Summer days were meant for lying out by the pool, cocktail in hand, soft music playing in the background.
If you’re rolling your eyes and saying, “Pfffft,” I get it. I’m pretty sure I’ve written some variation of this line multiple times since I started counting down to summer with the rest of you on a seasonably freezing day in February. Though life often does slow down in the summer, that can make way for an outing far more thrilling than a daily commute on the LIRR (which is, admittedly, an adventure). In between sipping and dipping, consider taking one or all of these Long Island adventures.
Fly a Plane
Forget rooftop bars. Experience Long Island from above by learning to fly a plane. Schools like American Airman (Ronkonkoma) and Nassau Flyers (Farmingdale) offer introductory flight lessons. Bonus: Get your pilots license and you may be able to ditch traffic en route to the Hamptons. American Airman: Phone: 631-807-1373 | Address: 2111 Smithton Ave., Hangar D, Ronkonoma Click to fly | Nassau Flyers: Phone: 631-454-0626 | Address: 1300 New Hwy., Farmingdale Click to fly
Jump Out of a Plane
If your flying goals are more about jumping out of a plane than learning to pilot one, opt for skydiving. Skydive South Shore’s skydiving trips come complete with views of Fire Island, the Long Island Sound, Montauk and the Twin Forks, which are known to take clients’ breaths away before they even realize they jumped out of a plane. Having an inner-fight not to take flight? It’s completely safe—Skydive South Shore teams Long Island adventure-lovers with professional instructors. Tandems are literally attached to one another to ensure safe landings. Phone: 516-656-5867 | Address: 135A Dawn Dr., Shirley Click to jump
Go Over the Edge
On July 1, the tallest event of the Long Island summer social calendar is going down when a group of thrill-seekers will have the opportunity to rappel 170 feet down the Tower at Nassau Community College. Daredevils are supporting a good cause to boot. Proceeds go towards Over the Edge for EAC Network’s efforts to benefit foster children, abuse survivors, struggling families, seniors and people dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues. Register now. Only 92 people can participate (if you miss out, consider watching!). Phone: 516-539-0150 Click to rappel
A must-do in Central American countries like Costa Rica, ziplining allows people to take flight al fresco. If a trip to the land of Pura Vida isn’t in the cards for you this summer, try Long Island Adventure Park. The park offers 10 separate trails of varying levels of difficulty, making it ideal for families, the faint of heart and those with the crazy gene. Phone: 631-983-3844 | Address: 75 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights Click to zip
If Jaws made you laugh, not cry, put your bravery to the test this summer. Montauk’s Sea Turtle Dive Charters lowers ballsy participants 3-4 feet underwater, where they’ll get up close and personal with three or more sharks during two 30-minute sessions. Hopefully the trip not The End of you. (I should add that the anodized-aluminum pipe is fully welded at all seams—which people swear make it safe.) Phone: 631-335-6323 Click to get in the water
Get Tough and Muddy
We frequently laud Old Bethpage Restoration Village as being charming, gorgeous and historic. This summer, it’s getting a badass makeover when Tough Mudder comes to town July 22. Participants will have to get through more than 20 obstacles on the 10-mile course, all for a bright orange headband, free t-shirt and well-deserved cold one. Click to enter