Long Island is filled with gardens, parks, and water where you can take great walks. You can think of them as fantastic ways to spend time outside, or as a lazy person’s hike. Either way works, the truth is – that is between you and your water bottle.
We spend a great deal of time outside. We love to see water and flowers but also enjoy all four seasons that we have in New York. Some of our best visits are off season when the places are empty. Plus, if you’re a dork like me you can do longitudinal studies and take the same picture every season enjoying how the view changes.
These family-approved locations will fill your day with some good old fashioned fresh air and exercise. Even better, almost all of the walks below are free, so you can enjoy them at your leisure. If you’re looking for more of a hike – please check out my previous Long Island hiking posts – Part 1 and Part 2. Want even more stuff to do that doesn’t involve hiking? Check out my exploring Long Island posts.
Long Island GARDENS, Parks, & Water
Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens, Farmingdale
Part of Farmingdale State University – but open to the public – this garden is right off Route 110. This hidden gem is a really special place to visit. We even saw frogs. We like frogs.
Old Westbury Gardens, Westbury
Perfect in any season. This garden is a great place to take the same picture every few months. Lots of paths to walk on here and lots of really pretty things to see.
Clark Botanic Garden, Albertson
A small but very pretty garden with bridges and water. Perfect for smaller kids who may not be able to take long walks.
Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary, Floral Park
This place is amazing. I took my five-year-old here to explore and it was great. They have lots of paths, a working garden (that donates it’s produce to a shelter), bridges, alphabet planting beds, murals, birdhouses, and colors galore. One of the best finds this year.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River
In true arboretum fashion this place is filled with everything you would expect. Beautiful trails, water, flowers, and the weirdest roots we’ve ever seen. They looked like gophers frozen in time. You could spend hours here walking around.
Long Island Gardens, PARKS, & Water
Kings Park Psychiatric Center aka Nissequogue River State Park, Kings Park
Wow – want a crazy place to walk around? This is it! The huge campus of the former Psychiatric Center is now vandalized with colorful graffiti and open to the public to enjoy. Some say it’s haunted. Those “some” told us after we went (phew). Definitely an “if these walls could talk” feeling there.
Sunken Meadow State Park – Callahan’s Beach, Fort Salonga
This beautiful beach has some trails cut out of the tall grass, and a nice, long boardwalk. Great place to go for a walk. Especially at sunset.
Fire Island National Seashore, Robert Moses State Parks, Babylon
A fun walk from Robert Moses field 5 in any season. You will almost definitely see deer as well as some beautiful scenery. Of course the iconic Fire Island lighthouse is not to be missed. It is the halfway mark to Fire Island.
Jones Beach State Park, Field 10, Wantagh
A great walk in any season. This is where the seal walks are as well as the fishing piers. It is also where many of the famous Jones Beach sunset pictures are taken. If you go, you will see why.
Long Island Gardens, Parks, & WATER
St. John’s Pond Preserve, Cold Spring Harbor
This pond is located in the same parking lot as the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery. This is our favorite spot on Long Island. We come here every season to see how the view changes. I challenge you to take a bad picture. There is a large tree right by the parking lot with a plaque in front claiming to be the oldest trees on Long Island dating back to the 1700s. Go ahead, hug it.
Argyle Lake Park, Babylon
This beautiful park can better be described as a lake with a path to walk around. It’s a great place to spend some time and has a nice playground. There are fun shops and restaurants in the area too.
Reeves Beach Shipwrecks, Riverhead
If you’re looking for a super cool experience, head over to Reeve’s Beach where you can see shipwrecks from World War One unearthed by hurricane Sandy in 2012. To see them, park in the lot, walk down to the beach and make a left.
There’s Also A Museum
Heckscher Park, Huntington
A family favorite for years, this park with an art museum, sculptures, a big lake, stone bridges, a playground, and all the water fowl you could want – is right in the heart of Huntington. A beautiful place to visit in any season, it should be on everyone’s list.
William Cullen Bryant County Preserve/Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn
A beautiful sculpture garden surrounds the art museum of this Gold Coast Mansion. This is a great destination for some exercise and fun pictures. We especially like the mirrored sculptures. Another one of our favorites in all seasons.
Cedarmere Park, Roslyn
Around the Clayton-Cedarmere Estates you’ll find a waterfront park with lots of land to run around as well as beautiful gardens and a lake with a great stone bridge. You can also walk down to the water and see their old mill.
Here’s to you finding your Zen at one of these beautiful Long Island gardens, parks, and water. Let me know your favorite below! Are you in New York City and can’t make it out to one of these “country” places yet? Need a quick burst of color? How about NYC flowers delivered same day!? Check out Plant Shed!
Don’t forget to check out all the family friendly destinations we’ve researched!
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