Long Island Railroad
The Long Island Rail Road connects New York City to its beachfront backyard, Long Island. The LIRR provides service to 124 stations on Long Island and access to white-sand beaches, historic lighthouses, Gatbsy-era Gold Coast Mansions, award-winning vineyards, vibrant downtowns, championship golf courses and more!
Car-Free Trips At These Downtowns
In addition, check out some Long Island hoteliers that offer their guests free shuttle services to ensure a seamless transportation experience, recently featured in the MTA Away article 8 Carefree (and Car-Free) Overnight Escapes on Long Island.
2022 Top Picks for Car-Free Destinations
For access to exclusive deals at the small businesses and attractions throughout the downtowns below and many other communities, download Discover Long Island’s free Downtown Deals Travel Pass.
Fire Island: A World-Famous Car-Free Haven
The barrier of Fire Island sits just off the coast of Long Island’s southern shoreline and is accessible only by ferry, which you can catch with a quick shuttle from the Sayville or Patchogue LIRR stop. Locals and visitors travel around by foot, bike, wagon and gold cart at this car-free beach haven. The 32-mile long island is known for its pristine beaches, a relaxing ambiance, vibrant restaurants and nightlife, and for being one of the world’s most popular LGBTQ+ destinations. Fire Island consists of 17 unique resort communities including private homes and overnight accommodations. Clime 182 steps to the top of the historic Fire Island Lighthouse, take a guided canoe tour through the Salt Marsh, enjoy public marinas for boating and fishing, camp at Watch Hill, or spend the day at one of the lifeguarded beaches. Find unique gifts and keepsakes at Hanalei and Kula’s boutique in Ocean Beach. Be sure to stop by CJ’s, home of the rocket fuel for a sip of Fire Island’s famed specialty drink.
Explore the ‘City by the Sea’: Long Beach
With mile after mile of inviting sands, Long Beach certainly lives up to its name. This barrier island community is just 45-minutes from midtown Manhattan. Long Beach is an upbeat coastal retreat with LGBTQ+ pride, a vibrant surfing community, regular beach volleyball, free summer concerts, food trucks, fishing piers and more. This bustling beach town is best known for its iconic 4.5-mile boardwalk rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, which is once again teeming with quirky shops, unique and classic eateries, cyclists, runners, and more. Head to Skudin’ Surf School & Shop for surf lessons, board rentals and other cool gear or snap a picture in front of the Instagrammable Long Beach Osprey Wings. Don’t worry about toting heavy beach gear either. Beach Comfort will deliver rental equipment to right on the beach. Stay overnight at the Allegria Hotel, a chic boutique delivering a dost of Miami style that boasts a rooftop pool with breathtaking views of the Atlantic as well as the NYC skyline.
Experience the Nautical Mile then Head to the World-famous Jones Beach
Take the train to Freeport and hop on the N.I.C.E Bus to the Nautical Mile. The combination of restaurants and workboats, open-air bars and fish markets, live music and foghorns on the Nautical Mile provides a unique blend of musical charm and street fair revelry. Visitors can also take the N.I.C.E Bus to the Jones Beach Boardwalk from the Freeport LIRR stop – one of NY State’s greatest escapes. In addition to swimming, surfing, sunbathing, mini golf, fishing piers and more, the boardwalk provides access to WildPlay Park where visitors can test their limits. Be sure to catch a live a-list performance in the region’s only outdoor amphitheater, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater.
Walkable Downtown Experiences
Discover the New England Style Stony Brook Village
Visitors will be transported back in time as they walk from the LIRR station to Stony Brook Village, a waterfront shopping district in a Colonial New England setting complete with white clapboard buildings. Fun fact: Stony Brook was the epicenter The Culper Spy Ring during the American Revolution, made famous by AMC’s hit drama TURN. President George Washington traveled to the area in 1790 by horse-drawn carriage to thank Long Island supporters and the spy ring for their help in winning the war. Stay overnight at the historic Three Village Inn built in 1751 which has six cottages named after Revolutionary War spies that overlook the harbor. While here, visitors can tour the Stony Brook Grist Mill used by farmers throughout the 18th – 20th centuries. Grab a kayak from Stony Brook Harbor Kayak and Paddle Board rentals for a unique water tour of the historic mills. For a hands-on activity, Stony Brook Chocolate offers workshops for customers to make seasonal artisanal chocolate creations. Check out the The Jazz Loft for some after dinner entertainment. To explore what’s beyond the village car-free, Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn offers complimentary bikes to all their guests.
