15 Best Things to Do in Long Beach, NY

 Long Beach, NY
STUDIO MELANGE / shutterstock.com

In the heart of Long Beach Barrier Island, off Long Island’s South Shore, sits the city of Long Beach, New York.

Surrounded by water, the city also calls itself the “City by the Sea,” the Latin form of which (“Civitas ad mare”) is also its official motto.

The first peoples who lived there were the Lenape, but they sold the place to English settlers in 1643.

However, it was only when Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn, decided to turn the place into a resort that it began to see tourists.

In 1880, he opened the Long Beach Hotel, which he said was the world’s biggest hotel.

It comprised a row of 27 cottages across a 1,100-foot line of the beach.

By the 1940s and 1950s, the city had transformed into a bedroom community for people going to New York City.

Affordable air travel pushed tourists to fly to faraway cities, while Long Beach’s air-conditioning gave year-round comfort.

While the city still drew many summer visitors in the 1970s, its reputation as a top-tier bedroom community has lasted even today.

If you work in New York City and want a quiet place to relax and recharge, Long Beach is the place for you.

Do you want to know more about Long Beach, NY?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in the city:

Enjoy the Beach along the Long Beach Boardwalk

View of sunset from Long Beach Boardwalk
STUDIO MELANGE / Shutterstock.com

Before you dip your toes in the ocean at Long Beach, you might want to take in the surroundings by walking along the Long Beach boardwalk.

After rebuilding in 2013, this boardwalk sees thousands of visitors every year, strolling along a stretch covering 2.2 miles out of the beach’s 3.3-mile length.

People enjoying the view of the beach from the benches at Long Beach Boardwalk
STUDIO MELANGE / Shutterstock.com

You could make a day out of simply hiking across the boardwalk, stopping by the places that catch your eye.

The only catch is that you can’t bring pets here.

Plus, you might need to get a pass for weekend beach access or daily access in the summer.

Learn Local History at the Long Beach Historical Museum

The Long Beach Historical & Preservation Society owns and maintains this museum, which the US Department of the Interior listed in its National Register.

Today, the building serves as the society’s headquarters and file archive.

Before it became a museum, the building was a two-story Craftsman-style house completed in 1909.

The house was also one of Long Beach’s original summer residence villas, proof of the city’s growing popularity as a tourist destination.

The house stands on a five-plots-wide lot, with a white stucco exterior and a red tile roof.

Today, the museum hosts special exhibits and features collections of historical artifacts telling the story of Long Beach’s progress.

Ride the Waves at the Ocean Beach Park

If you love surfing, you’re going to love Ocean Beach Park, a noted surfer’s haven.

On the other hand, if you just want to feel the ocean breeze or take a dip in the water, you’ll still enjoy visiting this gorgeous four-mile beachfront.

The park also has a 2.2-mile boardwalk, where you can snap gorgeous photos of the ocean view or simply breathe and relax.

You can still enjoy the park when the beach is out of season, thanks to its indoor pool, playgrounds, and other amenities.

You can go fishing at the pier, play beach volleyball, or enjoy live summer concerts.

Likewise, you can join or watch beach biathlons or soak in the sights and sea smells at the marina.

Listen to Live Music at the Speakeasy

Drop by the Speakeasy, located at West Beech Street, if you just want to sit back and enjoy live music over a glass of ice-cold beer.

This bar promises to bring a taste of the big city to the small-town setting of Long Beach.

Every 10 pm on Friday, this bar hosts live music performances from talented acts.

Besides music, you can also catch up on the games you’ve missed on the bar’s enormous flat-screen HD TVs.

Order several delicious dishes from a wide menu, such as burgers, sandwiches, and more.

You can bring your friends there for some drinks, or your family for some good grub.

Sample Pastries at the Long Beach Bagel Café

The Long Beach location of the Long Island Bagel Café has become a major fixture in the town’s local food scene.

Located at East Park Avenue in Long Beach, the bagel café offers perfect pastries for people on the go.

If you’re rushing to reach your next destination, stop by this place for some quick paninis, sandwiches, and, of course, bagels.

You can also try their breakfast options, soups, and salads.

Likewise, you can have their wraps, ranging from grilled chicken wraps to vegetable tuna wraps, enfolded in your choice of whole wheat, garlic and herb, and low-carb wraps.

Start your vacation right by grabbing some food here.

Revisit History at the Pauline Felix House

In 1909, the Pauline Felix House joined the eleven original houses built on Long Beach.

Located at 151 W Penn Street, the house has become one of the city’s most important historical landmarks, attracting visitors every year.

Richard and Marty Ross bought the Italian Renaissance Revival house in 2000, and they oversaw its renovation.

Frontyard of Pauline Felix House
DanTD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another reason for the house’s lasting appeal is the supposed presence of Pauline Felix herself.

Reportedly, her ghost remains in the house, walking the floors and turning faucets on and off.

Today, the house is part of the annual Long Beach Ghost Tour, which the Long Beach Island Landmarks Association runs every October.

In 2005, the National Register of Historic Places listed the Pauline Felix House in their records.

Grab Unique Souvenirs at Frippery

Bring quirky souvenirs home to your friends by shopping at Frippery, which offers various knickknacks and accessories.

You can buy nearly everything here, from watches, belts, bags, bracelets, to leggings and bangles.

Even after a whole day’s fun outside, you can still pop in for a short visit because the place closes late in the evening.

Make sure to check this place off your list before packing your things on your return home.

