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Top 15 Best Things to Do in Islip, New York

Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Islip, New York

Islip is not as popular as the other cities in New York, but it has its fair share of outdoor activities that are either fun or relaxing. One of ten towns in Suffolk County, Islip is known for its parks, most notably Fire Island National Seashore.

Fire Island National Seashore

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Fire Island National Seashore photo via NPS.gov

Fire Island National Seashore is one of the smallest United States National Seashores and was established in 1964. Seashores and lakeshores declared as National Seashores are federally designated as preserved areas. Fire Island has several activities to do, and even day trippers can complete them in one day. Fire Island has warm weather water-based activities like fishing, canoeing, and boating along Fire Island’s salt marshes. Hike the extensive networks of nature trails at several National Park Service Sites, like the Lighthouse, Sunken Forest, Watch Hill, and Talisman, or on the grounds of William Floyd Estate.

Location: Ocean Beach, NY 11770

Bayard Cutting Arboretum

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Bayard Cutting Arboretum was donated by Mrs. William Bayard Cutting and her daughter, Mrs. Olivia James, in memory of William Bayard Cutting, “to provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest, and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting.”

Landscape planning started in 1887 by Frederick Law Olmsted, and most of the plantings were done in the 1940s. However, a hurricane in 1985 destroyed most of these. The Arboretum has extensive collections and plantings of dwarf evergreens, rhododendron, azaleas, hollies, oaks, wildflowers, and daffodils.

Location: 440 Montauk Highway, Great River, NY 11739

Seatuck Environmental Association

Seatuck Environmental Association is a family-friendly nature center committed to preserving natural sea habitats. The Association has an array of marine-related artifacts on display and marine-centered activities for visitors. Every year, Seatuck Environmental Association also hosts an eco-carnival festival with the theme of nature preservation.

Location: 550 S Bay Ave, Islip, NY 11751

South Shore Nature Center

The South Shore Nature Center, operated by Seatuck Environmental Association, is a 200-acre nature preserve established in 1977. The nature preserve stretches to the shores of the Great South Bay and includes upland forests, freshwater wetlands, and salt marsh. The visitor center provides guests with an extensive exhibit, a collection of live animals, mounted wildlife specimens, and dioramas. The center has a trail and boardwalks that let visitors walk through the preserve.

Location: 130 Bayview Ave, East Islip, NY 11730

Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge

The Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge is a 209-acre wildlife refuge donated in 1968. The Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Although the refuge is not open to the public, residents and visitors can take the network of trails and boardwalks on the outskirt of the refuge. Every November through January, Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge opens 100 acres of land to white-tailed deer hunters. All hunters must complete an archery hunting application.

Location: 500 St. Marks Lane, Islip, NY 11751

Suffolk County Environmental Center

The Suffolk County Environmental Center is located on the Scully Estate and opened in 2010. It is operated by the Seatuck Environmental Association and the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation. The 70-acre environmental center is adjacent to the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge and Islip Town Beach. Like the South Shore Nature Center, Suffolk County Environmental Center has a network of trails and boardwalks that lets visitors walk through the nature center. Visitors can take self-guided and passive tours or join the nature programs offered.

Location: 550 S Bay Ave, Islip, NY 11751

Shipwreck Cove Spray Park

The Shipwreck Cove Spray Park is a pirate-themed spray park with sails and canons. The pools are not deep enough to swim in but safe enough for younger children to sit and crawl in the pool. There are slides of different sizes, sprinklers everywhere, and a big water barrel that unexpectedly dumps large amounts of water. There are rope bridges and staircases around the spray park that children can traverse. Shipwreck Cove Spray Park is relatively smaller than other waterparks but this local spray park is a community favorite.

Location: 139 S Clinton Ave, Bay Shore, NY 11706

Brookwood Hall Park

Brookwood Hall Park is a great place for outdoor activities where families can have a picnic by the lake, take the hiking trails around the lake, or let the children feed the geese. The 35-acre park has many animals; visitors can see squirrels, raccoons, swans, and even turtles. The Brookwood Hall Park Playground is also on the other side of the park. The Playground has a sign language teaching sign, monkey bars, and rock-climbing walls. The ground is rubber, and the entire area is fenced in.

Location: 50 Irish Ln, Islip, NY 11751

Beaver Dam Park – Islip Owls

The Beaver Dam Park is a quiet park with open spaces, play areas, a basketball court, and a baseball field. The park is often filled with young children playing and older children in the jungle gym. It is a popular park for residents to take a break in as it connects two neighborhoods.

Location: 200 Beech Street, Islip, NY 11751

Byron Lake Park

Byron Lake Park is a tree-lined park that is popular for picnics and pool parties. At 37 acres, the park has several features. These include an Olympic-size swimming pool, waterslide, barbeque-pit-filled picnic areas, a basketball court, a children’s playground, and a gazebo that overlooks Byron Lake. The park is also used as a summer camp for children.

Location: 80 Bridle Way, Oakdale, NY 11769

Gardiner County Park

Gardiner County Park is a public park on the Great South Bay known for being dog-friendly. The park is great for owners to bring and walk their dogs on several on-leash trails. There are dog runs in the park for large and small dogs, as well as a dog agility course, doggie water fountain, and waste station. The county park is also frequented by casual walkers, joggers, and cyclists. The park’s land was originally owned by The Gardiner family, Suffolk’s first non-native landowners.

Location: Montauk Highway, Bay Shore, NY 11706,

The Common Ground at Rotary Park

The Common Ground at Rotary Park is a popular venue for community events like live concerts and parades. The park was created by a group of community members as a reflective garden dedicated to the lives lost in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The Common Ground has several features like the flower gardens, stone walkways, memorial benches, The Peace Labyrinth, and The Pamela Raymond Performance Pavilion.

Location: 46 Gillette Avenue, Box 533, Sayville, NY 11782

Sayville Falls Mini Golf

The Sayville Falls Mini Golf is a family-friendly entertainment center with double-sided waterfalls, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and viewing platforms overlooking ponds filled with fish and turtles. Although a mini-golf course, the holes have great designs and can make any game competitive enough.

Location: 30 Hanson Pl, Sayville, NY 11782

The Himes Museum of Motor Racing Nostalgia

The Himes Museum of Motor Racing Nostalgia, sometimes called The Marty Himes Museum, has an extensive collection of racing memorabilia from the owner himself, Marty Himes. The museum was created to preserve vintage race cars and showcase Long Island’s racing history. Mr. Himes has stock cars, model racers, helmets, driving suits, tickets, and thousands of photos on display.

Location: 15 Oneill Avenue, Bay Shore, NY 11706

Mini Monet Art Studio

Mini Monet Art Studio is an art school that offers art classes to children and adults. These art classes range from drawing, painting, sculpting, and printmaking to various art techniques and mediums like canvas and glass. The art studio is a great place to enjoy with young children, hone their interest in arts, and let their young minds wander with creativity.

Location: 122 & 128 Main Street, Sayville, NY 11782

How to Get There

Visitors can get to Islip by plane and train. The nearest airport to Islip is the Long Island MacArthur Airport, although Liberty Jet Management offers private jet charter services. The main railway metro system that services Islip is the Long Island Rail Road, but there are other stations to get off to, depending on the destination.

Our Top Hotel Picks for Islip NY

Islip NY Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Islip, NY hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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