays at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society.
- Try some local food at Dah Lee Restaurant or Gino’s.
- Wander through Walter S. Commerdinger, Jr. County Park.
- Take the kids for a wildlife experience at Holtsville Wildlife & Ecology Center.
- Head out for a drink at JW’s Bar, Farrell’s Tavern, or the Old City Public House.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Long Island
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Long Island for your first time or on a return trip, there are lots of great options. No matter where you stay, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the beaches and small-town atmosphere that makes this island the perfect place to destress after spending time in New York City.
If you’re still not sure where to stay in Long Island, we recommend East Hampton North. It’s got a little bit of everything and is full of accommodation options to suit any budget.
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