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Vacationing on Long Island – Great Local Sites on a Budget

Not only is Long Island, NY the largest and longest island in the United States (with an area of over 1,377 square miles), it is home to dozens of vacation spots that are family-friendly, affordable, and educational. If you’re moving to the island or just moved and are looking for a vacation spot to take your family without breaking the bank, here are some places you can visit just a few miles from home.

Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site

Located at 246 Old Walt Whitman Rd in Huntington Station, NY this historic site is an educational and affordable place to spend a day with the entire family. For only $6 per person ($4 for students, $5 for seniors and veterans), your entire family can spend a day in a relaxing atmosphere and learn about America’s quintessential (and greatest) poet. For admission details, click here.

Are you not familiar with Walt Whitman?  Read his Leaves of Grass collection of poems before you head out.

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside House

Another destination for American literature lovers is Washington Irving’s Sunnyside House located at 3 W Sunnyside Lane in Irvington, NY. Sunnyside House was home to the iconic American author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other tales about a time when New York was still part of the American frontier.

Visit Sunnyside and hear the tales of Ichabod Crane and Rip Van Winkle, and see where the places from which the author drew his inspiration.

Tickets are available online (for a $2 surcharge), or at the door ($12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students).

Lyndhurst Mansion

One of America’s finest Gothic Revival mansions, the Lyndhurst Mansion, is located at 635 South Broadway in Tarrytown, NY. With its park-like estate, it’s a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon and picnic on its spacious lawn.

It’s a bit pricier than the Walt Whitman Birthplace ($18 admission), but it’s also the home to lectures and concerts on the lawn during warmer months. Check out their website for details on upcoming events.  

The Big Duck

Long Island is home to The Big Duck, a kitschy piece of Americana. This roadside attraction is at 1012 Flanders Rd in Flanders, NY. Built in 1931, The Big Duck has become a Long Island icon, and with free admission, it’s worth stopping by for a perfect selfie or family photo op while you explore the island. The Big Duck is open 10-5 daily.

Montauk Point Lighthouse

This famous lighthouse, at 2000 Montauk Hwy in Montauk, NY, is the oldest lighthouse in New York State and offers a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. Complete with a museum and gift shop, it has daily tours. Hours change seasonally. Also, be sure to check the weather, as this National Historic Site is only open weather permitting. Admission is $11 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for children.  

Horton Point Lighthouse and Nautical Museum

A lesser-known but equally as charming lighthouse is the Horton Point Lighthouse which boasts an impressive museum of historical artifacts, including displays highlighting the War of 1812. Located at 3575 Lighthouse Road, Southold, NY, it is also home to an impressive Whaling Collection of Captain Henry Green.

Plan your visit, as the lighthouse is only open from 10 am to 3 pm, Mondays through Saturdays, Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Admission is only $5 per person or $10 for a family.  

Appreciate the Sights

For less than you might imagine, you and your family can have a great vacation and stay in your own backyard in your new home on Long Island, and keep your vacationing costs under control. Enjoy!