Experience the Seaside Charm of Port Jefferson
Throughout this walkable village right off the LIRR, the salty sea breeze fills boutiques, wine glasses chime from open-air bistros and the marina sunset greets families as they stroll by Ralph’s ice cream parlor. Stay overnight at Danford’s Hotel & Marina – the nautical New England style retreat has waterfront views of the Long Island Sound and dockside dinning. There is much to explore in this coastal gem. Take a photo with Long Island’s angel wings, build a wooden boat at the Bayles Boat Shop or take a serene outdoor Instagrammable walk at the McAllister Park Pirate’s Cove. Dinner options are as diverse as Long Island’s landscape and include traditional East Coast eats at PJ’s Lobster House, SaGhar for Indian cuisine with a Western twist, Prohibition Kitchen for a New American menu in a trendy atmosphere and more. Don’t miss Roots Kava Bar for a custom blend and ancient rituals.
Explore Huntington Village, a little microcosm of Manhattan
The area where British troops camped following the Battle of Long Island during the American Revolutionary War is today one of the most popular cultural meccas on Long Island. Named by USA Today as one of the best places to view fall foliage, Huntington also boasts a chic downtown with harbor front dining at Prime, local brews from Six Harbor Brewing Co., live entertainment at the nationally acclaimed venue the Paramount, and culture exhibitions inside the Heckscher Museum of Art which showcases more than 2,500 pieces of American and European artwork dating back to 1534. Revive Health Studio is the place to go for boutique skincare and holistic services like TuneBed sessions or Red-Light Therapy. The Hilton Inn and Suites Downtown Huntington opening this spring is located directly on main St. and walking distance from beloved attractions.
Port Washington: Easily Accessible by Train or Boat
Step off the LIRR platform into a restaurant-ladden historic, waterfront destination where history, luxury and serenity intertwine. Reserve a party yacht with Long Island Boat Rentals and take a private tour of Long Island’s North Shore and iconic Manhattan landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Stop by the Port Salt Cave for a little R&R before heading to a live performance at Landmark on Main Street Theatre. The intimate six-room boutique hotel, Fathoms Hotel & Marina is conveniently located at the end of the Main Street strip.
Greenport: Named by Forbes as One of the 11 Prettiest Towns in America
Located at the tip of Long Island’s North Fork and right off the last stop of the LIRR’s Greenport Branch the walkable harbor front village of Greenport, an adorable historic district and marina filled with live music, charming, vintage boutiques, and restaurants with outdoor terraces. Its close proximity to Long Island Wine Country and farmland makes Greenport a visitor favorite. Grab a lobster roll at Claudio’s, a staple of Long Island summers and relax with a fresh brew at Greenport Harbor Brewing housed in the town’s original firehouse before a walk around Mitchell Park, where kids can take a spin on a 100-year-old carousel (there’s also ice skating in the park in winter) or learn about the rich maritime heritage of Long Island’s East End at the East End Seaport Museum. Chic boutique hotel, The Menhaden, offers complimentary bicycles and shuttle services for its guests with its exclusive Moke. Guests must arrange for rides in the Moke and can do so by speaking with the hotel’s concierge.
