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Long Island

Reasons to never leave Long Island

If you're thinking about moving, the reasons to stay on Long Island have most likely crossed your mind by now.

There are some unique quirks, special places and unforgettable edibles that will give you second thoughts about relocating.

What else should we have on this list? Email your suggestions to rachel.weiss@newsday.com.

Long Island Live Steamers

Nestled in Brookhaven -- and referred to as
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Nestled in Brookhaven -- and referred to as one of Long Island's "best-kept secrets" -- Long Island Live Steamers is certainly unique. Visitors can board steam, diesel and electric trains and ride through eight acres of land, all day long. For the ultimate Long Island experience, plan your birthday party here!

Lavender by the Bay

Between the heavenly floral fragrance and fresh honey
Photo Credit: Maria Latwaitis (mom) Holbrook

Between the heavenly floral fragrance and fresh honey for sale, you'll never want to leave this East Marion hot spot -- especially during the summer.

The farm stands out east

On a sticky summer day in Suffolk, is
Photo Credit: Brittany Wait

On a sticky summer day in Suffolk, is there anything sweeter than a slice of pie from Briermere Farm? There are so many farm stands in Riverhead, you can make a whole day out of picking fresh produce and sampling homemade honey and jams.

The Paramount

A-listers often stop by The Paramount, where there's
Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

A-listers often stop by The Paramount, where there's a wide-range of performances. From Billy Joel singing his hits to John Mulaney's sidesplitting stand-up, to the fearless stars of "RuPaul's Drag Race," if you're looking for a night of entertainment, just head to Huntington.

The new coliseum is finally open

After what felt like an eternity, the renovated
Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

After what felt like an eternity, the renovated Nassau Coliseum is finally open for business, and we couldn't be more excited. Now that "the barn" has gotten a face-lift, why would you ever want to leave now?

Cold treats at Ralph's Famous Italian Ices

There are plenty of places to go during
Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

There are plenty of places to go during the summer for a cold treat, but nothing beats a fresh crème or water ice from Ralph's on a hot summer day. The company may have originated on Staten Island, but with more than 30 locations on Long Island, it's safe to say that Ralph's is a Long island summer staple.

NYCB Theatre at Westbury

The former Westbury Music Fair opened in 1956,
Photo Credit: News 12 Long Island

The former Westbury Music Fair opened in 1956, and continues to entertain Long Islanders in a way few places can. The eclectic offerings (Kenny Rogers Christmas shows followed by TNA Wrestling and live Theresa Caputo group readings) are legendary, but sometimes you don't even have to go to the show to make memories. If you've picked up a gleaming mother-in-law in the parking lot following a Julio Iglesias show, you can attest.

Enjoy all four seasons

Long Island is the perfect place for anyone
Photo Credit: Barry Sloan, Newsday / Kathy Kmonicek

Long Island is the perfect place for anyone who likes to enjoy each of the four seasons. Mild spring temperatures and warm summers make for great barbecue weather, while crisp fall afternoons and chilly winter evenings are great excuses for piping hot drinks around the fireplace with friends and family.

Shop 'til you drop

For Long Islanders, shopping until you drop isn't
Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

For Long Islanders, shopping until you drop isn't just a funny saying -- it's a way of life. With the abundance of outlet malls, upscale shopping centers and a smattering of great mom-and-pop shops, there's no place better for those looking to scratch their bargain-hunting itch.

South Shore on the water

Anyone living on the South Shore knows that
Photo Credit: Yamaha

Anyone living on the South Shore knows that Long Island is a perfect place for boating enthusiasts to get out on the water on a gorgeous summer day. Whether it's for fishing, tanning, or just cruising, Long Island can't be beat for boating enthusiasts.

Long Island pizza

New Yorkers are famously picky when it comes
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

New Yorkers are famously picky when it comes to choosing their favorite pizza, and thankfully Long Island has more than its fair share of delicious pizzerias vying for slice supremacy. Although the debate may never truly end when it comes to choosing the all-time greatest pie, it sure is fun to try as many as you possibly can.

