When you think of Long Island, you probably think of its dense population (3 million people between Nassau and Suffolk Counties alone) and its reputation as a suburban haven from the madness of life in Manhattan. in addition to being this suburban haven, Long Island is also a haven for its culture and history. It has some amazing beaches, incredible art, and a variety of cultural influences, ranging from the fishing and whaling industry to Native American history, to the more modern influences of art and music.

If you are a long time Long Islander or if you’re just moving to the Island, the opportunities for immersing yourself in the culture are endless. Maybe you could make a day of it and book a limousine to ferry you around; you know it would be more fun, and you could indulge in a little lunch-or-dinner nip and not have to worry about driving yourself home. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Long Island destinations to get a slice of the culture; visit them and you’ll be calling yourself a local quicker than the golf-tees fill up on a Saturday morning at Colonial Springs.


Long Island is home to two Native American Reservations, the Shinnecock Reservation on the East End of Long Island, and the much smaller Poospatuck Reservation on the southeast end of Suffolk County. Shinnecock holds an annual, 4-day-long powwow every year that features tribal dancing, tribal prayers and religious services, and handmade arts and crafts. The Poospatuck Reservation has a specialty smoke shop and gift shop where you can purchase any variety of handmade reservation items, as well as learn about the Reservation’s history. The knowledgeable and friendly tour guides can surprise even the most knowledgeable locals with their trivia.


Montauk Island is located at the easternmost tip of the South Shore of Long Island. It is the site of several beautiful beaches, as well as its famed state park and the Montauk Point Lighthouse, which offers a museum, a gift shop, and a venue for events if you or someone you know is planning to get married or throw a private party. Montauk also hosts a 4 Best Long Island Bus Tour Destinations in the summer for those of you who are athletics enthusiasts.


Long Island is one beautiful, powder-white beach after another, and seeing some of the surf and the gorgeous scenery is one way to get a dose of what Long Island has to offer. From Jones Beach State Park to the Sea Cliff Beach on the North Shore, Long Island has the marine life mastered. If you are looking for a beach getaway in the posh Hamptons, surrounded by specialty shops and mansions, Long Island offers that as well. Try Cooper’s Beach in Southampton, which has six lifeguards and a litany of eateries and shops nearby to give you a true taste of the Southampton culture.


If one thing can bring Long Island’s culture directly to your lap, it is trying the fresh seafood that has been part of the lifeblood of Suffolk and Nassau Counties for generations. The sheer number of restaurants where you can get fantastic seafood is staggering. From Mill Pond House Restaurant, which offers sushi and a raw bar in addition to their delicious seafood, to the historic Louie’s Oyster Bar and Grille, which has been pleasing Long Island seafood lovers since 1905, there are plenty of seafood restaurants to choose from, and all of them can give you a good idea of how people live (and eat) on Long Island.

Image Credit: © Janine99 | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images