Head to Riverhead for Family Fun & Local Brews
A bustling downtown is met with easy access to The Forks and the mid-island region in Riverhead. Within walking distance of the LIRR station visitors will find an array of amenities inclusive of family-friendly activities, watersports, brewery experiences, there’s even something for the history buffs. Stop by the Long Island Aquarium for hands-on learning about local and world marine life. The fully operational distillery at Montauk Distilling Co. and near dozen breweries located on the Riverhead Ale Trail welcome visitors to tour its site, enjoy its tasting room, and shop for locally made products in its store. The Hotel Indigo East End can provide guests with free shuttle services, on-site dinner & drinks, as well as posh rooms and décor.
Unique Outdoor Escapes
Gold Coast: Bring a Bike for a Gilded Age Excursion
Long Island’s historic Gold Coast is home to stunning grand estates set against pristine gardens and shimmering coastlines. Tour the mansions of the Roaring Twenties where industry tycoons (including the Vanderbilts and Guggenheims) reigned supreme and served as the inspiration behind The Great Gatsby. Stay overnight at the luxurious Oheka Castle, often serving as a set for major Hollywood productions. Take the LIRR to Port Washington, Oyster Bay, and Port Jefferson to easily access eight Long Island estates for a Gilded Age experience, some of which include Sands Point Preserve, Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, Planting Fields, Old Westbury Gardens and more. Note that some locations require a short walk, bike ride (bring yours on the train), or rideshare from the station. More details are available HERE.
Known as the celebrity paradise with boutique shops and beautiful beaches. Keep your eyes open and you might catch a glimpse of your favorite star shopping, dining around town or lounging on the world-renowned beaches.
- Take the train to multiple stations in the Hamptons including Westhampton, Hampton Bays, Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Amagansett.
- Take the train to Southampton Station for service to Coopers Beach and the Parrish Art Museum. Stay overnight at the 1708 House.
- Take the train to East Hampton Station for service to East Hampton Main Beach and shopping on Main Street. Stay overnight at The Baker House.
North Fork Wine Country
The country roads of Long Island’s North Fork are lined with vast stretches of farm stands and wineries. Rated by Wine Enthusiast as one of the ‘Top 10 Wine Regions’ in the world, the iconic region is now home to more than 60 vineyards and dozens of craft breweries and distilleries.
- Brand new for 2022, MTA Away has launched a Long Island Wine Country tour featuring a little bit of wine and a whole lot of local flavor! The fun begins when you board the LIRR Escorted Tour bus at the LIRR’s West Hampton Station and stop at a local farm stand (time permitting) on the way to Pindar Vineyards, to experience a Cupcake & Wine pairing.
- Next on your tour, we’ll take you to the waterfront village of Port Jefferson, where you can take in the harbor views, walk to a microbrewery, indulge in some homemade local ice cream, or visit an art gallery — all situated in a picturesque, historic village setting.
- Still thirsty for more? Hop on the tour bus to your final destination — the village of Patchogue. Here you can visit Brickhouse Brewery, Long Island’s oldest brewery and restaurant, Blue Point Brewing Company, and so much more. Explore Patchogue for as long as you’d like, as the Patchogue LIRR train station is within walking distance from Main Street (be sure to check for train schedule information).
For more information on this Getaway package, visit https://away.mta.info/
Famed Long Island’s, ‘The End’, explore the surf driven hamlet of Montauk.
- Take the train for service to white sand beaches, the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse and luxury resorts including Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina and Hero Beach Club.
The MTA LIRR Train Time App has been completey re-designed. New feautres include, geo-location of where the train is at the moment, purchase e-tickets, view train capacities and where it will stop to position yourself to find a seat before the train arrives, sign up for notfications to be notified when the train is arriving and on which track, share and send the train location with a friend. For more details, click here.
Moynihan Train Hall: A New, World-Class Transit Hub – Now Open
Moynihan Train Hall is now open to the public, expanding Penn Station across 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd streets, into the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building. For more information, click here. Moynihan Train Hall will transform the travel experience for LIRR customers, offering direct access to Tracks 13-16, with access to Tracks 17-21 available via the adjacent West End Concourse. Additional amenities include a ticket office, customer service office, and ticket machines. Customers in need of mobility assistance will be able to access LIRR Care from Moynihan