By Joseph Iemma
While the final traces of those long summer days begin to slip away, students reluctantly give way to the cool autumn breeze and the six-o’clock sunset. Although autumn doesn’t offer spring’s new life and summer’s late nights, the season on Long Island does have its perks.
A Fun Time During the Day Time
Unfortunately, the beach couldn’t make the list for climatic reasons; however, it’s still warm enough outside to get the best of Long Island’s rural side. Train stations and bus routes give way to pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Elwood Pumpkin Farm, off Jericho Turnpike in Huntington, and Glover Farms Corn Maze, on Horseblock Road in Brookhaven, are just a couple of places where you can enjoy a brisk autumn day with a group of friends, or your significant other.
If you’re more of the adventurous, outdoorsy type, perhaps it’s time to take advantage of the 200+ miles of Long Island’s hiking trails. Garvies Point in Glen Cove, David Weld Sanctuary in Nissequogue, Caumsett State Park in Huntington and the Muttontown Preserve in East Norwich are some of the places that offer to de-stress your fall semester. A walk through Long Island’s wild areas allows you to explore, de-stress, and appreciate some fresh air, while also getting some good exercise.
Do It for the Thrill
When some college students hear that phrase, it could mean something is about to happen that our parents would not approve of. However, Long Island’s Halloween-inspired theme parks have visitors from across the tri-state area for good reason.
NYZ Apocalypse, located in Deer Park, is operating every October weekend from 4 p.m. -11 p.m. NYZ Apocalypse offers a unique, interactive survival experience. Visitors are forced to find a way out of an underground prison complex while attempting to escape zombies. At $40 per person, NYZ Apocalypse is a sure-bet for a great time.
If you’re into Halloween but not into fearing for your life, the Bayville Scream Park is probably the place for you. Located on the North Shore, Bayville Scream Park offers six attractions: Bloodmouth Haunted Mansion, Uncle Needles Funhouse of Fear in 3D and Evil in the Wood considered the top three of the scream park’s most heralded.
A little more on the ‘PG-13’ side, the scream park offers a fun time filled with thrills and chills, but not to the point where you’ll find yourself running out of the park. Tickets for the full attraction combo start at $49.75, but you can upgrade to the VIP Speedpass for $63.75.
Historical Sites & Museums for a Rainy Day
Prior to the First World War, Long Island’s North Shore, also known as the “Gold Coast,” fielded some of America’s leading real estate. If you’re into architecture and political history, you may want to check out the Sagamore Hill National Site, also known as “The Summer White House,” from when the estate served as Theodore Roosevelt’s vacation house.
Located in Oyster Bay, the Sagamore Historical Site is free and features historic farms, orchards, and a nature trail to the beaches of Cold Spring Harbor. If you wish to tour the Roosevelt home, the cost is $10.
Huntington features a historic estate of its own, too. Built in 1919, Oheka Castle is one of America’s largest estates, according to Travel- Channel.com. Coming in at 115,000 square feet, and boasting 117 guest rooms, the estate now serves primarily as a catering hall/hotel. You can tour Long Island’s largest castle for $25.
Shopping On the Island
Long Island offers a wide selection in shopping. Roosevelt Field Mall ranks 10th in America’s Top-10 biggest shopping malls, according to the TravelChannel.com. Not to mention the Tanger outlets in Deer Park and Riverhead, and the upscale Americana Mall in Manhasset.