Freshly-caught seafood

Seafood lovers have plenty of reason to love
Photo Credit: Eric Heigl

Seafood lovers have plenty of reason to love Long Island, with our abundance of locally-sourced fish, clams and oysters. For a true east-end experience, check out Claudio's, a series of family-owned seafood restaurant that has been serving up delicious Long Island seafood and local produce since 1870.

Patchogue's art and music scene

In the past several years, Patchogue Village has
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

In the past several years, Patchogue Village has become a premier destination for art lovers, cinephiles and live music venues. Catch an original play at the Patchogue Theater, enjoy artwork from local artists at the Patchogue Arts Council's gallery on Terry Street, and even enjoy an independent or foreign film in the intimate Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center. If music is more your style, enjoy some live music at The Emporium or 89 North, and grab a locally crafted beer at one of the many restaurants and pubs on Main Street.

Quaint main streets

Long Island may be known for its abundance
Photo Credit: Mansura Khanam

Long Island may be known for its abundance of shopping malls, but our traditional main streets are the real star of the local shopping scene. Whether you're out east in Riverhead or looking to browse some mom and pop stores in Sayville, Northport, Patchogue Village or Huntington, there's no better place to enjoy locally-sourced food and support small business owners.

The Cradle of Aviation

Take a trip back to the golden age
Photo Credit: Roderick Leonhard

Take a trip back to the golden age of flight by visiting the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, an interactive museum where families can learn about Long Island's impact on the history of aeronautics, including the crucial role that we played in supplying planes during WWII and in getting a man on the moon.

Intimate dining experiences

Looking for a quaint meal with friends? Look
Photo Credit: Jin Lee/Ian J. Stark

Looking for a quaint meal with friends? Look no further than The Witches Brew in West Hempstead or Robinson's Tea Room in Stony Brook Village, where you can enjoy a hot beverage and refreshments in a unique atmosphere. While The Witches Brew is more accustomed to the macabre, Robinson's Tea Room is sure to satisfy anyone craving a traditional English High Tea experience.

Another Hofstra debate?

Hofstra University hosted a presidential debate for the
Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

Hofstra University hosted a presidential debate for the third consecutive cycle in 2016 after an Ohio college bowed out. The Hempstead school picked up the ball, ran with it admirably and seemed ready and willing to take a debate slot whenever it's available. If you're a politically inclined LI high schooler thinking about leaving the Island for college, Hofstra's emergence as a fixture just might make you rethink your decision.

Port Jefferson

You can easily have a day of unforgettable
Photo Credit: Port Jeff Brewing Co.

You can easily have a day of unforgettable fun in Port Jefferson without breaking the bank. Tour the Port Jeff Brewing Co., catch a show at Theater Three, grab a bite (eateries with juicy burgers, savory Mexican cuisine, and rich BBQ bites line the streets) and finally, view a gorgeous sunset on the water. With everything in walking distance, this town truly has it all.

Professional theater without the expenses

Professional actors and directors constantly showcase their talent
Photo Credit: Brittany Wait

Professional actors and directors constantly showcase their talent in venues on Long Island, and tickets are far from Manhattan prices. This summer, Gateway Performing Arts Center in Bellport put on productions of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" starring Tony Award-winning actor Jarrod Emick and "Anything Goes" featuring Sally Struthers.

Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea just won't taste the
Photo Credit: Doug Young

Long Island Iced Tea just won't taste the same anywhere else.

Hero vs. Hoagie

On that note, you'll have to adjust your
Photo Credit: Mama's of Corona

On that note, you'll have to adjust your vocabulary. What would you call this sandwich: a hero or a hoagie? Terms like "cross-island" and "schlep" may be eliminated as well, depending on where you travel.

Belmont Park

There aren't many other places you can watch
Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

There aren't many other places you can watch pro sports for a $5 admission fee -- and bring in your own beer!

