Long Island is 118 miles long from east to west and about 23 miles wide covering an entire land area of about 1,723 square miles total. Long Island is the largest island in the continental United States, and arguably the most gorgeous.
Long Island New York is ‘physically’ made up of four counties. The suburban centers of Nassau County and Suffolk County are in Long Island’s mid west and eastern sectors. The New York City boroughs are on the western end which includes Kings County (Brooklyn) and Queens County (Queens). To those familiar with the area the term “Long Island” or “The Island” typically refer only to Nassau and Suffolk, which are more suburban or rural. Brooklyn and Queens are mostly associated with New York City and the metropolitan area.
Long Island is 118 miles long from its eastern most tip, west to New York City and about 23 miles wide from its North Shore to the South. Driving from New York City to Montauk Point or the popular Hamptons takes roughly three (3) hours by car.
Long Island is one of the reasons why people say, “I love New York!” With its amazing 100 miles of beaches on both its north and south shores, the physical island contains a population of over 7.5 million.
A poem about “Paumanok” (Long Island) on a large stone in West Hills, written by Walt Whitman – photo by Stephen Takacs
Fact: Did you know that Long Island is also the most populated island in the U.S. and ranks 17th in the world, in that category?
Fact: The Native American name for the island is Paumonauk (Photo: Bottom Right), which means “fish-shaped island.”
Fact: Italian Explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano spoted the South Shore of Long Island in 1524.
The weather on Long Island is, for the most part, cold in winter with an average temperature of about 40 degrees and about 78 degrees in summer months. According to the United States Annual Sunshine Map, Long Island enjoys an average of 2,400 to 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. The western end toward New York City is generally milder than its eastern forks as there is less wind and it is closer to the mainland.
Long Island is vulnerable to flooding by hurricanes although storms have been rare over the last twenty to thirty years. On October 29th 2012, Long Island was declared a major disaster when Hurricane Sandy devastated the South Shore.
A beach view off of the south shore of Long Island.
New York and Long Island are part of the Mid-Atlantic States. But the Island’s north shore and the eastern part of Suffolk County mostly resemble New England.
Long Island has a strong middle class that works hard for home ownership, invests in education, and is committed to community events and issues. The area is one of the most affluent areas in the country, due to its proximity to New York City. The Island is home to some of the country’s most luxurious mansions and getaways of the wealthy such as the popular Hamptons, who make popular spots on Long Island’s south eastern fork, their playground, thus it is not surprising that Long Island is quite a costly place to live and raise a family, with the residents paying some of the highest real estate and property taxes in the country.
Nonetheless, there is fantastic news for those considering relocation. Long Island is one of the finest places to raise children. The FBI’s 2010 Crime Index reporting that Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk) ranks as having the second lowest crime rate in the entire United States with the state of New York being the safest large state.
The people of Long Island boast of ethnic diversity. In particular the area has a large Italian-American and Jewish-American population. The mixture of different origins makes Long Island an outstanding place to savor mouth-watering cuisine from different regions of the world. Long Island also boasts of having some of this world’s finest wine due to the many wineries calling Long Island’s east end home.
Long Island is also home to the Sagtikos Manor, a historic home built in 1697. The estate served as headquarters for the British Army during The Battle of Long Island. In 1790, George Washington recorded in his diary an overnight stop here during his tour of Long Island. It is now operated by The Sagtikos Manor Historical Society and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
There is surely much to see and do on Long Island, best visited in spring and summer months when visitors can include trips to Fire Island the Hampton’s and Montauk Point, where waters are warm further complementing the areas abundance of attractions. To find out more about this wonderful area take a video tour of Long Island.