Explore LI’s Hidden Gems This Summer

Enjoy the summer warmth with a stroll in a quiet park or cool down with gelato at a local cafe. Long Island is home to a surplus of under-the-radar restaurants, shops and beautiful outdoor spaces that are perfect for a peaceful retreat. These five Long Island hidden gems won’t disappoint.

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The International Delight Cafe, Bellmore

Those craving creamy gelato or a hot cappuccino look no further than this quaint cafe. Established in 1983, it’s home to over 80 homemade gelato flavors that can be served on a warm waffle with many toppings. The unique “world” is the largest gelato sundae with over two gallons of gelato, homemade Belgium waffles and unlimited toppings. The place also serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert all day/night and has a back room to accommodate large parties. Click to go

The Cup Coffeehouse, Wantagh

Have you ever wanted to just relax with live music, play board games with friends and enjoy delicious dessert? This 70s Brooklyn style coffeehouse makes that possible. It’s open evenings, serving dinner and finger food as well as a surplus of desserts. The dessert options include milkshakes, brownies a la mode, frozen hot chocolates and frappes. Challenge your friends to Connect Four or take turns at the next open mic night. Click to go

David Weld Sanctuary, St. James

Explore this sanctuary on the North Shore with serene hiking trails that lead to a rocky beach. These trails cross paths with fields of red cedars, a red maple swamp and enormous tulip trees. The 125-acre preserve is also home to many bird species, including songbirds, hummingbirds and shorebirds. Walk along the shoreline and experience the boulders or climb a 50-foot bluff with a beautiful view of the Long Island Sound. Click to go

Lavender by the Bay, East Marion

Bring your camera and take some beautiful photographs at this lavender farm. Visitors can pick bunches of lavender from the field or purchase freshly cut bunches in the shop, along with other lavender products. Bonus: it is pet friendly. Click to go

Montauk Bake Shoppe, Montauk

Take a trip to Montauk and make a stop at this laid-back bakery. The small shop features fresh and handmade pastries including croissants, hand decorated cupcakes, cruffins, crumb cakes and danishes. Along with the long list of pastries, it also serves homemade breads, Italian sandwiches and breakfast dishes, such as egg sandwiches and buttermilk pancakes. Indulge while sitting in the sun on benches and tables in front of the shop. Click to go