Travel Thoughts By Kim

By Kim Pritt, Contributor Posted 5 December 2022 at 8:20 am

At the end of Long Island is the Montauk Lighthouse – just what you envision a beautiful, peaceful beach community to be!

Let’s go on an adventure together….to Long Island!

This time of year, I often find myself remembering a wonderful Thanksgiving I spent on Long Island in 2018. I traveled with a friend to her sister’s home for the holiday and we had the best time! I had been to New York City several times, but never during the holidays, and since Long Island was also a bucket list item, it was a perfect way to spend Thanksgiving. 

Our first full day, we took the Long Island Railroad into New York City. We had tickets to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall – something I always wanted to see. We spent the entire day walking around the city looking at all the wonderful store windows all decorated for Christmas, shopping, eating, and, of course, we went to see Santa at Macy’s. I have always loved being in the city, but there was something so much more special getting to watch skaters at Rockefeller Center, seeing the Christmas window displays, sitting and listening to a choir sing in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and that amazing lht show on the Saks Fifth Avenue building after dark. It was a magical day that ended with me falling asleep on the train back to Long Island.

The rest of our time was spent on Long Island – no, we didn’t go back into the city to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We spent Thanksgiving warm and cozy preparing and enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving meal with my special adopted family and friends. Black Friday took us out shopping at a local mall and included a corned beef on rye sandwich at a kosher deli that was so good it brought tears to my eyes. 

Then, the Long Island sightseeing began. On Saturday, we drove out to Montauk. If you’re ever on Long Island, you have to go to Montauk and see the lighthouse and shore – so peaceful and beautiful! Along the way, we drove through all the Hamptons, stopped at a wonderful historic cemetery in East Hampton that had a stone knight laid to rest in a crypt (there’s a few great photos of it in the blog post link), and even saw the infamous Big Duck in Flanders, a silly big pink and purple bird in high heels, and a flying pig! Yep – lots of cool stuff to see on Long Island, for sure! 

Our time at Montauk was amazing. It is located at the tip of Long Island with the ocean on one side and the sound on the other and views of Connecticut in the distance. I love lighthouses and seek them out whenever I get the chance. The one on Montauk is stunning. We walked around the lighthouse and beach for a while enjoying the absolutely beautiful day.

The Believe sign on the side of Macy’s in New York City all lit up after dark – just days before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The day trip into the city was amazing, but if I had just stayed on Long Island the whole time, I would have been just as happy. In addition to shopping and our day at Montauk, we spent a little time in Port Jefferson – one of many quaint beach communities. We also spent some time at another beach that was simply gorgeous. This beach is the home of a huge memorial at the spot where TWA Flight 800 crashed just off shore 12 minutes after taking off from JFK on the evening of July 17, 1996. There were no survivors and an amazing International Memorial was established to honor those who died in the crash and those who worked tirelessly in the search and recovery efforts. The memorial includes all the names of those being honored, benches, information, and inspirational quotes. 

We also attended a Sunday evening mass at St. Francis Chapel in Miller Place. St. Francis is a Friary – an old Monastery with Father Frank who is a wonderful “hippy” priest who runs Hope House Mission, a great program that helps addicts get and stay clean – not sure if he’s still there, but I really enjoyed his mass.

We met up with this silly, but super cool bird in high heels waltzing around the Montauk Lighthouse – gave us a good chuckle!

I’m not sure what I expected Long Island to be like. I guess I thought it would be little quaint beach communities – well, there was definitely plenty of those, but it was so much more. First of all, it is a LOT bigger than I thought. I guess I thought it was just a small strip island with just beaches. It actually has a lot of rural space and wooded areas and there are tons of shopping opportunities – including lovely local shops, bigger malls, and even a Tanger Mall. It is a huge island – I think it took us a little over an hour to get from where we were staying in Miller Place to Montauk and Miller Place is about ½ way up the island. But, whatever I had pictured in my head, I found Long Island to be a beautiful place to visit with tons to do and see. It was a great week of wonderful memories. Long Island is definitely a place worth considering for a visit.

Visit my blog post for more photos and info from my amazing Thanksgiving trip to Long Island!

Happy Adventuring!