Just minutes from Manhattan, and yet still a world all its own, “The Island” (as locals call it) offers beach fun, beautiful views, and endless outdoor fun. Enjoy great local food and wine, experience the bustling art scene, and even participate in the Long Island Polar Bear Splash!
Long Island may be best known as the home of Coney Island and the setting for approximately one million mob movies, but there’s so much more to this 118-mile island. Home to more than half of New York City’s residents, Long Island is vibrant, multicultural, and with each of its four counties having a unique flavor.
You’ll have a broad choice of places to live on Long Island. You can choose from urban settings like Long Island City, or the smaller villages of more suburban Suffolk and Nassau counties. Or you can choose one of the barrier islands for even more beachside type living. You’ll have easy access to New York City via rail and car, but be far enough away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy the seaside quiet.
Long Island public schools are ranked among the best in the United States. The Long Island public school system is the largest in New York State outside of the New York City Public School System. Between Nassau and Suffolk Counties, there are 127 public school districts. The Suffolk County Public School District encompasses 69 of these, and Nassau County Public School District accounts for the rest. For parents who prefer private education, Long Island offers a number of parochial and secular private schools, along with charter schools.
Long Island also offers opportunities for higher education. Religiously affiliated and secular colleges and universities are to be found. The State University of New York maintains several campuses on Long Island, with Stony Brook perhaps the best-known among them. Farmingdale State University and SUNY Westbrook, along with the Suffolk County Community Colleges, also call Long Island home. For private higher education, residents may choose from Hofstra University and Long Island University, among others.
Long Island’s unemployment rate runs in line the national average. In 2019, Nassau County had an unemployment rate of 3%, while Suffolk County had a rate of 3.2%. While the unemployment rate has been slowly rising, it still remains on the low side.
Many Long Island residents commute to Manhattan for work, but there are a number of industries that call The Island home as well. The aviation industry has long been a staple of the Long Island economy. The State of New York is also a major employer, both for those who work on the Island and those who commute into the City. Several science and research companies call Long Island home, making it an ideal choice for those working in research and development. Even lying so close to Manhattan, agriculture plays a key part in the Long Island economy, including a booming wine industry. Tourism, especially around beachfront activities, is a major job sector for Long Island residents, as are news and media.
There is lots of fun to be had on Long Island. It’s known for its water and amusement parks — nearly 30 of them! — with Adventureland being perhaps the most famous. Outdoor activities are all around as well, from watersports such as boating and fishing, to beachside fun like swimming and lounging, and horseback riding and hiking — not to mention golf! If antiquing or historic homes is more your speed, Long Island has you covered. There are also plenty of museums and art galleries to choose from, and the winery tours are not to be missed.
Long Island is home to a National Hockey League team, the New York Islanders. Other professional sports played on the Island are Atlantic League Professional Baseball (the Long Island Ducks), Major League Lacrosse (New York Lizards), and the United Soccer League (New York Rough Riders).
You haven’t eaten in Long Island until you’ve had a lobster roll. While many Eastern Seaboard cities fight it out for who makes the best, a Long Island lobster roll is a classic. Whether you have it hot or cold, with fries or chips, you can’t go wrong. Just don’t forget the coleslaw. If lobster’s not your bag, you can choose from a variety of fresh-caught seafood on Long Island. Clams, oysters, shrimp, fish — you can find it all. Top off that seafood meal with an Italian ice, one of the Island’s signature treats. Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices are the gold standard.
And of course, it wouldn’t be New York without bagels and pizza — the best in the nation. You’ll find your New York City favorites well represented on Long Island, from pizza (cheese or pepperoni only, and by the slice, please!) to bagels to hot dogs with all the toppings. Diners abound as well, with the classic comfort foods you’d expect, along with some new classics. You can definitely find fine dining on Long Island, too — with a growing foodie scene, farm-to-table cuisine is staking a claim.
Real estate on Long Island is expensive. However, a period of flatness in the market has led to wide availability, which can work in a buyer’s favor. As of the spring of 2019, housing sales were on the rise. Lower interest rates and fear of rising housing prices in an already expensive market seem to driving the increase in home sales. The market’s only going to get hotter over the next year, according to experts. If you choose to live in Nassau County, expect to spend more than $500,000 on average for a house. The median home there sells for $518,400 (though the median listing price is over $638,000 and the average home value is around $538,000). You’ll pay about $377 per square foot. It’s worth noting that prices can vary across the county, however. If you choose Suffolk County, you can expect to pay about $363,000 for a home — much cheaper than Nassau. The median home in Suffolk County lists for $514,000, though the median value is $411,600. Prices vary greatly across Suffolk County, though, with some cities having a median home value in the $700K range.
If you choose to rent on Long Island, be prepared to spend a lot of money for a little space — just like anywhere in the greater New York City Area. While prices vary depending on whether you choose an apartment or house, Nassau or Suffolk County, you can expect to pay around $2000/month for a studio or 1 bedroom, and between $2500 and $3000/month for a 2 bedroom.
The public transit on Long Island is known for being among the busiest in the country. In fact, the rail system is the 2nd busiest system in the entire US. It is publicly owned and operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Long Islanders regularly commute to Manhattan and other cities by train — known as the LIRR or Long Island Railroad. Bus service is available on Long Island and is used by many residents to connect to the train and other public transit. Ferries carry passengers to Connecticut, as well as to Brooklyn and Queens.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”) is located in close proximity to Long Island, as is LaGuardia Airport. Long Island itself hosts Long Island MacArthur Airport, sometimes known as Islip Airport. A number of small aviation ports also dot the Island.
Thanks to recently relaxed ride-hailing regulations, Uber and Lyft are becoming even more available on Long Island. You can also hail a taxi. Car services Gett and Juno are also options for those who wish to travel by car but not drive.
Long Island is in a climate transition zone, between a humid subtropical climate and a humid continental climate. It features long hot summers, though the breezes from the coast help to keep things comfortable and limit thunderstorms. It receives about 46 inches of rain each year.
Winter: Winters in Long Island can be cold, though they are considerably milder than other areas of New York State. Winter runs from November through April, with January being the coldest month. Average snowfall is around 25 inches per year, with most of that falling in January and February; some parts of the island get much more snow, however. Average winter high temperatures range from the low 60s to the high 30s, with lows ranging from the low 30s to the single digits. Winter temperatures seldom fall below 5F.
Spring: Spring is mild and pleasant. Spring runs from April to late June or early July, with temperatures becoming warmer as July approaches. The season features rain, but is not notably more rainy than the rest of the year. Coastal breezes keep spring thunderstorms mild as well. Average high temperatures in the spring range from the high 50s to the low 80s, while average lows range from the low 40s to the mid 60s.
Summer: Summers can be hot in Long Island, especially in the western end of the island which is more populated and thus experiences the urban heat island effect. Summer is drier than the rest of the year, though Long Island can also experience hurricanes during hurricane season (June-November). Summer runs from July to September Average high temperatures range from the mid 70s to the low 80s, though occasional highs over 100 are possible. Average low temperatures range from the high 50s to the high 60s. Summers are mildly humid.
Fall: Fall runs from September to early November in Long Island and is pleasant, though hurricanes are still possible. Temperatures are mild and the fall foliage is beautiful. Average high temperatures range from the low 60s to the low 70s, with average low temperatures ranging from the high 30s to the mid 50s.
The Island has a lot to offer! As you make your plan to move to Long Island, rest assured that Simply Self Storage is here to help with all your moving and storage needs.