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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A to Z Blogging: L is for Long Island

My home. Why do I love it? Because I'm a two-hour drive to all that New York City has to offer if I head west, and a two-hour drive to the more relaxing beaches and wineries of the East End if I drive...well...east. For those unfamiliar with my little corner of paradise, Long Island is shaped like a fish. See?
Photo courtesy of Loving Long Island.com

From the "head" to the "tail," it's about 110 miles long and at its widest, about 20 miles across. The tail is divided into two forks: north and south, as is the island itself with its north shore and south shore.

On the North Shore, Long Island is separated from Connecticut, northern New York, and Massachusetts, by the Long Island Sound. North Shore beaches boast calm waters and rocky coasts. The rocks are leftover from a glacier during the Earth's Ice Age that melted from south to north. This same glacier provided the rich soil that gives Long Island its great farms and vineyards and white, sandy beaches on the South Shore which, conveniently borders the Atlantic Ocean.

We have dozens of lighthouses, fishing, water sports, farms, and vineyards. Long Island was the place for the very first suburb (Levittown). Like history? We've got spies and pirates, presidents and movie stars from ages long gone by. Plenty of books have been set on Long Island from The Great Gatsby all the way to my own Calendar Girls series (Snug Harbor is my version of Montauk).

Yes, we have the Hamptons. But we also have charming towns like Port Jefferson (where a ferry connects us to New England via Bridgeport, Connecticut) and Greenport (where another ferry connects us to the laid back beauty of Shelter Island). We have Fire Island with its four-hundred-year-old forest and lots of beaches (reachable by...yep...a coupla different ferries). We have Montauk--the most eastern town on the South Fork (and still another ferry to Block Island, Rhode Island). Orient Point is the easternmost point on the North Fork (and offers more ferry services).

Like a nautical atmosphere? There's the Nautical Mile in Freeport, an esplanade that opens onto the fishing center of Nassau County. And Gosman's in Montauk. Check out the shops at either site and have a seafood meal with fish that came out of the ocean an hour before you sat down to eat. 

We have a full four seasons with sunny springs, hot (and humid) summers, crisp autumns and snowy winters. Sure, we get our share of hurricanes and the last one really walloped us good. But we're nothing if not resilient here, and we bounced back.

Come visit us. We'd love to share our beauty, our friendship, and our fun with you!

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