The place also sits near the Long Beach railway station, so if you’re going by train, you’ll get the chance to grab last-minute souvenirs.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices

If you’re getting scorched under the midday sun, retreat into Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices and cool yourself down.

Not only will you beat the heat, but you’ll also be eating delicious desserts.

You won’t have to look very hard to find this place, too, since Ralph’s operates about 80 outlets in Long Beach.

When you enter, you can order 30 different water ices, ranging from classic flavors, like strawberry and cherry, to unique flavors like root beer and passionfruit.

Moreover, these desserts are free of fat and cholesterol.

If you truly want to indulge, though, you can order the traditional hot fudge brownie sundae and chocolate chip sundae.

These sundaes are Ralph’s signature sundaes, too, and you can choose the toppings yourself.

Learn a New Hobby at Skudin Surf

Surfing can be a fun activity you can do with your kids.

It gets your blood pumping, and it lets your kids splash around and play to their hearts’ content.

However, surfing is also challenging, and not everyone might not want to do it.

Luckily, Skudin Surf in Long Beach can help introduce your family to this hobby.

Skudin Surf offers surfing lessons to adults and kids four years old and above.

Don’t worry if you’re a total newbie, because the school teaches surfing to people of all abilities.

They also maintain a fun and positive learning environment to avoid losing confidence.

Moreover, their lessons include private and semi-private instruction, group surf lessons, and surf camps for adults and kids.

Bring Your Kids to the Magnolia Playground

Your kids will enjoy jumping around at the Magnolia Playground in Long Beach.

It catches a lot of sun because of its location, right up the boardwalk.

After getting hit by Hurricane Sandy, the playground also received a makeover, improving its facilities to serve you better.

The playground features a distinct pirate and surf theme, with a shipwreck as the main attraction.

Even the main play area looks like a ship, filled with ladders, slides, tunnels, and monkey bars.

Surrounding this ship are smaller equipment like swings, a tunnel, a see-saw, and a playhouse.

Two large chalkboards allow kids to express themselves and be creative.

You can watch your kids play at the sunlit picnic tables; otherwise, you can sit in the dappled shade under the awnings.

Visit a Pioneer’s Home at the Cobble Villa

White two-storey building of Cobble Villa
DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1912, William H. Reynolds saw the completion of the Cobble Villa, located at the northwest end of Laurelton Boulevard and on the corner of W. Bay Drive.

Back then, Reynolds was the President of the Estates of Long Island.

His work as president led to the development of Long Beach into a thriving resort city in the early 20th century.

The two-story Mediterranean Revival-style Cobble Villa follows Reynolds’ guidelines for Long Beach’s early homes, which should look like European resorts along the Mediterranean Sea.

Gazebo at Cobble Villa
DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After all, Reynolds called the town the “Riviera of the New World.”

Following this nickname, the Cobble Villa has a red tile roof, white stucco, and stone exterior, spanning more than one building lot.

In 2015, the National Register of Historic Places listed the Cobble Villa in its records.

Practice Arts & Crafts at Earth Arts Long Beach

Likewise, your kids will surely get a kick out of studying arts and crafts at Earth Arts Long Beach.

The studio will help you awaken your creativity and express yourself like never before.

What can you do at this studio?

You can join their art workshops for adults, art classes for kids, and art camps.

You can also just walk in and start painting your pots, which you can bring home to your family, or keep in your workspace as an interesting memento.

If you’re planning a party or group event, you can also book an arrangement with the studio.

Fill Your Belly at the Shoregasboard Food Truck Market

All that exploring and beach-going will make anyone hungry.

So, when you hear your stomach grumbling, run right over to the Shoregasboard food truck market, a popular food spot at Riverside Boulevard.

This food spot features various food trucks that offer a rich selection of delicious meals.

For example, you can buy fish tacos at Sugo’s or grab hot dogs and pastrami sandwiches at Lido Kosher Deli.

If you want organic food, you can drop by the Long Beach Wellness Café and grab their organic and gluten-free food, such as wraps.

Feel the Nightlife at Minnesota’s Bar & Grill

In 1994, Minnesota’s Bar & Grill opened its doors and quickly became a fixture in the Long Beach community.

Today, after several redesigns and renovations, the place appeals to locals and tourists alike.

You can enjoy food from a top-rated chef, meet new people at the energetic bar scene, or just sit back and listen to live music.

The food covers everything from seafood to chicken, salads to hot wing buckets, and many others.

If you just want to enjoy sports, drop by on Sundays to avail yourself of their open-bar sports packages.

Let Your Kids Play at the Liddle Bites Play Café

While you explore the town a bit, you might want to bring your kids to this self-styled “play café” called Liddle Bites.

They’ll have a good time when you visit, thanks to the café’s various kids’ amenities.

For instance, your kids can play with a life-size dollhouse, or they can run around the indoor play area filled with different toys.

Every kid will love it here, from toddlers to eight-year-olds.

You can also enroll your kids in different classes, from mother and child ballet to music classes.

Don’t worry about food, too.

Your little ones will have all the energy they need because the café also offers pre-packed snacks and drinks.

Final Thoughts

The bedroom community of Long Beach promises a restful vacation but delivers on much more.

For example, you can get active by learning to surf or express yourself creatively through arts and crafts.

Likewise, you can visit historical landmarks and stop by for tasty meals at restaurants of your choice.

Bring your friends to the pubs and bars at night to cap off your day with cold drinks.

So, what are you waiting for?

Book your Long Beach getaway today!