Soak up the scenery of breakers, beaches and protected parks with yoga classes and kayaking tours on this nature-rich strip of New York State.
A mention of Long Island conjures images of New Yorkers heading for weekend parties on lively Fire Island. In fact, legions of nature lovers visit this Atlantic peninsula for its array of parks – Jones Beach State Park, Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, Montauk Downs State Park and Sunken Meadow State Park, to name a few – plus estuaries, wildlife sanctuaries and secluded bluffs. Here, you can connect with nature, only a ferry ride from the frenzy of the Big Apple.
Benefit from the curative powers of nature with a wellness class (pilates, vinyasa yoga or boot camp) on a white-sand beach. Gurney’s oceanside resort and spa in Montauk, on the east side of Long Island, is the ideal place to recalibrate yourself. And when you want to shift indoors, there’s a Finnish sauna and a seawater pool to dial up the relaxation even more.
Long Island parks department arranges guided nature tours for adults and children in the 3,460-acre (1,400ha) Connetquot River State Park Preserve. Each tour focuses on a specific subject, ranging from butterflies and bats to fiddler crabs and dragonflies, and chances are you’ll also spot interesting flora, such as trailing arbutus and pink lady’s slippers. A bonus: the park contains 50mi (80km) of hiking trails, most of them along the river.
Sound View Greenport, a 55-room waterfront hotel on the North Fork peninsula, encourages guests to embrace nature during their stay. In addition to comfortable digs and locally sourced food, the innkeepers offer a variety of nature-infused programming, such as local farm tours, yoga on the beach and guided meditation walks.
Hop aboard Captain Lou’s Atlantic Pearl with Long Island Whale & Seal Watching to see humpbacks – which can grow to 59ft (18m) in length and weigh up to 79,000lb (36,000kg) – and bottlenose dolphins, along with other marine creatures which frequent the Atlantic waters off Long Island. Tours last four hours and start from 111 Woodcleft Avenue.
Enjoy the fresh air as you share a yoga mat with a friendly goat at Corwith Farmstand, a fifth-generation family farm in the Suffolk County hamlet of Water Mill. The 60-minute classes involve breathing and movement, along with stretching, strength exercises and relaxation techniques – and all with the participation of Billy the Kid.
Choose a SUP board, kayak or canoe for a guided night-time paddle down the Peconic River – moonlight will assist as you observe marine life after sunset. The river starts in the bogs and wetlands of central Long Island and flows east to the Peconic Bay, so there’s a variety of natural habitats to observe.
Tackle an outdoor obstacle course with WildPlay at Jones Beach State Park. You’ll test your mettle as you navigate from platform to platform on a variety of tightropes, cargo nets, ziplines, rope swings, swinging logs and wobbly bridges. Up for a bigger challenge? Try out the Extreme Course. To cap it off, the backdrop to all this adrenaline-pumping activity will be the white sands of Jones Beach State Park.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.