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A good long look at Long Island

When you’re on Long Island exquisite leisure and business facilities are always within a short distance, making this lesser-known meeting place both accessible and affordable

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Long Island, New York, just east of New York City, is the largest island adjoining the continental US, at 118 miles long. With almost 1,200 miles of coastline and over 70 beaches, it is so close to Manhattan, and yet a world away.

Despite being much more affordable than major metropolitan cities, Long Island is often overlooked as a meeting destination. And yet, access for international travellers is incredibly easy. Visitors can arrive at JFK International Airport, which is located on Long Island itself. Passengers can also touchdown via LaGuardia and the island’s own Islip MacArthur Airport. Public transportation includes the Long Island Rail Road, the largest commuter rail road in the US, a ferry service to New England, and public luxury coach buses. Private car and share-ride services are also available.

Leisurely pursuits
Whether you are looking for a waterfront resort or a property close to bustling NYC, Long Island has something to offer. Tour one of Long Island wine country’s 50-plus wineries and vineyards or host a private wine tasting and dinner for your group. Long Island wines have consistently won awards and have been served at the White House on several occasions.

The early starters can book a sunrise yoga session on one of the famous beaches (consistently rated among the top 10 in the US by the influential Dr Beach), or enjoy a clambake beach dinner if you can’t make it up in time. Gatsby-era Gold Coast Mansions have been transformed into hotels, banquet facilities and museums and are ideal locations for your next event. Alternatively, for a venue where the sky’s the limit, the Cradle of Aviation or the Airpower Museum bring the island’s rich aviation history alive and are available as attractions or reception venues.

No matter which region of Long Island you choose for your event, there is a golf course nearby. There are over 60 public golf courses, including Bethpage Black, site of numerous US Open Golf Championships.

Long Island may be famous for The Hamptons and its celebrity parties but it is all business when it comes to meetings and conferences. Home to major chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood, Long Island also boasts beautiful independent properties and conference centres on the ocean, converted from mansions and well-known for housing Charles Lindberg the night before his infamous flight to Paris.

Going offshore
If you don’t want to be land-locked during your free time, charter a fishing boat from one of Long Island’s many ports for a half-day or full-day of sport fishing. Cruise along the Long Island Sound, which separates the island from Connecticut, in a private sail boat where you are your own crew. Alternatively, a lunch cruise around the Fire Island Lighthouse in an old-fashioned paddleboat on a warm, sunny day creates a memorable experience.

The next time you are organising a conference in New York, consider Long Island and all it has to offer you and your attendees – convenience, accessibility and affordability, with a variety of venues and attractions to make your event successful.

The Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau offers its services free of charge and receives no commissions or fees to help you source your meeting, conference or event. As experts in the destination the Bureau is familiar with all of the available properties, exciting attractions, great transportation companies, and other vendors that will make your event successful. The Bureau is happy to arrange site inspections at no cost to you and will accompany you if you choose. Long Island offers personalised service to every client.

Further information: email: meetings@discoverlongisland.com; www.facebook.com/LongIslandMeetings; www.twitter.com/MeetOnLI; www.discoverlongisland.com

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