Bagels from Long Island

You won't be able to get these anywhere
Photo Credit: bionicgrrrl via Flickr

You won't be able to get these anywhere else -- they just don't have the water.

Hamptons experience

Think about the number of chances you have
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Think about the number of chances you have to see a Baldwin brother in the Hamptons, the most luxurious part of Long Island.

Laser Kingdom and Wood Kingdom

Growing up on Long Island, you'll know that
Photo Credit: Handout

Growing up on Long Island, you'll know that only the cool kids had their birthday parties at Laser Kingdom or Wood Kingdom. Side by side in Farmingdale, these hot spots host rounds of laser tag and house huge playgrounds, respectively. There are even locations in Coram.

Small Long Island theme parks

Somehow the smaller-scale theme parks like Farmingdale's Adventureland
Photo Credit: Michael Nagle

Somehow the smaller-scale theme parks like Farmingdale's Adventureland and Calverton's Splish Splash are twice the fun. And if you do move away, tell your new friends that they haven't lived until they've conquered Splish Splash's enormous water slide, Cliff Diver--and celebrated with Dippin' Dots afterwards.

Ferry rides

Whether it's Fire Island, Shelter Island, Port Jefferson
Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Whether it's Fire Island, Shelter Island, Port Jefferson or Orient Point, Long Island ferry rides are a rite of passage.

Riverhead

Riverhead is a Long Island gem. In this
Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Riverhead is a Long Island gem. In this town, the kids can explore ocean life at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, while mom can indulge in the assorted vintages of Martha Clara Vineyards. Win-win.

The lighthouses

Want to take a three-day weekend and just
Photo Credit: Asia Lee

Want to take a three-day weekend and just visit lighthouses? Head east to Montauk Point, circle back and take the ferry for Fire Island's version (shown here), make your way to the North Shore for Port Washington, hit Huntington Harbor... then ask your boss for some more time off, because you're not nearly done yet!

Quirky history

Upon moving somewhere else, only you will remember
Photo Credit: CBS

Upon moving somewhere else, only you will remember the rambunctious hockey games at Nassau Coliseum, or when Sayville native Tom Westman fought against the odds to win "Survivor." What fun is that?

The hometown names

Bustling Patchogue, friendly Comsewogue, and hard-to-beat Hauppauge --
Photo Credit: Chelsea Katz

Bustling Patchogue, friendly Comsewogue, and hard-to-beat Hauppauge -- do you really want to live somewhere with people who may scoff at and mispronounce the name of your hometown?

The Big Duck

The iconic Big Duck in Flanders has wowed
Photo Credit: Big Duck

The iconic Big Duck in Flanders has wowed visitors since 1931. Come on -- where else in the world can you "flock" to see a bird this big?

Quacker Jack

Speaking of ducks: How can you leave the
Photo Credit: Handout

Speaking of ducks: How can you leave the beloved Long Island Ducks baseball mascot, Quacker Jack? He'll be so sad...

So close to NYC

Long Island is the ideal proximity from the
Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Long Island is the ideal proximity from the city: far from it, but just a train trip away. Commuters tend to forget that this is actually a perk.

Beaches

On Long Island, you have just the right
Photo Credit: Bobby Alan

On Long Island, you have just the right kind of beach choices. Have a jam-packed day of cold drinks and live music at Jones Beach, or opt for a serene, carefree vibe at Robert Moses Beach.

Diners

Think of all the national chain restaurants that
Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

Think of all the national chain restaurants that have never been able to take hold here. Long Island's mom-and-pop eateries have helped keep the eating scene fairly local -- and delicious!

Accents

Once you go someplace where people don't share
Photo Credit: TLC

Once you go someplace where people don't share your accent, things get complicated. It'll start the first time you say "lawn-guy-land." You may even be compared to our favorite medium, Theresa Caputo.

The traffic

And if there's no other reason, we'll leave
Photo Credit: John Paraskevas

And if there's no other reason, we'll leave you with this: if you try to leave, it could take a while. You'll likely get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic no matter what route you take. Might as well enjoy!

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